GFCI's, (also referred to as GFI's), come in all shapes and sizes, and are
required these days on all spa installations. One thing to remember about them
is that they provide an added measure of protection and safety not offered by
anything else available on the market today.
FIRST BEFORE YOU CONTINUE
|Remove Power from the
spa/hot tub and circuit breaker panel BEFORE working on electrical
equipment! Failure to comply with this requirement, can lead to
electrical shock and/or electrocution!
This is a GENERAL GUIDE ONLY! USE this information at
your OWN RISK! Consult with or hire a licensed
electrician before beginning any work of this type!
115 Volt Spas
These days, most spas of
this design will provide for a built in GFCI, either in the spa control pack,
or on the plug itself... that is, the plug IS the GFCI. How do you tell? Just
look at it and you'll see either indicator lights, push-buttons, or both, as
well as the manufacturer product identification markings that indicate that it
is a Ground Fault Circuit Interupter.
If you are unable to
ascertain that the spa has an integrated GFCI, then you will need to install
one (or have an electrician do this for you) at the dedicated 115 Volt line
supply plug in on the side of your home. Most of you have seen these devices
located in the bathrooms of your own home, or in hotel bathrooms; (they're even
putting them on hair dryers these days! Smart move!). If you don't find them in
your "newer" home, chances are that you've got one installed in your
circuit breaker box with a test button on it. To reset it, simply switch the
breaker off, and then back on again.
They will usually have
two buttons, one that says "test", and the other
"reset".... or just "T", and "R". To test the
device to see if it is functioning properly, just press the test button, and
the reset button should immediately pop out, and remove power from the outlet,
or the device under power.
If however, the test
button doesn't cause the reset button to pop out, or the reset button won't
re-activate power, then the GFCI needs to be replaced. GFCI's of the wall
socket variety can be found at your local hardware store, or building materials
supplier. They will cost between $11.00 and $15.00. Please, for your own
safety, don't try to repair a broken one, or bypass it for that matter...
besides, would you really want to risk your life for a lousy 11-15 dollars?
Keep it safe, and do it right!
220 Volt GFCI's