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#183465 01/10/09 06:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 237
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I am confused about weather a self contained hot tub is subject to any nec codes other then the 15 foot cord and plug rule being gfi protected.

What I have is a factory assembled 120 volt hot tub with a seven foot cord attached , which is gfi protected with a male end gfi(like hair dryers)sitting on a deck outside a master bedroom. Is it subject to the ten foot rule?

Or is it portable and not subject to nec 680 requirements?

680.42(A)(2) has me a bit confused because it talks about cord not being more than 15 foot but does't talk about receptacle.

Please enlighten me...

I think maintaing the six foot rule for receptacle like an indoor application seems prudent.

Thanks,
H20

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
L
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I have not dug into the Art. yet.
The way I handle these, as a 'Hot tub".
RE light requirements etc., My thought is once it's filled, it aint monvin'.
If this is on a deck,outside, A GFCI is required.
A tub is a tub, in my opinion.

Think about it, aren't they all 'Factory" assembled?

Last edited by leland; 01/10/09 12:24 PM. Reason: Factory assembled
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
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Hot tubs can easily become the most complicated of code issues. A lot of this comes from the debate of "what is a hot tub?"

UL can be of little help, as they have several basic listing categories, embracing everythig from individual components to complete assemblies. Plus, several of the most respected names in the business decline to have their products listed.

My simple take? If it comes with a plug, it's an appliance ... and NEC rules pretty much stop at the plug.

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
L
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I like that take. Never quite looked at it that way.
So, Put a GFCI rec on the deck with a code keeper cover,weather resistant if the location dictates. Then walk away.

Last edited by leland; 01/10/09 04:55 PM.
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
K
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It would be interesting to know what the general consensus of the IAEI is on this particular subject.
Wouldn’t 680.1, Scope and 680.2, Definitions make it clear as to where Article 680 applies to and what a hot tub is as far as the NEC is concerned?
Being that 680.42 references Part II, Permanently Installed Pools, couldn’t it be argued that any outdoor spa or hot tub installation would be considered permanently installed regardless? Especially since Part IV makes no differentiation between permanently installed or storable spas or hot tubs?
If so, wouldn’t this then mean that the requirements of Part II, for receptacle placement, etc… as well as the requirement for the perimeter surface bonding grid in 680.26 would also apply to all outdoor spa and hot tub installations?
Maybe the CMP concluded that there is usually at least some minor site preparation before even a packaged hot tub installation, whether it be just leveling and compacting the soil, reinforcing a deck or pouring a concrete pad, making it more in keeping with a permanent installation.
Hopefully, for everyone, there is some uniformity developing in the inspection community with regard to this type of installation.

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,507
G
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Okay- got to say something here: A hot tub or spa that has a 7 foot cord on it is either not listed for outdoor installation or is not listed period. We are not permitted to have a receptacle within 10 feet of an outdoor installed spa or hot tub with a couple exceptions. Presenter is not saying anything about the configuration of the cap on the cord. There may be a chance that this tub was designed for indoor application which would allow a receptacle closer than 10 feet. As for the portable, I don't think it could ever be considered portable. As for it being an appliance, maybe, but even then as an inspector I have a say on how certain but not all are provided with power. Cord and cap connected or hard wired.

680.22, 680.42


George Little
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G
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These things usually just get plugged in and we never hear about them. If you do have a "spa" permit and actually doing a final with the spa in place I am not sure how you avoid looking at bonding, receptacle placement, the fence with compliant self latching gate and latch height plus tempered glass in windows within 5'.
In our jurisdiction the electrical inspector does all the "finals" on pool/spa.
2008 made the minimum distance 6' so a 7' cord almost works.
This is one of those things where it is hard to say what is the best way to ensure the most safety. You can be somewhat lenient and try to get reasonable compliance on most of them or get the reputation of being hard to get along with and have them all bootlegged in without any inspection at all.
If someone just goes down to Bubba's house of hot tubs and gets a plug in unit I doubt anyone will ever know unless you have a hurricane and the code enforcement guy catches them on the "after storm fence" inspections. (or you make so much noise someone turns you in to code enforcement).
Even if you get caught for no fence, I doubt the "tall grass and junk car in the yard" code enforcement guy knows the details of 680.


Greg Fretwell
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As for the grid under "paved surfaces" I believe the local spa places are selling some kind of plastic or wood decking ring you set up around the spa, for ease of entry but also to avoid that whole "paving" issue.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
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I think we've hit the nail on the head here ... like the blow-up pools, the import crowd have managed to make "temporary" spas.

Ideal for renters and more mobile folks, they set up in a jiffy on your patio, or even in your living room. That's probably why there's some sort of GFI on the plug ... I suppose we ought to give them credit for trying.

Designed for ease of both set-up and tear-down, I just can't see them being any more effectively controlled than, say, Barbie dolls.

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,507
G
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Reno- You and Greg are correct. Add to that there are so many companies out there who sell things that are never going to be Listed and the fact that they have a GFCI incorporated in the cord gives the uneducated and in some cases innocent users a limited amount of protection.

We used to have an inspector in our area who would say-" You can protect the fools but you can't protect the damn fools".


George Little
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