Chinese hot tub not listed

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tiptop

New member
Location
New Jersey
My customer bought a hot tub and called me to connect it. I wired a future for the tub and left a disconnect six feet from the planned tub location. The tub came in and all the markings are in Chinese. After close inspection it is discovered that the tub is not listed by UL or any nationally recognized testing lab (NRTL). Now we have a situation where I cant connect the tub and the inspector cant pass the installation. The customer, Out $8000, Tries to return the tub and gets the runaround. Now I have an open permit for a tub that is approaching a year old and the customer has this big decoration on the patio.

Is it legal for a US company (California) to sell unlisted electrical goods, specifically spas, in the US? Who has info about a "safety letter from the manufacturer? Has anyone else had a problem with "world" goods?
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
It occurs here on occasion. Not sure of the legalities involved, but locally if the house permit is still "open", the electrician an and I explain to the homeowner that connecting a non-listed tub is not allowed due to the potential danger. At the E/Cs request the job is final-ed with a note on the final about the hot tub.
In all probability they find someone who is willing to risk the liability to connect the tun after we leave
 

Volta

Senior Member
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Ouch!

UL, and probably others will offer field evaluations, for a cost. It may be cheaper than throwing out the tub, at least if it passes :roll:.

But, does it even need to be listed? If you do not use flexible connections 680.42(A) I don't know that it has to be. Granted, we'd feel better if it was, but . . .

Welcome to the forum.
 

cowboyjwc

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Location
Simi Valley, CA
Ouch!

UL, and probably others will offer field evaluations, for a cost. It may be cheaper than throwing out the tub, at least if it passes :roll:.

But, does it even need to be listed? If you do not use flexible connections 680.42(A) I don't know that it has to be. Granted, we'd feel better if it was, but . . .

Welcome to the forum.
No it doesn't have to be listed. If it is listed it has to be installed per the manufactures instructions. I used to be way picker about non listed equipment, but no so much anymore. I'm only responsible for the wiring installation, what you hook to it is your's and the customers concern.

You could call ETL or who ever they are now and you'll get a way better price than from UL. I would try to get the company that sold it to pay for it.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
No it doesn't have to be listed.
NC will require any electrical equipment to be listed by one of many NTRL that they have listed. I have always read the section below to mean we must use listed or labeled equip. I know others will disagree.

110.3(B) Installation and Use. Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.
 

iwire

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Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I have always read the section below to mean we must use listed or labeled equip. I know others will disagree.
I will be an 'other':grin:, the NEC clearly does not require all equipment to be listed.

If it did there would be no need for the number of specific sections that require listing. 90.7 talks about it in the first sentence.
 

iwire

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Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
FWIW Caddy clips are listed for 'positioning only' whatever that means :confused:, and lot of strut type products are not listed at all.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I do realize that not all fastening devices screws etc need to be listed but it seems odd to me. Article 680 hardly mentions listed except for a package spa or hot tub. Nowhere do I see a requirement for listing. Motors also -- what am I missing. I know darn well NC will not allow any of these equip. without listing. I have seen few places that require listing.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
The NEC does not require all motors to be listed and as far as I know UL does not list motors for ordinary locations.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I guess it is an NC amendment because we were requiring listed luminaires long before the NEC required them. Seems odd fixtures must be listed but not swimming pool motors etc.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I have no doubt that at some point in the future all parts will have to be listed. It is just the way things are headed with everyone trying to cover their rear.:roll:
 

Volta

Senior Member
Location
Columbus, Ohio
... I know darn well NC will not allow any of these equip. without listing. I have seen few places that require listing.
As far as I know, conduits typically need to be listed. So do FCC, NM, and UF cables, but not AC, FC, IGS, MV, MC, MI, TC, or type SE.

Busways do not need to be, nor bus plugs unless mounted in other than a horizontal position.

Not ground rods or metal boxes, unless thinner than standard. Nor straps, fuses, fuseholders, breakers, panelboards, disconnects, or switches.

Receptacles and attachment plugs do.

I may have missed some, maybe someone would be willing to point out any errors they find :roll: :grin:.
 

luckyshadow

Senior Member
Location
Maryland
why not just contact the AHJ and ask their thoughts on having a NRTL certify the tub?

In my jurisdiction we allow those NRTL's that are listed on OSHA's website.
www.Osha.gov click on the letter "N" in the " A to Z search index" and search for Nationally Recognized Testing Lab

Better then being stuck with a couple thousand dollar ugly lawn decoration
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
The California Electrical Code requires NRTL listing of any piece of electrical equipment. The inspector is well within his authority to reject it.

California has what is called a basic "Implied Warranty" law with regards to consumer protection. In short, it means anything sold or bought in California must be suitable for the intended use. So from that standpoint, your consumer could sue the supplier to get his money back. The intended use is as an electrically powered hot tub, which requires it be connected to electricity in California. Without an NRTL listing, you cannot do that, thereby violating that Implied Warranty. The only exception might be if he intended to power it with his own generator and call it "portable temporary equipment", thereby not requiring it to be connected to any electrical service.

PS, I HOWEVER WOULD NOT STICK A TOE IN A CHINESE UNLISTED HOT TUB !!!!
 
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cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
The California Electrical Code requires NRTL listing of any piece of electrical equipment. The inspector is well within his authority to reject it.

California has what is called a basic "Implied Warranty" law with regards to consumer protection. In short, it means anything sold or bought in California must be suitable for the intended use. So from that standpoint, your consumer could sue the supplier to get his money back. The intended use is as an electrically powered hot tub, which requires it be connected to electricity in California. Without an NRTL listing, you cannot do that, thereby violating that Implied Warranty. The only exception might be if he intended to power it with his own generator and call it "portable temporary equipment", thereby not requiring it to be connected to any electrical service.

PS, I HOWEVER WOULD NOT STICK A TOE IN A CHINESE UNLISTED HOT TUB !!!!
The CEC does not require electrical equipment to be listed. 110.2 of the CEC says "Equipment shall be approvable if it is listed, labeled or certified....."

In the commentary of the hand book after 110.3(B) it states: "This section does not, in itself, require listing or labeling."

After 110.2 it states: "Approval of equipment is the responsibility of the electrical inspection authority, and many such "approvals" are based on tests and listing of testing laboratories.
 
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