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-   -   GFCI Spa Panel (Hate making a new thread but...) (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/gfci-spa-panel-hate-making-new-thread-but-356165/)

NewBrewB 09-23-2012 04:51 AM

GFCI Spa Panel (Hate making a new thread but...)
I just spent about 45 mins trying to find a thread with a parts list and step-by-step for using the "$50 Home Depot Spa Panel" to add GFCI between a 50A 4-prong outlet and my Kal build control panel...

Q1: Is it just me or is the "$50" spa panel now $65?

Q2: What else do I need?

I asked my electrician to install a 4-prong 30A outlet in my garage. He convinced me to run 6/3+Grnd and install a 50A breaker box (something lug.. it's after midnight--cut me some slack). This actually makes sense, so I can have some other outlets on the circuit without pushing the limits of 30A.

From my understanding, I'll need a short scrap of 10/4 and a normal 4-prong 220v wall-mount outlet to have a place to plug in my Spa Panel. The spa panel plugs into the above mentioned outlet. What else do I have to buy to have a place to plug in my control panel? Do the spa panels already have a 4-prong plug built into them? How much "cheaper" does this actually end up being, once I buy all of the outlets, cables, plugs, etc?

Q3: Reading the feedback on HD's website, it looks like a lot of these "cheap" GFCI breakers are unreliable.... "you get what you pay for?"

Q4: My electrician is installing a 50A panel with 12 slots...how much easier will my life be if I just buy a damn GFCI 30A GE breaker for the one wall-mounted 4-prong outlet for my control panel and skip the spa panel aspect? I can just take the breaker with me if I sell the house or move, right?

Q5: Why is it I had to start a whole new thread to answer these questions? I really thought the spa panel was one of the core pillars to E-Builds.

Sublimis 09-23-2012 05:07 AM

I would just skip the stupid spa panel and buy a GFCI breaker. Its cheaper and you don't have a NEMA 3R box inside, Not like thats a big deal but less looks better. Its a 50A Main Lug Panel.

Q2: What are your goals?
Q3: GFCI Breaker
Q4: Yes you can take it with you.
Q5: Spa panels are stupid. Lets be professional here. lol

mrstevenund 09-23-2012 03:40 PM

Sublimis - Where are you buying for GFCI breaker? Pretty much everyone else on here (including me) have found the GFCI Breakers to be more like $100-150.

rhoop 09-23-2012 03:53 PM

Typically a spa panel is good for those who have an old panel and a gfci breaker is out of this world expensive. In my mind, a spa panel is the most flexible way to go long term.

When I hook up hot tubs its generated cheaper to buy a spa panel and a breaker than buy a gfci breaker.

You can take a gfci breaker with you, however, if you have a different brand of panel in your new house, it's useless without buying a new sub panel as you have already done now.

You just need 10/3 romex or bx for the plug, if you buy soow wire (extension cord wire) you do need 10/4. It's weird, but the extension cord wire includes a ground in the wire count so you need to say
10/4 (red, black, white, green), where every other wire type includes a ground without saying (10/3 romex is a red, black, white, and ground included).

Rickochet 09-23-2012 04:27 PM

Spa Wiring Diagram
1 Attachment(s)
This is a pretty simple real life look at a 4 wire set up...

Sublimis 09-23-2012 05:33 PM


Originally Posted by mrstevenund (Post 4437675)
Sublimis - Where are you buying for GFCI breaker? Pretty much everyone else on here (including me) have found the GFCI Breakers to be more like $100-150.

Well Im a professional and a perfectionist price really doesn't matter to me. My Work in my equipment is a refection to my beer I strive for perfection. :ban:

BTW you can find less expensive...

kosmokramer 09-23-2012 05:40 PM

If you are only in need of a 30 amp circuit you could by a power cord with built in gfci protection. This allows for a standard breaker and i only paid like 40 for the cord and ten for the breaker.... i have like 900 feet of 10-3 romex for cheap if u need some

Sublimis 09-23-2012 06:10 PM

I can look too. I might have a 30a 2 pole gfi. What brand panel are you putting in?

NewBrewB 09-23-2012 06:24 PM

It is GE.

I looked at HD today and the only 30A GFCI breakers they had were another brand. I can probably find it online. Actually, I meant to check Lowes to see if they carry the GE one.

I am betting my electrician will have a foot or two of the 10/3 (4 wire) to run from the panel to the outlet. Just a short scrap should do it.

Either way, I am going to skip the spa panel. It seems like most people say it is "cheaper" by comparing the 50A spa to a 50A breaker sold separately. In my case, I am comparing a 50A spa to a 30A breaker and the breaker seems cheaper and simpler.

Thanks for the feedback/advice. I promise to post at least one picture for your viewing pleasure in the near future. :)

NewBrewB 09-23-2012 06:29 PM


Originally Posted by kosmokramer
... you could by a power cord with built in gfci protection...

I read about these in the pdf I bought from Kal but I read somewhere that the tolerance at which the gfi built into the cords trips is much higher than a breaker (ie: not as safe). Im sure the cord option is good enough but I couldnt find one at the time and just gave up on the idea. Now, my control panel and power cord are already done so the point is moot.

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