Please note that in the voltage specifications here
and throughout the rest of the site, 220, 230, and 240 volts are interchanged frequently.
Because of voltage variations throughout the country, your actual voltage may be higher or
lower. Based on talking with many different electrical type professionals, the figure of
220 Volt Service is used most often. However, for the purposes of high-current spa
installations, they mean the same thing.
Usually, when a spa is connected to a dedicated 230
Volt line, its biggest requirement for the higher voltage is the electric heater. Most of
these will have a heater element that is rated between 5000 and 6000 watts, and at this level of
power, the element alone will draw between 20 to 25 Amps. Then add in the requirement for the
pump(s) at 8 to 14 amps each... that's a LOT of power, (considering that a 100 Watt light bulb
draws about .85 Amps! Thats point-eight five!).
You might look at this and consider that it's going to
cost a fortune to heat your shiny new 230 Volt spa, but not necessarily so... that's because most
115 Volt spas heat with a maximum of 1500 Watts.. But, they will also run much longer to keep the
water at the same temperature as one running 220. A trade-off? Not necessarily.
It can take as long as 15 hours to get a 115 Volt spa to 100 degrees, but usually not longer than 5
to 6 hours for the 230 Volt version.
Technically, a 115 Volt pump motor that is using 1150
Watts to operate will still use 1150 Watts when configured for 230 volt service. (That's why
they're called "watt-hour" meters... to measure your useage in watts).
The TYPICAL Specifications for electrical
service for a 230 Volt Spa are as follows:
#6 Gauge Copper Wire, (#6 AWG-CU), 3 conductor plus ground, a
separate electrical cut-off switch mounted at least 5 feet from the edge of the spa, and within
sight of the spa; connected to a dedicated double-pole (with neutral) 50 Amp Ground Fault Circuit
Some installations with a maximum current draw of 40 amps may be able
to use #8 gauge wire. The distance of the run will have the largest impact on the choice of
wire size. Consult your local codes to make the appropriate decision.
- It is highly recommended that a licensed electrician perform this
wiring installation for you using these specifications. Be sure that your electrician knows
exactly what these requirements are. You only want to pay for this installation
- AWG #6 Gauge wire is more costly, but the
- Do not under any circumstances, use
the spa without a properly functioning Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter installed!
Some spas, usually the "contractor
built" type, may have a dedicated electric heater that is rated as high as 11,000
watts! This heater alone will draw in excess of 45 Amps, will require its own dedicated power
line, and 60 Amp Ground Fault Circuit Breaker.
On this type of installation, do not connect the spa
pumps, blowers, etc, to the same circuit breaker as the heater! They should be connected to a
separate circuit breaker, and if you check the individual equipment current ratings it will usually
indicate that a circuit breaker in the 20 Amp range is all that is needed.
In any event, check with your
licensed local electrician and/or power company for this and any other local code compliance
The above specifications conform to the requirements of the National
Electrical Code at the time of this writing.