If you are thinking of installing your own home spa it’s a good idea to leave the hot tub wiring to a licensed electrician who is qualified and skilled in hooking up hot tubs according to provincial electrical code requirements.
When the Electrical Safety Authority initiated its electrical safety campaign. They listed spas and hot tubs as having a risk factor of 10/10. We all know that water and electricity don’t mix and it’s important to protect your family and friends from shock and the possibility of electrocution.
Here are the three most important things to check when having your spa or hot tub installed:
1. Recognized Canadian Certification Marks
The first step in ensuring your safety when purchasing a spa or hot tub is make sure that it bears the mark of a recognized certification agency. The Electrical Safety Authority has received increasing numbers of reports of unapproved electrical products being sold in Ontario. Units such as these significantly increase your risk of electrical shock and fire. Look for CSA, UL, LC, and ETL to name a few. A full list can be viewed on the www.esasafe.com website.
2. Ground Fault Protection for your new Hot Tub
The next step is to ensure that the power supplied to the spa or hot tub is fed through a ground fault circuit interrupter breaker (GFCI). This is especially important for portable hot tubs and spas. They usually are sold as “Plug and Play” products and need to be plugged in to a dedicated, GFCI protected outlet. Choosing the correct size of wire and breaker is essential for permanently installed hot tubs. When hooking up a permanently installed hot tub you cannot rely solely on the manufacturers guide. The correct size of wire and breaker varies with the distance from the panel to the spa as well as the specs of the pump and heater.
3. Electrical Permit From the Electrical Safety Authority when hooking up your new Hot Tub
The final step in managing your risk is to take out an electrical permit with the Electrical Safety Authority. It is mandatory when providing wiring for your hot tub. The Electrical Safety Authority will inspect your installation and issue you a Certificate of Inspection to verify that the work has been completed according to the Ontario Electrical Code. This certificate is your record and assurance that your electrical work meets Ontario’s Safety Code requirements. It should be kept in the file with your insurance documents.
Finally, always keep electrical extension cords and wires at least 10 feet away from your in-ground or portable home spa or hot tub.