Spas and Hot Tubs Installation Information
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Installing A Portable SpaPart III
Installing an energy efficient spa hot tub in the ground.
No matter what is written here, the final authority on construction is your local building officials.
Many people want their hot tub down in the ground, sort of like a natural hot spring.
There are several problems with the old standard way
in the ground. That is why I do not recommend it.
The problems with it are lack of energy efficiency, and extremely difficult plumbing repairs. The spa tends to float out of the ground after a few years. This style of spa is usually a custom made hot tub, and is much more expensive per feature than a factory made portable spa.
Because of the moisture in the ground, eventually the (insulation) foam becomes wet, and is useless for insulation. The heat gets rapidly drawn out of the spa hot tub vessel.
Any plumbing problems require that the spa hot tub, be extracted from the ground and this is an all day job for two or three people.
The best way, that I know of, is to install the spa hot tub in a vault. This is simply an underground room that is easy to build. It does require a little extra digging and some basic concrete, plumbing, and masonry skills.
You have to plan for drainage inside the vault, similar to the drainage system used in basements.
The procedure goes like this:
1/ Dig out a vaulted room in the ground, make it at
deeper than the height required for the hot tub, (this
is for the
thickness of the
and at least 48 inches bigger than the sides of the hot
tub. If you
inches by 91 inches by 38 inches high spa,.the hole
would be 139 inches
139 inches by 44 inches deep, figuring on a six inch
acrylic rise out
of the ground with a six inch concrete floor. The
the concrete or block on the wall
needs to be added to finish at 24 inches all the way
around. There are
variations on this, so consult us or a local engineer
for any problems
with space. If you get a lot of rain, you
may need to have
a rock base under the concrete for drainage under the
2/ Dig out and install the drainage system, either
house sewer system (if above the sewer level), or create
system similar to the leaching
in septic systems. You may need to put in a plastic
drainage bucket in
one corner and a submersible pump to catch the water and
out ( easiest to do). You will need some expert
building department. Different soils require different
length of piping
and different sizes of pipe and different leach field
is to never allow water to build up inside the vault.
Put the plumbing
the drain in the corner of the vault. I
recommend that the
perfectly flat where the hot tub sits, and the perimeter
24 inches be
sloped into the drain. The drain can be a plastic
with an automatic sump pump (the simplest and easiest to
3/ Dig out for the electrical to be installed, either
the hot tub or
just outside the spa perimeter. Install the conduit,
just above the
of the floor about 6 inches. All conduit must be water
4/ Place a retaining wall made from concrete
(cinder blocks). Use rebar inside the blocks tied to the
the blocks are 8 inches thick,
the room now is 139 inches square. This is 48 inches
bigger than the
of the spa. This allows 24 inches all around the hot tub
for access to
and plumbing. This is the best for working on the
hot tub and or
the spa in and out without a crane. It can be
ramped into the
hole. If the hole is too small, you will still
have to raise the
spa for any service to the sides with space limitations.
5/ Using the retaining wall as a concrete form, mark the exact depth of the floor concrete on the wall all the way around the room. Use a laser level or a transit or a hose level to get it perfect. The floor must be level in the center, 91 inches square for a Fallsburg, as an example.
6/ Place the drain in position about 2 inches below the level of the hot tub's level floor.
7/ Install a string layout the exact size of the spa at the exact level of the floor, using the concrete wall with anchors to hold the string.
8/ Pour the concrete starting in the center making the area of the spa perfectly level, and the area outside the hot tub run into the drain, with a 1/4 inch per foot run-off. (If necessary make two forms and pour in two concrete sections. One form for the spa area in the center, and another for the drain area.
9/ After the concrete is cured, place the hot tub in the vault and have your electricity hooked up. A crane or boom truck works well for lowering the hot tub in place if the space does not allow.
10/ Now build a removable ground level floor decking
and redwood. If you want a planted area around the hot
you use a 6
inch planters with a plastic liner and place it on a six
decking. Make sure the decking can support the dirt. You
creative with this. Make it so the planters can be
lifted out without
harming the plants.
Next month; "Why water flow controls are a bad idea"
In Broomfield Colorado, Haven Hot Tubs are everywhere. We are extremely popular in the Denver Coloraodo area.. There are a lot of smart shoppers who don't want to waste money in Colorado. If you live in Broomfield or the Denver Colorado area, you are lucky to have our facilities so close by.
the DAIT brochure in PDF format.