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Old 09-04-2011, 01:32 PM   #1
Capn_James
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Default Spa Panel Wiring for Dummies

Happy Sunday before Labor Day folks. I am in the process of setting up an electric brewery (just in my basement, nothing HUGE) and am getting all of the pieces and parts pulled together. I only have a three prong dryer outlet so I am going with the spa panel route for the GFI protection. I picked up a panel, plug and wiring yesterday and want to get this started. I have seen some of the wiring diagrams for the spa panels and it looks like a separate ground is being ran into the panel. Does anyone have pics of a completed panel? Do I need an insulated Ground? Maybe P-J is lurking out there and can offer some advice... I know I will be asking him in the immediate future for some advice on my control panel.

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Last edited by Capn_James; 09-04-2011 at 02:48 PM. Reason: another question
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:19 PM   #2
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Here is the wiring setup you need to run from a 3 prong dryer outlet. You can mount a 4 prong outlet directly in the Spa Panel.
Link to the panel: HomeDepot - GE 50A 240V Spa Panel





Hope this helps you.

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Old 09-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #3
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Thanks P-J. Me thinks I was looking at the wrong setup; possibly the 4 wire into the panel? Should the ground running to the power out put be insulated if I put a receptacle in the box? Would you suggest a twist lock or would just a standard 4 prong suffice? I have access to electrical suppliers to get generic material at cost so cost would be minimal...

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Old 09-04-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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I would just mount this one in the Spa panel: Leviton 30-Amp Industrial Flush Mount Single Power Outlet

Then get a matching dryer cord to power your controller. This one is an example: GE 4-Prong 30-Amp Dryer Cord

Regarding the ground wire: It can be insulated or bare copper. It does not matter as the ground block where you develop the ground in the Spa Panel is bonded to the box. My personal preference would be insulated, but, that's me.

P-J

An after thought for you. For the input power to the Spa Panel, just buy a standard 3 prong dryer cord.

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Old 09-04-2011, 03:11 PM   #5
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P-J,

I thought that the neutral was to be bonded to the ground only at the main panel. Aren't you setting up a possible problem if any part of the brewery or the spa panel is grounded in some other way?

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Old 09-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckO View Post
P-J,

I thought that the neutral was to be bonded to the ground only at the main panel. Aren't you setting up a possible problem if any part of the brewery or the spa panel is grounded in some other way?
That is an accurate statement - however.

We are dealing with a 3 wire dryer outlet (in this case) or a 3 wire range outlet that was installed prior to the current NEC requirements. The 3 wire outlets are delivering 2 hots and neutral to the device plugged into it - i.e. 120V/240V AC. Within the dryer or the range there is a bonding strap from the neutral to the equipment cabinet that is providing equipment ground at the appliance.

The GFCI setup I've illustrated is still using the same outlet and ground is being developed in a slightly different manner through the use of the GFCI breaker. It is legitimate and is in accordance with current NEC as there are no changes being made to the building wiring. Also, the neutral and the developed ground are not being bonded to earth in any manner.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:58 AM   #7
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Quick question P-J; should I use solid or braided copper for my cp?

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Old 09-06-2011, 03:06 PM   #8
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Not P-J, but I would advise braided if you can find/afford it. Working in your CP you want the wire to be as flexible as possible to make your life easier.

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Old 09-06-2011, 04:11 PM   #9
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Yeah...solid core stuff is a PITA!!!

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Old 09-06-2011, 05:24 PM   #10
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I would not use solid core wire in the control panel unless I had no other choice. You can get stranded wire by the foot at Lowe's, HD or Ace. Or just buy a few feet of 4 wire extension cord cable and retrieve the wires from inside the cable for your general wiring. You just need to pay attention to the wire gauge needed for the circuit involved.

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