There's a lot to consider when budgeting for the installation costs of a hot tub. But one thing you definitely cannot overlook is a GFCI breaker, which is actually a legal requirement pretty much everywhere to ensure you are protected against electrical faults. So how much does this essential addition cost?
Installing a GFCI breaker for a hot tub will cost you anywhere from $250 to $600. However, this pricing varies significantly based on factors such as your location and the parts bought. Additionally, if you have the expertise, installing the breaker yourself can save you money on labor costs.
Below, this article dives into everything you should know about the cost of installing a GFCI breaker. That way, you get your hot tub running as soon as possible.
What affects the cost of GFCI breaker installation?
The cost of installing a GFCI breaker can vary massively by person and place. So to help clear things up, here are the factors that affect pricing:
- Location: Where you live will affect installation prices. Urban areas with a high cost of living tend to be more expensive. Meanwhile, suburban and rural services are typically more affordable.
- Parts: Do you already own a GFCI breaker? If not, you'll need to buy one. Versions compatible with hot tubs generally cost between $120 to $300. Other tools may also be necessary.
- Labor employed: More established services with experienced electricians may charge higher premiums. Meanwhile, installing the breaker yourself allows you to bypass labor costs entirely if you have the skills.
There are also some less common fees you may need to factor in. For example, you may need to pay your electrician extra for travel if you live in a remote region. They also often charge more for electric panels that are difficult or dangerous to reach.
GFCI installation cost breakdown
The total cost of your GFCI breaker installation comes from a few different sources. Furthermore, you can pursue higher or lower-end products and services to meet your needs.
The table below offers a price breakdown:
|Cost source||Pricing at low end||Pricing at high end|
|GFCI circuit breaker part||$120||$330|
|Miscellaneous tools and fees||$5||$20|
The type of circuit breaker you need is reliant on your hot tub. Typically, large tubs require the more expensive 60-amp breakers.
Also, you should know that a GFCI breaker isn't too difficult to set up. With some research and proper safety, you can even try installing your own breakers—and by extension, save money on labor costs.
What kind of GFCI breaker do I need?
If you plan on self-installing, you must get the correct type of breaker. Otherwise, your hot tub may not work. Or worse, become unsafe.
Note: If you do not have the required skills and knowledge to install a breaker yourself, always hire a qualified electrician.
GFCI breakers for hot tubs fall into two general categories:
- The first is the standard 50 and 60-amp, 240 V circuit breakers. These devices deliver enough power to heat water even when uncovered in the winter. Check your tub's owner's manual to see whether you need 50 or 60-amp breakers.
- However, some hot tubs can also use a 15-amp, 120 V plug-and-play circuit breaker. The advantage of these breakers is that they generally require less electrical work to install. However, this type of power source also isn't able to warm your hot tub as efficiently.
Other considerations for GFCI installation
Installing a GFCI breaker alone typically only costs $250 to $600. However, other electrical work is often done at the same time in the case of hot tub installations.
For example, hooking up a hot tub more often than not requires some trench digging or conduit to reach the location. And unless you do it beforehand, your electrician will charge you for that service.
The location of your hot tub also matters. Because the farther away the main electric panel is, the more wiring your electrician will need to lay. If your electrician is getting paid by the hour, that extra time can quickly add up.
So to save money, locate your hot tub close to your panel if possible. Also, try to do as much preparation work as possible ahead of time which will further help to keep costs down.