Portable Electric Spas

Portable electric spas are pre-fabricated, self-contained electric spas or hot tubs. Portable electric spas differ from permanently installed spas in that they are not “in-ground” units or attached to pools. A spa used specifically for medical treatment or physical therapy is not considered to be a portable electric spa. Portable electric spas are characterized as low-cost units that are easy to install. Portable electric spas typically range between 210 to 380 gallons although some models can exceed 500 gallons.

California, Connecticut, and Oregon all set energy efficiency standards in regards to standby power for portable electric spas.

Excerpts from each state’s standards are shown below; text in italics is directly excerpted from the state regulations.

The Multi-State Collaborative is providing these standard summaries as a courtesy; these materials are not intended to interpret state regulations. The user is responsible for reading and interpreting the regulations.

Which states have a standard?

Of the states participating in the Multi-State Appliance Collaborative, the following have a standard for portable electric spas; the date in parentheses shows the effective date of the standard:

California

Effective January 1, 2006

Definitions

California Title 20 Section 1602(g). Also see section 1602 (a) for general definitions

 "Portable electric spa" means a factory-built electric spa or hot tub, supplied with equipment for heating and circulating water.

 "Spa conditions rating" means the conditions described as "spa conditions rating" in Table G of Section 1604(g).

Energy Efficiency Standards

California Title 20 Section 1605.3 (g)

(6) Portable Electric Spas. The standby power of portable electric spas manufactured on or after January 1, 2006, shall be not greater than 5(V2/3) watts where V = the total volume, in gallons.

Test Method

California Title 20 Section 1605.4 (g) 2

The test method for portable electric spas is as follows:
(A) Minimum continuous testing time shall be 72 hours.
(B) The water temperature shall remain at or above the test temperature of 102ºF for the duration of the test.
(c) The ambient air temperature shall remain at or below the test temperature of 60ºF for the duration of the test.
(D) The standard cover that comes with the unit shall be used during the test.
(E) The test shall start when the water temperature has been at 102ºF for at least four hours.
(F) Record the total energy use for the period of test, starting at the end of the first heating cycle after the four hour stabilization period, and finishing at the end of the first heating cycle after 72 hours has elapsed.
 (G) The unit shall remain covered and in the default operation mode during the test. Energy conserving circulation functions, if present, must not be enabled if not appropriate for continuous, long-term use.
(H) Data reported shall include: spa identification (make, model, S/N, specifications); volume of the unit in gallons; cover R-value; supply voltage; average relative humidity during test; minimum, maximum, and average water temperatures during test; minimum, maximum, and average ambient air temperatures during test; date of test; length of test (t, in hours); total energy use during the test (P, in Wh); and standby power (P/t, in watts).

Labeling Requirements

California Title 20 Section 1607

All units must comply with section 1607, Marking of Appliances, which requires the following:

(a) Every unit of every appliance within the scope of Section 1601 shall comply with the applicable provisions of this Section. The effective dates of this section shall be the same as the effective dates shown in Section 1605.1, 1605.2 or 1605.3 for appliances for which there is an energy efficiency, energy consumption, energy design, water efficiency, water consumption, or water design standard in Section 1605.1, 1605.2, or 1605.3. For appliances with no energy efficiency, energy consumption, energy design, water efficiency, water consumption, or water design standard in Section 1605.1, 1605.2, or 1605.3, the effective date of this section shall be January 1, 2006.

(b) Name, Model Number, and Date.

Except as provided in Subsection (c), the following information shall be permanently, legibly, and conspicuously displayed on an accessible place on each unit:

(1) manufacturer’s name or brand name or trademark (which shall be either the name, brand, or trademark of the listed manufacturer specified pursuant to Section 1606(a)(2)(A) or, if applicable, the designated manufacturer specified pursuant to Section 1606(f)(1)(F));
(2) model number; and
(3) date of manufacture, indicating (i) year and (ii) month or smaller (e.g. week) increment. If the date is in a code that is not readily understandable to the layperson, the manufacturer shall immediately, on request, provide the code to the Energy Commission.

Subsection (c) provides exceptions to subsection (b) requirements shown above. Portable electric spas are not called out as exceptions.

For more information on California’s standards, please see the California page.

Connecticut

Effective January 1, 2009

Definitions

Connecticut General Statutes Section 16a-48

"Portable electric spa" means a factory-built electric spa or hot tub s upplied with equipment for heating and circulating water.

Standard

Regulations and Procedures for Establishing Energy Efficiency Standards for Certain Appliances and Products, Section 16a-48-4 (P)

The standby power of portable electric spas sold, offered for sale, or installed on or after Janaury 1, 2009 shall not be greater than 5(V2/3) watts where V = the total volume, in gallons.

Standard

Regulations and Procedures for Establishing Energy Efficiency Standards for Certain Appliances and Products, Section 16a-48-5 (P)

The test method for portable electric spas is as follows:
(1) Minimum continuous testing time shall be 72 hours;
(2) The water temperature shall remain at or above the test temperature of 102ºF and the ambient air temperature shall remain at or below the test temperature of 60ºF for the duration of the test;
(3) The standard cover that comes with the unit shall be used during the test;
(4) The test shall start when the water temperature has been at 102ºF for at least four hours;
(5) The unit shall remain covered and in the default operation mode during the test.  Energy-conserving circulation functions, if present, must not be enabled if not appropriate for continuous, long-term use;
(6) Total energy use shall be recorded for the period of the test, beginning at the end of the first heating cycle after the four hour stabilization period, and finishing at the end of the first heating cycle after 72 hours has elapsed;
(7) Data reported shall include: spa identification (make, model, S/N, specifications); volume of the unit in gallons; cover R-value; supply voltage; average relative humidity during the test; minimum, maximum, and average water temperatures during the test; minimum, maximum, and average ambient air temperatures during the test; date of test, length of test (t in hours); total energy used during the test (P, in watt-hours); and standby power (P/t, in watts).

For more information on Connecticut’s standards, please see the Connecticut page.

Oregon

Effective September 1, 2009

Definitions

Senate Bill 375 Section 1 (17) for ORS 469.229

"Portable electric spa" means a factory-built electric spa or hot tub supplied with equipment for heating and circulating water.

Standard

Senate Bill 375 Section 2 (16) for ORS 469.233

Portable electric spas may not have a standby power greater than 5(V2/3) Watts where V=the total volume in gallons, as measured in accordance with the test method for portable electric spas contained in the California Code of Regulations, Title 20, Division 2, Chapter 4, section 1604.

For more information on Oregon’s standards, please see the Oregon page.