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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    4

    Default Convert a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker - to an outlet - for a wedding!

    Hello, I have a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker for my hot tub outside. It's fantastic and everything I need for the hot tub.

    The problem is, I am hosting a wedding for 150 people in my backyard, in August, and I need all the electrical power I can get. My thought is... the DJ uses a tremendous amount of power... and if I could switch this breaker over to usable power for my DJ (and some exterior lighting), this would greatly free up some of the other power in the home for additional items, such as the caterer, air conditioning, etc.

    I would appreciate it if you would consider answering this practical question. It's a problem I'm sure other homeowners have been faced with, with seldom anyone actually taking on the task.

    Thank you very much
    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    2,024

    Default Re: Convert a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker - to an outlet - for a wedding!

    Couple of questions here. Is the hot tub 240 volts? Does the DJ use 240 or 120 volts? Can you unplug the hot tub or is it hard wired?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
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    3,201

    Default Re: Convert a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker - to an outlet - for a wedding!

    What gauge wire feeds the tub ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
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    1,901

    Default Re: Convert a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker - to an outlet - for a wedding!

    If there is no neutral wire going to the hot tub panel where the GFCI breaker is, this is a no-go. A neutral wire will be REQUIRED. Stop here.

    Find out from the DJ what his power requirements are, specifically the voltages (120V only or 120/240V), amperage, and what style of plug his power distribution unit (called a "distro" in trade lingo) uses. Quite often this is a NEMA 14-50 "range plug", but check to be sure.

    If his distro uses 120/240V power (BOTH voltages) then you may be able to install an appropriate receptacle for his use. If his distro is rated for LESS than 50A, you'll need to install a breaker of appropriate amperage.

    The GFCI may be a problem. Stage and sound equipment, especially when installed outdoors, SHOULD be protected by GFCI. The problem is that some older equipment (especially tube-type guitar amps) may have voltage leaks to ground which, taken by themselves are safe and won't trip a GFCI. But if you have several pieces of such equipment, it can add up to leakage currents that are enough to trip a single GFCI. So rather than a single upstream GFCI, many sound providers have individual GFCIs in their distros or stage power stringers, so that the people are protected from shock but also to avoid nuisance tripping from cumulative losses. You might need to replace the GFCI breaker with a non-GFCI breaker, as long as the distro or stringer has GFCI protection.

    If he only needs 120V power, then you might remove the 50A GFCI breaker and replace with a pair of 20A single pole GFCI breakers and wire them to standard 120V receptacles.

    The fact that you're asking this suggests that you don't have a lot of experience with more complex electrical situations. I highly recommend contacting an electrician to perform the work.
    Last edited by Fencepost; 11-14-2016 at 01:43 PM.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Pacific Northwet
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    1,901

    Default Re: Convert a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker - to an outlet - for a wedding!

    P.S. -- I cross-posted this question to a pro audio forum in the "power and grounding" section. The folks there are VERY knowledgeable and have a high concern for safety. They will give very good advice.

    Here's the link:

    http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?topic=161444

    A note, though: if you choose to participate in the forum, you MUST use your real, full name in the registration or the topic will be locked. No exceptions. If you have questions for those guys and don't want to join the forum, PM me the questions and I'll be happy to post them on your behalf.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Convert a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker - to an outlet - for a wedding!

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRemodeler View Post
    What gauge wire feeds the tub ?
    Romex 6/3 carrying 600 volts

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Convert a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker - to an outlet - for a wedding!

    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    Couple of questions here. Is the hot tub 240 volts? Does the DJ use 240 or 120 volts? Can you unplug the hot tub or is it hard wired?
    The hot tub is hardwired. 230 volt hot tub
    https://www.manualslib.com/manual/74...a.html?page=10

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Convert a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker - to an outlet - for a wedding!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    P.S. -- I cross-posted this question to a pro audio forum in the "power and grounding" section. The folks there are VERY knowledgeable and have a high concern for safety. They will give very good advice.

    Here's the link:

    http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?topic=161444

    A note, though: if you choose to participate in the forum, you MUST use your real, full name in the registration or the topic will be locked. No exceptions. If you have questions for those guys and don't want to join the forum, PM me the questions and I'll be happy to post them on your behalf.
    Thats great! Thank you so much

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,024

    Default Re: Convert a dedicated 50 Amp GFCI Breaker - to an outlet - for a wedding!

    Quote Originally Posted by mduda59625 View Post
    The hot tub is hardwired. 230 volt hot tub
    https://www.manualslib.com/manual/74...a.html?page=10
    If your hot tub is wired exactly as shown in the diagram in your link, and I suspect it is if the hot tub has built in lighting, then the white wire is your neutral line so the short answer is yes, you can make a pair of outlets at 120 VAC each, but you should use an electrician for this.

    The 240 VAC to the hot tub is probably only for the heater. The pump maybe 240 or 120 but the lights will be 120.

    A lot of 240 volt appliances only have three wires, black, red and green (or bare). These cannot be converted to a pair of 120 volt circuits.

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