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Thread: New home/Jacuzzi grounding question

  1. #1

    Default New home/Jacuzzi grounding question


    I am purchasing a home that has a jacuzzi tub in it already. We had our inspector test all of the gcfi and try to trip the motor to the jacuzzi, but it appears it's not on a visible gcfi outlet. The only access panel to the motor/electrical work of the jacuzzi is currently tiled over, so in order to verify if it is grounded, I will need to pull the tile off and probably some wood work to get to the access panels. My question is, if it is not grounded, what is the best approach to fixing it? I do not know too much about electrical work, is this something I would typically need to hire a contractor to get it fixed? The house doesn't have a second shower/tub, so we would essentially need to do this right away when we move in. I would IMAGINE it is grounded, because from how the inspector put it, it is completely unsafe to even use the tub without the motor grounded. The previous owners have lived there for 2 years now, and showered every single day, and said they have had no issues, but could not tell me if it was grounded. We have an electrician come take a look and he could not find a dedicated power line running from the box to below where the tub is, so he is kind of perplexed himself. I just don't really know the best way to go about this, I am guessing I am going to need to tear off the tiling regardless, but I'm not sure how to process/even tell if the motor is grounded.

    Any advice would be real helpful, as dumbed down as possible would be great..thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Welland Ontario


    If it is not grounded then it depends on the site conditions what is needed to fix it. Unless your home was built before 1970 it highly unlikely that it is not grounded. Grounds started to used in the late 1950s. I don't know when they became code required.

    Based on your apparent lack of knowledge on the subject I think an electrician is probably best route.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Kent, WA


    There are two different issues -- is it grounded, and is it on a GFCI.The first step is finding which circuit breaker in the panel is controlling this tub. Then look to see if the cable for that circuit has a ground wire in its sheath. It should be on its own circuit, but you never know how people install stuff. Just like there needs to be access to the pump in case it fails. There is most likely a GFCI outlet inside the tub where the pump plugs in. Look for a hidden way to access under the tub -- only an idiot would install a tub and not provide access to the plugs or pump.

    If there is no GFCI receptacle or dead front GFCI on the wall, a GFCI breaker could be used in the panel unless your panel is so old that they don't make GFCI breakers for it.

    Home inspectors tend to focus on current rules. However, tub grounding requirements have been in the code book for a long long time. GFCIs perhaps not, but even then I think that has been in the code book since the 1980's.
    Kent, WA

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