If you’re considering adding a hot tub to your backyard, you’ll need to figure out a few details first. Of course, the first to consider is the budget you have to work with. The bigger your budget is, the more features and accessories your hot tub can have. Planning and implementing some energy-saving features can help you save money in the long run. Other details include access to the backyard, the foundation you will place the tub on, whether there is adequate electricity, and whether or not there is water access near the hot tub. Read on to learn more.
Where are you going to put it?
Different models may have different requirements, but all hot tubs will need to be placed on level ground, many requiring a concrete pad or a reinforced deck. Some may be light enough to be placed on stone pavers, crushed gravel, composite slabs, or modular spa pads made from plastic. Either way, wherever you place the hot tub, it will need to be level.
If you have a fenced-in backyard, you may need to consider the entrances. In the case your hot tub is too large for the opening, special installation may have to occur in order to get the hot tub into its new home. You should aim to have about a foot of clearance on each side. However, this isn’t always necessary. The most important factor is having enough room to access any electrical panels, for maintenance, and for ventilation.
Will you have to add a breaker box for the electrical requirements?
Most hot tubs run on 240 volts of electricity and require a 50 to 60AMP GFCI breaker. You will need to have a 50 amp breaker available in the main electric panel, which should be run to a 50 amp GFCI disconnect box that is mounted 6 feet or more away from the spa.
There are also some types of hot tubs that run on 110 volts. These are sometimes called “plug-and-play” and work in a regular outlet with no additional wiring needed.
Is there a hose you can use to fill the hot tub?
Another factor is the proximity to the water spigot and hose. Filling up a hot tub takes quite a bit of water. It’s necessary to have some sort of faucet within distance of the hot tub so that when you need to fill the hot tub back up you have access to all the water you need. You’ll also need a hose to run the water from the spigot to the tub.
What size is ideal for you and the hot tubs’ projected use?
When you’re looking at buying a hot tub, you should think ahead to its use. There are many different kinds and sizes of hot tubs that cater to a number of needs. Some are sized for two people, some as many as eight. It can be a delicate balance between matching the space you have available and choosing the right amount of seats.
What is the primary use of your hot tub?
There are several ways you can use a hot tub. Of course, many people use them simply as a tool to soak and relax. But there are also many health benefits that can factor in on what kind of hot tub you purchase. For example, a swim spa is beneficial for those who are looking for a way to train without stress on joints or to use aqua therapy for health-related issues. The amount and strength of hot tub jets can also be a deciding factor when you are using the tub as a way to relieve pain from conditions like fibromyalgia.
What accessories will you need?
Once you have the spot picked out and the hot tub is being installed, it’s time to pick out the accessories you’d like to have. The very first is the most important: a cover. It’s pretty essential to have a cover on your hot tub. It will save it from leaves and debris entering the hot tub and keep heat inside of the tub. You can also purchase a cover lift, which will help you take the cover on and off while reducing the chances of damage.
Other accessories can include:
While accessories aren’t always necessary, they can make the time spent in a hot tub a lot more relaxing.
Have you considered energy-saving features?
Considering energy-saving features upfront will save you money in the future by lowering the operational cost of a hot tub. After the initial payment, most of the cost of a hot tub is related to keeping the water warm and clean. There are several options that improve efficiency.
The first is a quality cover with denser foam. Because heat rises, the majority of heat loss occurs through the top of the hot tub. Poor-quality covers aren’t as dense and will allow more heat to escape than those that have a dense foam to insulate to cover.
And speaking of insulation, the type of insulation your hot tub has will also make a difference in energy savings. There are different types of insulation available in different hot tubs. While some don’t have any at all, others have partial foam, thermal wrap, or full foam insulation available to choose from. Full foam will provide the best insulation and help ensure as much heat stays inside as possible, lowering the operating costs associated with running a heater more often.
24-hour circulation pumps are an efficient way to run and circulate the water. With continuous flow, they require less energy to run (typically less energy than a 100-watt light bulb) and are quieter than other counterparts.
What care routine will you follow?
Finally, once you are a hot tub owner it’s time to follow a care routine. While maintaining water balance can be intimidating, once you get set up and know what you’re doing it’s a breeze. If you ever have any questions, your local pool supply store and hot tub dealer can help you find the right routine for you.