National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Friday, April 10, 2009


Subject: 680.12 2008 NEC

Would a maintenance disconnect be required for a self-contained pre-packaged spa with a GFCI and main breaker factory installed? Would this satisfy the requirements of 680.12? The disconnect is accessible from a screwed on panel located on front of spa skirt.

Fred Valente
Town Of Wethersfield






Hey Fred,

NEC 680.12 requires that a maintenance disconnecting means be readily accessible and located within sight but not less than 5 ft. from the inside walls of the spa. This requirement is meant to prevent anyone from reaching the disconnect while in the spa.

NEC 680.41 requires an emergency shutoff switch for the purpose of stopping the spa pump motor. The emergency shutoff switch can be the maintenance disconnecting means required by 680.12 or a remote control circuit to open the pump circuit.

In either case the shutoff switch must be located not less than 5 ft. from the spa. The emergency cutoff switch is not required for single-family dwellings according to 680.41 but the maintenance switch is required by 680.12.

The disconnecting means for the spa you are referring to does not meet the requirements of being not less than 5 ft away from the spa. It is located behind the screwed on panel and can't be reached by someone in the spa but there is no exception to either 680.12 or 680.41.






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