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Old 04-29-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
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Whirlpool tub GFCI ?


In the area I live, Horry County S.C., we are allowed to use regular GFI receptacles as a feeder for the tub as long as they are not within reach of the tub. One advantage of this is that the outlet can be installed in an adjoining closet and used there for a convenience outlet for cell phone chargers or similar uses, while still providing accessible GFI protection for the tub. As for installing a GFI receptacle under the tub, this will only protect what is plugged into it, not the wires feeding the box or inside the box. So a tub or pipe leak will still not be protected by the GFI.
I have a question concerning grounding for spa tubs. I have had inspectors require us to ground the plumbing fixtures when the tub has a double-insulated motor with no ground screw. My question about this is, when there is an electrical fault and the GFI has failed to stop the flow of AC, would this not make the faucet grounded, resulting in electrocution?

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Old 04-29-2010, 06:17 PM   #2
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Whirlpool tub GFCI ?


The whole pupose behind grounding and bonding is to provide a low impedance path back to the source in the event that a pipe as you say was to become energized. A properly bonded system will allow enough current to flow to trip the circuit breaker.

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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Whirlpool tub GFCI ?


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Originally Posted by tomtom660 View Post
In the area I live, Horry County S.C., we are allowed to use regular GFI receptacles as a feeder for the tub as long as they are not within reach of the tub. One advantage of this is that the outlet can be installed in an adjoining closet and used there for a convenience outlet for cell phone chargers or similar uses, while still providing accessible GFI protection for the tub. As for installing a GFI receptacle under the tub, this will only protect what is plugged into it, not the wires feeding the box or inside the box. So a tub or pipe leak will still not be protected by the GFI.
I have a question concerning grounding for spa tubs. I have had inspectors require us to ground the plumbing fixtures when the tub has a double-insulated motor with no ground screw. My question about this is, when there is an electrical fault and the GFI has failed to stop the flow of AC, would this not make the faucet grounded, resulting in electrocution?
When the plumbing system (or at least the plumbing of the tub and the tub itself are properly grounded or bonded (to a grounding system), they will allow sufficient current flow to trip the breaker. Even if the GFCI device is faulty.!
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:29 AM   #4
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Whirlpool tub GFCI ?


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When the plumbing system (or at least the plumbing of the tub and the tub itself are properly grounded or bonded (to a grounding system), they will allow sufficient current flow to trip the breaker. Even if the GFCI device is faulty.!
I see what you mean. But in a fiberglass tub there is no grounding. If for some reason the water were to become electrified and the user were to touch the faucet, the user would complete the circuit.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:48 PM   #5
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Whirlpool tub GFCI ?


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Originally Posted by tomtom660 View Post
I see what you mean. But in a fiberglass tub there is no grounding. If for some reason the water were to become electrified and the user were to touch the faucet, the user would complete the circuit.
How would they?! (this is a rhetorical question.) Any way. this is the answer. "Any part that is electrically conductive, must be grounded or properly attached (bonded) to a grounding system." Water itself is harmless. If no part of the tub (theoretically) can conduct an electric current, then there is no problem. But that is a very remote possibility and not realistic.!
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