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#79976 - 02/12/02 01:39 PM Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
I would like to get some recommendations about an indoor Spa installation. (Residential)

1. A room is being finished which will later contain a Hot Tub. Does it have to be wired as any other 'Habitable' room in the House?
(There is no point in the room that will be 5 feet away from the tub including corners)
Also, any suggestions for a Disconnect location or Lighting?

2. The room is built with metal studs. And it will have a suspended (T-bar) ceiling at about a 7 foot height (from floor). What type of bonding would you consider as the minimum required and to what lengths would you go?

3. Could the space above this ceiling contain a fixture (standard, metal) that would shine down through a plastic lens in the ceiling?

Bill

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#79977 - 02/12/02 05:53 PM Re: Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
Sounds like a "hydromassage bathtub" and not a "spa", so try checking 680-70 to -73. Basically you need a GFCI for the tub, as well as for any receptacle in the room within 5', and the rest of the wiring is like any bathroom wiring..assuming this is a bathroom.

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#79978 - 02/12/02 07:23 PM Re: Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Elzappr,

This is about a Hot Tub. It is a self-contained package unit that will be wired @240v and require either a 40 or 50 amp circuit. I am familiar with their installation and have done many in the past. It is not a Bathroom.

My questions are mainly about bonding and how the room itself must be wired including lighting.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Addiss (edited 02-12-2002).]

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#79979 - 02/12/02 10:53 PM Re: Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
Sorry Bill, just was hoping to make the job simpler.

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#79980 - 02/13/02 03:07 AM Re: Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Bill,
The fact that the 5' rule cannot be maintained has me stumped @ the moment. I would vote for a 'Hot Tub' room & associated wiring here over a 'Habitable ' room's requirements as the new usage would seem to dictate that level of compliance, but that's just MO...


Quote:
3. Could the space above this ceiling contain a fixture (standard, metal) that would shine down through a plastic lens in the ceiling?


From 680.43........

(1) Elevation. Luminaires (lighting fixtures), except as covered in 680.43(B)(2), lighting outlets, and ceiling-suspended (paddle) fans located over the spa or hot tub or within 1.5 m (5 ft) from the inside walls of the spa or hot tub shall comply with the clearances specified in (a), (b), and (c) above the maximum water level.
(a) Without GFCI. Where no GFCI protection is provided, the mounting height shall be not less than 3.7 m (12 ft).
(b) With GFCI. Where GFCI protection is provided, the mounting height shall be permitted to be not less than 2.3 m (7 ft 6 in.).
(c) Below 2.3 m (7 ft 6 in.). Luminaires (lighting fixtures) meeting the requirements of item (1) or (2) and protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be permitted to be installed less than 2.3 m (7 ft 6 in.) over a spa or hot tub.
(1) Recessed luminaires (fixtures) with a glass or plastic lens, nonmetallic or electrically isolated metal trim, and suitable for use in damp locations
(2) Surface-mounted luminaires (fixtures) with a glass or plastic globe, a nonmetallic body, or a metallic body isolated from contact, and suitable for use in damp locations

I don't get the 'isolation' bit here, especially given a mettalic cieling grid and the bonding already required....

Quote:
2. The room is built with metal studs. And it will have a suspended (T-bar) ceiling at about a 7 foot height (from floor). What type of bonding would you consider as the minimum required and to what lengths would you go?


(4) All metal surfaces that are within 1.5 m (5 ft) of the inside walls of the spa or hot tub and that are not separated from the spa or hot tub area by a permanent barrier

I quess that means up too... would the lighting circuit run there be considered a bond if made to the cieling grid?

[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 02-13-2002).]

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#79981 - 02/13/02 06:45 AM Re: Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Sparky,

In reference to the ceiling: I figured that it would have to be bonded in some way. By it's natural construction though, it doesn't seem that the same reference could be guaranteed without solidly connecting the metal pieces together (maybe Riveting?) I am also thinking that the ceiling should be bonded to the Metal studs. It is likely connected by screws through the perimeter, but it should be guaranteed. Overkill? I'm figuring that even though walls are sheetrocked, contact through a 'nail pop' or poorly recessed screw head is possible and little 'inquisitive fingers' may even be drawn to them.

As far as the lighting goes it's a battle trying to find something aesthetically (sp?) pleasing to the customer that will meet code. They want what they want. I would like to know all the options that would be available in this situation. Usually the first thing they want is either a Ceiling fan or Track Lighting, neither of which would be permitted in this situation.



This picture is not related to this discussion, but I think it may be a common conception of what a Hot tub room is to the uneducated consumer. There are receptacles that you cannot see all around the Tub and the fan is so low that the chains can be pulled from a seated position in the Tub. The exhaust fan in the wall is also easily within reach and has a metal cover on it. I won't go into the way that it was wired, that's a whole other story. BTW, this house was recently purchased with items you see as is.

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#79982 - 02/13/02 07:02 AM Re: Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Back to the subject.

My questions about the room wiring are in consideration of the possibility that the Tub will be removed at a later date. I recently had a new extension that would later contain a Tub, and I felt that the room (Bigger room this time) had to be wired to code with proper receptacle outlet spacing and then have the outlets in proximity blanked off with plastic covers. This way the room could revert at any time. Do you think this was necessary?

Bill

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#79983 - 02/13/02 12:20 PM Re: Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
I wish everyone were as conscientious as you, Bill. Nice to consider the probable future use of the room..but not necessary..just prudent.
Man, the small dimensions have me stumped! As for bonding the ceiling grid, seems to me that you still have to run your #8 to it, and rivit all the segments. Plastic light or plastic/glass trim for recessed light would work..since you can't get the required 7'6" from the high water level.
But the room dimensions..perhaps there is a building code requirement for the size of the room? Got to measure horizontally from inside the tub at least 5' to the switch and to the receptacle..can't cheat by going to higher elevation to increase the distance. Beats me!

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#79984 - 02/13/02 01:16 PM Re: Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Elzappr,

I don't think that the Extension would've passed otherwise because it was new construction and Hot Tub would not be Installed until well after everything was completed. As a result, only the GFCI disconnect and feeders to it come under the Inspection. It gets termed "for future use" or something like that. But it had to pass as 'Habitable Space' first. I was able to convince the Inspector that it was better splicing the wires and blanking off rather than actually installing the Receptacles and counting on someone to remove them later when the Tub was installed.

As far as this situation being described here I've had 2 similar situations recently. One in a remodelled single car Garage (no metal studs or drop ceiling though) and a room being built in a Basement (with the metal studs and drop ceiling.

In the Garage instance, the Service panelboard was adjacent to the Tub location (on the same wall) and the plan was to put in a door that would open opposite from the tub that would enclose the Service panel and disconnect switch etc. This gave an effective distance (around the door) of more than 5 feet. On this job, even after telling the customer about all the restrictions for the room they had the contractor build and wire the room as they liked. They then wanted me to come in and wire the Tub. I didn't go.

Bill

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#79985 - 02/14/02 07:22 AM Re: Hot Tub/Spa Quandries
wageoghe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/14/02
Posts: 24
Loc: Huntsville, AL
I am no electrician, but ( as the owner of a home with Aluminum wiring + a fair amount of DIY wiring from previous owner ) I do enjoy reading these boards.

Regarding the spa lighting, how about a fiber optic lighting system? Would a light fixture on such a system have to adhere to the same requirements ( proximity to water, rated for use in wet areas ) as an electrically powered fixture? It would seem that the fixtures could be safely mounted directly above the hot tub.

Check out www.nitenday.com for some examples of fiber optic lighting.

Here is another source for fiber optic ( with a nicer web site ). http://www.luciferlighting.com

Also, how about an air switch to control the light? If using fiber optic lighting, the light source will be outside the room. Is it acceptable to have it controlled by an air switch inside the room?

[This message has been edited by wageoghe (edited 02-14-2002).]

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