Bonding/Grounding Considerations For A Spa



In a recent YouTube video, we were asked about the difference of electrodes and bonding conductors on spa equipment.

The structure needs to have two ground rods driven outside near the main disconnect. IF the main power coming in is only a meter and no main shut off then you will have to drive your rods there and then take a bare copper or aluminum. These should be sized according to the National Electrical Code (NEC) 250.64 and NEC 250.50 & 52 on application. Additionally, the sub-panels should never have the grounding electrodes, water electrodes, or gas or the secondary electrodes (rods and inter-system bonding bridge bars) telephone or dish or coax, bonded to them.

Another item to consider is that your grounding must be separated from your grounded conductors at ALL sub panels. If you’re not familiar with electrical work, this means the bare conductors and the insulated conductors (white-Neutrals) should never bond together until the main panel and or the main disconnect. Some older homes do not have a main shut off, they have a split bus-bar panel, and thus needs to not have more than six breakers above the lighting and power circuits below, these panels are out dated and need to be replaced. Most jurisdictions expect a by-pass lever meter outside with a main breaker shut off. In this type of situation, an all-in-one cabinet can be installed that includes the meter, shut off, and four to 8 breaker spaces in the panel for feeding the sub-panels inside.

The only time you should bond metal near a manufactured spa is if they did not provide a #8 bare solid copper under the control panel for the motors or if you have metal near the spa with in 10′. For example, a metal pole for a clothes line to dry clothes, metal gutters, metal railings, metal roof, metal exhaust for a fire place or a metal shed.

As a general rule of thumb, if you cannot physically move the item (BBQ) then you have to bond it, or move your spa from these items. Basically, if this is foreign to you, then call a pro in your area, they should be versed in the code.