Hot Tub and Spa Planning & Installation
Looking for an affordable option for a hot tub base? Using pea gravel as a base for your hot tub has some distinct advantages. From an aesthetic standpoint, gravel can complement a variety of types of landscaping. From a practical standpoint, a pea gravel base offers the advantage of easy drainage, unlike a solid brick, concrete or wood base. A secure and lasting pea gravel base can be made with simple tools and materials.
Measure the dimensions of the base of the hot tub. You want a base that's several feet wider than the dimensions of the tub to allow for spilling and splashing.
Mark the area on your lawn where you will be installing the tub with a can of marking paint.
Dig out the area you've marked to a depth of 6 inches with a shovel. Remove the excess dirt with a wheelbarrow.
Line the bottom of the excavated area with landscape cloth, cutting it to size with scissors. If you need more than one piece of cloth, overlap the edges of the pieces by 3 to 4 inches.
Place 4 inches of medium-grade construction gravel on top of the landscape cloth, and rake it so that the top is relatively smooth and level.
Add pea gravel on top of the medium-grade gravel to match the top of the excavated area. Smooth the gravel with a rake and make sure that it's level with the surrounding ground.
Enjoying a nice, healthy soak has never been easier. The therapeutic warmth will relax and soothe your tired muscles at the end of a hard day, and the invigorating massage of the jets and bubbles help to invigorate you to face the world with a fresh outlook
The most important part of any hot tub installation is planning. There are a tremendous variety of locations and configurations that you may use to install a hot tub in or around your home. The closer your hot tub is to the house (or bedroom) the more often you will use it.
Installations on existing decks are not uncommon but please be aware that most decks are not designed to support the weight of a filled hot tub and the advice of an engineer is highly recommended. Remember, the average filled hot tub can weigh in excess of 5000 pounds.
The hot tub itself must sit on a single solid surface – a concrete pad is best for this use. What is under your hot tub as important as what’s over it. Other than the weight of the fiberglass shell and the pumping and heating machinery, your hot tub is mostly insulating foam. But when it is filled with 300-800 gallons of water, it is heavy enough to be of concern. Many hot tub owners prefer to place their tub on a permanent cement pad. Remember that the slab will need to be larger than the tub, and at least 4 inches thick. A typical pad is 3 ½ inches thick with reinforcement wire. Consultation with a concrete contractor is advisable when deciding where to locate your hot tub. Cement pavers from the home improvement store is another option. Best of all, while they are adequate to support for the tub, they are not necessarily permanent. Remove an area sod, lay and level some sand, and carefully place the pavers in place. If you are thinking of sinking your hot tub partially into the ground, you will need to have a retaining wall built around it with at least 12 inches of clearance all the way around the tub.
There are many considerations if you are thinking about an indoor installation. We recommend you consult with us prior to installation.
The typical electrical wiring for a package hot tub system is one 240 volts (240v), 40 or 50 amp electrical circuit. The National Fire Protection Association publication 72 (the NEC – National Electrical Code) requires that a disconnect switch is within visible distance from the pump (local codes may differ), but at least 5 feet away from the edge of the tub (for safety reasons). All electrical circuits need to be protected by a GFCI electrical circuit breaker. Additionally, you need to have an electrical receptacle between 6 and 20 feet from the hot tub. This electrical outlet can be on a general purpose electrical circuit and does not require GFCI protection.