So you have made the decision to invest in a hot tub. Good on you! Along with all the physiological benefits of hot tubbing, the social time and family bonding it provides is priceless. Now, where are you going to put this soothing beast of warm water and bubbles?
Below is a fairly extensive list of points to consider, many of which I did not use when placing my hot tub, causing me aggravation. Some problems came years later and resulted in the premature end of life of my beloved tub.
Electricity. You most likely will need a 220 volt, 50 amp service as a minimum along with a ground fault circuit interrupter breaker. For the uninitiated, that type of breaker reacts quickly to protect anyone in the hot tub from electrical shock in case of an electrical short. Typically the power cable only needs to be in a plastic conduit if it is against the foundation of your home. If you place your hot tub in the middle of your yard the cable will need to be buried and protected in a conduit to meet your local electrical code. Any licensed electrician will know what needs to be done.
Water. Close access to water makes filling, cleaning and topping up your hot tub much easier. Working with long hoses especially in cold weather really is no fun.
Home access. Knowing which door you want bathers to use is important, particularly with kids who tend to take the shortest path into the house. Strategically placing your tub near your preferred home access will protect flooring and furniture that you don’t want to damage.
Lighting. Path lighting for night time tubbing is good to have but once you are settled in the tub, bright outdoor lighting takes away from the tranquility and peaceful atmosphere. Low output ground level LED’s or motion detectors with short timer settings can help.
Repairs. At some point something is going to break. The older your tub is, the more often this will happen. Full access on all four sides is the best for repairs. Building your tub into your deck has great esthetic appeal but it will cause you headaches later. Having the spa pack side open with two or three sides built into your deck is a smart compromise. This will still give you a few headaches in the later years when small things like tubing clamps start to fail causing leaks but if you approach that smartly when it happens those headaches can be minimized. That is another blog topic, so make sure to subscribe.
Foundation & Drainage. Follow the guidelines given by the tub manufacturer for your foundation. If they say 8” of gravel, do it. The last thing you want is for your tub to be sinking. Why, you ask? Well you will create a low point where all the rain water pools causing the side walls and floor to be in contact with standing water for extended periods without you even realizing it. This will cause the main structural elements of your tub to rot and fail. This I know from experience. Also make sure to grade your yard around the tub to take rainwater and snowmelt away from your base.
Wind Tunnel. Placing your tub in the pathway of the space between your home and your neighbours can have unexpected consequences. That very well be a strong wind tunnel based on prevailing winds, landscaping and architecture of the homes. Check it out before you pick your spot. You can also consider using a tub cover lifter to hold your cover to block the wind or build a wind break where needed.
Tree Debris. Trees add to the peaceful atmosphere you want to create but having tree debris such as pine needles constantly ending up in your tub is no fun. Make sure you are out of the wind driven debris field when picking your location.
I hope these points help you pick the perfect spot for your hot tub. This is the shameless promotion part of my blog. My products can found at www.scumray.com and our My Hot Tub is Always Clean program will keep your tub sparkling, save you money by minimizing your sanitizer use and allow you the most enjoyment your hot tub can provide for you, your friends and your family.