My city uses 2011 NEC.

I would like to install a 125 Amp rated Spa Panel as a subpanel directly below my 200 Amp main circuit breaker panel to be able to use two 50 Amp GFI circuits. I already have this Spa Panel with a breaker and would like to use it: http://www.midwestelectric.com/products/spa-panels/spa-panels-0

My main circuit breaker panel is flush mounted in a drywalled 2x4 wall. The spa panel has an open knockout in the top that would align perfectly with a knockout in the bottom of my main panel. I would use a piece of straight conduit to connect the two panels.

My question is:

Can the spa panel be recessed/flush-mounted in the wall or is it required that it be surfaced mounted to the wall?

The reason I want it to be recessed/flush-mounted is so I can use a simple straight piece of conduit to connect the two panels. Surface mounting would require using flex conduit that would poke through the drywall. Also, the spa panel is hanging off the wall in a high traffic area vs. a clean out-of-the-way flush mount.

This is a picture of what I currently have that I'm not happy with. The conduit body at the bottom goes into the front of a junction box (does NEC allow that?) and the junction box has a piece of straight conduit up to the bottom of the main panel in the wall you can't see. surface mount spa panel

If surface mounting is required, I'll do something like this with flex conduit. enter image description here

  • It doesn't cost very much to buy the panel designed for recessed mount.
    – Tyson
    Jul 23, 2016 at 21:22
  • I think what Tyson is saying that your current panel seems designed to be surface-mounted; you may need to buy a new recessed-mount panel. Jul 24, 2016 at 0:52
  • Thanks. I just needed a different perspective to change the way I was thinking about this setup.
    – bendiy
    Jul 24, 2016 at 3:31

1 Answer 1


You are treating a "spa panel" as something special when it really isn't. Considering this is indoors, you can get away with a standard indoor breaker enclosure (NEMA 1) instead of the weatherproof (NEMA 3R) "spa panel" box. In addition, the spa panel looks to be designed solely for surface (not flush) mounting -- flush mounting may cause issues with the door, for instance.

I would get a standard 125A main lug indoor panel (your existing spa panel uses GE THQLs, so get a GE panel if you wish to reuse the breakers from the spa box) and configure it as a subpanel instead -- while your current setup complies with Code insofar as you're able to get access to the junction box with the conduit body hanging off the front, I agree that it is a rather ugly kludge.

  • You're right. For some reason, I was still attached to the idea of needing the spa panel from when I had it configured for a dryer outlet plugin box that ran my brewery. A new GE flush mount panel will take the breakers and give me more room to work with. Thanks.
    – bendiy
    Jul 24, 2016 at 3:30

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