While it may seem complicated to install a hot tub in your backyard, with a little planning, it’s a pretty simple process. You’ll need to take steps to simplify the install before the truck pulls up at the door with your spa, though.
Preparations for Installation
You’ll need to find out about your local building requirements. If you’re installing the hot tub outside, you might need a building permit. It’s easy to head down to the building inspector’s office and get the permit.
Before purchasing your hot tub, find out what kind of permits you’ll need as well as the safety regulations. Some areas want you to build a fence around the hot tub to ensure the safety of neighborhood children. Even if you have a locking cover, that might be a requirement.
Choosing a Location
The location you choose is essential. It will need to be large enough for the hot tub itself, but with enough space to perform maintenance. It’ll need to be far enough from the house for people to get in and out of the tub, too.
The electrical panel and spa controls should be at a distance from the spa. Water should never be close to electricity. That’s a lot of space requirements, so it’s best to plan that out way in advance.
The Foundation Matters
You could place your spa directly onto the grass, but eventually, it’ll become a problem. The hot tub is going to weigh thousands of pounds when it’s filled. That weight will settle into the soil and even start to sink. It can ruin the hot tub and your yard. A firm foundation should be installed before the hot tub arrives.
If you have a cement patio, you could place the spa directly onto it. You could pour your own concrete pad for the foundation, too. This will be a permanent placement for the hot tub. Some people don’t want to commit to one place for the spa, and they’ll purchase spa pads. They’re a bit less supportive, but they can be moved at any time.
Some homeowners want to place the hot tub on a deck or build around the spa, so it’s in the ground. If you’re handy, you can craft a built-in for the spa yourself. For a deck that’s already installed, you’ll have to make sure it can hold the weight of the filled spa.
What About Wiring?
While thinking about the placement, you should consider the wiring and electricity to the unit. Hot tubs and spas require a 110V or 220V. The plug and play versions will work with the 110V that is in your home. Some need their own 220V line. That means wiring needs to be installed that’s dedicated to the spa.
Unless you’re a professional, it’s best to hire an electrician to ensure the wiring meets the city codes. It can help to talk to the local building department. You could also just hire the contractor and let him handle the installation and permits.
Delivery From the Curb
Many delivery companies will bring your extremely heavy delivery directly to the curb but no further. You’ll need to make arrangements to have the spa moved from the truck to its dedicated location. Consider the path from the curb to the installation point. There could be obstacles that need to be removed. It’s best to do it ahead of time.
In some cases, there’s absolutely no way to get the hot tub into the backyard except to hire a crane to deliver it over the house. It’s not as expensive as you’d think, and there are companies that do it regularly.
Assemble the Hot Tub
There should be simple instructions or a DVD that comes with your spa. The jets are already installed in the walls of the tub itself. You won’t need to install those. Caps and knobs will be included and need to be placed.
The interior and exterior walls of the hot tub won’t need to be constructed unless you’ve purchased a version that needs to be assembled like a spa in a box type model.
Open the air valves and fill the hot tub with water from the outside garden hose. You don’t have to purchase special water. You could also bring water to the hot tub using buckets. That will allow you to get a head start on heating the water, too.
Once the tub is filled, turn the electricity on and allow the spa time to heat the water. Get out the chemicals, test the water, and add the required amount of chemicals needed.
Final Thoughts and Considerations
If you purchase a portable model, you’ll have less to worry about when it comes to the installation part leading to spa enjoyment. There are also inflatable versions that don’t need building permits or electricians. If you want a simpler installation, you can also lower your costs. It’ll depend on your budget and the kind of spa experience you want to have.