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A Comprehensive Guide to Installing a Hot Tub: Your Step-by-Step Installation Manual
A Comprehensive Guide to Installing a Hot Tub: Your Step-by-Step Installation Manual
Written by Kimberly Giraldo
Updated over a week ago

If you’ve decided to purchase a hot tub, soothing hydrotherapy, relaxation, and social time unwinding with friends or loved ones awaits. But first, you’ll have to have your hot tub installed. Have you wondered about this aspect of your hot tub purchase, from how much installation costs to how to install your hot tub once it arrives?

This article will serve as a comprehensive guide to help answer these questions. In this article, you’ll discover how to install a hot tub. You will also learn about some of the costs associated with installing your hot tub.

Prior to making any hot tub installation preparations, be sure to discuss and review your installation plan with your local spa dealer. Every installation is unique and the specifics of yours should be detailed with the professional you purchased your spa from.

One of the things you’ll need to do before your installation is to ensure the area you plan to place your hot tub can properly accommodate it. The tips in this article will help you prepare for the delivery and installation of your hot tub. This is a key step to ensuring that the area designated for your future hot tub is properly equipped.

Prepare your space

Before you have your hot tub installed and delivered, you’ll want to decide where it will be placed and create the ideal foundation. You can choose a level, flat area that has been cleared of debris or anything that could puncture the hot tub or create an unbalanced surface. You can even have your spa installed on an inclined area of your backyard that might not otherwise be used. In this case, it is highly recommended to have a professional ensure the foundation is properly supported.

Once you’ve decide where to have your hot tub installed, choosing the right foundation is vital to the placement of your hot tub. There are three common options that can accommodate your hot tub installation, including:

Concrete — This is a great option for many people because it is often already a part of your patio or backyard design. Concrete is strong and durable enough to support the weight of a hot tub when it is filled with both water and bathers. If you are planning to have your hot tub installed on existing concrete in your backyard, make sure it is level and in good condition. You can also have a single concrete slab poured on a custom base.

Concrete pavers are a variation of this that can truly enhance the aesthetics of your spa sanctuary. They come in various shapes, colors, and designs, so you can customize your spa foundation to your liking.

Deck — Decks are usually already level, but if you are planning on having your hot tub installed on your deck, it’s a good idea to have it professionally inspected to ensure it is properly reinforced to accommodate the weight of the hot tub when filled with water and bathers.

Prefabricated Hot Tub Pad — Finally, a premade spa pad is an easy and simple solution to your hot tub foundation. With this option, you’ll need to clear a level area of grass and topsoil. Then you simply lay out the hot tub base.

Ultimately, installation instructions will vary greatly depending on the type of hot tub you purchase. For example, an inflatable hot tub installation will be different than the delivery and installation of a traditional portable hot tub.

There are many different types of hot tubs and each has its own distinct installation costs and instructions. It is vital to follow your hot tub’s specific instructions for installation and to find out if your type and model will require the assistance of a professional to deliver and install it. Some models will also require special electrical hookups, others will not.

For example, inflatable hot tubs and many 110v portable hot tubs are considered plug and play spas. This refers to the fact that they are easy to install because they may not require any special electrical wiring prior to installation. Rather, they can simply be plugged into a standard outdoor wall outlet. However, it is important to check with a professional who can advise on your local electrical code. They can also help you determine whether a secondary electrical panel is required between the main panel and your hot tub.

Typically, soon after these types of models are installed, they can be plugged in and filled with water. Once the water is heated, they will soon be ready to enjoy. Hence the name “plug and play.”

Most inflatable and portable plug and play hot tubs are 110/120v. The v refers to the voltage of the electrical line from the main electrical panel of your home. The standard wall outlet in North America is a 110/120v. Therefore, neither of these hot tubs necessarily requires the assistance of an electrician.

Many inflatable hot tubs may not even require delivery. You can purchase one from a retailer such as a reputable hardware store, take it home, and begin installation. You can also purchase these types of hot tubs from various online retailers. In this case, it will be shipped directly to your home, making transporting it a non-issue.

After you get your inflatable hot tub home, you won’t have any specific installation costs, as the setup is usually do it yourself. You’ll want to ensure you have a level, flat surface to accommodate your inflatable spa as well as access to electricity. Finally, you’ll want to make sure your garden hose is in close proximity so you can begin filling your new inflatable hot tub.

Other portable hot tub models are 220/240v and do not fall within the plug and play category. It’s important to understand that a 220/240v is a dedicated electrical line that is typically run to a hot tub. Depending on the size and model, Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs require either 120 or 240 volts. This is important to understand so that you can choose a hot tub with the appropriate voltage setup or seek the assistance of an electrician to help prepare your space to accommodate and power a 220/240v model. These types of hot tubs are not considered plug and play; they will need to be hardwired.

It is also recommended to have an electrician install a 40, 50, or 60 amp circuit breaker if you are purchasing a Jacuzzi® Hot Tub that requires a dedicated 220v or 240v electrical hookup. Doing so ensures you’ll have enough power to use all the pumps and heaters simultaneously, which can enhance your spa experience.

An important electrical safety aspect device, a circuit breaker automatically stops the flow of power. It can help protect your hot tub and your home from the risk of fire in the event of a short circuit or overcurrent.

Having an outlet and circuit breaker installed can range in cost, depending on how your electrician charges for service calls, parts, and labor. According to an overview of 2023 hot tub installation costs from Home Guide, “The average cost to install a 220v electrical outlet for a hot tub is $300 to $1,000. Hiring an electrician costs $50 to $130, plus a $100 to $200 service call fee covering the first hour of hot tub wiring installation.”

Keep in mind you may need the electrician to make more than one visit. A professional can assess and advise on the preparation of the location you’ve planned to have your hot tub installed. Then, after your hot tub is delivered and physically installed, the electrician will need to return to connect and hook up your hot tub.

Installing a hot tub can be simple, depending on the type of spa and model. If you purchase a Jacuzzi® Hot Tub from an authorized dealer, your hot tub will be delivered on a specified day. Here are some tips to ensure your hot tub delivery day is smooth and stress-free:

-Check the width of gates, doorways, and sidewalks to ensure your spa will pass through without obstruction.

-Make sure your hot tub will fit any 90-degree turns.

-Clear objects such as plants or outdoor furniture that could hinder the delivery team. Make sure children and pets are clear of the installation area to ensure their safety.

-Think about overhead clearance if your hot tub installation requires a crane. Inspect your yard for low roof overhangs, overhanging branches, or rain gutters.

If you are having a hot tub installed underground or partially underground, there are many more preparations and requirements that you’ll need to complete before delivery and installation. This type of installation will most certainly require the assistance of professionals.

No special plumbing is required to install Jacuzzi® hot tubs above ground. However, if you’re installing your hot tub underground, access should be planned in the event that future service is needed. It’s also important to plan for the appropriate access for draining your hot tub.

After your hot tub has been properly placed and any necessary plumbing has been completed, the next step is to add water. You can simply fill your spa with a garden hose. Once your spa is filled, how long it takes to heat the water to your desired temperature will vary based on the hot tub model you chose. For example, a 220/240v model will heat the water between two to five degrees per hour. On the other hand, a 110v/120v system could take 24 hours or more to heat the water. This time will also depend on the size of your spa.

Before you purchase a hot tub, it’s essential to consider the delivery and installation aspects. These can add to the initial buy-in cost of your spa, depending on the brand and model you choose.

Proper installation is also crucial to ensure your spa is hooked up and set up to operate effectively. Installation by professionals should give you peace of mind that your hot tub will run efficiently for many years to come.

When you’re purchasing a Jacuzzi® Hot Tub from your local spa dealer, for example, you should have all delivery and installation details worked out prior to delivery day. Before that day arrives, you should feel confident that you have done your due diligence to prepare your space that will accommodate your hot tub. When you’re finalizing your purchase, ask any lingering questions and take the necessary time to go over the specific details of your installation with your dealer to make sure you’ll be ready to go when your new spa arrives.

Affiliations: Jacuzzi® is a registered trademark of Jacuzzi Group. All rights reserved.

Medical disclaimer: This information is not intended to prescribe a particular diagnosis or course of action. We are not medical professionals. Please contact your GP or other medical professional for advice if you have any concerns about your current health or well-being.

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