Installing Your Hot Tub

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Installing your hot tub or spa can seem like a daunting process. Fortunately, it’s not. If you have even installed a dishwasher and built a deck then you already have the skills required to install your new hot tub or spa.


Installing your hot tub - PlacementInstallation choices vary from a simple gravel and sand pad to a raised platform or deck. Your new spa or hot tub can really be placed anywhere as long as certain precautions are kept in mind. Make sure the surface that you plan to use is flat and strong enough to hold the weight of the spa or hot tub plus the weight of the water and maximum number or people in the tub.

Space Required

Start by measuring the base of your hot tub, then add two feet around each side for access. Multiply the width (plus the four extra feet) by the length (plus the four extra feet).

Maximum Weight

While its possible to manually calculate the weight of your filled tub, most manufacturers will have this information in the product specifications.

Now add that number to the combined weight of the maximum number of people that can use the hot tub at any given time. You need to ensure that the surface holding your tub can support that weight over the area of the tub.

Preparing the Surface

If you’re installing on the ground, level the surface with a rake and long two by four, ensuring there aren’t any rocks that can puncture the underside. If your tub has a wooden skirt, you may not have to do anything more than lay some garden paper over the dirt.

A raised wooden or concrete platform helps to increase the beauty and utility of your tub. This will help prevent moisture buildup around the base, which leads to mildew and wood decay. Raising the hot tub or spa up in this fashion can also provide a nice view of the yard.

Making concrete platforms that are strong and level requires skill and patience, but it’s within range for most do-it-yourselfers. You’ll need to build a retaining box into which to pour the concrete. Follow the guidelines provided by local building codes.

A wooden platform is both attractive and fully capable of supporting most tubs. A series of a dozen 2 x 6’s laid on edge, bordered with 2 x 6’s and attached via good L-braces on a platform of 4 x 4’s can support a medium sized hot tub safely. 4 x 4’s could be used for the entire platform, though of course the results will be lower by the two inch difference.

Lay out the grid on level ground, ensuring the spacing is compliant with local building codes, generally no more than 12 inches between joists (individual boards).

Placement and Attachment

Place your new spa or hot tub on your levelled surface. Hot tubs and spas are very heavy and you will likely need some extra hands to do this part safely.


Installing your hot tub - set upThis step is often best done by a certified electrician.

Run PVC conduit from the junction box at least 18 inches deep in a trench. Use an electrician’s fish tape (a flexible reel used to snake down pipe in order to attach the wires and pull them back through) or similar device to pull wires from the 240V GFCI protected equipment. Connect the wires according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Be sure to have your installation inspected before filling the tub. You don’t want to have to drain the tub in order to re-do anything that’s non-compliant.

Once your hot tub or spa installation is looking good, its time to fill it up and start the water heating.

Now add your chemicals and enjoy!

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