Trust your Hot Tub Wiring or Swimming Pool Wiring to a Professional
Yes, we do swimming pool / hot tub wiring. In the last few years, pools and hot tubs / spas have become more popular than ever for homeowners. As we spend more time at home than ever before, we begin to rely more on our homes for those extra luxuries, like having swimming pools and hot tubs right in our backyard. Having your own pool is like having a party spot ready to go all the time.
It’s also an excellent way to wear the kids out on those endless summer days and to float your way through heat waves, like that intense heat dome we experienced in late June. That one will go down in the memories of British Columbians everywhere as everyone flocked to the rivers, lakes and ocean.
Heat wave aside, if you’re reading this, you’re either shopping for a pool or hot tub, or you’re approaching the installation stage. Whether you’ve chosen an in-ground pool, above ground pool, plug and play hot tub, or an extra large, extra luxurious spa model, electricity and water is a sensitive combination. It’s crucial to have the swimming pool / hot tub wiring done by professionals.
Do I Really Need a Professional for the Electrical Wiring of a Hot Tub or Pool?
Knowing what extra electrical safety precautions to follow means that a licensed electrician can install your pool or hot tub in the safest way possible. Note that in some municipalities, permits are required to install ANY type of pool or hot tub. Your local electrical inspector may require you to hire a licensed electrician.
It’s important to consider whether your home can support the additional load of a swimming pool or hot tub. Particularly for older homes or commercial buildings that could require an electrical service upgrade. This is something that will need to be taken care of to prevent disappointment and to prevent your new pool or hot tub from overloading your service. We can also take care of any connections to electrical components and extra amenities like solar panels used to power water heaters or lights.
For larger hot tubs or pools that require a 50-amp, 240v feed to power the motors, lights, to link to solar panels or other amenities, they’ll be hardwired to a junction box. The junction box is usually mounted in an access panel on the side or underneath the hot tub unit.
Even though you can simply plug in a smaller, no-frills, hot tub to any standard 15-amp, 120v Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet, we can make sure the outlet is properly grounded, then we can fix it if it’s not up to par. You’d be surprised how often we discover an exterior outlet that isn’t up to electrical codes and is unsafe for use anywhere near water.
What is a GFCI Outlet?
A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is used around the home and around any places where water is present (bathroom, spa room, swimming pool, etc.)
This can be in the form of a breaker feeding a circuit of outlets, or a separate device in your home. They often look like a regular outlet you’d have around your home, but with a reset button and a test button. The device can be connected to your house wiring differently from your normal outlets, protecting itself and other outlets downstream, electrically. The GFCI can block power during a ground fault in less than 1/40th of a second. This means that if you’ve accidentally dropped your radio into your hot tub, the power will be cut immediately. For best results, replace your GFCI outlets every 5-10 years since their useful lifespan is a max of 15 years. Another safety feature is the Disconnect Switch.
What’s the Disconnect Switch?
This all-important switch is located at least 5 feet away, usually in the form of a timer that lets you turn power to the hot tub or pool on or off.
You’ll see these in rec centres or resorts, usually in the form of a digital or analog timer on an adjacent wall. Ever noticed that you have to interrupt your soak to change the timer? That’s a safety feature because if anyone came in contact with part of the circuit while in the water and while operating the switch, they could potentially be electrocuted. This disconnect switch might be something that a general handyman or a DIY electrician may not know about.
Regulations for Pools and Hot Tubs
Pools and hot tubs are often the hit of any neighbourhood and are the perfect addition to any block party. Regardless of whether the pool or spa is in-ground or above ground, certain municipal regulations need to be followed. Any overhead electrical lines or telecommunications lines must be a minimum clearance distance of 25’ (7.5m) above the water level and any ladders or diving boards, etc.
If lines are lower, something as simple as a pool skimming net with a long metal handle could be dangerous. If you’ve got the option to install the pool away from these lines, that’s your best bet. In some cases, BC Hydro may be able to relocate the hydro lines for an additional cost.
What About Underground Wires?
You’ve got plans for the most feature-loaded pool deck money can buy. You’re planning for deck lighting, surround sound, maybe even a stunning waterfall lit up with LED’s. Electrical installations for these types of amenities need to be run at least 5’ from the outside edge of the pool or hot tub. Any wiring for the pool pumps, pool heater, interior lighting or filter can be attached to the pool or spa itself with no issues.
Wiring hot tubs, swimming pools and spas is a lot more complex than it looks. At Kobalt Systems, our technicians have combined decades of experience with pool and hot tub wiring, and they know exactly what your new swimming pool or hot tub needs.
From the gauge of wire to how to bring your vision for your new pool space to life, you can trust us to take care of your new investment and your safety. Contact Victoria-based Kobalt Systems today to inquire about the wiring of your new commercial or residential pool, hot tub or spa.