Here's a very few samples of inspected pools.
ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION OVERVIEW
Safety is paramount when installing any device that combines water and
electricity. The following information, while very informative, is no
substitute for the use of a licensed electrician. Manufacturer
recommendations and compliance to local codes are also critical to the
safe use of pools, spas and hot tubs. This information is also available
in the NEC National Electrical Code.
- Dedicated 50-ampere wiring with ground fault circuit interrupter
protection using four #6 AWG copper wires is the recommended minimum,
unless the spa or hot tub manufacturer recommends larger wiring. Note
that #6 AWG wire is acceptable for distances up to 100-ft. Wire runs
over 100-ft must be increased to #4 AWG copper wires. A separate cutout
switch is to be mounted at least 5-ft from the edge of the spa or hot
tub and within sight of the spa or hot tub. It is highly recommended
that a licensed electrician perform the wiring installation.
- Some spas and hot tubs may have a dedicated electric heater that is
rated as high as 11,000 watts. This heater will draw in excess of 45
amperes, will require its own dedicated power line, with 60 amp GFI
protection. In this instance, do not connect the spa or hot tub pumps,
blowers, etc, to the same circuit breaker as the heater.
- Some spas and hot tubs include a built-in 220 volt GFI called a
“High Current GFCI”, that will protect all parts of the spa control
system. However be careful since there is virtually no difference in
the appearance of a newer high current GFI and a standard flat face GFI
that protects 115-volt components. transformer) spa light
- Note that the terms 220, 230 and 240 volts are interchanged
frequently. This is due to voltage variations throughout the country,
so your actual voltage may be any one of these ratings.
- Receptacles on the property shall be located at least 5-ft measured
horizontally from the inside walls of the spa or hot tub. All
receptacles of 125 volts located within 10-ft of the inside walls of a
spa or hot tub shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter
(GFI). There shall be at least one 125-volt, 15 or 20 ampere receptacle
on a general-purpose branch circuit located a minimum of 5 –ft from and
not more than 10-ft from the inside wall of the spa or hot tub.
Receptacles that provide power for a spa or hot tub shall be GFI
- Wall switches shall be located at least 5-ft, measured horizontally,
from the inside walls of the spa or hot tub.
- Mounting Height of Lighting Fixtures, Lighting Outlets and
Ceiling-Suspended (Paddle) Fans located over the spa or hot tub or
within 5-ft from the inside walls of the spa or hot tub shall be a
minimum of 7-ft 6-inches above the maximum water level and shall be
protected by a GFI. One exception is that lighting fixtures that meet
requirement (a) or (b) below and protected by a GFI shall be permitted
to be installed less than 7-ft 6-inches over a spa or hot tub.
- Recessed fixtures with a glass or plastic lens and nonmetallic or
electrically isolated metal trim, suitable for use in damp locations.
- Surface-mounted fixtures with a glass or plastic globe and a
nonmetallic body or a metallic body isolated from contact. Such
fixtures shall be suitable for use in damp locations.
- Bonding together of parts is required for all metal fittings within
or attached to the spa or hot tub structure; metal parts of electrical
equipment associated with the spa or hot tub water circulating system,
including pump motors, metal conduit, and metal piping within 5-ft of
the inside walls of the spa or hot tub and that are not separated from
the spa or hot tub by a permanent barrier; and all metal surfaces that
are within 5-ft of the inside walls of the spa or hot tub and not
separated from the spa or hot tub area by a permanent barrier. One
exception is small, isolated, conductive surfaces that are not likely to
become energized. All metal parts associated with the spa or hot tub
shall be Bonded by any of the following methods:
- The interconnection of treaded metal piping and fittings.
- Metal-to-metal mounting on a common frame or base.
- A copper-bonding jumper, insulated, covered, or bare, not smaller
than No. 8 solid wire.
- Underground wiring, including service wires to the house, shall not
be permitted under the spa or hot tub or within the area extending 5-ft
horizontally from the inside wall of the spa or hot tub unless this
wiring is necessary to supply spa or hot tub equipment. Where space
limitations prevent wiring from being routed 5-ft or more from the spa
or hot tub, such wiring shall be permitted where installed in rigid
metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, or a nonmetallic raceway
system. All metal conduit shall be corrosion resistant and suitable for
the location. A burial depth of 18-inches is sufficient for all types
of acceptable wiring installed under the exception due to space
NOTE. Even if there is an integral high current GFI built into the
spa, installing a GFI at the main breaker or at the remote disconnect
improves electrical safety. This is due to the higher “industrial
strength” of the breaker box type GFI will not last as long as
integral-type GFI’s. These GFI devices should be checked monthly by the
homeowner to ensure proper operation. If at any time the GFI does not
operate properly, there may be a problem with the spa or there is a
wiring fault between the GFI and the spa or the GFI is defective.
- Wiring inside of the residential structure can consist of any of the
types of wiring approved for interior residential use, including
nonmetallic cable. The wiring on the exterior of the building shall
have an insulated equipment-grounding conductor installed with the
feeder conductors in rigid metal conduit or intermediate metal conduit
or nonmetallic rigid conduits. Electrical metallic tubing shall be
permitted to be used to protect conductors where installed on the
building. Note that nonmetallic rigid conduit is not approved for above
ground use outdoors if exposed to physical damage due to brittleness in
- Packaged spas or hot tubs utilizing a factory-installed remote
panelboard shall be permitted to be connected with not more than 6-ft of
liquid-tight metallic Flexible Conduit or be Cord and Plug connected
with a cord not longer than 15-ft if protected by a GFI. A receptacle(s)
that provides power for the spa or hot tub shall be permitted between
5-ft and 10-ft from the inside walls of the spa or hot tub, and, where
so located, shall be single and of the locking and grounding types and
shall be protected by a GFI.
- A Disconnecting means shall be provided and be accessible, located
within sight from all spas and hot tub equipment, and shall be located
at least 5-ft from the inside walls of the spa or hot tub.
- At least one 125-volt 15 or 20 ampere receptacle on a
general-purpose branch circuit shall be located a minimum of 10-ft from
and not more than 20-ft from the inside wall of the spa or hot tub.
This receptacle shall be located not more than 6-ft 6-inches above the
floor, platform or grade level serving the pool. All 125-volt
receptacles located within 20-ft of the inside walls of the spa or hot
tub shall be protected by a GFI. In determining the above dimensions,
the distance to be measured is the shortest path the supply cord of an
appliance connected to the receptacle would follow without piercing a
floor, wall, ceiling, doorway with hinged or sliding door, window
opening, or other effective permanent barrier.
- Lighting Fixtures, Lighting Outlets, and Ceiling-Suspended (Paddle)
Fans shall not be installed over the pool or over the area extending
5-ft horizontally from the inside walls of the spa or hot tub unless no
part of the lighting fixture or ceiling-suspended (paddle) fan is less
than 12-ft above the maximum water level. Lighting fixtures and
lighting outlets installed in the area extending between 5-ft and 10-ft
horizontally from the inside walls of the spa or hot tub shall be
protected by a GFI unless installed 5-ft above the maximum water level
and rigidly attached to the structure adjacent to or enclosing the spa
or hot tub. Existing lighting fixtures and lighting outlets located
less than 5 –ft above the surface of the maximum water level, shall be
rigidly attached to the existing structure, and shall be protected by a
- Cord connected lighting fixtures are acceptable if needed for
removal or disconnection for maintenance or repair. Where installed
within 16-ft of any point on the water surface, measured radially, the
length of the flexible cord shall not exceed 3-ft. The flexible cord
shall have a copper equipment grounding conductor not smaller than 12
AWG (10 AWG for 30 to 60 amp service, 8 AWG for 100 amp service and 6
AWG for 200 amp service), the cord shall terminate in a grounding-type
attachment plug, the equipment grounding conductors shall be connected
to a fixed metal part of the fixed metal part of the assembly and the
removable item shall be mounted on or bonded to the fixed metal part.
- Switching devices on the property shall be located at least 5-ft
horizontally from the inside walls of the spa or hot tub unless
separated by a solid fence, walls, or other permanent barrier.
- No open wiring shall be installed above the spa or hot tub and the
area extending 10-ft horizontally from the inside of the spa or hot tub
- All-metal parts over 4-inches in any dimension (except the metal
bands or hoops used to secure wooden staves) within 5-ft horizontal and
within 12-ft above the spa or hot tub must be bonded together. The
common bonding grid shall be permitted to be the structural reinforcing
steel of a concrete spa or hot tub where the reinforcing rods are bonded
together by the usual steel tie wires or the equivalent; the wall of a
bolted or welded metal spa or hot tub, or a solid copper conductor,
insulated, covered, or bare, not smaller than No. 8.
- Packaged spas or hot tubs should be 3rd Party Certified and bear a
label, such as UL. If there is not certification, the spa or hot tub
must be field evaluated for conformance to the manufacturing standards.
Field evaluation can be arranged through the local UL office or other
approved testing agency.