Spa disconnect

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SpiderMT

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I had inspection on a job today where we fed a new spa. The spa company furnished a disconnect with a 50A GFCI circuit breaker in it. The nameplate on the unit said it was rated 32A @ 230V so we pulled #8's and installed a 40A circuit breaker in the main panel to feed the GFCI disconnect and then from there to the spa. The inspector didn't like this setup and cited 430.32 and said I needed to change the 50A breaker to 40A. I argued that #1 it was not a continuous duty motor and #2 that the 40A breaker in the main panel provided overload protection and the 50A breaker in the disconnect provided GFCI protection. We are going to change the breaker, the GC said just do it, but I want to know, who is technically correct in this case?
 

augie47

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Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector (Retired)
I don't see a problem. I'm actually unsure how 430.32 fits in. The nameplate rating apparently is for the unit, not just the motor. If the spa is listed all that should have been a part of the listing.
Secondly, if you have a 40 amp breaker at the panel, the circuit is protected. The size of the breaker at the spa is immaterial.
The only "glitch" I can see would be if the mfg instructions called for a 40 amp GFCI. (Admitingly the amperage wouldn't affect the GFCI function, but 110.3(B) is there also.)
 

SpiderMT

Member
No, the manufacturers instructions just said GFCI circuit breaker. It was a generic manual for all their models. Like i said, I just wondered what others thought. And as far as I could tell 430.32 doesn't fit in, I just couldn't convince the inspector or his boss of that.
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
Jay, See definition article 100.

I understand the definition, just wondering about some examples. I have a box fan blowing on me right now that's been on since 7pm and probably won't be turned off until 11pm or so. Is that continuous duty? If not, what if I have it on all day for 12 hours straight?
 

benaround

Senior Member
Location
Arizona
I understand the definition, just wondering about some examples. I have a box fan blowing on me right now that's been on since 7pm and probably won't be turned off until 11pm or so. Is that continuous duty? If not, what if I have it on all day for 12 hours straight?


Then you have varying duty, agian art 100.
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
Then you have varying duty, agian art 100.

OK, let's try this again. I provided an example. Can anybody else, besides benaround, give me some examples of continuous duty motors? I don't think I've ever come across one, so I'd like to know what one is. I'm just trying to understand this particular thread a little better.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector (Retired)
I may be mistaken, but in the case of motors, I think 430.7 provides the clue.
It states a motor must be marked with its time rating...
 

infinity

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Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
IMO the inspector's argument of 430.32 being applicable is incorrect. This is a listed appliance. You would size the conductors and OCPD based on the nameplate rating of the appliance. Under the Article 100 definition would this even be considered a Duty, Continuous motor? What is the wiring method?
 

jwelectric

Senior Member
Location
North Carolina
OK, let's try this again. I provided an example. Can anybody else, besides benaround, give me some examples of continuous duty motors? I don't think I've ever come across one, so I'd like to know what one is. I'm just trying to understand this particular thread a little better.

See Section 430.22 and it should explain the answer to your question
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
Your 40 amp breaker is fine to protect the circuit. That we all agree on. In my opinion that 50 amp gfi breaker is only doing 2 things. 1 it is your disconnect and 2 it is your required gfi protection. It simply is rated for up to 50 amps and your load is less so no problem.

Now we must deal with the real problem and that is an inspector that is uneducated in this area of nec. Also you have a problem in that his boss is no smarter than him. Depending on size of your town this head inspector might not even be an electrical inspector but just a head for the others so talking to him is not going to help. You could win this but long hard battle and court. Problem is not just this inspection, it will be at every job this guy inspects. Giving in is the easy way out. If you care to change things let this head inspector know that you are changing the breaker now to keep customer happy but will take it to court and sue for damages and lawyer fees. Write up a bill to change this and pad it as high as you can. Now follow thru and go to court. No you will not make money from this but next time this inspector will think twice. Backing down has never been the way to go.
 

LJSMITH1

Senior Member
Location
Stratford, CT
I had inspection on a job today where we fed a new spa. The spa company furnished a disconnect with a 50A GFCI circuit breaker in it. The nameplate on the unit said it was rated 32A @ 230V so we pulled #8's and installed a 40A circuit breaker in the main panel to feed the GFCI disconnect and then from there to the spa. The inspector didn't like this setup and cited 430.32 and said I needed to change the 50A breaker to 40A. I argued that #1 it was not a continuous duty motor and #2 that the 40A breaker in the main panel provided overload protection and the 50A breaker in the disconnect provided GFCI protection. We are going to change the breaker, the GC said just do it, but I want to know, who is technically correct in this case?

Not to bring up a sore subject with some folks, but what does the spa manufacturer's installation istructions require?:roll::cool:
 
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SpiderMT

Member
I have worked with this inspector on numerous other projects and he has always been fair. I think I had him convinced that it was a legal installation if not typical but he wanted to talk to his boss. His boss decided that the violation was 430.32 and once he had made his decision I couldn't convince anyone otherwise. I know that some would want to fight this to the death but I'll save that fight until it's going to cost me money or they are trying to require something I know is unsafe.

As far as manufacturers instruction, as I stated in post #3, all they required was GFCI protection and #8 wire. They provided the disconnect, I provided the wire.
 

Cow

Senior Member
Location
Eastern Oregon
Occupation
Electrician
OK, let's try this again. I provided an example. Can anybody else, besides benaround, give me some examples of continuous duty motors? I don't think I've ever come across one, so I'd like to know what one is. I'm just trying to understand this particular thread a little better.

You've never wired a compressor, water pump, fan motor, etc? Those are usually marked continuous.
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
You've never wired a compressor, water pump, fan motor, etc? Those are usually marked continuous.

I don't think I have. The closest I've come is the outside unit for a residential air conditioning system, but that's not continuous...also a well pump, but again, not continuous.

But thanks for giving me some actual examples, I was racking my brain trying to think of one.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
As far as manufacturers instruction, as I stated in post #3, all they required was GFCI protection and #8 wire. They provided the disconnect, I provided the wire.

# 8 wire, wow, I have never run into one not requiring less than a #6, one time I even questioned the manufacture on this "Why a #6" when the unit only pulls 30 to 40 amps, and they said it was because of voltage drop problems when the motors start up, causing problems with the electronic controls, so they want nothing less then a #6.
 

SpiderMT

Member
I know that it called for #8's and a 40A breaker because I made sure to bring the manual with me when I went down to the planning department to talk to the inspector. But yeah, I typically see #6 in the instructions, sometimes larger. I've wired quite a few 60A spas in the last couple of years.
 

AV ELECTRIC

Senior Member
Well since the spa company supplied the wrong size disconnect according to the inspector i would have the spa company supply you the correct size breaker for this unit .
 

elohr46

Senior Member
Location
square one
OK, let's try this again. I provided an example. Can anybody else, besides benaround, give me some examples of continuous duty motors? I don't think I've ever come across one, so I'd like to know what one is. I'm just trying to understand this particular thread a little better.

Hood exhaust fans in restaurants, bathroom exhaust fans in office buildings, and roof top heating/AC units with VAV boxes.
 
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