I would like some views on the on the following that I posted on a SPA HELP FOURM. I have been speaking to some electricians and spa people and get some different views. I put it out in a forum and got some comments that I was not expecting.
I would like to get some views on my original wire question that I asked (using UF cable form the main box to the SPA 240V 50A GFCI Disconnect).
I also received a comment about our plan to use a SPA 240V 50A GFCI Disconnect and not a circuit breaker disconnect. I have been reading some very different views on breaker GFCI vs. the 240 volt GFCI (Non breaker). Below I have posted my original question and the answer I received. Thanks I appreciate your assistance.
My original question that I posted:
•From Main electric box in basement run UF 6/3 W G wire from a 240 volt 50 amp circuit breaker (non- GFIC) to the outside wall, about 12 feet.
•Go through wall into PVC conduit which will be located under the deck, attached to the joist, the run is about 12 additional feet.
•Conduit will go to a SPA disconnect panel, located on the deck railing, that has 240 volt 50 Amp GFCI protection. Note this is a 240 50 amp GFCI, not a GFCI circuit Breaker (see this web site: http://www.spadepot.com/Merchant2/me...ct_Code=BX8001 to view this disconnect panel)
•The SPA Disconnect Panel is located 6 feet from the spa.
•From the SPA Disconnect Panel I will run 4 separate (3 plus ground) #6 THHN wires in conduit to the spa.
We want to use UF cable so that I do not have to run conduit in the basement (pain in the neck). Is this allowable. I have seen different info on the web ranging from the ground not being insulated in UF Cable so it is not allowable to it is not allowable to have UF cable in conduit for a whole outside run.
Spa Requirements 220 volt 50 amp dedicated circuit, number 6 3 wire with ground, Use THHN copper wire only
Any advice? Thanks
Reply I received:
The wiring should be ok, however I cringe at that type of spa disconnect. It isn't a true fully GFI protected circuit. What it does is uses a small 120V GFI breaker to operate a contactor in the panel. The theory is that if there is a ground fault, it will trip the small breaker, releasing the contactor, thus disconnecting the whole spa. In reality, there can be an instance where the contactor gets welded in the CLOSED position, from arcing, and no matter what that little GFI breaker wants to do, the spa is being fed full power. So, situation is this: Heater shorts out, contacter welds since a shorted heater draws infinite amps (enough to weld), heater opens to the water, GFI breaker senses this and trips, but low and behold, the heater is still feeding deadly current into the spa, giving the occupants one heck of a ride.
Personally, I would rather rely on a single device, rather than the 3 required in your application. If any one fail, the whole system can be left unprotected. With a single GFI breaker, they generally fail in a protected state, as long as it is a QUALITY breaker (spit on cutler-hammer here)