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Does A Sauna Need GFCI Protection?

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:28 pm

Everyone wants to have a fantastic spa experience while using the sauna.  However, some unforeseen circumstances may creep in and make your stay in the sauna unsafe, mainly because water and electricity don’t make good companions. So, you may wonder whether Saunas need GFCI protection.

Yes, Saunas need to be wired with GFCI circuits because of the tendency of some electrical outlets to come in contact with water. These GFCI outlets are installed to curb or insulate the effect of electrocution and also tripping.

Can You Have An Electric Outlet In A Sauna?

Saunas are not supposed to have electrical outlets in them. This is because installing an outlet in a Sauna is unauthorized and is and is unlawful to most local electrical codes.

However, you can still have electrical outlets in your sauna, depending on its size. For example, an infrared sauna will work well when plugged into a regular outlet. All other Saunas need very high electrical energy and require over 40 amps.

This will ultimately mean that you would need a dedicated circuit to run it perfectly. These dedicated circuits help in reducing the amount of power generated to the sauna to avoid spoiling the circuit breaker or tripping from it.

The traditional Saunas also require more than one outlet, especially features like a sound system or light-up salt wall.

Do Saunas Need Electricity?

All saunas need electricity. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wood-fired or electrical sauna. For Saunas powered by burnt wood, electricity is required to light its interior and sound system. Electrical saunas need electricity to heat the electric heater and make it steam quicker.

A sauna can consume on average 220 volts and need a 10/2 wire or an 8/2 wire, depending on how far the breaker box is from the sauna. Some other bigger Saunas require a 40 amp breaker and 8/2 wire. 

Infrared saunas utilize less power, and it uses just 15 to 20 amps, especially if it is for a few people. You should always get the services of an electrical proportional to wire your sauna so that you would avoid future health and life-threatening hazards.

How Do You Wire A Sauna?

Before wiring a Sauna, two essential factors ought to be considered. These factors are the size of the sauna and the amount of power generated to the sauna at a given time or per hour.

If you are running a home Sauna, the electric heater usually needs 40 amps from your house’s power circuit and a 2- pole Circuit to be powered—the electric heaters in the sauna use up to 240v of electricity. However, only 110v is needed in a 15 – 20 amp circuit to install an Infrared Sauna.

Electrical heaters in traditional Saunas utilize a considerable amount of current; they have their special circuit breakers and need 220 volts to 240 volts of electricity to work efficiently. To ensure that the Sauna wiring is stable, you should install a dedicated circuit to avoid overloading and tripping.

Dedicated circuits are essential for Saunas and are explicitly made for a single device to function on. In addition, dedicated circuits may not operate properly if other devices are connected to them. On the other hand, the amount of energy consumed by a sauna depends on the model and manufacturers.

Why Does My Sauna Keep Tripping?

The primary culprit behind your Sauna tripping is overloading on the circuit breaker. When there’s too much load, it draws much more power than the circuit breaker can utilize. Any damages to the breaker itself can also cause the sauna to trip. The breaker may have to be replaced or the entire sauna rewired to fit the amount of power the sauna needs per time.

If your sauna is tripping continuously, it could be a simple challenge that you can quickly fix on your own. However, a dedicated circuit breaker should also be made available for easy connections and avoid future tripping possibilities.

A dedicated circuit is needed because it is not connected to more than one device. Instead, it is made specifically for just one device and has the power a sauna needs to work efficiently. Another reason your breaker may trip is that it is damaged or has too many devices connected to it at a particular time.

Tripping does not necessarily mean a cause for alarm because saunas are typically wired to trip as a preventive measure of safety hazards while it is being used. Furthermore, multiple surges of electricity beyond what the electric outlet the sauna is plugged to can support will also cause it to trip.

How To Stop Sauna From Tripping?

To stop the electrical breaker of the sauna from tripping, Here are some things you have to do. These things are:

1. First, check your breaker for any visible signs of rust, damage, discoloration, or even abnormal functioning. If you notice these signs, your first call should be for a professional electrician.

2. The next thing to do is to check the brand of your Circuit breaker, then get the manufacturer’s manual or guide. Look through it to see if you can fix whatever is the abnormality with your Circuit breaker. You should also check the material datasheet.

Besides, every manufacturer has how he wants his product to be handled. That is why even though they each have a warranty policy that is open after their product is purchased, it could be reversed if they detect any form of mishandling from your end. If you can not fix the circuit breaker, then call an electrician right away.

3. While working on your breaker, you must have all the suitable apparatus, which should be made of rubber. This is because rubber is a poor conductor of electricity and helps insulate electric shocks. Your gloves, your jacket, and boots should all be made of rubber.

4. Before working on the breaker, you have to check if the breaker is actually broken or just overloaded. If it is overloaded, the best thing to do is unplug all other devices not supposed to be on this circuit.

This is why it is always best to use a dedicated circuit for your sauna. It will resolve the issue of continued tripping and make your spa experience in the sauna an interesting one.

5. Always turn off the main power before you remove and unscrew the faceplate. Then disconnect the wires and remove the damaged breaker.

Please get a new breaker the same as the one you replaced and reconnect it to the wires after attaching the faceplate that covers the breaker. Then, test the breaker, and if it’s the same and there is no improvement, call an electrician to help you do it.

6. Also, most Saunas have a temperature limit. That is why they shut off or trip. Once the upper limit temperature is reached, it has an automated system to shut down.

If this is why your Sauna trip, you can adjust the temperature to a higher limit. They are also designed to have a reset button where you can switch in-between temperatures.

7. Some Saunas are also designed to have a timer. When the timer runs out, it may shut off the power.

So, essentially, too much power is supplied to a sauna will be the reason why your sauna will trip.


Saunas need electricity to function well. However, some safety hazards may arise while using the sauna, so GFCI circuits are necessary for Saunas to prevent them.

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