Hot Tub Installation FAQs

Q.  How difficult is it to assemble a wooden hot tub?

A.  Hot tubs are not at all difficult to assemble, at least ours aren’t. Our assembly instructions are written with the do-it-yourself installer in mind and take you step by step through the basic hot tub assembly process. No special tools or skills are required.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe computer accuracy we use in manufacturing our wooden hot tubs means that not only is there no need to cut or modify the final stave to fit, but the bottom is also computer stamped to indicate the exact placement of each stave (vertical side board).

We can generally assemble a hot tub, on site in under 30 minutes. Figure about 2 hours for the novice, a little less if you have some help.  Included with the complete assembly instructions is a phone number to call for 24 hour, 7 day a week technical assistance regarding installations.

We can also ship a hot tub fully assembled, but beware, this adds to the shipping costs and can be rather difficult to move into location on your site.

Q.  How easy is it to install a complete hot tub system ?

A.  Besides assembling the wooden hot tub (listed above), the complete system also includes the necessary equipment along with most everything else needed for a basic installation. While many people do hire a contractor to do the complete hot tub installation, a good many do the majority, if not the entire installation themselves.

The three more difficult aspects of installing a wood hot tub are, providing a concrete pad for the hot tub and the equipment, running the gas line to the gas hot tub heater (if so equipped) and running the electrical circuit to the time-clock.

Excluding these 3 aspects, installing a complete hot tub system should be just a weekend project for a “home handyman”.

All of the hot tub plumbing is accomplished by gluing together PVC piping, and the support equipment is shipped complete with everything necessary to install your system. The instructions included contain complete plumbing diagrams and a simple to follow wiring schematic. We even provide the PVC glue and a special mallet for assembling the hot tub.

Q.  What type of base is needed for the hot tub to sit on?

A.  A wooden hot tub needs to sit on either a deck engineered and reinforced to carry the weight, or solid concrete. Anything else could allow the hot tub to settle unevenly and concrete_padpossibly cause leaking.

The necessary thickness of a concrete pad may vary depending on different soil conditions. Generally a 3″ thick, wire reinforced cement pad on stable ground will suffice.

Footings may or may not be necessary depending on local conditions (freezing, rain, ground movement etc.). Consultation with a local concrete contractor is advisable.

Minimum Hot Tub Pad Size

Straight Sided Tubs

4′ Diameter —– 42″ x 42″
5′ Diameter —– 54″ x 54″
6′ Diameter —– 66″ x 66″
7′ Diameter —– 78″ x 78″ Conical Tubs
5′ Diameter —– 42″ x 42″;
6′ Diameter —– 54″ x 54″
7′ Diameter —– 66″ x 66″

Q.  At what distance can the equipment be placed from the hot tub?

A.  National building codes call for the equipment to be a minimum of 5′ from the hot tub, or separated by a permanent solid barrier so that the distance from the water line, around the barrier, to the equipment is at least 5′.

The maximum distance is limited only by your imagination and individual requirements. 20′, 30′ or even 50′ from the hot tub to the equipment is perfectly acceptable.

The only downside to the equipment being a great distance from the hot tub is that if the system hasn’t run for a few hours the water in the pipes will have cooled down. Jumping in the hot tub, then turning on the pump, you’ll feel the cool water coming out of the jets.

This is easily overcome by turning on the pump a minute or so before entering the hot tub. Additionally, if the equipment is further than 40′ from the hot tub, the size of the piping should be increased one size so as to not cause a reduction in jet flow and pressure.

Q.  What are the electrical requirements?

A.  The standard complete hot tub system, which included a gas heater and 2 speed pump, requires a 20 amp 240v circuit including a ground and neutral. If an electric heater is opted for rather than a gas heater, and additional 60 amp circuit is required for the 11kw heater, while a 30 amp circuit is required for the 5.5kw heater. Options such as an additional jet kit, or an air bubbler system require additional power.

Q.  What are the considerations for constructing a deck around a hot tub ?

A.  Many people design and build a deck around their hot tub. There are a number of things that should be considered and designed into such a deck. The decking should not run over the top of the tub, but should be flush to the top of the hot tub.

teak-ironwood1On round hot tubs a small gap should be left between the decking and the hot tub. ¼” to ½” is sufficient. The exception to this is oval hot tubs. In oval hot tubs, over time, the pressure of the water will try to round out the top of the hot tub.

Slight contact between the long side of an oval hot tub and either the decking or deck framing will prevent this.   Many people choose to have the top of the deck ¼” to ½” below the top of the hot tub. This helps to prevent dirt and debris on the deck from blowing into the hot tub.

An additional consideration is future access to the exterior of the hot tub. At some point in the future the exterior of the hot tub may need to be accessed for inspection, maintenance or possible for repairs.

Dirt and debris should also be cleared out from around the sides and bottom of the hot tub. If a deck is going to completely seal in the hot tub, screwing down the decking, or providing a trap door or other type of access is advisable.