Generators and Power Quality
How to Select the Right Generator for Your Home Electrical Requirements
Select Your Generator Carefully
Generator Question: I was wondering if a generator could be hooked up to a hot tub for emergency heating only.
The hot tub requires a 50 amp breaker and pulls about 4500 watts with everything running.
What size of portable generator would be required and any special wiring needed?
This electrical question came from: Joe, a Homeowner from Iowa city , IA
Thanks for your electrical question Joe.
Generators for Home Electrical Power
A few things to consider for this hot tub generator application:
- The generator power would be required to provide a 4-wire 50 amp GFCI circuit and be capable of handling the surge power of 4500 watts and the starting amps of the pump motor.
- It would be best to take the exact electrical specifications to your proposed generator supplier and have them tell you if they have a generator that would be able to provide the adequate capacity required when all of the hot tub functions are activated all at the same time.
How to Select the Right Generator for your Home Electrical Requirements
- Understand that not all generators are alike and some will not work with electrical heating loads or motor loads such as pumps, especially well pumps.
- Other considerations would be electronic controls where voltage fluctuations are not permitted so voltage stabilization will be required of the generator.
- Even equipment such as your hot tub most likely has solid state controls for the various functions which will require clean stable power.
- A generator must be carefully selected so that the power quality and quantity will be compatible with all of the characteristics of your types of electrical loads.
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I live in the northeast and as you can imagine, have plenty of snow storm and blizzards. I have a hot tub which requires 240V, 50amp. I have a generator that can handle 7000 running watts and 9000 start up watts. My electrical box has a switch, so that if I loose power, I hit the switch in my breaker box, connect the generator and off I go. We have lost power before for over a week, and I am afraid of my hot tub freezing. I do use it all winter so draining is not an option. If I were to alternate my house (furnace, minimal lights, etc…) and every few hours switch to only the hot tub. Would my generator handle it?
The generator would bog down to the electrical demand of the heater which is in the hot tub. You may want to consider having a freeze stat installed on the hot tub. A freeze stat is typically set up to turn on the pump at a low temperature before freezing which will then circulate the water to help prevent freezing. A local hot tub installer or technician should be able to set you up with this.
I hope this helps,