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Inactive
Inactive, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4772
Experience:  Electrical Contractor
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I just went to wire a hot tub and need to splice the 220 line

Customer Question

I just went to wire a hot tub and need to splice the 220 line from old to new. When I cut off the coating I discovered all 3 wires are black. How can I tell which is neutral--the new one has red, black , white which is no problem but I don't want to wire the neutral to a hot
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
You are corresponding with JOSEPH (The Electrical Doctor) - Your "Personal On-Line Electrical Professional Consultant".


I need to ask you a couple of questions.

What size breaker feed the hot - tub?

Does the hot tub have a grounding wire? Meaning it has four wires, black red white and ground.

Do you have access to a volt meter or non contact tester? If not are you willing to get one?

**********
Please be patient as I continue to ask questions. Its the only way for me to understand your situation, and offer you the best solution possible.

Friday, August 24, 2012 8:22:06 PM
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

50amp breaker feeds the tub--yes new hot tub has all 4----old one has 3 black and a ground --- give me a minute to goout to my gargage and see if I still have volt meter

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Ok heres the deal, and I am going to be up front about this - you may not like what I am about to say.

You need to run a new line from the panel to a spa box. This spa box will have a 50amp gfci breaker in it, and needs to be mounted within 5' of the spa. Then you can connect the new hot tub up to this spa box. From the panel to the spa box, you need to run four wires attached to a standard 50amp double pole breaker. this wire needs to be run in conduit and needs to be copper.

This is the only legal way you are going to be able to wire this up to make it safe and legal.

**********
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Remember: Please do not rate my answer until all of your questions have been answered to your full understanding. If you still need further assistance or clarification, click on "Reply To Expert"

Friday, August 24, 2012 8:29:35 PM
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The old system is wired as such. It goes from Breaker to Spa box which is 5 ft away as suggested. When I took the old tub out I simply shut the breaker off and cut the 4 wires 3 black, one ground at their connection in the old spa and did not pay attention to the fact that they were all black. The new tub ( Like new used one) has R B W G running out of it so I have 2--- 6-8 ft pig tails I simply want to hook together and in doing so I will be totally legal. So again how do I find the neutral of the 3 blacks

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Do you have four wires in the spa box coming from the breaker to the spa panel?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Ok then this should be relatively straight forward. You hook up the black and red wires from the spa to the load side of the gfci breaker. Then you will take the white wire and connect that to the neutral bar, and take the grounding wire and connect that to the casing of the spa box.

**********
Please Read Before Proceeding

Remember: Please do not rate my answer until all of your questions have been answered to your full understanding. If you still need further assistance or clarification, click on "Reply To Expert"

Friday, August 24, 2012 8:44:01 PM
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I would have done this except the wire from the new one is not long enough to reach the gfci---so I purposely cut the wire where it connected to the old one which then gave me plenty of wire and my idea was to purchase a weather proof junction box, 3 split bolt connecters, wire r-r , w-w, b-b and then connect the ground but as I had cut the old with a clean cut when I exposed the wires they were all black. If they had of been R B W I would not have the problem and I beleive if I can just determine which is neutral I can make it work

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Are you saying that the wires from the main breaker panel to the spa box were the ones that are cut and too short?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No---- The old wire ran out of the spa box and to the old spa. I cut the old wire inside of the old spa and pulled it out leaving me basically a 6-8 ft. pig tail, It was a clean cut as i used bolt cutters to cut it. I then placed the newer spa where I wanted it. The previous owner disconnected his wiring from his spa box leaving a 6-8 ft pig tail which was not long enough to reach the box. So again I have 3 black wires 6-8 feet long and BWR about 6-8 feet long and all I want to do is splice them together but I'm not sure which of the 3 black wires in neutral. Obviously whoever wired the original must have had an abundance of black wire as he should have wired it BRW but he did'nt.


 

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Here is the down and gritty of this, you cannot splice these wires for this kind of installation. You need to run a piece of conduit from the spa box to the spa. It can either be PVC or it can be sealtite. But splicing is not an option here for this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So what you are telling me if the wires running out of the spa box had of been color coded making it easy to splice each I would not be able to do this?

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Right, the fact that you need to splice the wires to extend them in this particular case makes it a problem. The wiring needs to be unbroken from the spa box to the connector panel in the spa. So you will need to run new wiring in PVC or sealtite and run the wires inside that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

why is it a problem--is it code or is it something else?

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Yes it is code, I would not tell you anything I would not do myself that is guided by the code. I would not steer you wrong. :)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok --just tell me how to find the neutral

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Does your meter have a continuity tester on it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Don't have a meter but will get one

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Ok when you get one, make sure it has the continuity feature on it. You can pick up one from home depot or lowes for about $20. When you get it let me know and I can walk you though how to do this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks my man---will get one first thing in A M --- how do I reconnect with you

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Just reply back to this post via the link in your email. When you do, I will get a notification and I can pick back up with you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Excellent talk to you tomorrow

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
Talk to you then. Have a great night.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Found the answer on the internet this morning-- volt meter for $9.00 put one end on one registered 110 went to next two registered 220 so I knew the wire that gave 110 to the other 2 was neutral and the two that added to 220 were the hot ones.


 


Simple

Expert:  Inactive replied 1 year ago.
I see that you have given me a bad rating - can you tell me why you chose this option instead of a positive one? Is there more information you need from me? The information I gave you about not splicing the wires is code, I cannot tell you how to do something when I know you are violating code. That would make me lose my electrical license.

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