0

I removed the old hot tub in my backyard and I would like to know how to reuse the existing electrical setup to put an outlet there instead.

The first picture shows the electrical panel that was connected to the hot tub. Unfortunately I didn't have the chance to take a picture of the wiring before they disconnected the hot tub. The cable going to the hot tub has 6 wires: 2 red, 2 black, 1 green, 1 white. I'd like to put an outlet on the other end to connect string lighting and a electric portable grill.

Could someone please show me the correct way of rewiring this? 220V is preferable and I suppose it is capable of handling this load.

Hot Tub Panel

The second picture shows the electrical panel connected to my AC units. It is daisy chained to the first panel. The cable going to the hot tub panel has 4 wires: blue, red, green, white.

AC Panel Wires from the wall

17
  • Related questions
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 3 at 19:30
  • 2
    With the two separate 2-pole GFCI breakers you have (one 30 A and one 20 A) you will be able to have one 240 V receptacle AND one duplex 120 V receptacle. The duplex 120 V receptacle could be in what is called a multiwire branch circuit so in effect you would have TWO 120 V receptacles each rated for 20 A. Nice. Where do you want to locate these receptacles? On the wall of the house or at the location where the hot tub was located? Commented Jan 3 at 19:34
  • Something is missing or not labeled right. Is there a feed breaker in the main panel? If so, what size is it? I see white "into the wall" - are there other wires also going "into the wall"? Also, the AC box looks like it has neutral and ground on the same bar. Commented Jan 3 at 19:38
  • 1
    @JimStewart the hot tub was only 5ft away from its panel and was also 18 inches away from the side of the house. I would put the outlet on the wall. This section of the wall is also covered and doesn't get wet when it rains.
    – Quoc Vu
    Commented Jan 3 at 19:55
  • 1
    Do you know what is the power or current requirement for the portable electric grill you have in mind? Do you know whether this grill has a need for a neutral or is it just 240 V? For safety reasons grills should not he operated right under the soffit of a house and a power cord from the wall to the location of grill is not optimal. You might want the 240 V receptacle on a pedestal at the location of the grill. The 120 V receptacle for the lighting string could be on the wall. But maybe in the real world grills are often operated under roofs to get in the shade or out of the rain. Commented Jan 3 at 20:04

2 Answers 2

1

It looks like you have a 50 amp feed to the hot tub, and now-unused 30A and 20A 2-pole GFCI breakers there. The 20A one is suitable for outlets.

If all you want is a normal 120V outlet at that location, remove the tail feeding the hot tub, replace it with a 1/2" watertight PVC connector and a very short piece of 1/2" PVC conduit, and at the other end install an outdoor outlet box and an outdoor-rated non-GFCI outlet. Connect it through the conduit, hot to one side of the 20A GFCI breaker, neutral goes to the breaker's neutral terminal and ground goes to the ground bus. The breaker's neutral pigtail is already connected to the neutral bus and should remain so.

The other side of the 20A breaker will go unused. If you ever use it for anything, just know that any fault on either circuit will trip both circuits. At that time you can decide if to rearrange things or buy single-pole breakers. You don't need to do that now.

Just for clarity, you can't install an outlet "in" the hot tub's breaker box, but I hope right next to it is just as good.

6
  • Thanks @jay613. This method is straight forward and sounds like what is shown in this video popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/a20318/… . Although his breaker has only 1 screw at the bottom while mine has 2 with a white wire already connected to it.
    – Quoc Vu
    Commented Jan 4 at 21:24
  • The 2-pole GFCi breaker that I have seen has a place for THREE wires to connect. The outer two are for the hot wires and the center one (labelled "N") is for the neutral wire to the receptacle. This breaker also has a white pigtail coming from it. This pigtail is to be connected to the neutral bar. This is different from the connection of a basic 2-pole breaker which only has connections for the two hot wires. The neutral from the receptacle in that case (non-GFCI breaker) is connected to the neutral bar. Commented Jan 4 at 22:12
  • 1
    My answer was wrong regarding the neutral wires and I corrected it now. Your breaker has THREE terminals. Two are for live conductors and you can use either of them. One is for your circuit's neutral conductor, and you must connect your circuit's white wire there, not to the neutral bus as the guy in your video does. His breaker is not GFCI. And your breaker has it's neutral pigtail already connected to the neutral bus, you must leave that. There are lots of other details to get right. Wouldn't hurt to get an electrician to guide you the first time you do something like this.
    – jay613
    Commented Jan 4 at 22:16
  • I edited my answer to explain the benefit of using both black wires. Commented Jan 4 at 23:23
  • 1
    Thank you both @JimStewart and jay613. This has been a very educational thread. I think it's now clear and I understand the various concepts behind it which is a big bonus for future use. After all, wiring this outlet is really simple. Leave everything as is and connect 1 or 2 black wires to the 20A duplex pole. On the other end of the cable, the white wire goes to the neutral (silver) terminal of the outlet, the black wires go to the load (brass) terminals and the green wire goes to the ground (green) terminal. Break the little bridge between the 2 brass terminals to have 2 circuits.
    – Quoc Vu
    Commented Jan 4 at 23:29
1

How far from the location of the breaker box do you want to locate the new receptacle? Wires from the breaker box to the receptacle box must be in conduit.

You may be able to cut off the existing (fairly large) conduit the wires to the hot tub were in and terminate the cut end in a box fastened to the wall below the breaker box. But if you want the receptacle displaced laterally it might be better to use new conduit from the side. An expert will have to tell you the details of how to do that. Possibly the receptacle box could be fastened to the side or bottom of the breaker box so you would not have to make new holes in the stucco.

Hopefully one of the experts here will tell you the proper electrical practice and the probable code requirements for doing what you want to do.

Where is this property located? The local electrical code will specify how to do this.

If all you want is a duplex 120 V receptacle, and you want to utilize the existing 20 A 2-pole breaker you have in place, then you would connect two wires to the 20 A 2-pole breaker and connect these to the hot side of the duplex receptacle (one wire to each of the two receptacles of the duplex receptacle) AND break off the connecting jumper tab on the hot side.

The white neutral would be connected to the neutral side and the jumper tab left in place. Then connect the green ground to the ground connection of the receptacle. This would give you a multiwire branch circuit providing two separate 20 A receptacles. You could put in a standard 20 A duplex receptacle and this would allow using appliances or equipment which had a 20 A plug should you ever need that. These also accept a standard 15 A plug.

Video showing how to remove the jumper tab on the hot side only for a multiwire branch circuit.

Video whether you are required to use a 20 A duplex receptacle. I interpret this to mean that you are not required to use a 20 A receptacle but I think you should do so. A 20 A receptacle costs a little more but it would allow plugging in a 20 A plug which might come in handy some day. You might want to plug in something which has a 20 A plug or some workman might want to plug in some near 20 A equipment with a 20 A plug to do some work on your house.

EDIT

The use of a multiwire branch circuit would make available up to 20 A in each hot wire and these would flow through a common neutral. However this does NOT mean the neutral would be carrying 40 A. The two hot wires are on different "legs" and so are 180 deg out of phase and so cancel each other. The neutral wire carried a current equal to the difference in the currents in the two hot legs.

For example suppose you had a 1600 W grill plugged into one of the receptacles and an 1800 W pizza oven in the other. Your 20 A GFCI breaker would handle this just fine. The grill would draw 13.3 A and the pizza oven 15 A. The current in the neutral would be only 15 A - 13.3 A = 1.7 A. A multiwire branch circuit is a nifty arrangement!

9
  • In the first picture, you can see 2 conduits on the bottom of the panel. The right one goes straight down to the ground and runs along the bottom of the wall for about 8ft. Putting the outlet at this location of the wall would be ideal. I would need to extend the wires or fish a new cable in the conduit else the outlet would be to close to the ground.
    – Quoc Vu
    Commented Jan 3 at 23:33
  • If I understand your instructions, This is how I need to reconnect the wires from the hot tub cable into the panel: white wire goes into the right bar where 3 white wires are already connected to, leave the green as currently connected, 2 black wires into the right side breaker (there are 4 screws at the bottom, 1st is used by a white wire, I can insert the black wire into the 2nd and 3rd screws or 2nd and 4th). I am clear on wiring the outlet, I believe it's the same as those indoor outlets and switches which I have done few times. Thanks
    – Quoc Vu
    Commented Jan 3 at 23:43
  • 1
    That seems correct. To use the existing 20 A 2-pole breaker you must use both black wires and you must connect one black wire to one of the receptacles of the duplex and the other black wire to the other receptacle of the duplex. AND you must break away the little jumper tab connecting the two receptacles. If you fail to break off this tab and you turn on the power you would have a full 240 V short circuit which would trip a breaker and might cause damage. Commented Jan 4 at 15:00
  • 1
    Don't forget to remove the tab youtu.be/rapPtMscrI0?si=JpAFM-KSx7lY1EJj Commented Jan 4 at 15:12
  • 1
    Your 20 A 2-pole GFCI breaker MIGHT require you to use both hot wires. I don't know . . . maybe you could use only one hot wire and the neutral. The benefit of using both hot wires is that you would be able to draw 20 A from each receptacle for 40 A total. So if you wanted to you could power two appliances at the same time even if each one was drawing over 10 A for over 20 A total. If you use only one hot wire, you would be limited to 20 A total from both receptacles. This is made possible by your having a 2-pole breaker rated at 20 A in each hot wire. Commented Jan 4 at 22:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.