Friday, April 14, 2017

Residential Hot Tub Electrical

Image result for hot tub photo

Clients that just have to have that hot tub usually do not take into consideration usually the amount of electrical power that it takes to operate on a daily basis even if it is not used daily. Typically factory specifications call for most residential hot tubs that are grid tied to be single phase 120 240 VOLT 50 AMP GFCI circurit breaker protection. (wattage/voltage=amperage)  How to figure the wattage (amperageXvoltage=wattage) 50 X 240 = 12,000

Most older residential MAIN BREAKER grid tied utility metering is only single phase 120 240 VOLT 100 AMP if you are lucky and the original electrical panel is usually loaded with no room for additional circurit breakers.

Residential clients that are already operating 240 VOLT loads like water heaters, cook stove, HVAC
and similar on their existing original 100 AMP electrical grid tied panel do not realize that by adding the hot tub spa will overload the existing grid tied metering & panel electrical service. One safety consideration is that hot tubs are rated at contine use of 3 hours or more for heating and pumping useage rated not like HVAC loads that are rated at under 3 hours and are rated intermittent.

The only quality grid tied fix is a upgrade to the grid tied electrical weatherhead cables. metering and MAIN BREAKER panel by doubling to 200 amps or even 300 to 400 amp residential. The answer to the problem is to add any clients total onsite wattage requirements and design a system that will peak to 80% of capacity leaving 20% in reserve for motor and compressors surges. The goal is to see less flicking in lighting and smoother starting for all residential loads.

Usually at this point the client goes with a low ball bidder and you are out travel, time and sharing of quality knowledge of how to get er done and safety is thrown out the window with those lowball bidders or the quality of the installed materials is less than half or more of what a quality material installation would be. Needless to say do it right the 1st time as people's lives are at stake and safety should be always followed concerning water and electrical power.

But for those that indeed consider quality and realize that the NEC (National Electric Code) is just the BARE minimum allowed with craftsmanship and materials and that you can never go below the bare minimum standards but you can always go above current code with quality craftsmanship and materials. It comes down to luxury and how much control you want over any electrical appliance including hot tubs. Having total control with smartphone is the order of the day and ringing up the newer spa's to set a certain temperature and jet flows along with covers that can be raised or lowered gets the job done with style.

D B Electric


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