Add A Hot Tub To Your Backyard With These Pre-Installation Tasks
Posted by: Samuel Hirshfield on May 30, 2014
So, you've picked out your new hot tub, and you're eagerly anticipating its arrival on the delivery truck. Getting the following tasks taken care of in advance can make adding a hot tub a stress-free experience, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy once it's in place.
Decide on a site. Pick a location for your new hot tub that's at least five feet away from the unit's control panel and 10 feet from overhead power lines. Also make sure that you route water discharge away from the site.
Leave lots of room. For ease of access to your new spa, make sure you'll have ample room around the perimeter to create a level walkway. You'll also need enough space to access the pump and motor for maintenance.
Get the groundwork done. Your hot tub should be installed on a firm, level surface that can easily support up to a ton—that's the approximate weight of a full tub and three occupants. If you need to dig or move dirt to get the spot ready, renting a mini excavator could save you considerable time and effort.
Install the base. If you can allow two weeks for curing, you might opt for a four-inch-thick poured concrete pad. Just make sure it can support 120 pounds per square foot. A less permanent alternative is an interlocking, pre-fabricated spa pad. Gravel or crushed rock placed on top of well-compacted earth makes the most affordable base.
Get ready to flip the power switch. If you're installing a larger hot tub, you may need to have a GFCI-protected 220-240V 50-amp circuit hard-wired in by a licensed electrician. For models with multiple pumps, 60-amp service may be necessary. If you've chosen a compact spa, a 110v power source may suffice. No matter what, you'll need to install an easily-seen manual disconnect device at least five feet away from the tub.