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#187699 - 07/07/09 06:03 PM Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar  
2000xp8  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 33
NJ
Learned a few things the hard way on this hot tub.

First off, since the hot tub was far away from the main panel, and there was a basement where more work would take place, so i ran a 90 amp sub panel, in SER.
Then found out, that to do that you have to pull a permit for the sub, then another after the sub is inspected pull another permit for the hot tub, or else the wire has to be in conduit. How or why that makes any sense, i dunno.

Now, i fail the same job, for not having seperate neutrals and grounds in the disconnect.
I've done a fair amount of hot tubs, i'm by no means a pool guy, but i do a few a year. I always buy the disconnects at the supply house meant for a hot tub (cutler ch) and hook them all up the same way (at least i think i do).
There is only one ground/neutral bar in this disconnect, i just checked. And never do i ever remember adding one.

Did i perhaps get a disconnect missing a second bar? Did something change in the code?
Maybe i've been doing it wrong all this time and getting away with it?

thanks,
Joe


NJ licensed electrician

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#187701 - 07/07/09 07:14 PM Re: Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar [Re: 2000xp8]  
Tom  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Shinnston, WV USA
The NEC has been migrating away from using the grounded conductor (usually a neutral) as an equipment ground for quite some time. The general rule is once you pass the service disconnect, equipment grounds and grounded conductors are to be separated an the grounded conductor should not come into contact with a grounded enclosure.

The CH catalog for their spa disconnect shows two factory installed bus bars.


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#187702 - 07/07/09 07:39 PM Re: Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar [Re: Tom]  
2000xp8  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 33
NJ
Originally Posted by Tom
The NEC has been migrating away from using the grounded conductor (usually a neutral) as an equipment ground for quite some time. The general rule is once you pass the service disconnect, equipment grounds and grounded conductors are to be separated an the grounded conductor should not come into contact with a grounded enclosure.

The CH catalog for their spa disconnect shows two factory installed bus bars.


Good to know.
Maybe the disconnect i got this time was missing neutral bar, and since i don't do that many of them i just over looked it.


NJ licensed electrician

#187703 - 07/07/09 08:27 PM Re: Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar [Re: 2000xp8]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,118
Estero,Fl,usa
Using the neutral for the ground has never really been legal with two very specific exceptions, ranges and dryers. That went away over a decade ago.
Pools and spas are even more specific about this and if you are not abusing the exception about "existing" feeders you are required to use an insulated EGC in conduit in addition to the neutral.
Personally I would not accept a feeder installed in preparation for a spa as "existing" no matter when it was inspected.

Quote
680.25 Feeders.
These provisions shall apply to any feeder on the supply side of panelboards supplying branch circuits for pool equipment covered in Part II of this article and on the load side of the service equipment or the source of a separately derived system.
(A) Wiring Methods. Feeders shall be installed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, liquidtight flexible nonmetallic conduit, rigid polyvinyl chloride conduit, or reinforced thermosetting resin conduit. Electrical metallic tubing shall be permitted where installed on or within a building, and electrical nonmetallic tubing shall be permitted where installed within a building. Aluminum conduits shall not be permitted in the pool area where subject to corrosion.
Exception: An existing feeder between an existing remote panelboard and service equipment shall be permitted to run in flexible metal conduit or an approved cable assembly that includes an equipment grounding conductor within its outer sheath. The equipment grounding conductor shall comply with 250.24(A)(5).
(B) Grounding. An equipment grounding conductor shall be installed with the feeder conductors between the grounding terminal of the pool equipment panelboard and the grounding terminal of the applicable service equipment or source of a separately derived system. For other than (1) existing feeders covered in 680.25(A), Exception, or (2) feeders to separate buildings that do not utilize an insulated equipment grounding conductor in accordance with 680.25(B)(2), this equipment grounding conductor shall be insulated.


Greg Fretwell

#187706 - 07/07/09 10:00 PM Re: Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar [Re: gfretwell]  
2000xp8  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 33
NJ
Originally Posted by gfretwell
Using the neutral for the ground has never really been legal with two very specific exceptions, ranges and dryers. That went away over a decade ago.
Pools and spas are even more specific about this and if you are not abusing the exception about "existing" feeders you are required to use an insulated EGC in conduit in addition to the neutral.
Personally I would not accept a feeder installed in preparation for a spa as "existing" no matter when it was inspected.

[/quote]

I wasn't using any neutral for a ground. The SER has 2 hots a neutral and an uninsulated ground.
And the hot tub was completely piped with all THHN.
The missing neutral bar was an oversight on my part obviously.

As far you not accepting the subpanel wiring based on it's future use.
How would you know it was for a Hot tub? if the Sub Panel permit was pulled and closed prior to the application for a hot tub permit.

Last edited by 2000xp8; 07/07/09 10:02 PM.

NJ licensed electrician

#187709 - 07/07/09 10:33 PM Re: Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar [Re: 2000xp8]  
HotLine1  Offline


Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,864
Brick, NJ USA
Greg:
The sub-panel first install was something Harold kicked around awhile ago. I don't remember the thread.

I have not had anyone try to use the 'existing' panel story.

Now to 2000XP8.....

First, I do not have a crystal ball, nor an account with a local physic, so I have no clue about any 'future use' for a sub-panel install, nor most other installs.

Applying for a permit for a sub-panel (resi) may/may not get the EC a phone call for 'why?'. Dependent on the answer I get if a call is made, additional info could be requested.
You get the permit, you get an inspection, you get a sticker (hopefully Approved), and you receive a CA via US mail within 30 days. And yes, I put the sticker on the sub.

Second, On a hot tub install, basically....IF the sub was 'existing'...technically I have to accept it as a source for the HT feeder. (Based on NJ UCC 5:23-6 (Rehab))
As I said above, I have not had any instances of this (yet)

Third, N-G on 1 buss or lug in a sub, buys a red sticker.

Lastly, I make this comment...trying to "get over" on an experienced AHJ with the two step job is not a good thing. I (for one) spent many years with tools, and I think I have a clue when someone is being 'slick'

If any of the other Mods think my comments are out of line, please feel free to delete.



John

#187712 - 07/07/09 11:49 PM Re: Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar [Re: HotLine1]  
2000xp8  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 33
NJ
Originally Posted by HotLine1
Greg:
The sub-panel first install was something Harold kicked around awhile ago. I don't remember the thread.

I have not had anyone try to use the 'existing' panel story.

Now to 2000XP8.....

First, I do not have a crystal ball, nor an account with a local physic, so I have no clue about any 'future use' for a sub-panel install, nor most other installs.

Applying for a permit for a sub-panel (resi) may/may not get the EC a phone call for 'why?'. Dependent on the answer I get if a call is made, additional info could be requested.
You get the permit, you get an inspection, you get a sticker (hopefully Approved), and you receive a CA via US mail within 30 days. And yes, I put the sticker on the sub.

Second, On a hot tub install, basically....IF the sub was 'existing'...technically I have to accept it as a source for the HT feeder. (Based on NJ UCC 5:23-6 (Rehab))
As I said above, I have not had any instances of this (yet)

Third, N-G on 1 buss or lug in a sub, buys a red sticker.

Lastly, I make this comment...trying to "get over" on an experienced AHJ with the two step job is not a good thing. I (for one) spent many years with tools, and I think I have a clue when someone is being 'slick'

If any of the other Mods think my comments are out of line, please feel free to delete.



John,
You seem to be taking my post very personal.
Which is odd, because i don't see any place in this thread that i personally directed a comment to you.

As far as a 2 step job, it was my own inspector who suggested if i pulled the permit previously for the sub, there would of been no issue.

I've also yet to see anyone post how using ser as opposed to pipe with it's own insulated ground to the subpanel that will feed a hot tub, poses any safety threat.
How about giving some reasoning behind the need for the insulated ground, and maybe myself and others that read this would be a bit more opposed to using the slick 2 step method.

Last edited by 2000xp8; 07/07/09 11:55 PM.

NJ licensed electrician

#187713 - 07/08/09 12:07 AM Re: Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar [Re: 2000xp8]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
The requirement od the insulated ground, going all the way back to the service, has to be one of the most commonly violated parts of hot-tub installs.

I don't defend it, or understand it .... but the requirement does exist.

Fortunatley is seems to be rarely enforced.


#187720 - 07/08/09 01:26 AM Re: Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar [Re: renosteinke]  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
2000xp8-
I enforce the insulated grounding conductor per the code and with good reason. There is a need for a good clean grounding path for any fault current or any other irregularities associated with a pool or spa. by using an uninsulated grounded conductor there is always a chance for alternate path of current flow on any grounded surface. That's the way it was explained to me about 25 years ago when I started inspecting and you may choose to not agree with that line of thinking but that's the way the code panel sees it and over the years there has been proposals to change it (one from me) but there was no substantiation to justify changing it to allow an uninsulated grounding conductor. When in a court of law- all they see is the literal words and that's what the words are "Insulated Conductor for grounding"


George Little

#187721 - 07/08/09 01:30 AM Re: Hot tub disconnect ground/netral bar [Re: 2000xp8]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,118
Estero,Fl,usa
OK My fault, I missed the SER and read SE. I am with the other guys I am not sure why they want the neutral insulated but rulz is rulz. That has been in the code for at least 37 years, it was not new in the 75 (the oldest book I have). It might be interesting to look at the ROPs, see if anyone wanted to change it and what the CMP had to say about it.

The rebonded neutral is still a violation, even if this was not serving a spa or pool.
Whether the AHJ is happy with the "existing" loophole or not is up to him. If I did have to hold my nose and let that go I certainly would not be very flexible on the next installation. I would take the time to be sure it was completely compliant. I would not want to compound the insulated neutral thing by ignoring something else.


Greg Fretwell

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