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This question concerns a hydrotherapy tub (Jacuzzi brand)

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installed in a bathroom. The...
This question concerns a hydrotherapy tub (Jacuzzi brand) installed in a bathroom. The motor is supplied with 14 gauge wire and GFCI protected. The heater is supplied with 14 gauge wire on a separate, independent circuit and GFCI protected. My question is: when I connect the number 8 wire to the bonding lug of the motor and continue it to the heater, where do I terminate that wire for proper bonding? The installation instructions show the bonding wire terminated on a lug on a metal j-box. The j-boxes in my case are plastic and the tub water fill is supplied with PEX pipe. Copper water pipe (bonded) is available but in another room and hidden behind Sheetrock. Can I bond to the green ground wire connected to the GFCI in the plastic j-box? If so, how do I make that transition from #8 wire of the bond to #14 of the supply (ground)?
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Electrical
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
11/18/2017
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 8 months ago
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,417
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Make up a 14 AWG copper pigtail and splice all of the grounds together. Then terminate the pigtail to the green ground screw on the GFCI.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I'm bonding the motor and the pump to the green ground wire in the J-box? Is it acceptable to use the #8 wire (supplied by the heater manufacturer) and pigtail that with the #14 wire or do I need to replace that bonding wire with #14? Also, how do I exit the J-box with that bare bonding wire? Is it okay for it to just come out behind the cover plate of the GFCI?
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 8 months ago

1) You should have 2 separate circuits.....ie.....1 for the pump and a 2nd for the heater. Did you install a separate ground for each circuit?

2) What is the wiring scheme used for the 2 circuits? Metal conduit or cable or another type of raceway?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
1) There are two completely separate 15 amp circuits coming from the breaker panel. Each has it's own separate ground. The wiring is in-wall so, no conduit.2) The wire is run inside the walls, no conduit, from the panal to two separate, plastic J-boxes. Those J-boxes are mounted in the Sheetrocked wall, (like a standard outlet) in the cavity of the underside of the tub right next to the pump and heater.
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 8 months ago

1) Does the tub contain a separate green ground screw?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
There is a bonding lug on the pump motor (that lug is held to the motor by a green screw) and a lug on the heater. Those are the only connection points. I've attached the diagram from the installation manual.
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 8 months ago

Thanks for the diagrams.

1) The instructions state that the motor is bonded to the junction box at the factory. I assume the factory J-Box is metal and is not PVC, is that correct?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
No. Sorry, I should have been more clear. That manual actually covers a couple of variations of the same tub. The corner tub (which, mine is not) is bonded at the factory. The regular, drop-in tub is not. With mine, the motor and heater have their own three-prong plug to be plugged into separte GFCI protected circuits and each has a bonding lug waiting for me to do something with.
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 8 months ago

OK, Thanks for clarifying.

1) Since 2 separate circuits and PVC boxes, you will need to land each circuit ground to it's respective GFCI green ground screw.

2) Since you have PVC boxes, the 8 AWG copper bond will need to transition to a 14 AWG copper and terminate to it's GFCI green ground screw. You can either use a large wire nut and make up a 14 AWG copper pigtail or a split bolt will be required inside the PVC J-Box to accommodate the large 8 AWG ground wire.

3) From each bonding lug, the ground wire will terminate to it's respective GFCI green ground screw. The ground wire needs to be protected in a liquidtite flexible metal conduit. You cannot run the ground wire as an un-protected conductor as this will result in a code violation.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
That all makes sense except number 3. I'm not sure what you mean by, "The ground wire needs to be protected." Are you saying the #8 bonding wire needs to be protected? The ground wire to the GFCI's is in sheathed cable behind the walls coming from the electrical panel. I don't understand where the liquidtite flexible metal conduit comes in. Are you saying that needs to cover the bare bonding wire hooked to the lugs and leading into the plastic J-box?
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 8 months ago

1) From the heater and from the pump, the 8 AWG copper bond wire is a separate wire, correct? Or is the 8 AWG bond wire part of a cable assembly?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
It's a separate wire. You purchase the heater as an add-on and the heater came with that wire. The instructions from the heater say to use that single wire and run it from the motor to the heater and then to the J-box unless it's in Canada (which, it's not). I'll attach a picture of that installation page for the heater.
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 8 months ago

1) Since it is a separate wire, you need a metal JB or the 8 AWG bond wire needs to be part of a cable assembly (which probably won't fit into the PVC cable knockout). 8 AWG bonding conductor must be protected in a raceway. There is no way to transition from a raceway to a PVC box, unless the PVC box contains conduit type of knockouts.

I will opt out of the question. I will send the question over to Mike G. and he can better assist you.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Okay. I'll wait to hear from Mke G.
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 8 months ago
Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 8,323
Experience: Proven Professional 49 years Experience
Verified

Hi, Mike G here. I read the messages and I advise that.

  1. Both circuits to the unit for pump and motor need to have an insulated #12 ground conductor by code and can be a NM cable in a 1 or 2 family home. That means the #14 wire isn't correct.
  2. The #8 bonding will attach to the metal from the water supply piping and any metal within 5 ft of the unit.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I can switch out the wiring to #12 but then do I replace the 15 amp breakers from the panel to 20 amp or do I leave them 15 amp? Also, would I change the 15 amp GFCI's to 20 amp? The water supply for the tub is PEX. I can get the bonding wire from the motor and heater to the copper plumbing in the house but the nearest copper pipe is several rooms away. Can I switch the PVC J-boxes to metal and ground those? Then attach the bonding wire from the pump and heater to the J-box?
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 8 months ago

Isn't there a bonding conductor running with the PEX? If there is attach to it, if not I suggest running directly to the Grounding Electride Conductor to the service or to the service equipment. The reason is that water is a conductor. Both receptacle being duplex 15A are allowed to be on a 20A circuit.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
There isn't a bonding conductor running with the PEX but I just realized, the bathroom sink is supplied by copper and is close so, I can bond the pump and heater with that #8 wire to the copper supply lines for the sink. Is that correct? Then, are you saying I can leave the 15 amp GFCI's when I change out the supply cable to #12 but change the 15 amp breakers in the supply panel to 20 amp or should I leave those supply breakers 15 amp as well?
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 8 months ago

Correct, very good.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Excellent! Though, to be clear, leave the 15 amp breakers or switch those to 20 amp breakers? I assume you're saying leave it all 15 amp, just run #12 wire.
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 8 months ago

Eirthe would be acceptable. The breaker size protects the wire. #12 wire is protected by either 15 or 20A. Duplex outlets rated 15A are allowed on 15 and 20A circuits.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Great. Thank you for your help!
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 8 months ago

Anytime, you're welcome.

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