Hot Tub GFCI - Spa GFCI
ELM Sales and Equipment Inc. has a spa GFCI that is right for your hot tub installation.
A GFCI or "ground fault circuit interrupter" is essential in maintaining spa safety. Electrical code varies from region to region, but these are either installed in the electrical panel or more commonly for an outdoor spa, in a separate junction box at least 5-6 feet from the spa and within sight. Check your local electrical regulations for the proper GFCI type for your area.
A spa GFCI does not protect the hot tub from large voltage spikes, rather detects ground faults where electrical current may flow to ground causing injury and electrical fires. The GFCI is designed to protect bathers from electric shocks by monitoring electricity flowing to the spa to sense any loss of current. If the current flowing through the circuit is different even by a very small amount from that returning, the ground fault circuit interrupter instantly switches off power to the spa before any injury or damage can occur.
Some variations of the hot tub GFCI stocked by ELM include:
- GFCI 50/80 Amp, Panel Mount, Leviton
- GFCI 15 Amp, Panel Mount, Leviton
- GFCI 60 Amp c/w Sub-Panel, Siemens
- GFCI 15A, Wall Plug, no cord, Tower
- GFCI 15A, c/w 15ft 14/2 Outdoor Cable
for the right GFCI for your spa installation.
GFCI Types for Canada
Internationally GFCIs are also referred to as RCD (residual current devices) or FI, but their purpose is the same. In Canada some types of GFCIs include a receptacle type GFCI that is used in place of a standard duplex receptacle and it fits a standard outlet box.
Another type of GFCI is the circuit breaker type where it can be installed into the electrical panel and protect the circuit from there. A circuit breaker GFCI usually serves a dual purpose: to protect against "ground faults" but also to protect in the event of circuit overload.
There are also portable or cable mounted GFCIs which can add flexibility to add protection to otherwise unprotected receptacles. Note that when plugging a spa into a receptacle it should be a dedicated line with nothing else on that service. Installation and Electrical work should always be performed by qualified personnel.
Testing a receptacle type GFCI
GFCIs should be tested regularly to make sure they are working properly and doing their job protecting you from shock. To test a GFCI receptacle, you first plug a small device or nightlight into the receptacle with the light turned on. Then press "TEST" button on the GFCI and the "RESET" button should pop out and the light or test appliance should go out. If the "RESET" button pops out but the light stays on, it is miswired requiring an electrician to correct the issue. If the "RESET" button does not pop out when activating the TEST button, the GFCI is defective and should be replaced. If it works properly, pressing RESET will restore power to the test device. Various other types of GFCIs have their own test procedure. This is an easy test to perform regularly to assure safety is not compromised when using your hot tub spa.