I believe the 5' rule is so Joe Homeowner doesn't mess with the disconnect while he or she is actually in the spa. I know common sense tells us that water and electricity DO NOT MIX but some homeowners are no-so-bright when it comes to electrical issues.
#99782 - 09/26/0604:04 PMRe: Spa and Hot Tub Disconnect
The article cited by gfretwell (680.22 (C)) actually pertains to "II. Permanently Installed Pools", which is a section separate from "IV. Spas and Hot Tubs." The closest the NEC comes to stating a required distance for the disconnect, aside from the "readily accessible and within sight" requirement in 680.12, is the 5' required for an "Emergency Switch" in 680.41; but this "emergency switch" is not the same as the "maintenance disconnect," AND the article concludes with the statement that "This requiremnet shall NOT apply to single-family dwellings."
So to summarize, all we get from the NEC, regarding home hot tubs, is "readily accessible and within sight." For more specifics you need to talk to your AHJ.
#99783 - 09/26/0604:48 PMRe: Spa and Hot Tub Disconnect
George: I stand humbly corrected. I am embarrassed to realize (and in public!) that i have never noticed that 680.42 references Parts I AND II. I've always just noticed the article above (680.41) that references Parts I and IV and called it good.
So putting my humiliation aside, let me ask you this: are you saying that "Switching Devices" (per 680.22 (C)) includes Maintenance Disconnects? If so, why don't they just spell it out like they do in the General section 680.12 Maintenance Disconnects?
Thanks for being gentle.
#99785 - 09/26/0607:26 PMRe: Spa and Hot Tub Disconnect