We completed a hot tub installation and requested inspection, next we get a call from the owner, it failed, so we asked what did he write on thew sticker, no sticker nothing just failed, i called the inspector to ask what failed, and his reply was he needs to see a UL sticker on the tub, well i guess we can,t do any more hot tub installations, because none that i have seen have the UL sticker, I called around to different tub manufactures and they all say no sticker needed, what did i miss and when did i miss it.
I think we are going to need a lot of box cars, to haul all these hot tubs out of jersey.
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 06-01-2005).]
I have never seen a brand name packaged hot tub that didn't have a UL sticker. Who builds the ones you're installing?
Bay City Hot Tubs, we install brand name spas and i have never see one with a sticker, all the electrical including the control panel, is UL He is looking for a sticker for the package.
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 06-01-2005).]
I agree these skid packs should be tested/evaluated by a recognized lab but I am not sure they ever are.
I looked at the "Hot Springs" site and they say their tubs are tested be "Exponant Labs" but I am not sure that is an actual recognized lab. They do not mention U/L at all.
These are assembled from approved componants as a rule but I don't think the entire assembly is tested.
Yes that is what every manufacture has told us, they are all built with UL approved pumps, heaters and equipment, and not required to have testing, I think what needs testing here is the inspector, here in New Jersey we have some of the best inspectors, i wonder where this one came from, at least if he would quote a code section or city code, then i would have some idea of what he is failing.
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 06-01-2005).]
I guess the real question is if anyone is inspecting these packaged units?
Simply using listed pumps and heaters does not insure that they are properly bonded, conductors sized correctly and that they have the appropriate motor starters etc.
I would think a major brand is going to take the time to do things right but a lot of these things are assembled in an industrial bay somewhere by a company nobody has heard of, with minimal supervision.
I have both good news and bad news that may surprise some of us- I sure was!
UL does in fact test and list Hot tubs- but there has been very little participation by the hot tub industry. I have no idea why this is, but this lack of participation is not unusual.
Among "name brands," Marquis is listed- but the '500 lb gorilla' (Jacuzzi) is not.
In other industries where I have investigated the weakness of UL's role, the most common reasons were a) UL and the industry had different opinions as to what the test standards should be; b) another organisation had already addressed the needs of the industry; and c) the industry was quite happy with its' own standards.
It would be absolutely improper for any government official to insist upon a "UL listing." This is because UL is a private body, and a government official has no business directing you to patronise any private concern. Malfeasance is one word that comes to mind.
An inspector can ask for approval of a "nationally recognised testing lab" or its' equivalent. Of these organisations there are literally thousands, many sponsored by industry associations and focusing on that one industry.
It seems that the hot tub industry is content with having its' products listed by ETL.
Yes correct John, ETL has been on a few tubs, however the industry as a whole, has resisted any inspection program, and you have a real mess out there, now true that they are built in a bay, with very little supervision, but where in the code is there a requirement for a testing of these units.
Out of the last 10 tubs only one had a label, and that one looked like a handyman wired it.
What i would like to know is does this something we need to look for, or is this inspector in left field, here in New Jersey, we have some of the best inspectors around, they are up to date, with just about every situation, and they usually are very helpful in resolving code issues.
And by the way i agree that these tubs should have a listing due to the fact that they are built under little or no supervision.
Quite interesting. I believe has been the individual components that have been listed in the units I've wired, not the whole package. But consider. When I build a new packaging line at the local potato processing plant I use listed components and I build what is essentially a new machine. The whole machine isn't listed, just the components. I think there is a difference somewhere, I'm just not sure where.
Our AHJ absolutely does require UL or CSA listings for all electrical equipment. I have had to remove restaurant equipment from a job site at final inspection due to non-listing. Anyone else?
Under the definition for Listed it clearly states that it has to be acceptable to the AHJ. While I don't like this, because it causes too much variation as to what is acceptable and what isn't. This is the way things are. In a certain community in MI we recently had an appeal on such an issue. An UL approved Phase converter was used in a service for a fire pump motor. The AHJ said UL hadn't approved it for that particular application. To the best of my knowledge it still has not been settled, because the Electrical Board of MI sent it back to the locat community to work it out. They did not want to be the one's to possibly set a National Standard on the issue.
Listed. Equipment, materials, or services included in a list published by an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with evaluation of products or services, that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services, and whose listing states that the equipment, material, or services either meets appropriate designated standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.
FPN: The means for identifying listed equipment may vary for each organization concerned with product evaluation, some of which do not recognize equipment as listed unless it is also labeled. Use of the system employed by the listing organization allows the authority having jurisdiction to identify a listed product.
LK, I suggest asking the manufacturer for an 'on official letterhead' letter stating that the components are approved and that the industry as a whole generally does not have assemblies approved.
I would also contact as many other manufacturers as you can for similar statements. Ask the inspector what we would like to see specifically addresses in these letters, for him to accept this as 'standard'.
There is one other route: over his head. I'm as polite as anyone when it comes to inspectors, but when one is wrong... Well, let's just say that I enjoy the trip up the food chain.
If the inspector is not comvinced this is a listed assembly he should dust off his article 680 skills and inspect it as a field assembed unit. It isn't rocket science
Well, as of yesterday afternoon, the inspector is no longer working for the city, this is too bad, because i would like to know his reason for failing, I happen to beleave, he should not take on the liability, of a manufacture that has workers that may or may not be qualified, and have no listing,
nor do feel i want to take on this liability, some postings noted field inspections, this would be fine if i did all the wiring, but as you know the control panel and various pumps and heaters are not wired by the installing electrician, so the inspector in my opinion did, make the right decision, however, inspectors should not have to take on this burden and neither should we as contractors, the spa industry needs to get up to date.
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 06-02-2005).]
So what is the solution??
Should the spa sales folks tell the buyer: "Make sure your electrician doesn't get his installation inspected. This spa is not listed as a 'package'"
I'm sure he make a lot of sales that way.
Like has been said, this is a manufacturer's issue.
I personally feel the inspector is being overzealous. I also feel he is taking no responsibility for the spa itself by passing the electrician's installation.
Maybe the inspector was concerned that a unlisted tub may be a hazard to persons using the hot tub...practical safeguarding.
There is the problem, when the inspector approves the instalation, he is accepting the package as being in compliance, and should any defect exist, he wll also assume part of the liability, where as if the package was listed, then the liability would fall on the manufacture and listing agency, as far as non listed spas go, what i would like to know is how are the inspectors going to treat them, and will this treatment be equal for all areas, as it is now Washington State, requires listed spas, some areas of Ca, also require them, and pockets of communties around the country, are requiring that they be listed, so where do we stand when we accept a job, with a non listed package?
I'll broach this matter with DCA on Tuesday or Wed of the coming week, without mentioning any specifics. I had a few discussions, and still do not have a FIRM answer for the 'Jersey guys'.
Like I said on the phone.....interesting!
It is intresting, by the way, the inspector is gone as of yesterday, I will fill you in on the phone, as soon as i get more information on this issue, and any info from DCA will be helpful.
I used to tests these tubs in UL. The main concerns were obviously electrical [first], but suction [secondly]. Alot of the mfrs make tubs that have excess suction and kids have drowned by getting their hair caught in the drains. Although the AHJ has the last word and it may not make us all happy, he's not wrong by asking for this type of certification. He should, however, accept another mark such as ETL though.
The big question here is, with only 10 to 20% of the Hot Tubs Listed, what do we do when a customer has a non listed pool? which is most of our install jobs.
The operative word is "approved" not necessarily "listed". If the retailers would work with the AHJ they might be able to get local approval for their better units. Some AHJs are going to demand NRTL listing (Fl IAEI's opinion) and the retailers need to know that too
The AHJ's are looking for a listing and a label, and i can understand why the AHJ would not want to take on the liability, that the manufacture should.
Les, as I understand it, government and their officials have an absolute immunity as to their actions, absent something as outrageous as corruption. I don't think the AHJ has any liability exposure.
As "The Watt" has pointed out, there have been problems with the suction ports (something that never came up with swimming pools); this led to the NEC requirement for a disconnect near commercial installations.
"Commercial installation" differs from "residential" in that such spas are frequently constructed on site, have more powerful pumps, lack the convenient spa-side controls, and even have to pumps and controls located elswhere, and locked up.
Actually there is a requirement for suction release on a pool too. They have had problems with people stuck in the drain.
"officials have an absolute immunity as to their actions, absent something as outrageous as corruption. I don't think the AHJ has any liability exposure."
That is what i thought, but officals here, had no immunity, whan an inspected job injured 3 people, and as for corruption, we have weekly inditments, taking place all over the state.
Florida extended "soverign immunity" to me and I was just a lowly contract inspector.
I doubt it has anything to do with liability.
I imagine the biggest reason they don't want to screw with approving these units is just time. These guys work their ass off around here and a decent inspection of a manufactured spa would take a while.
"These guys work their ass off around here and a decent inspection of a manufactured spa would take a while."
That may be, what the problem is, so what does that do for the Tub owners?
Doesn't that joke end "I'm from the government, I'm here to help"
They sell a lot of things here you can't use. The chain stores sell those pre-fab shed kits and you can't have one of them here either. They don't meet the wind code. I have a neighbor with one stacked next to his house. That seems to be legal, but code enforcement would not let him set it up.