Delivery and Installation Guide
Select a structurally sound flat surface that is reasonably level to serve as your spa’s foundation to prevent serious damage to your spa. A foundation that shifts or settles may cause stress to the spa shell.
The foundation that your spa rests on must have a weight bearing load capability of supporting the weight of your spa, its water, and the people using it. The maximum filled weight of a portable spa can be as much as 6,000 lbs (2,722 kg), and a swim spa can be close to 20,000 lbs (9,072 kg) plus the weight of the occupants that use the spa.
To prevent serious damage to your spa, it is important that the spa foundation be supported by a flat, stable, and consistent subsurface. Designer Home Spas highly recommends consulting a qualified, licensed contractor prior to the installation of any spa foundation.
Recommended foundation materials
Recommended flooring materials include a concrete pad, concrete pavers or bricks, pea gravel, crushed rock (1.5” [3.81cm] or more), or a reinforced deck.
Concrete foundations should be a minimum of 4” (10.16cm) thick and should be reinforced with either rebar or mesh. For electrical grounding purposes, the rebar or mesh should be attached to a bond wire.
How level does a hot tub need to be?
If your spa’s pad is slightly sloped, it will not affect the performance of the spa or its structure; however, there should be no dips, sags, or unevenness in the pad. Most patios are built to slope away from the house for drainage purposes. There should be a maximum of ½” (1.27cm) slope in an 8‘ (2.44m) run. Do not use shims to level the spa, this could create tension on the spa shell which might result in damaging your spa.
Because your spa pad must provide continuous support for the entire base of the spa, you should never level it with shims. If it is necessary to level your spa, make sure the entire spa’s structure is fully supported, both in the center as well as the outer edge. When leveling your spa, there should be no voids beneath it. Structural damage to the spa resulting from incorrect installation, placement on an inadequate foundation, or improper leveling will void the spa’s warranty.
Electrical Requirements & Considerations
You will need to ensure that you have the appropriate space equipped with electrical source. You will usually need to hire an electrician to wire your hot tub before it can be used. Depending on codes where you live, an electrician can either hook up the tub once it’s delivered, or set up the wires ahead of time. Some hot tub companies can help finalize the wiring when your tub is delivered.
The installation of all spas must be in accordance with national and local wiring rules. Always have a licensed electrician perform the electrical installation. All of our spas are manufactured and tested to a standard that provides maximum protection against electrical shock. Improper wiring may prevent the spa from operating safely which could result in electrical shock, injury, or death. Improper wiring could also lead to a malfunction of the spa’s equipment and risk of fire.
Hiring an electrician
If you are needing recommendations for a licensed electrician, call us at 305-401-7029 or email us at email@example.com. It can be beneficial to use an electrician recommended by your dealer as you know they will have done electric work for hot tubs before.
Wiring connections & Amperage
We recommend that the electrical setup for the equipment should be a 220-volt connection with a capacity of 50 Amps. The connection should be single-phase (monophase) with two poles and include a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) for safety.
Electrical service wire size, length, and type
The size of wire required to supply the spa with power is dependent upon the length of the electrical run and should only be determined by a licensed Electrician. Installation must be in accordance with all national and local wiring rules. All wiring must be copper to ensure adequate connections. Never use aluminum wire.
Access to circuit breakers
Electrical safety requirements
Based upon the national and local wiring rules that apply to your area, you will need to install your spa at the required minimum horizontal and vertical distances from all power lines.
Based upon your area, a disconnect device must be incorporated into the fixed wiring in accordance with national and local wiring rules. If the national and local wiring rules permit, a GFCI Sub-Panel may be used to substitute the service disconnect, providing that it is located within the same parameters.
Electrical Outlets, Switches, and Devices
Based upon the national and local wiring rules that apply to your area, you must install your spa at the required minimum distance from all electrical outlets, switches, and devices.
Based upon the national and local wiring rules that apply to your area, the Control System Box located inside the equipment compartment of your spa must be bonded to all metal equipment, handrails, fixtures, enclosures, pipe, or conduit that are located within the maximum specified distances. The bonding is to be connected to the ground lug connector on the exterior surface of the Control System Box and all metal items previously described.
Location/Space Requirements & Considerations
Your home most likely offers multiple sites where your spa may be installed. Use the information presented in this section to assist you in carefully selecting the site that works best for you. It is your responsibility to choose and prepare the site properly before delivery, so you will experience a smooth and efficient delivery as well as obtain optimal use and full enjoyment of your spa.
Service compartment access
Also, it is always best to design special installations so the spa can still be moved, or lifted from the ground. For service purposes, also allow easy access to the circuit breakers in the electrical service panel (permanently-connected models), or to the interrupter switch on the end of the power cord (cord-connected models).
Spa dimensions for each model can be found on their individual spa model page on our website, in the owner’s manual.
Space for accessories
If using a cover-lifting mechanism, allow up to 24” (.61m) of clearance behind the spa and 4" of clearance on each side.
Make sure to also leave room in the exact side you plan on placing your spa steps. This will ensure it is easy and safe for you to get in and out of your spa.
Other common accessories to plan for include side tables, towel racks, and handrails. Please check with the accessory’s manufacturer for dimensions.
- Avoid areas where excessive water may contact your spa such as sprinklers or under roofs without rain gutters.
- Prevent dirt, sand, and foliage from being tracked into the spa by using concrete, pavers, or a stone path to access your spa.
- Avoid areas of direct, prolonged sunlight where possible to avoid fading of hot tub exterior surfaces and possible damage.
- Avoid placing the spa under trees and spill paths from gutters to prevent debris and foliage from collecting in the spa.
- Avoid installing the spa in a pit or low area where water may accumulate and damage the spa or its equipment. Choose a site where water will drain away from the spa. Your spa contains an equipment compartment, which houses all of its electrical components. Allowing water into the equipment compartment can damage the electronics, or may result in tripping your spa’s circuit breaker. For 120V~/60Hz, cord-connected spas, avoid plugging your spa into an electrical outlet that is susceptible to water. Likewise, avoid positioning the spa’s electrical cord as to allow water to enter the cord’s interrupter switch.
- Consider electrical wiring logistics. Most hot tubs are hard wired by an electrician and the longer the run of wire to the spa the more it can cost in materials and labor.
- Consider the view you’ll have from your spa as well as how much privacy the surrounding area will provide.
- To maximize the energy efficiency of your spa, make sure the spa has a strong foundation and place it close to your home or other wind-stopping barriers.
- If you live in an area with cold winters, consider placing your spa close to the entry of your home to minimize the time spent in the cold when leaving and entering your spa.
- Check national and local codes about restrictions that require fencing or childproof gates.
Indoor hot tub installations
Make sure the installation location is structurally sufficient and can support the weight of the spa when filled with water. Ground floor recommendations are generally preferred for indoors.
Condensation can also occur on the spa cover and drip onto the floor. Therefore, ensure that flooring materials provide a good grip when wet and are resilient to constant exposure of water and chemicals.
In addition to handling the water from the spa, it is recommended that the room be properly ventilated. Humidity levels will naturally increase after the spa is installed and in use. Water may get into woodwork and produce dry rot, mildew, or other problems. Over time, high levels of humidity and spa chemicals can cause water damage to your floor, wall, and ceiling surfaces.
To minimize humidity damage, it is best to provide plenty of ventilation such as a ceiling fan and moisture-resistant paint. An architect can help to determine if special ventilation equipment is required, such as a humidistat or dehumidifier which can be installed to regulate indoor humidity during spa use.
NOTE: Typical indoor surfaces include, but are not limited to: concrete, wood, non-slip tile, or linoleum.
Elevated hot tub installations
If you’re looking to install your spa on a deck or other elevated structure, consult with a qualified structural engineer or contractor before installation.
Be certain your deck or elevated structure can support the maximum filled weight of your spa along with the total weight of occupants that use it. You must know the deck’s weight-bearing load capacity and ensure that it is greater than the maximum filled weight of your spa combined with the occupants using it or serious injury or structural damage could result.
Delivery Preparation & Requirements
Hot tub delivery basics
Most spas are moved using a dolly or slip sheet, but occasionally a crane is required to install the spa by lifting it to its final destination. This occurs when the spa has to be taken off of the dolly cart to go over a wall, either because the entry area is too narrow, the eaves are too low, the corner is too tight, or the stairway is too steep.
The use of a crane is a common practice and is usually the easiest and safest method for moving a spa when access is difficult. The crane has a truck-mounted boom and can fit easily in your driveway. The Crane Operator will lift your spa over walls, buildings, or any other obstruction and place it as close to the installation site as possible.
The chart below can help you visualize possible obstacles to identify before your spa is delivered. Let us know of any potential issues and they may want to come inspect your site before delivery.
A – Obstacles such as overhanging tree limbs, awnings, protruding gas meters, water meters, and A/C units can prevent easy access.
B – WARNING: Watch for power lines.
C – It may be necessary to remove a gate, part of a fence, or other items in order to dolly the spa to the desired location.
D – Check the measurements on 90◦ turns to make sure the spa will fit through.
E – If there are more than six consecutive stairs without a landing, you may be required to find another delivery path.
Depending on access to the spa site, your spa may be dollied in either horizontal or vertical position.
NOTE: The height of the cart used to dolly your spa into position will need to be added to the height of your spa when calculating the total height clearance required to complete your delivery. Spa carts are typically around 6” (15.24cm) in height.
Connecting the electrical service to the spa
IMPORTANT: Installation must be in accordance with all national and local wiring rules and performed by a licensed Electrician. See Electrical Conduit Diagram before proceeding.
Here are the 8 steps to connecting your electrical service to the spa:
Step 1: Choose one of the three available conduit entry points. (Yellow Black decal)
Step 2: Determine the conduit diameter and drill a hole that is properly sized for the conduit (¾” conduit drill 1-1/8” hole, 1” conduit drill 1-3/8” hole). Use the + as the locator for the center of the hole. The hole saw must go through two layers of plastic. There is a 1” space between both layers.
Step 3: Push the conduit through the hole until it comes out into the equipment area.
Step 4: Remove the faceplate to the Control System Box
Step 5: Connect the conduit to the Control System Box using a Liquid Tight Connector.
Step 6: Run the required wires through the conduit to the Control System Box.
Step 7: Connect the electrical service wires to the terminal block located in the Control System Box.
Step 8: Replace the Control System Box faceplate and the equipment compartment door. The electrical hook-up is complete.
Filling the spa & initial startup
Hot Tub Installation Design Ideas
In addition to selecting a hard surface that meets the recommended safety and maintenance criteria, consider textures and colors that will assist in enhancing the aesthetics of the area in which your spa will be installed. The decision to match, contrast, or blend the hard surface colors and textures with those of your spa should only be made after carefully researching your options.
The correct landscape around your spa will not only soften the adjacent hard surface areas, but will add life and much enjoyment to the environment. If the budget allows, you may want to consult with a Landscape Architect for expert advice.
Besides selecting the correct hard surfaces and landscape around your spa, the addition of the proper spa-side accessories will provide just the finishing touch that you are looking for. Spa steps, benches, towel racks, planter boxes, or an outdoor fireplace are just a few of the items that can be considered when accessorizing your spa.