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Hot Tub Site Preparation and Installation
Please consider the following hot tub site preparation and installation notes before you order your tub.....
Hot Tub Base
Hot tubs need a good solid foundation. A hot tub filled with water and people is heavy! The area that your hot tub sits on must be able to support the weight of the tub, the water in it and those who use it. If you are installing your tub on a concrete base it should be at least 4 inches thick. If you are installing your hot tub on decking then the cross-members supporting the deck should be at least 4 '' x 2 '' and no more than 18 '' apart
If the hot tub base is inadequate it may shift or settle after the hot tub is in place, causing stress to the shell. Damage caused by inadequate or improper foundation support is not covered by any hot tub warranty.
If you are installing your hot tub indoors choose flooring that won't be damaged by water.
If you are thinking of putting your hot tub on an elevated wooden deck or a balcony then it would probably be advisable to consult a structural engineer to ensure that the structure will support the weight.
Some things to consider when positioning your hot tub include the following:
- Is it close to where you are going to get changed? A long chilly walk to the tub might be a bit off-putting!
- Is it safe for young children? Can you see what they are up to?
- Is it overlooked? You might not feel able to relax if you feel conscious of the fact that your neighbours might be watching you!
- Is it under overhanging trees? The last thing you want is loads of greenery decaying in your water.
- Is there a clean path from the changing area to the tub? Grass and debris from the users' feet will get transferred into the water if not.
- Is it sheltered from the wind? A sheltered position will result in lower running costs.
- Is there a pleasant view? It might not be very relaxing to be looking at the dustbins.
- is there a slope on the base? Even a slight slope will mean that one side of your tub will have deeper water in it that the other.
It is a good idea to outline the hot tub's proposed location using a garden hose or rope. This will help you visualise your plan for the area.
Don't forget that you will need to allow for access to the equipment compartment for service (this will be below the control panel) and that extra space around the perimeter will be needed if you intend to fit a cover lifter.
Access to the Site
Check the dimensions of your hot tub and compare them to the width of any gates and paths along the delivery route between the road and the installation site. It may be necessary for you to remove a gate or partially remove a fence in order to provide an unobstructed passageway.
If the delivery route will require a 90 degree turn, don't forget to check the measurements at the turn to ensure the hot tub will fit. Also, look for any protruding utility meters, low roof eaves, overhanging trees or gutters etc that might cause an obstruction.
Stairs can cause a problem, depending on the weight of the tub.
In some circumstances it might be necessary to hire a crane for the installation. This could be to avoid damage to the tub or to your property, or simply because there is no other way to get the tub into position. If you think this is necessary don't panic. Hire of a crane is not as expensive as you might think and there is usually a choice of local firms able to give you a quotation.
Depending on the model chosen, the power requirements are likely to be be either 13 amp or 30 amp single phase. A qualified electrician must install the power supply, which must be wired through a Residual Current Device (RCD), or circuit breaker, at least 2 metres away from the hot tub. All outside cable should be armoured.
Hot tubs rated at 13 amps may be connected via a standard, switchable, waterproof 3 pin socket. Hot tubs rated at 30 amps will need to be wired directly into a waterproof (IP55 or above), switchable junction box.
Do not place your hot tub within 3 metres of overhead power lines.
Make sure your hot tub is positioned so that access to the equipment compartment and side panels will not be blocked.
Water Supply & Drainage
There must be a non-softened water supply and hose pipe within reach in order to fill the tub.
An accessible drain in which to direct the water when emptying the tub is useful, but it isn’t 100% necessary because hot tub water can usually be drained safely over grass. Many hot tubs have a bottom drain that you can attach a hose to, but it taskes a long time for the water to drain out this way and you might prefer to use a submersible pump and flat hose, which will dramatically speed up the task.