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Question DetailsAsked on 3/8/2017

Connecting hot tub to existing 50 amp breaker

When we built our house, we had the electricians run a circuit from the main breaker box to a sub breaker in the back for our hot tub. Now that the weather is finally nice, and we've been able to pour our hot tub slab, we are ready to set up our hot tub. The 50 amp breaker is 6 feet from the edge of our hot tub. We called the electrician to come out and hook the tub up to the breaker and they wanted $500-$600 to do it! That seems insane to us since we just paid them $600 to run the sub panel for from the main breaker box in the garage for this 50 amp circuit. We assumed the cost to hook it up to our hot tub was included in that price of $600, but apparently not. Is this something we can do ourselves? Does the price of an additional $500-$600 for 6 feet of wiring (above ground, no trenching necessary) seem high to anyone? Thanks in advance for your input!

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$500-1500 is the normal range for this type of installation (commonly around $600-1000 for shortish runs), so his price looks in the range or, if not in a low-cost area, maybe a bit low, so maybe he did not include the hookup in his bid - course the scope of work should have included it. But for $600 I would not have expected the hookup to be included if it required a second trip, as you are saying it does.

OK - 6 feet from inside face of tub to breaker is the minimum allowed by code, and presuming this is in sight of the tub should be to code - provided the breaker is GFCI breaker, or there is a built-in GFCI breaker in the hot tub.Caveat - to act as a shutoff the breaker has to be exposed - not requiring opening a normal outside panel with the locking/retaining tab - so hopefully the right thing was installed. Otherwise, might need another $150-200 range for wiring in an outdoor rated disconnect switch, which might be aprt of his $500-600 additional cost.

Above ground wiring (say #6/3+G THWN), 6-7 feet roughly, assuming 2" conduit to be liberal (though 1-1/2" or even 1" with some types would be legal depending on wire type) and chose large conduit because almost certainly two 90 degree bends to pull through - which would have to be in grounded conduit (if metal) and maybe a junction box at the hot tub connecting end (if not already part of the equipment) so probably about $60 in materials - more like $100 if running it underground in LFNC flexible plastic conduit, and about 1 hour work - so I would say should be about $175-350 (depending on local labor costs) total cost installed unless there is something I am missing.

Bottom line - Sounds like the original contractor is milking you a bit, figuring you are on the hook. Course, if this is under a building permit, maybe you are on the hook - might require a new permit and reinspection to change electricians mid-road, plus if under same permit yuou could get into an issue of which electrician is responsible if any of the previous work is failed in the inspection. I would be looking for another bid or two, though getting an electrician to come out and do a bid for that small amount of work without charging you $75-100 for the trip might be a stretch.

DIY - if you ask if it is something you can do yourself, then no you are not qualified - you do NOT want a 50A short circuit occurring in your hot tub because you made a wrong or bad connection or bought the wrong materials.

Good luck and good soaking. And sitting here at about 30 below windchill and 5 below actual temp with 3 feet of snow on the ground, you really made me jealous saying that the weather is "finally" nice in your area - another month to two before we can even think of saying that !

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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