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tone100 03-26-2013 12:25 PM

Pool Subpanel
Hello. I'm going to install an above ground spa sometime in the next month or so. I got to thinking. What if I decide to put in a pool as well in the next couple of years. Should I go ahead and install a 100 amp subpanel in the backyard instead of a spa disconnect? This should be plenty for the pool and spa. Can I use the subpanel as the spa disconnect?

The other thing is the wiring run will be about 140ft. Can someone tell me what size wire to use?

Glennsparky 03-26-2013 01:48 PM

Yes. Yes. Yes.:laughing:

tone100 03-26-2013 02:11 PM

4 ga wire big enough for 100 amps at that long of a run?

Also I can re-indentify black wire as red, white and green correct since its larger than 6 GA? Cheaper to buy it in bulk.

Glennsparky 03-26-2013 02:16 PM

Slow down. The kids were fighting and I have lots of questions first.

Glennsparky 03-26-2013 02:28 PM

Will the new panel be on your house or like, on a post in the backyard? (same structure vs seperate structure.)

Will your electric run miss the pool by at least 5 feet? If not, remeasure staying at least 5 feet from the water's edge.

Will you be pouring concrete with rebar for the spa slab?

Some, one pump, one light pools chug along at five amps. If that's your future pool 100A is waay too much.

Some pools have five pumps, two heat pumps, computer controls, slides and waterfalls. 100A is too small.

What else will be run from the new panel? Summer kitchen, shed/work shop, kiln, electric car, stadium lighting.

Speedy Petey 03-26-2013 02:34 PM

The run to this panel MUST be conduit the WHOLE way. PVC is fine.

tone100 03-26-2013 02:40 PM

I was going to mount it on the side of the house. The city setback is only 3ft from the property line and the house. I don't have anywhere I could run this that would be more than 5ft away. It has to be that far even buried?

I would go through the attic but there is 1 section where the 1st and 2nd floor attics aren't connected so there is no way to run wire between them.

The house is on a slab so no crawlspace.

The slab is existing with rebar in it. I'm not pouring a new one.

I haven't bought the spa yet but the ones I've looked at require either a 50 or 60 amp circuit for them. The pool will have 1 main pump, a booster pump for the cleaner, maybe a gas heater and 1 or 2 led lights.

I'll only put the spa and pool equipment on this panel.

sirsparksalot 03-26-2013 02:54 PM

A picture, or drawing of the plans, would be wonderful :)

Glennsparky 03-26-2013 03:05 PM

The 2011 National Electrial Code does not allow PVC schedule 80 for pools. So running pipe on the side of the house may only be allowed in rigid (RMC) or intermediate (IMC). Only your AHJ (inspector) can answer what is allowed for your situation.

Do you have sectional soffits? Some can be popped in and out. And are they continuous around the house? Pop out one end and the other end and you can slide pipe across the whole wall of the house.

Sorry, I wasn't clear about the 5'. It's only for underground runs.

Speedy Petey 03-26-2013 03:16 PM


Originally Posted by Glennsparky (Post 1146366)
The 2011 National Electrial Code does not allow PVC schedule 80 for pools. So running pipe on the side of the house may only be allowed in rigid (RMC) or intermediate (IMC). Only your AHJ (inspector) can answer what is allowed for your situation.

This is not true at all. And also a VERY broad statement. PVC is widely used for pool feeders and equipment circuits.

As long as the conduit is not subject to physical damage PVC is FINE. Along the side of the house is a judgement call. Unless it is along a driveway typically this is not an area subject to damage, just like SE cable.
The inspector is not a design reference. He can tell you what code cycle you are under, but is not meant to be used as a consultant. Of course, some are OK with it.

tone100 03-26-2013 03:17 PM

I'm starting to think I might just skip the whole prefab spa and do a built in. The cement ones =aren't comfortable but it looks like I don't have much choice.

If I don't need the monster 50 amp circuit for the spa the wire size decreases dramatically and they might be able to run it in the attic.

The soffits are all 1 long piece and trimmed in so taking them out doesn't look easy.

If I don't do the spa and just have it built into the pool I'll let the pool builder do all of the electrical. I was just looking at getting the spa this year and the pool in the next year or so.

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it.

I'll go ahead and call the AHJ and see what they say as well.

I'll go ahead and attach a drawing of my backyard just in case you see something I'm missing.

The electrical will have to come up the right side. The red area is an extended patio they poured when the house was built. I was going to set the spa in that area. and mount the sub panel and pool equipment somewhere to the left of where is says 537.8. that is a covered patio with a wall.

tone100 03-26-2013 03:20 PM

I meant to say that I was planning on burying the conduit for the entire run. Not sure if that makes a difference on the 5ft rule.

Speedy Petey 03-26-2013 03:23 PM

If the conduit is supplying pool equipment then it can be less than 5' from the pool.

Glennsparky 03-26-2013 03:32 PM

Thanks Speedy Petey. Sometimes steps that happen in my head don't make it into my posts. Most often my exposed PVC runs for pools were a foot or so above the grass. The inspectors wanted sch 80 because of rider mowers.

tone100 03-26-2013 03:35 PM

So it looks like I'm OK on the run. Does 100 amps look sufficient? What about wire size?

Also are there any rules on distances for a above ground hot tub from a pool?

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