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An Overview of Hot Tub Electrical Circuit Wiring and Requirements

Electrical Circuit Wiring for a Hot Tub Circuit: The electrical circuit is a dedicated GFCI protected circuit. Many hot tubs required a 4-wire circuit which has a separate neutral and separate ground along with the 2-conductors which provide the 240 volt circuit.


Electrical Wiring for a Hot Tub Circuit

Electrical Question: We have a ThermoSpa Hot Tub Park Avenue Executive outside on our deck that came with the house here in MA.

The hot tub requires 2 – 240v circuits, both 30 amps. It is currently wired with the following:

Main Electrical Panel:
1 – 30 Amp 240V GFCI
1 – 20 Amp 120V GFCI (incorrect, need a 240v)

Sub-Panel near the Hot Tub, outside:
Hard wired with a “big handle” type switch on the side, no additional GFCI, controls ONLY the 240V line.

  • They originally hijacked the 240v supply for the Range, and added a GFCI breaker, but they did NOT connect the White load-wire to the GFCI and left it connected to the neutral\ground bar in the box (which I fixed).
  • They did the same thing for the 120v GFCI breaker, so I moved the white wire to the breaker for that one as well.
  • The white pigtails were connected to the ground strip on both GFCI breakers. (I hope all that makes sense!)

My questions about this Hot Tub Circuit Wiring are:

  • Is it OK that the GFCI breakers are in the main box?
  • Is it OK that there are no breakers in the Sub-Panel and just a large lever-type switch?
  • Am I correct that all load-wires should be connected to the GFCI breaker (red, black, white), except for the ground wire?
  • Is there any way to test the GFCI breaker other than hitting the “TEST” button (ie, short out the line at the Hot Tub)
  • They used Aluminum Wire (heavy gauge). Is that ever OK? If so, what gauge?

Thanks for your help!

This electrical wiring question came from: Kevin, a Homeowner from Marlborough, MA

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Kevin.

Electrical Circuit Wiring for a Hot Tub Circuit

  • A typical hot tub requires a 50 amp, 240 volt 4-wire circuit, but this could vary depending on the exact hot tub that is installed so the installation manual should be consulted.
  • The electrical circuit is a dedicated GFCI protected circuit. Many hot tubs required a 4-wire circuit which has a separate neutral and separate ground along with the 2-conductors which provide the 240 volt circuit.
  • Most hot tubs will specify that the electrical circuit wiring must be copper, not aluminum, I have replaced aluminum hot tub circuit wiring where copper was specifically required.
  • A disconnect switch must be in the location of the hot tub. The switch does not have to have the GFCI circuit breaker, it can be a handle type disconnect.

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