What Are the Five Wires in Your Hot Tub?


Quick Answer

Most 240 volt hot tubs use four wires to power the heater, pump and electrical systems within the tub. The red and black legs each provide 120 volts. The white leg is a neutral wire, and the green leg is a grounding wire. If the system is a three-leg system, it will only use the red, black and green legs.

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Full Answer

Hot tubs draw around 240 volts with 50 amps of power. To install a new system, the power system of the home must be capable of handling the additional load. As with any electrical system, a qualified electrician should inspect the installation before use. For safety, it is critical to follow the owner's manual closely when installing or adjusting the hot tub connections. All connections must be made according to the National Electrical Code (NEC), especially the sections pertaining to hot tub installation.

If the hot tub is a four-wire system, it cannot be connected to a three-wire services. A four-wire panel must be added before installation. All power lines must be run through the appropriate schedule PVC piping or metal conduit at a depth set by local regulations. An emergency shut off is required to be placed in an unobstructed location within five feet of the hot tub. Low-voltage lighting is not permitted within ten feet of the hot tub. Hot tubs may not be placed beneath power lines, as this is also a violation of the NEC.

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