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So I have a 240v electrical panel for my spa with nothing else connected. A friend tried installing an additional 15amp breaker to add a 120v outlet next to the spa so I can use an Echo Dot speaker (1.5 amp). But it didn't work and now I'm being told that it could be impossible to do that without passing a new underground wire. Is that right?

My spa (Inspiration S105L) is rated for 40 amps current and is fed by a 50amp circuit from my 100amp pool electrical panel (see Pro Logic picture)

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    Are the feeds to the panel different sizes? It looks like the red wire is smaller than the black.
    – JACK
    Jun 12, 2023 at 15:54
  • No, it's the same size even though it look different in the picture. One of the wire is coming from my Pro Logic pool panel, and the other one is going to the spa
    – comdex
    Jun 12, 2023 at 16:24
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    Did your frien use the correct breaker in that panel? How about a picture of the label on that panel.
    – JACK
    Jun 12, 2023 at 17:23
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    There's a 'medium' size white wire running from the neutral bar near the bottom up the left side to the large breaker. Where exactly does it go when it gets to that breaker? It looks a bit like it's connected to the top terminal with the large black wire (which would be very strange).
    – brhans
    Jun 12, 2023 at 17:45
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    @brhans That's a GFCI breaker so that white wire you're referring to probably goes into the bottom of the breaker as the neutral and comes out as the GFCI neutral.
    – JACK
    Jun 12, 2023 at 18:19

2 Answers 2

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You're gonna need a wider enclosure. You have very big wire bending space problems in this one. It's pushing the breaker out of position and that's going to cause bad contact at the bus stabs, and arcing and bus burn-up. A sad waste of a $150 breaker. That enclosure is only about 5-3/4" wide on the interior: too narrow for those fat wires.

Given that breaker, stay Siemens. I was really hoping to find you a vertical-oriented Siemens 6-space, but I can't find such a thing. So your next step up is a (Siemens style) 8 or more space panel, which are a full 14-1/2" wide (but that gives you 7" of width per breaker, so that takes care of the bending space problem).

Also, those wires are totally unmarked. You're not allowed to use "mystery meat" wires. I'm seeing where this is going into a conduit, and in conduit or inside a panel, 8 AWG copper is sufficient for 50A. If you could change to a marked #8 wire, that will probably relieve the bending space problem here.

Once that is resolved, you seem to have 2 additional spaces to accommodate 2 breakers or one 2-pole, or tandems or quads up to 4 "circuits". Don't forget GFCI protection, and it's better if that is at the source (i.e. breaker or right past the breaker). 120V power near a hot tub is dangerous.

Also note it is illegal to have even a GFCI outlet within 6' of a hot tub. Also what on earth does an Echo Dot need 120 volts for? Checking, I see it actually runs on USB power. Long USB cord and Bob's your uncle. Maybe don't invite your friend to hot tub anymore since they seem to be trying to kill you lol.

Also, get rid of the tape on that wire nut. If you don't trust it to hold together without tape, it's not nearly tight enough, and it's going to arc and overheat. Wire nuts need to be VERY tight.

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  • Thanks so much for the reply. The panel is the one that was supplied by the company, it came with the spa so it should be good, I guess I have the wrong wires. I hired an amateur to do this work, my mistake. First I wasted $400 to buy the wrong wires, then I spent another $500 to buy the oversized underground wire that you see in the picture because the other one didn't have a neutral wire. Do I have to change the entire 75 feet underground again, and dig up everything?
    – comdex
    Jun 13, 2023 at 1:37
  • Here's the panel right now with the 15amp breaker, the outlet is still not working photos.app.goo.gl/UzvzqChEfF8jxdoT9 The panel and outlet are both at 5 feet distance which is the minimum required here in Quebec. The outlet is just a standard GFCI outdoor outlet, i thought 120v or 110v was the standard? USB from the outlet to the echo dot is a good idea, but the USB adapter still need to be plugged in a standard outlet
    – comdex
    Jun 13, 2023 at 1:38
  • A lot (most?) USB chargers are pretty much happy at 240V. On the other hand, I am not sure if it is practical in this particular place to hardwire one.
    – fraxinus
    Jan 29 at 10:42
  • @fraxinus the problem is finding a USB charger with a NEMA 6-15 plug! Coz you sure don't want to put 240V on a 5-15 socket or someone WILL plug something 120V into that. Hmm, I suppose you could use a Literal USB Receptacle, the kind with 4-6 USB ports and nothing else. Jan 31 at 19:25
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica exactly, usb-only receptacle is pretty good idea in a bathroom context
    – fraxinus
    Jan 31 at 19:31
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Im a journeyman electrician. I've done a bunch of hot tubs. These wires are definitely to big, but it also might have helped u! I would swap the panel to a 6 space Eaton, than replace the 50 amp in your spa panel with a 60 amp. Pipe out of the new 6 space panel more than 6' from the hot tub, add a wp box, and install a GFCI receptacle.

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