What Is the Purpose of a GFCI When Wiring a Hot Tub?

What Is the Purpose of a GFCI When Wiring a Hot Tub?

A ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, reduces the risk of electric shock and prevents fires caused by sparks produced when live wires touch a metal conduit. GFCI devices detect when a current travels through unintended paths, such as water, and immediately shut off the power supply. Hot tubs require the use of GFCI devices to ensure users' safety.

Hot tubs should be installed by electricians familiar with the National Electric Code, which contains guidelines for electric devices that work with water, such as hot tubs, pools and fountains.

Install a clearly labeled emergency water recirculation and jet system shutoff within sight of the hot tub, no less than 5 feet away, activated by an easy-to reach switch or button. This prevents accidental death in the event of getting stuck in the water intake opening.

Electricians can use certain flexible connectors that meet the National Electric Code criteria, along with cord-and-plug connections with GFCI-protected cords less than 15 feet long.

The National Electric Code requires GFCI protection for outlets that power an indoor hot tub. Lights installed near the hot tub must be made specifically for damp locations. GFCI protection is also required for lamps and overhead fans installed 7 1/2 feet above the hot tub.