Installing Your Own Spa

The best ways to install a hot tub in your backyard

You don’t have to invest much time luxuriating in a hot-tub spa to find its relaxation benefits. And while you ‘d anticipate all that warm swirling water to be soothing, it can likewise work marvels on aching muscles and joints and it’s a terrific all-around stress reducer. Backyard spas are perfect for families on the go. They can slow us down, help us refocus and recede the stress of the day – all in about 20 minutes.
Hot tubs are not for everybody, however. All those warm, rubbing bubbles can raise high blood pressure and heart rates, while reducing blood sugar. They’re not recommended for infants, the extremely old or those with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart illness.
Choosing Your hot tub
Searching for hot tubs can be a little confusing. There are numerous brands and designs, and every salesperson seems to highlight a various set of functions. As usual, price is a good indication of quality. Hot Tubs vary between $1500 and $10,000, with the much better designs starting around $3500. These are three- and four-person tubs. Larger health spas cost more, and those with lots of specialized jets, DC-powered pumps and ozone-generating water purifiers, can soon reach $6000 to $8000. Include devices and you can easily pay a couple thousand more.
A couple of companies offer two-person hot tubs, but the majority of begin with three- or four-person seating and increase to the eight-person size. A minimum of one lounge seat with back and neck jets is typical. Four-person designs determine about 5 x 6 ft., and are roughly 30 in. deep. A full-size tub can measure 8 x 8 ft. and 42 in. deep. Big tubs are terrific for big, active households with lots of area, but smaller sized tubs are no less enticing or healing.
Large tubs can also restrict your positioning choices. Filled with water, a full-size tub can weigh 5500 pounds – more than many traditionally framed floorings and decks can securely manage. If you can’t beef up the floor, you’ll either need a smaller tub or a setup on concrete. Your spa dealership and structure codes office can assist you overcome the choices.
The majority of spa shells these days are made in 2 layers: a reinforced fiberglass base and a formed acrylic shell laminated over it. The shell is piped and fitted with pumps and jets, and is insulated.
A lot of hot tubs are wired with 240-volt electrical equipment and some include DC converters. DC motors run more quietly and DC circuit boards are very trustworthy. A few economy tubs are available with 120-volt circuitry to make the electrical connections simpler – you simply plug these designs in. However, these tubs are little, their heaters are less effective and they shut down when the jets are switched on.
Business generally offer 10- to 20-year service warranties versus leaks through the shell, however these kinds of leakages are unlikely provided the thickness of the laminations. More probable are surface area issues such as blisters, fractures and staining. Try to find a five- to seven-year surface area guarantee and three- to five-year security on the pumps.
The spa we picked is a Jacuzzi Triton – a large model with all the bells and whistles. Other features include a remote control for the tub operation, an AM/FM/CD player, underwater lighting, 4 headrest cushions and dual waterfall fixtures. At 42 x 91 x 91 in., it’s not the biggest tub, however it comes close.
Locating The Tub
To fit the tub, we cut away some of the bank and built a little keeping wall. When choosing where to position your system, keep in mind that spas require service access on all sides.
We planned for one side of our tub to be 18 in. To accommodate the depth of the retaining-wall obstructs, plus a foot for drain gravel, we cut into the bank an extra 24 in.
To develop the maintaining wall, first dig out the bank. Using some of the gotten rid of soil, grade the setup area simply enough to enable drain away from the tub. For the very first row of landscape blocks, excavate a trench about 4 in. deep and fill it with pea gravel or gravel.
Level the gravel and compact it with a hand tamper or gas-powered sand-plate tamper. String a level line to guide the very first row of blocks. Use a 4-ft. level to make sure the course is level.
Set landscape blocks on pea gravel in the trench to match the leveled string. Examine this first course with a 4-ft. level.
With the first course in place, set the staying blocks. The type of block we utilized has a lip along the back edge that locks over the block listed below. When turning a corner, you’ll have to break off this edge to keep the same obstacle in between the courses. To keep these blocks from moving forward gradually, glue them in place with masonry building and construction adhesive. When you finish the wall, back-fill with gravel. Cover the top of the gravel with weed-guard material and soil.
Where the wall turns, break off edge-lock tabs on the blocks. Next, use building adhesive to hold the blocks in location.
Next, set the form lumber for the concrete pad, and level it in all directions. Check that the form is square by making certain the diagonal measurements are equivalent. Spread sand inside the kind to fill any spaces and tamp it. Fill the kind with concrete and screed it with a straight 2 x 4. Float and trowel the slab smooth.
While an adequate pad may consist of 2500-psi concrete, beefed up with iron rebar or wire mesh, regional electrical codes would have required us to ground this strengthening metal back to the electrical circuit box. To prevent this problem, we upgraded to 3000-psi concrete and included fiberglass reinforcement to our 4-in.- thick pad.
After pouring concrete in a leveled kind, screed it with a straight 2 x 4. Then, float and trowel the surface smooth.

We moved our tub from the driveway to the website on a little trailer. Thoroughly move the tub off and position it on the piece.
Setting The Tub
If you purchase your hot tub from a spa dealership, the business will normally set it in location for you. If you purchase through a home center or discount rate shop, however, you might need to move and set up the tub yourself. Large tubs weigh near a thousand pounds, so this can seem a difficult job. With 5 or six friends and a small trailer, however, it all becomes workable. Presuming your tub remains in a cage in the driveway, get rid of the packing and move the tub onto the trailer. Then, wheel it to the site and carefully move it onto the concrete pad. If you require to pass through a gate or narrow side lawn, stand the tub on end atop a furnishings cart. The right side of our tub, as you deal with the front, is built for upright travel.
Electrical Work
Water and electrical power do not mix, so if you’re not comfy with your electrical wiring skills, this is a great time to employ an electrical expert.
In our case, local codes needed a constant bond wire from the tub to the service panel. This is in addition to the electrical ground. Codes differ on this point, so make sure to ask your regional inspector. We likewise needed a disconnect box at least 5 ft. from the tub and a GFCI breaker securing the entire circuit.
Since of the DC converter, we used only 2 hot wires, a grounding wire and a bonding wire – no neutral was needed. Our spa was close to 70 ft. from the service panel, so we ran 6-ga. While all outdoor electrical wiring needs to be in channel, we chose to set up the entire run from the main panel in 1-in.
Begin by running the channel from the circuit box to a home rim joist near the tub. Bore through the siding and the joist with a hole saw and feed the avenue through the joist.
Bring power from the primary panel to the outside through your house’s rim joist. Bore a hole to move avenue through.
Glue a LB avenue box to the avenue and extend the avenue as much as a disconnect box. Dig a channel at least 18 in. deep for the buried channel from the tub. At the tub, sign up with a LB to the avenue with a slip coupling to permit the ground to shift seasonally without worrying the channel connections. We carried the channel underground to our deck. Here, we brought it approximately the deck with another slip coupling and POUND, then ran it to the detach box.
At the tub, splice a slip coupling simply below the LB connection. Run the channel in a trench a minimum of 18 in. deep
With the conduit in location, pull the 4 wires from the main panel to the disconnect box with a fish tape.
With conduit from the panel and tub meeting at the disconnect box, utilize a fish tape to pull the 4 wires through.
Then, pull them between the disconnect box and spa. Bind the hot wires to the hot terminals and the ground wires to the ground terminals. In our case, it was needed that the bonding wire continue uninterrupted through the disconnect panel. Mark the ground wires with green tape. Then, install the disconnect box and LB covers.
Inside the detach box, link the hot wires to the four hot terminals, and the ground wires to the 2 ground terminals.
End up the outside circuitry by making the hot, ground and bond connections in the spa’s devices box. You’ll find the terminals clearly identified.
At the tub’s control box, secure the hot wires, the ground wire and the bonding wire according to manufacturer’s directions.
Finally, connect the circuit hot wires to a 50-amp GFCI breaker in the circuit box and link the bond and grounding wires to the panel’s grounding bus. Leave the circuit’s power off up until after you’ve filled the tub with water and your work has passed evaluation.
In the circuit box, link the circuit with a 50-amp, 240-volt GFCI breaker. Shut down the power and prevent touching the panel.
Ending up
To make steps for our hot tub, we initially put a 31-in. Make the box frames out of 2 x 6 lumber. Size the depth of the bottom box for two 2 x 12 treads, and the depth of the top box for one 2 x 12 tread.
Construct frames from 2 x 6 cedar for the 2 steps. Build the larger bottom frame first and connect two 2 x 12s to its top.
After the bottom box is developed, protect the top box frame to it with screws owned diagonally from the within
Place the smaller sized frame on the rear edge of the lower step and secure the 2 levels with screws driven diagonally.
Include the leading tread and stain the assembly to match the skirting.
End up the step assembly by screwing a single 2 x 12 tread to the top box frame. Stain the steps to match the tub.

1. Make sure hot tub/spa is filled to proper amount. The Proper amount is whatever the spa manufacturer suggests the spa water to be for proper operation of the spa. Swim Spa Covers/ Hot Tub Covers rest right on the water surface so make sure your spa has water in it.

2. Distinguish the top from the bottom and observe the location of the valves. The top is the side of the Spacap with the Sunbrella fabric on it that shows when it is on the spa. The bottom is the side with the valves on it. When the SpaCap is on the spa, the bottom will rest on the water.

3. Place the SpaCap cover on spa, laying it on water surface. Top, Sunbrella side up. You are meant to fold the cover back to expose the valves to fill your SpaCap.
Note: Valves are meant to be on underside when your cover is on hot tub.

4. Inflation. Open the flap of the valve you intend to put air in. Prop open the inner check valve with a plastic funnel. The funnel will also divert the air into the cover. In order to put air into the SpaCap you need something that moves a volume of air. For example a shop vac that has an exhaust port you can hook the hose into or a leaf blower. An air compressor would work but it will take longer since it is designed to move air under pressure. The SpaCap is not designed to be under pressure.

Inflate the “Top” valve first until there is about eight inches of air. Inflate the bottom unmarked chamber to desired level. We recommend using a shop vac to inflate your Swim Spa Cover/ Hot Tub Cover.

5. Close valves and center the cover on the spa so that it evenly covers the entire hot tub.

6. Place fasteners as needed. The fasteners help the SpaCap keep its shape, insulate better and keep the moisture running off. The fasteners should be equally spaced and should go below the acrylic of the spa. If your spa has a wood lip that protrudes further then the acrylic the fasteners should go about three inches below the wood lip. If as you are installing the fasteners the cover becomes difficult to fasten on the last side, you have too much air in the cover. There should still be a little give in the cover when fastened and the corners should not be lifting.

If your water is not heated when you first fit the cover, do not inflate the cover all the way. When the water starts to heat up, the air in the cover will, too, possibly causing the cover to be over inflated.

Set up the polyester filters in the filter housings and fill the tub with a garden hose.
With the installation complete, it’s time to fill the tub. Prior to filling, nevertheless, install the polyester filters in their housings.
Insert the tube into among the filter real estates and tape it in place. Expect the tub to fill out about 45 minutes.
Fill the tub through the filter housings with a garden pipe. Tape the tube in place. The tub must fill in about 45 minutes.