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#41621 - 09/01/04 09:25 AM Hot Tub
jbfan Offline

Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 75
Loc: Newnan, GA
I received a call from a friend that is getting a small tingle when she gets into the hot tub. Since I have never installed nor worked on a hot tub, I was looking for ideas about the things I need to look for when I get there.

Thanks, Keith
"Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years to late" Jimmy Buffett

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#41622 - 09/01/04 01:03 PM Re: Hot Tub
CalSparky Offline

Registered: 03/14/04
Posts: 32
Loc: Northern California
Check the size of the ground that is bonding the tub. I can't tell you how many times I've seen hackers out there use a #10 or even #12 ground. Darn near every modern hot tub needs a #6 ground (assuming 50A being brought in over 3 #6 wires). Obviously the GFCI is not working properly either (one could argue that the tingle isn't enough to trip it I suppose -- heck, a lot of hackers ignore the GFCI with the thought that "hey, it works without it"). The most glaring issue here is that there is a loose hot wire that is shorted to a metal water pipe, thus energizing the water (I'm assuming that the tingle is felt when she is making contact with the water).

#41623 - 09/01/04 02:29 PM Re: Hot Tub
golf junkie Offline

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE
Also check the ground on the hot water heater if you don't find the problem in other areas.

#41624 - 09/01/04 04:10 PM Re: Hot Tub
winnie Offline

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 652
Loc: boston, ma
I would also suggest looking for a _neutral_ to ground fault somewhere. This can inject considerable current into the ground system without tripping any breakers.

I would suggest using a meter in the area of the hot tub to try to find the potential difference which is causing the shock, and then turning off circuits until this potential goes away.


#41625 - 09/01/04 04:46 PM Re: Hot Tub
caselec Offline

Registered: 04/14/02
Posts: 557
Loc: San Jose, CA

Before you start calling people hackers for installing less than a #6 EGC for a 50 amp circuit please take a look at Table 251.122. Do you know what the purpose of the EGC is?

Curt Swartz

#41626 - 09/01/04 05:21 PM Re: Hot Tub
Pat@Amber Offline

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 107
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD USA
Also check the main service coming into the house. Got a call from one of my GC's while he was on vacation during the last hurricane. The same tingling was happening to him and it turned out that the main neutral was loose at the pole. TELL THEM TO STAY OUT TILL YOU GET THERE!
Power to the people

#41627 - 09/01/04 07:12 PM Re: Hot Tub
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Whole bunch of reasons one could feel a tingle, I say bonding rather than grounding. Two different items.... But I would handle in the manner winne proposed.

680.42C "Interior Wiring to Outdoor Installations. In the interior of a one-family dwelling or in the interior of another building or structure associated with a one-family dwelling, any of the wiring methods recognized in Chapter 3 of this Code that contain a copper equipment grounding conductor that is insulated or enclosed within the outer sheath of the wiring method and not smaller than 12 AWG shall be permitted to be used for the connection to motor, heating, and control loads that are part of a self-contained spa or hot tub, or a packaged spa or hot tub equipment assembly...." Assuming it's 20A!

Bonding different story... 680.26A "Performance. The bonding required by this section shall be installed to eliminate voltage gradients in the pool area as prescribed.

FPN:This section does not require that the 8 AWG or larger solid copper bonding conductor be extended or attached to any remote panelboard, service equipment, or any electrode."

680.26B,1-5 #8 solid min.
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#41628 - 09/01/04 08:03 PM Re: Hot Tub
PCBelarge Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
1. Before turning the power off, try to measure for voltage in various locations. Record your findings on paper, as it is always too easy to forget exactly what you found and where you found it.

2. Now turn the power off that feeds the Jacuzzi and see if you still get readings (supposing you did find voltage somewhere at the jacuzzi).

If you are getting readings with the power turned off, the problem is in the bonding.
If you do not get readings with the power off, most likely there is a problem with the feed to this jacuzzi.

Let us know what you find

Pierre Belarge

#41629 - 09/01/04 08:55 PM Re: Hot Tub
OreElect Offline

Registered: 03/05/04
Posts: 96
Loc: Salem,Oregon.USA
I had a call a while back;custumer catching buzz while entering hot tub.
I got to job,sank one lead of my fluke in the h2o and the other to a good ground. Water was energized 120v. Custumer had wireed from disconnect to tub and did not connect grounding conductor nor did he have gfci protection. Did`nt know what the extra wire was for, he said.Good thing the kids didnt get a hold of a good ground while getting in.

Re;grounding size.
I got poped a few years ago on a spa circuit.the wise inspector noticed the sticker the spa manuf had at the control panel; min wire size # 6.This sticker has been on most balboa control panels arround here,which he required the # 6 on all conductors. scince that day I run a # 4 SER al,which has the # 6 al grounding co, to the GFCI disco. Then copper # 6`s to the spa.Or Pipe the whole run and run 6 thhn.
If its .
One last thing;Trying to connect the # 6 to the termination point on those balboa controls is always a joy.Obviously the manuf had never had to connect the wires up to such a tight space.What a joke.

#41630 - 09/02/04 03:47 PM Re: Hot Tub
LK Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
Yes the tub maker usually requires the #6 ,and we have found jobs with #10 or 8, I guess the mfg. just had a lot of extra ink, so they printed the label. We have a lot of Hot tub installers, that don't understand Mfg. instructions, and not the code section apply.
And yes that connection is always in a tight spot.

[This message has been edited by LK (edited 09-02-2004).]

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