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Old 12-05-2012, 12:58 PM   #1
machfive55
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Default spa panel question

What is the point of a spa panel vs just putting the GFCI right in the main panel? I noticed my hot water heater is hooked up using a spa panel.

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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From what I've gathered, the main point seems to be it's generally less expensive than a two pole GFI breaker of the same capacity (go figure??), a secondary point seems to be the opinion of some that using the spa panel allows you to skirt equipment grounding code. This latter point is currently being debated in another thread. Specifically cited code provisions seem to support that using the spa panel does NOT allow you to use neutral for grounding (the main point of contention).

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:26 PM   #3
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I could see this being the case if you already have the standard breaker in the box. However, if you are starting from scratch I would think buying one breaker and dropping it in the main panel would be cheaper?

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by machfive55 View Post
I could see this being the case if you already have the standard breaker in the box. However, if you are starting from scratch I would think buying one breaker and dropping it in the main panel would be cheaper?
You might want to take a look at 240V 30A or 50A GFCI breakers for your panel before you make that assumption. They are quite expensive.

There have been issues with counterfeit breakers, so be careful who you buy from if you go used (i.e, ebay). That's what I did.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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I just went through this looking at pricing in the USA. You can get a home depot spa panel (Seattle area HD) for around 67 dollars for a 50 A, I think there was a smaller and larger for just more or less. This is a whole box, breaker, and some internal bus bars etc.

Comparable in the same store was a 50A GFI breaker alone for 97 dollars I believe....

The brand I was looking at was made by Midwest. Model number UG412RMW250P.

Hope this helps.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:21 PM   #6
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I just went through this looking at pricing in the USA. You can get a home depot spa panel (Seattle area HD) for around 67 dollars for a 50 A, I think there was a smaller and larger for just more or less. This is a whole box, breaker, and some internal bus bars etc.

Comparable in the same store was a 50A GFI breaker alone for 97 dollars I believe....

The brand I was looking at was made by Midwest. Model number UG412RMW250P.

Hope this helps.
What he says. Just went through this and it is a cheaper route. It also gives you another breaker inline. Your choice. I like killing all power to the brew area using the spa disconnect when not in use instead of going to the main panel to throw a breaker.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:58 AM   #7
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The other advantage is that not everyone brews near their panel. If you do have a GFCI trip, or you use the GFCI as part of your EPO (please, let's not start THAT debate), going all the way to the main panel may be a PITA. Having the spa panel located near your brew setup saves on a journey into the main breaker.

I'll admit - I bought mine at Lowes before I read all the posts and spent $125 for the panel... it seems to be in a much smaller plastic box than everyone else's large metal boxes, but I wish I had saved half the price and gotten the cheaper one. Oh well...
-Kevin

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