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Old 12-16-2011, 03:05 PM   #1
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Default Spa panel vs. Standard

I'm a little confused about whether I need a spa panel.
Is there any reason I can't add a 50 Amp GFCI breaker to my existing panel, if there's room?
Is there something better about using a remote spa panel?

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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It's usually cheaper to buy the panel with the 50a breaker, than it is to buy just the GFCI breaker to fit your existing panel. The 50a spa panel w/breaker sells for around $50 at Home Depot.

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #3
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It's usually A LOT cheaper to buy a spa panel and wire it in than to add a separate GFCI breaker for some reason.

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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Adding a GFCI breaker to your mains panel is A-Ok. You might be in for 'sticker shock' when you see the price of a GFCI breaker that fits your panel. A lot of them in the 30A or 50A (120v/240V) versions are more than $100. That is part of the reason that the Spa Panel becomes a popular item for us.

Another reason is if the brewery would be connected to an existing range or dryer outlet. Commonly, the range or dryer will not operate on a GFCI circuit. Also, if it was wired several years ago, the dryer circuit is 3 wire.

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:37 PM   #5
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Interesting...OK.
I had seen the crazy price difference.
Outrageous, really.

So, to power my spa panel, would I branch from an existing breaker, or would I wire directly from the incoming power?

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:58 PM   #6
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most likely you will put it on its own breaker in your main panel, but there are several ways to do it. if you are unsure, you should ask an electrician to take a look. this isnt a particularly hard job to do, but if you dont do it correctly it can be very dangerous. definately do not put it directly on the incoming line to your house. it should be behind the main breaker, and then on its own sub-breaker so that it doesnt possibly trip power to your entire house.

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Old 12-16-2011, 05:24 PM   #7
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I guess I should have clarified...I did mean after the main breaker, for sure.
Thanks for the reply.
I'll definitely place it in my brew room, downstream from a sub-breaker.
There are 3 unused 240V breakers in my panel...I'll have to check the amperage, on those.

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Old 12-19-2011, 04:00 PM   #8
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Can you please make a recommendation for size of the breaker upstream of the 50amp spa panel?

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Old 12-19-2011, 04:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KitB View Post
Can you please make a recommendation for size of the breaker upstream of the 50amp spa panel?
That depends on the wire size and run to your intended location. The breaker in the main panel must be sized to protect the wire.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:21 PM   #10
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I guess I should have phrased that, a little differently.
Should my upstream breaker be sized equal or larger to the 50 amp GFCI breaker, rather than smaller?
I will be using 10 awg wire.

Hmmm...Forget it...I see that 10 awg only carries 30 amps.
Sorry for my ignorance.

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