Hot Tub GFCI and Inspector

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
My boss is dealing with an inspector who won't pass a hot tub installation. We (the company) used a standard issue Spa GFCI disconnect at the tub location. The inspector is citing 680.21C and the wording "branch circuit" as meaning the branch circuit requires GFCI protection. IMO, he's totally off base and there is no justification to require GFCI protection for the branch circuit. The requirement calls for GFCI protection of the outlet. I think it's pretty clear but so does the inspector. Thoughts?


(C) GFCI Protection. GFCI protection is required for outlets supplying
pool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120V through 240V
branch circuits, whether by receptacle or by direct connection.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
My boss is dealing with an inspector who won't pass a hot tub installation. We (the company) used a standard issue Spa GFCI disconnect at the tub location. The inspector is citing 680.21C and the wording "branch circuit" as meaning the branch circuit requires GFCI protection. IMO, he's totally off base and there is no justification to require GFCI protection for the branch circuit. The requirement calls for GFCI protection of the outlet. I think it's pretty clear but so does the inspector. Thoughts?


(C) GFCI Protection. GFCI protection is required for outlets supplying
pool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120V through 240V
branch circuits, whether by receptacle or by direct connection.
Technically the branch circuit starts at the GFCI breaker in your spa panel. What is ahead of that is a feeder.

I think 680.44(A) is the section that applies, instead of 680.21(C), unless this is not a listed self contained unit or listed packaged equipment assembly. But still requires protection at the "outlet".

Now see art 100 definition of outlet. "A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment."

That point is subject to interpretation but I think can be at or between either end of the whip, cable, etc. going from the spa disconnect to the spa control panel. A GFCI breaker at the spa disconnect still covers any of those potential points though.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I agree with kwired 680.44 is the appropriate article and I disagree with the inspector


680.44 Protection. Except as otherwise provided in this
section, the outlet(s) that supplies a self-contained spa or
hot tub, a packaged spa or hot tub equipment assembly, or
a field-assembled spa or hot tub shall be protected by a
ground-fault circuit interrupter.
 

jusme123

Senior Member
Location
NY
My boss is dealing with an inspector who won't pass a hot tub installation. We (the company) used a standard issue Spa GFCI disconnect at the tub location. The inspector is citing 680.21C and the wording "branch circuit" as meaning the branch circuit requires GFCI protection. IMO, he's totally off base and there is no justification to require GFCI protection for the branch circuit. The requirement calls for GFCI protection of the outlet. I think it's pretty clear but so does the inspector. Thoughts?


(C) GFCI Protection. GFCI protection is required for outlets supplying
pool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120V through 240V
branch circuits, whether by receptacle or by direct connection.
Art 100 NEC
Branch Circuit. The circuit conductors between the final overcurrent device protecting the circuit and the outlet(s).

Feeder. All service conductors between the service equipment, the source of separately derived system, or other power supply source and the final branch-circuit overcurrent device.
 

chicar

Senior Member
Location
Lancaster,Pa
In the 2014 N.E.C. the words "circuits and whether" is grayed in for article 680:21C. That's telling me the branch circuit from the panel. I agree with the Inspector. Just sayin.....Peace.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
In the 2014 N.E.C. the words "circuits and whether" is grayed in for article 680:21C. That's telling me the branch circuit from the panel. I agree with the Inspector. Just sayin.....Peace.
The wording is that the outlet must be protected if it is connected to a particular type of circuit (current and voltage), not that the entire circuit needs to be protected. That seems completely obvious on careful reading.
 

MasterTheNEC

Senior Member
Location
McKinney, Texas
Art 100 NEC
Branch Circuit. The circuit conductors between the final overcurrent device protecting the circuit and the outlet(s).

Feeder. All service conductors between the service equipment, the source of separately derived system, or other power supply source and the final branch-circuit overcurrent device.
Ummm...I would look at your quote again...kinda an Oxymoron in that statement.....within the first 2 words no less. Hint: Circuit versus Service :blink:
 

mwm1752

Senior Member
Location
Aspen, Colo
First of all we need to confirm this is an outdoor installation otherwise there is no reason for 680.21( C ) -- if indeed this section applies the it does state that the outlet is to be gfci protected -- the conumdrum is defined whether the receptacle is after to the outlet or part of the outlet. for those whom interprete the recept as part of the outlet then the recept would be a gfci type -- otherwise a direct attachment would require a gfci breaker -- still on the fence on whether the recept is part of the outlet. will need more time
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
My boss is dealing with an inspector who won't pass a hot tub installation. We (the company) used a standard issue Spa GFCI disconnect at the tub location. The inspector is citing 680.21C and the wording "branch circuit" as meaning the branch circuit requires GFCI protection. IMO, he's totally off base and there is no justification to require GFCI protection for the branch circuit. The requirement calls for GFCI protection of the outlet. I think it's pretty clear but so does the inspector. Thoughts?


(C) GFCI Protection. GFCI protection is required for outlets supplying
pool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120V through 240V
branch circuits, whether by receptacle or by direct connection.
I think your installation is compliant
It is your argument that is incorrect. You claim the use of a GFCI disconnect. I have never seen one without a circuit breaker for overcurrent. Thus you are protecting the branch circuit and the feeder is in front of the GFCI.
So the inspector is improperly citing the feeder as a branch circuit.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
First of all we need to confirm this is an outdoor installation otherwise there is no reason for 680.21( C ) -- if indeed this section applies the it does state that the outlet is to be gfci protected -- the conumdrum is defined whether the receptacle is after to the outlet or part of the outlet. for those whom interprete the recept as part of the outlet then the recept would be a gfci type -- otherwise a direct attachment would require a gfci breaker -- still on the fence on whether the recept is part of the outlet. will need more time
680.21(C) would apply if outdoors, but also only applies to motors associated with swimming pools.

If the spa in question is a listed/packaged unit, then 680.44 requires GFCI protection of the outlet (and naturally beyond) for the entire spa regardless of whether it is inside or outside, and this will end up covering the motor anyway.

If it is not a listed/packaged unit (basically built on site) then 680.21 would apply if it is outdoors.
 

victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
Location
NYC, NY
680.21(C) would apply if outdoors, but also only applies to motors associated with swimming pools.

If the spa in question is a listed/packaged unit, then 680.44 requires GFCI protection of the outlet (and naturally beyond) for the entire spa regardless of whether it is inside or outside, and this will end up covering the motor anyway.

If it is not a listed/packaged unit (basically built on site) then 680.21 would apply if it is outdoors.
by saying listed/package unit, do you mean treat as plug (receptical) connected alliance?

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
by saying listed/package unit, do you mean treat as plug (receptical) connected alliance?

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
No, most are not listed for cord and plug connection AFAIK, some that are considered portable however are.

Your typical self contained unit is a listed/packaged unit, or possibly some that are assembled to make a listed unit, otherwise your other option is to build your own unit - but it falls more so under the general swimming pool rules then a listed/packaged unit as with the listed packaged unit code doesn't really apply to the components - you just run the supply to it and the rest is listed as is. Some assembly may be required, but is listed if done per the instructions.

ADD: it is defined in 680.2.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
In the 2014 N.E.C. the words "circuits and whether" is grayed in for article 680:21C. That's telling me the branch circuit from the panel. I agree with the Inspector. Just sayin.....Peace.
The 2011 version said, ". . . 120 volt through 240 volt branch circuits, rated 15 or 20 amps, whether by receptacle. . . ." The change was to delete the "rated 15 or 20 amps." That does not tell me that the branch circuit requires GFCI protection.

I think we need to focus on the single word that is the "subject" of that sentence (remember your elementary school English language classes?). The subject of this sentence is the very first word, "Outlets." It is the outlet that requires GFCI protection. By definition, the outlet is not the box in which the receptacle is installed, it is the receptacle itself. The rule does not require the receptacle to be of the GFCI type; it only requires that the receptacle have protection of the GFCI type. More to the point for this particular discussion, the rule does not require GFCI protection of the entire circuit. The Inspector is simply wrong.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
680.21C(C) GFCI Protection. GFCI protection is required for outlets supplyingpool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120V through 240Vbranch circuits, whether by receptacle or by direct connection.
That is not an accurate quotation. This requirement appears to have been first inserted into the NEC in the 2008 edition. From that date to today, the sentence has always begun with the word "outlets." If you strip away all words other than the essential English language structure of "subject . . . verb . . . object," the sentence boils down to "outlets . . . shall be provided with . . . GFCI."

 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
By definition, the outlet is not the box in which the receptacle is installed, it is the receptacle itself.
But also keep in mind we do not need to have a receptacle to have an "outlet" either, which adds some variety to the exact location of the outlet when there is no receptacle.
 
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