It’s important to research in-ground hot tub installation options before you begin pricing hot tubs from different manufacturers. This article can fill you in on the many options.
Today, in-ground hot tub installation has moved beyond basic setup to more complex and aesthetically pleasing design. Many manufacturers offer custom installation for in-ground hot tubs with design integration in backyard summing pools, decks, and landscaping.
Location considerations before spa installation
Hot tub installation starts with location, location, location. Before you begin pricing hot tubs from different manufacturers, it’s key to know exactly where you plan to set up your tub and if structural support requirements can be met.
Location specifications for an in-ground tub may include:
- Electrical connection location. A partially or fully-recessed hot tub may require specialty care in construction to ensure that the electrical access panel remains uncovered.
- Subpanel location. In-ground spas with 230 V electrical requirements may come with a subpanel to serve as an intermediate electrical connection between household and spa electrical panels. A subpanel must be installed 5’–50′ away from a hot tub and remain compliant with local electrical codes.
- Drain locations. Safe water drainage is a major concern in installation to prevent the possibility of standing water; a spa shouldn’t be installed in an area where drainage could affect landscaping or a home’s foundation. Spa drains must remain unobstructed during and after installation to allow for complete drainage every four months.
- Side and back panel locations. Side and back spa panels will need to remain exposed after in-ground installation to allow for electrical and plumbing repairs. Internal plumbing components may require 24 inches of clearance at a minimum for repair and maintenance.
In-ground installation alternatives
With these location requirements in mind, an in-ground spa can be built in several installation options:
- Custom exterior cabinet
The type of installation you choose may depend on the most stable location available to meet construction requirements for electrical connection, drain, and panel placement.
Custom hot tub cabinets may be available with siding options like teakwood, aluminum, brushed steel, faux brick, and faux slate. A partially-recessed spa will be built in-ground with some exposed sides to offer easier access to drains and electrical equipment. A fully-recessed spa will be installed in-ground into a deck or patio so that all electrical connections, drains, and panels are fully concealed.
A hot tub built in a custom cabinet may stand alone on a deck or poolside, while a fully or partially-recessed spa can be built into a number of indoor and outdoor locations. Fully-recessed spas are often built indoors in specialty “spa rooms” or as a Jacuzzi in a master bathroom; partially-recessed spas may be built on a deck as an “outdoor retreat” underneath a partially or fully covered patio.
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