680.41 Emergency Switch for Spas and Hot Tubs. A clearly labeled emergency shutoff or control switch for the purpose of stopping the motor(s) that provide power to the recirculation system and jet system shall be installed at a point readily accessible to the users and not less than 1.5 m (5 ft) away, adjacent to, and within sight of the spa or hot tub. This requirement shall not apply to single-family dwellings.
The part about not being applicable to single family only means it doesn't have to be marked "Emergency Shut-off" As a disconnect of some kind would still be required to be installed for maintenance, accessible and with-in site due to 680.12. And 5'+ away to cover 680.22(C). And if closer, I have had people build a small wall to make it more than 5' away. "680.22(C).... unless separated from the pool by a solid fence, wall, or other permanent barrier. " That seems to be the only exception to the 5' rule.
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
The other difference in a residence is the "emergency shutoff" in a commercial/multifamily installation must be "...within sight of the spa or hot tub". The maintenance disconnect only has to be within sight of the equipment, which may not be near the spa. That is particularly true with an inground pool/spa combo where the pumps, heaters etc will usually be remote from the pool area.
Well people- Call me slow if you wish but I can't seem to get past the wording in 680.12 that talks about the relationship between the "Maintenance Disconnecting Means" and "....it's equipment". The '02 code says that they need to be within sight of each other and be "accessible". So, if I'm working on the motor or other equipment I have an accessible disconnect and can turn it off and work on the equipment safely. Now if this "disconnect" and it's "equipment " happen to be next to each other at a remote location as Greg says this would be code compliant. If the equipment and the disconnect are under the skirt of a spa or hot tub and tools are required to open the skirt this too, IMHO is code compliant. The disconnect mentioned in 680.12 is not the " emergency shut off" mentioned in 680.41. I know everyone doesn't agree with me on this one but that's my spin on this subject. Why would the manufacturer install a switch in the spa if it weren't for that reason?? They could save 5 bucks if they wanted to because the installer is going to install one "not less than 5 feet from the spa. duh
The '05 changed the word "accessible to "readily accessible" in this section.
Shortcircuit- be careful if your using an "Air Conditioner" type disconnect that you float the neutral if it's a 4-wire supply to the tub.
Having said all this- Yes it should be not less than 5 feet away measured horozontally.
Where exactly does the 2002 and 2005 NEC spell out that the disconnecting means as described in 680.12 has to be 5ft away from the Hot Tub?
The 1999 NEC had this sentence right in 680.12, but removed it for 2002...
If a 60amp pull out type disconnect is considered a switching device, then 680.22(C) would apply...
But, there are different definitions in article 100 of a "disconnecting means" and "switch"...
I know common sense should prevail...but it doesn't always.
What is your view on this?
Am I reading the code book to much?
What if the Hot Tub were placed outdoors within 5ft of the electric meter (cash register),which would be required to be bonded to the hot tub according to 680.26(B)(5), a potential hazard, but not prohibited by current code standards as I read them...
I would call a "disconnect" a switch. Also look at 680.42 for bonding of outdoor spas and 680.43 for indoor bonding. Check 680.43(D)(5). This one is worded kinda goofy but I think it is saying to bond metal things that are less than 5' from the spa.
I think the code folks tried to say one thing....and flubbed it.
Think for a moment, comparing the tub at your local "health club" to the tub in your backyard.
The one in your yard almost certainly has a pool-side air-operated switch that will control the pumps. This "non-electric" switch is, as far as I am concerned, all the disconnect that's needed for bather safety.
The big 'community' tub at the health club is a different beast altogether. I's likely to be a custom fabricated tile & concrete monster, with the pumps located far away, behind a locked door. The pumps are likely to be quite a bit larger- perhaps large enough to stick someone to the inlet on the bottom of the tub. I think we can see the need here for a readily accessible shut-off.
I don't think the shut off is required for the convenience of the maintenence folks, as it is for HVAC equipment. That is, I believe, another issue.
The "5 ft. rule" may make sense, if you're thinking of an electric switch. I am a little surprised that the switch is not specifically required to be either in a weather-tight enclosure, nor be GFI protected. The rule, however, does not seem to admit the existance of the common air-operated switchs that are found on pre-fab tub assemblies.
Actually Reno, any pump is strong enough to suck someone down into the drain, That is a function of water pressure. There are "entrapment" rules in the pool/spa code for that (multiple suctions and perhaps a vent) but in a commercial/multifamily setting they still require an emergency shutoff. You are right that this is not the same as the maintenance disconnect although if all the "in sight" rules were satisfied I suppose it could be. It would still have to be something that disconnected all ungrounded conductors and the air switch doesn't do that.
Now here in NJ they have new drain covers that will prevent entrapment. Then an emergency disconnect for a public pool might not be required anymore. The new pool drains are rounded so that the shut off of water flow can not happen.
Entrapment is really not likely if you have the proper plumbing. We require at least 2 suctions, 6' apart and a vent to air. The vent is another stub up from the suction line at the bottom of the pool, extending up to free air. The water pressure itself could hold you down but not any suction from the pump. Every entrapment story I have heard traced back to an improperly installed system and most times a missing cover.