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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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My question is what is the acceptable transition we can use from the underground schedule 40 pvc coming up to the 12" run to the entry at the hot tub? We will get the pvc conduit to come up as close to the brick as possible.

Can I use a LB at ground level to connect the 40 to LFNC to the hot tub? LB at ground level to another straight piece of 40? Just use a sched 40 90 degree corner? Or can I transition to LFNC under ground from the schedule 40 and just bring it up to the hot tub?

The big debate seems to be over the interpretation of "exposed to physical damage."

I have also reached out to my city inspectors, but with COVID their response times are either very long to non-existent.

I'm in California if that makes a difference.
 

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I would try to transition underground and come up under the tub skirt.
 

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First, you need to run Sched 80 PVC. Sched 40 is not approved. I'd use LBs or other fittings and rigid PVC rather than liquitite if there's any chance of damage (someone wanting to stand on this or whatever). Inspectors are not there to advise you how to do things, just to make sure you do it right.

There are a few other concerns:
You must use wet-rated conductors here (e.g., THWN).
You must have an insulated equipment grounding conductor.
Any nearby metal that can reach from inside the tub needs to be bonded with 8g solid wire to the bond terminals on the spa.
There are two disconnect requirements that are often confused. The first is the maintenance disconnect. This has to be within sight of someone working on the tub. The common way to do this is to mount your GFCI in a "spa pack" in such a location. This must de-energize ALL the equipment.
The second is the emergency motor stop. This needs to disconnect the motor (typically on portable spas it kills everything because they're only fed with one circuit). This has to be visible to the SPA occupants (in the spa). However, this emergency stop is not required for single-family residential installations. I assume we're talking about a residence, as you have no business messing with something as sensitive as spa circuits in a multiunit situation.
Both of these have to be further than 5' from the inside of the tub or protected by a barrier that makes the path more than 5' (the idea is to keep you even when standing in the water from being able to reach out to that.

Frankly, article 680 (pools, spas, and fountains) is something that I recommend people (and even some random professionals) steer clear of. Tanks of water you're going to immerse yourself and family in is no place for amateur work. I'd even be leary of electricians that don't do a lot of pool/spa work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First, you need to run Sched 80 PVC. Sched 40 is not approved. I'd use LBs or other fittings and rigid PVC rather than liquitite if there's any chance of damage (someone wanting to stand on this or whatever). Inspectors are not there to advise you how to do things, just to make sure you do it right.

There are a few other concerns:
You must use wet-rated conductors here (e.g., THWN).
You must have an insulated equipment grounding conductor.
Any nearby metal that can reach from inside the tub needs to be bonded with 8g solid wire to the bond terminals on the spa.
There are two disconnect requirements that are often confused. The first is the maintenance disconnect. This has to be within sight of someone working on the tub. The common way to do this is to mount your GFCI in a "spa pack" in such a location. This must de-energize ALL the equipment.
The second is the emergency motor stop. This needs to disconnect the motor (typically on portable spas it kills everything because they're only fed with one circuit). This has to be visible to the SPA occupants (in the spa). However, this emergency stop is not required for single-family residential installations. I assume we're talking about a residence, as you have no business messing with something as sensitive as spa circuits in a multiunit situation.
Both of these have to be further than 5' from the inside of the tub or protected by a barrier that makes the path more than 5' (the idea is to keep you even when standing in the water from being able to reach out to that.

Frankly, article 680 (pools, spas, and fountains) is something that I recommend people (and even some random professionals) steer clear of. Tanks of water you're going to immerse yourself and family in is no place for amateur work. I'd even be leary of electricians that don't do a lot of pool/spa work.
Flyingron -

First of all, thank you for the detailed response. I think you hit upon the ultimate underlying question here which is "what is the safest way to do this so me or my family doesn't end up injured or dead because of it." I am in the process of pulling the permit for this job and have electricians friends who are doing the job and I'm assisting, but this debate came up and I'm not shy with asking for an opinion if I think one or both parties might be a little off. My city is currently following the 2019 CEC and I have a copy that I have reviewed several times. The inspectors in my city are a little odd and mostly hostile towards contractors (I have pulled over 10+ permits over the course of a decade and could probably write a book on my experiences with inspectors and the city building dept).

For your other concerns: This is a single family dwelling. I will be double checking the THHN wire to make sure it is also THWN rated, though my understanding is most of this wire is double rated nowadays. It is #6 gauge and insulated (the ground wire also). The GFCI spa pack is within sight and 10 feet away. There is no aboveground exposed metal within 5 feet of the tub

My gut is telling me we just attached a schedule 40/80 LB to the schedule 40 and run schedule 80 to the hot tub. What's funny is I'm all wound up over a foot of exposed pipe as a tripping hazard when I've seen installs where they have a 6 foot run of liquidtight just running across a deck or patio without a care.

My question back is why do you say schedule 40 cannot be used? It's rated for direct burial and will be 20" underground.
 

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When necessary to protect wires from physical damage, the conduit needs to be rated for that. Sched 80 always is allowed. Sched 40 I've never seen so rated. You have that situation when you emerge from the ground. Frankly, for the small amounts of conduit involved here, just get Sched 80. The fittings are the same (the inside diameter is what changes).
 
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