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Old 01-06-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
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Exterior Wiring Questions


Hi,

I am re-locating an outdoor spa and adding a 20 amp circuit for a couple of new outdoor receptacles and had a few questions about the correct way to do this.

The main panel is located on the outside wall of the house (it's a stucco covered wall and the panel is flush with the outside of the wall; the house is about 50 yo so this may not be current code). The original wiring came out of the bottom of the main panel (no conduit, just insulated wire) and the LB was inserted through the stucco and sealed with silicone. There were two circuits, a 50amp (240 v) for the heater and a 30 amp for the pump. I have removed this.

The run to the new location for the spa is about 25 feet from the panel. What I was thinking of doing is to run 1" PVC Sch. 80 conduit with the two spa circuits and the additional wiring for the 20 amp circuit. If I understand correctly, this is legal, but I may have to derate the circuits (because there are more than 4 power carrying wires in the conduit).

Is this correct? I was planning on using #6 for the 50 amp heater circuit, #10 for the 30 amp pump circuit, and #12 for the 20 amp circuit. With the derating, are these wire sizes appropriate?

Another problem I can't seem to find an answer to is, how do I connect conduit from the bottom of the panel to the LB. I can't find any 90 deg. fittings that will make the turn in the limited space. The distance from the outer edge of the knock-out on the bottom of the panel is 2 inches to the stucco. This doesn't allow room for a pvc 90 deg fitting and I haven't found anything else that would work. I was planning on using UF cable, so would it be acceptable to run the UF out of the panel without any conduit (of course it would be within the wall)? I would secure the LB to the side of the house with clamps, so it can't move, but there would be no conduit for the couple of inches betweeen the bottom of the panel and when the UF cable enters the LB. Is this acceptable, and most importantly, is it safe?

Thanks for your help.

-- Bill

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Old 01-06-2009, 02:09 PM   #2
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Exterior Wiring Questions


Try running *just* #6 to a small panel located near the tub. Include a neutral and tap any 120v receptacles there (with breaker). Be sure you ground everything right. And sch 40 should be more than adequate; probably 3/4" at that. Save a nickle or three.

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Old 01-06-2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Try running *just* #6 to a small panel located near the tub. Include a neutral and tap any 120v receptacles there (with breaker). Be sure you ground everything right. And sch 40 should be more than adequate; probably 3/4" at that. Save a nickle or three.
What do you mean "just #6"? If you are implying that the OP should run exposed single conductors, then this is an extreme viloation and should not be heeded.

You could heat your pvc with a heat gun or oven and bend an offset in it so that it comes out of the bottom of your panel and sits flush with the wall. Then repair the gap in the wall.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
how do I connect conduit from the bottom of the panel to the LB. I can't find any 90 deg. fittings that will make the turn in the limited space
Makes no sense (to me).

An LB is a 90 degree fitting..



Pictures!!




Quote:
If I understand correctly, this is legal, but I may have to derate the circuits (because there are more than 4 power carrying wires in the conduit).
Incorrect



Quote:
I was planning on using UF cable

I thought you were using conduit? You wouldn't try to pull UF in conduit. You would use thwn.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:00 PM   #5
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Thanks for your replies.

Mr Rational: I thought about your idea of running a sub-panel to the spa. However, I think I still need the sch 80 as most of the run is above ground. In addition, I wasn't sure what size breaker I'd need for the sub-panel. My house has two sub-panels, each with 100 amp capacity. The spa feeds off one of the sub-panels.

InPhase227: Thanks for the suggestion on heating the pvc. I hadn't thought of that.

220/221: I thought that using UF would help protect the wires, even though they will be in conduit. I'll try to get a photo that illustrates the setup better than my words.

-- Bill
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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UF on an outdoor spa? I think that might be a code violation...
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
UF on an outdoor spa? I think that might be a code violation...
That is correct. No UF allowed.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:51 PM   #8
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Thanks for the confirmation Chris. Even if it's in conduit? Just out of curiosity, do you know the rationale behind the code? As an amateur, I always like to improve my understanding of electricity and knowing the rationale helps me to remember as well. (Someone on this board really helped me to understand the difference between 3 wire and 4 wire installations for appliances and I'm a lot better informed for that.)

Thanks,

-- Bill
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliowb View Post
Thanks for the confirmation Chris. Even if it's in conduit? Just out of curiosity, do you know the rationale behind the code? As an amateur, I always like to improve my understanding of electricity and knowing the rationale helps me to remember as well. (Someone on this board really helped me to understand the difference between 3 wire and 4 wire installations for appliances and I'm a lot better informed for that.)

Thanks,

-- Bill
I'm no pool and hot tub expert, but I believe it is because of the bare ground in the cable. I know pool equipment cannot be fed with a bare ground, so this probably translates to hot tubs as well. I think the reasoning behind that is two-fold. For one, you wouldn't want to inadvertently introduce stray voltages on the bare ground at other locations it may be exposed. And two, pool chemicals that may come into contact with the bare copper may corrode it and eventually there will be no ground path. An insulated ground would be immune to this.

That's just my reasoning anyway.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:27 AM   #10
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Thanks InPhase, that makes a lot of sense.

It actually brings up something else I'm curious about. The ground is bonded to the common bar in the sub panel. I don't really want to get into replacing the entire panel, however, does this present a significant risk? The house has been around for 48 years so I suspect that says something, but I don't like taking chances.

-- Bill
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliowb View Post
Just out of curiosity, do you know the rationale behind the code?
The best answer I ever heard is that every line in the code represents a lesson learned the hard way.

But that was a long time ago. I suspect a lot of the newer code rules have other reasoning behind them.

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