Hot Tub Installation Planning GuideAuthor: Gen Wright
Now that you have made the decision to purchase a hot tub, you need to think long and hard about where you will place your new hot tub. Basically, you have three choices for a location; indoors, outdoors or inside a screened in porch. The choice is completely up to you as to where you put it, but there are many considerations that you should take into account before you make your decision.
Plan Ahead For Strength And Safety
No matter where you decide to place your hot tub you need to make sure that the location has a solid foundation. What this means to you is that the foundation must be a uniformly firm, continuous, and it must provide a level setting. The recommended foundation is a concrete pad with a minimum thickness of 4 inches with steel reinforced cross bars throughout.
When installing your spa on a wood deck or balcony, the same load requirements must be met. Total load may be as much as 90 pounds per square foot. Remember that your hot tub weights about 700 pounds on its own, then when you add water and people, it could have a total weight of up to 4,000 pounds.
Regardless of the location that you decide upon, you need to be sure that the hot tub is not within 10 feet of overhead power lines and that you leave access to the internal equipment.
In order to complete maintenance or to make a needed repair, you will need adequate space to be able to reach the internal components. If your hot tub has external equipment you need to know that most city codes require that the equipment be at least 5' from the tub, unless they are separated by a permanent solid barrier.
Considerations For Indoor Placement Of Your Hot Tub
If you decide to place your hot tub indoors you need to understand that moisture will accumulate. Think about it, when the hot tub is being used, it puts off a great deal of steam. The steam that is created must go somewhere, and it will leave moisture on your walls, ceiling, floor, etc.
In any indoor location, you absolutely need to make sure that you have really good ventilation. The amount of moisture created will vary according to how frequently you use your hot tub. The ventilation not only helps dissipate the moisture and steam, but it also allows the chemicals to be circulated out.
The odor of the cleaning components can accumulate indoors and even create electrical problems, unless the area is well ventilated. The good news is that if you place your hot tub indoors it will probably stay cleaner and require less frequent chemical treatments.
Here comes the big news about installing a hot tub indoors; you should have some kind of drainage system in place! Experts recommend that you change the water in your hot tub every four months or so. And, the bucket brigade is not my idea of a Saturday afternoon well spent.
You always have the option of running sewage drains to your hot tub, and if you are placing your hot tub on an existing slab, you will need to dig up the concrete to build your drain system.
Another option that is a little less painful would be to get a small submersible pump. You can use the pump to push most of the water out of your hot tub, but pumps usually fail to move the last inch or so of water at the bottom of the tub.
Some manufacturers, build their hot tubs with a water hose connection inside of the cabinet at the bottom of the hot tub. This will enable you to hook a water hose to your hot tub, so that you can easily drain the water and move it to another drain or outside on the ground.
No matter how well made your hot tub is, it is always possible that after years of usage, leaks can occur due to worn gaskets or seals. That water must have a place to go. Be prepared to deal with this if the situation arises.
Another obvious thought that may sometimes get overlooked is that you have to get the hot tub into your house. Measure to make sure that you have enough room to navigate it into your house and then measure again, after you do that, measure once more!
Many companies suggest that you spend the money to have a licensed contractor make sure that the local building codes are met, and the installation can occur safely, and that load requirements can be met.
Your Hot Tub Outdoors And Under The Stars
For many people, outdoors is the best location for a hot tub. A hot tub can be enjoyed on a warm sunny day or on a chilly night while you stay nice and toasty in your hot tub.
Being outdoors, there are fewer concerns for the hot tub. You do not have to worry about the steam and humidity or the chemicals affecting your home. Locating your hot tub outdoors though does mean that you may have to get a concrete pad laid down so that the hot tub has a proper foundation.
Other considerations with placing a hot tub outdoors include that it will get dirtier easier. Walking to and from the hot tub, your feet will get dirty and that will get in the hot tub. You also have to consider that leaves and such may end up in your new hot tub.
A cover is very important when placing a hot tub anywhere, but it is especially important when placing it outdoors. Always have a cover on the hot tub when you are not in it. This is a safety measure to prevent small children from falling into it and it also helps it to stay cleaner and keep insects out. The cleaner the water in the hot tub stays, the less frequently you have to treat the water with chemicals.
There are a wide variety of pictures on the Internet of hot tubs being placed outdoors in very creative ways. If you want to invest the money, a stand-alone deck can be built that encompasses the hot tub. The only limit here is your imagination and your budget.
Placing Your Hot Tub In A Screened In Room
Putting a hot tub in a screened in porch mostly resembles an outdoor installation. You have to consider some of the factors that go with both indoor and outdoor installations though.
A screened in porch will obviously allow for ventilation and the steam and humidity will not harm your walls.
You will still need a drain put into the floor of the porch though, if one does not already exist. If the manufacturer uses the water hose connection, this will not be an issue for you.
Again, you can find many creative pictures of hot tubs installed in screened porches on the Internet.
In the end, the placement of your new hot tub is completely up to you and your preferences. No matter where you decide to put it, be sure to plan ahead. The more that you plan ahead the easier it will be to install and to enjoy.
If you are not sure whether or not your chosen location is suitable for a hot tub, then you should seriously consider contacting a licensed contractor to review your location and make sure that it is suitable.
Finally, always take into account safety factors when deciding where to put your hot tub. As stated before, a cover should always be in place when it is not in use. Also consider the surface that you will be walking on when going to and from the hot tub. If the path is smooth concrete you may want to put some mats down to prevent slipping.
Now go out and enjoy your new hot tub and take satisfaction in knowing that your preplanning has prevented headaches and will help to prevent any future problems.
Emerson Lockwood writes about Home Improvement projects, hot tubs and spas. He gets to put his home improvement skills to work for him, when he is hard-at-work taking care of the vacation home rentals available in his hometown. Please visit Emerson's website at: http://www.SuperHomeIdeas.com