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Old 07-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #1
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Spa Wiring Dilemma


Ok so we just moved into a new house and recently purchased a hot tub. Our main panel is on the outside of the house. I wish to put in a 50A GFI breaker in however the panel is completely full. I was under the assumption i could add a sub panel that was strictly for the spa itself, and just tie the sub panel into the power BEFORE the main breaker. Will this work? Is it ok as far as code goes? Any other suggestions? Thanks

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Old 07-27-2010, 07:24 PM   #2
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... and yes i understand that by doing so this would essentially add another "main" panel and by flipping the main breaker, does not effect this panel.

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Old 07-27-2010, 07:55 PM   #3
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NO, you cannot do this. There is no place for you to make the needed connections.

Add a 4, 6, 8, etc, space sub-panel. Then move two circuits over to the sub panel to make room for the sub-feed breaker.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:38 PM   #4
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Ugh, this is what I was afraid of. Theres room to add another wire into each of the lugs before the main breaker, but apparently this is against code???? Secondly, to move circuits over would require extending my circuits another 3 +/- feet, is it ok to just wire-nut some romex in to extend them?
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:13 PM   #5
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Could i not run another 'main' from the meter? Ive seen meter lugs with dual connections. Iv seen adapters you can add into your meter.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by need4speed7007 View Post
Theres room to add another wire into each of the lugs before the main breaker, but apparently this is against code????
Absolutely. Even though there is room to slip another wire in it is most definitely against code and not a good idea. It is very likely that one conductor will not get the proper torque and connection.


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Secondly, to move circuits over would require extending my circuits another 3 +/- feet, is it ok to just wire-nut some romex in to extend them?
As long as the splice is in a box this is fine.


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Could i not run another 'main' from the meter? Ive seen meter lugs with dual connections.
I'd say there is about an .1% chance. Most 100-200 amp residential meters have fixed lugs that accept one conductor only.


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Iv seen adapters you can add into your meter.
Sorry, I have never seen anything like this.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:08 AM   #7
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I wish to put in a 50A GFI breaker in however the panel is completely full.
Have you checked to make sure all of the existing breakers are actually in use? Sometimes builders will include spare breakers in the panel. If they are all in use, you may be able to replace a couple of them with tandem breakers to free up some space. You have to be careful with this though, because you can quickly exceed 42 circuits total (which is OK only if you are on the 2008 code and the panel is rated for it).
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:24 PM   #8
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I have not removed the dead front yet to see if they are actually all in use, good call! And to clarify, you are suggesting that i combine a couple pairs of circuits on a new breaker capable of handling the new amperage?

I did not know i could simply wire nut some romex in, i thought that would be against code to have wire nuts in the panel.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by need4speed7007 View Post
I have not removed the dead front yet to see if they are actually all in use, good call! And to clarify, you are suggesting that i combine a couple pairs of circuits on a new breaker capable of handling the new amperage?

I did not know i could simply wire nut some romex in, i thought that would be against code to have wire nuts in the panel.
The circuits that are combined must remain on the same size breaker they are now.
You do change the breaker size.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by need4speed7007 View Post
I have not removed the dead front yet to see if they are actually all in use, good call! And to clarify, you are suggesting that i combine a couple pairs of circuits on a new breaker capable of handling the new amperage?
No no no, you can't just start combining circuits and increasing breaker sizes! Definitely not. Use a "tandem" breaker. These are the circuit breakers that are the same width as a normal single-pole breaker, but have two separate breakers inside with two little handles and two terminals to connect the circuit conductors. It's two breakers in the space of one.

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I did not know i could simply wire nut some romex in, i thought that would be against code to have wire nuts in the panel.
You can have splices in a panel, no problem. You can't use a panel as a junction box for wires that do not terminate in that panel though (no wires that are "just passing through").

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