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Thread: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

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    No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    Balboa heater 5.5kw 50096 hot tub spa 240v 15 inch
    I bought this heater on Ebay. How do I ground this thing? There are two Lugs on the element, of course, and a pressure switch, but no lugs for ground or bonding. I want to run a dedicated 240V power to the heater (which also runs on 120V, according to the manufacturer). My pump is 120V plugged into a GFCI.
    Thanks in advance for someone's help.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Grounding and Bonding are 2 completely different things ... so which are you trying to do?

    Pictures of the heater might help ...
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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    That heater doesn't get bonded or grounded directly. There should be connections for the spa pack. Refer to the manual for proper wiring.

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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    I thought I should bond it to the pump housing which is two feet away and ground it for obvious safety reasons. If only one of those is necessary, which one and how? Each will be connected to it's own power source.
    It is this heater:
    Server Error

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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    This is an old tub my neighbor gave me..I re-plumbed it for leaks, and installed the 1 hp pump she gave me..I bought the in-line heater for a third the original price. There are no other metal parts on the tub. I plan to insulate and build an enclosure myself. It's simple, a seats four, 6 jets ...but I don't want to boil anyone.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I mean fry anyone.

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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    Maybe I should ask someone on my homebrew forum?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    James already answered you
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    So, I can connect it to the load side of a gfci and It'll be safe?

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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    Let's try this again, in part for the folks watching at home.

    You are totally rebuilding a portable spa and have purchased a balboa 5. 5 heater and want to know how to ground or bond it.

    The simple answer is you don't do either. The heater is connected to a "spa pac" which controls the spa. The spa pac is grounded back to the neutral buss bar of the main panel through the cord or hard wired conduit. So you need a spa pac.

    The heater (and spa pac for that matter) are sold as replacement parts for hot tubs sold as a complete piece of equipment. So these parts do not have bonding lugs. NEC 680.42 does not require bonding of these parts. However you structure if it's metal must be bonded to the ground.

    Yes it must be downstream of a GFCI. .
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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    So, there's no way to use it and make it safe, without a 'spa pac'? Since my tub didn't have a spa pac. Just a couple air buttons on the top, I figure to stop and start the pump.

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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    There's no way to make it operate. To control it without a spa pac.
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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    I'm going to see a guy this morning who has been in the hot tub spa business for 40 years. I'll ask him this morning if it can be done without a spa pac.
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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    Thank you very much. I'll check back this evening.

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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    He says that in theory you could control it with a thermostat. But that's not the way it was designed.
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    Re: No Ground or Bonding lugs on Heater

    If you're going to freeform everything, get a master electrician to make sure it's safe.

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