September 23, 2022
  • September 23, 2022

How to install a spa in 7 steps – Forbes Advisor

By on November 11, 2021 0

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  • Work time: 4 to 6 hours (from delivery to filling the tub; does not include heating or adding chemicals)
  • Total time: 1 to 2 weeks for preparation; about 1 day for installation
  • Competence level: Beginner to intermediate
  • Project cost: $ 3,500 on average

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Nothing like a long relaxing soak in your private hot tub after a hard day. Hot tubs provide excellent investment value for a home because they can be used year round and by more than one person. Hot water and jets also provide great health benefits, from pain relief to stress reduction. Installing a spa can be expensive, but can be worth it in the long run.

When to install a spa

Installing a spa can be a relatively straightforward process, but owning a spa is a long-term commitment. A spa will require regular maintenance, which can be costly, especially if something is wrong or damaged. Plus, expect higher water and electricity bills if you use your spa year-round. If you are considering owning your own spa, make sure you are prepared for this commitment.

Remember that while maintenance may seem expensive at first, any damage caused by neglecting your spa will cost much more.

If you’ve decided to make the investment, you’ll need to give yourself time to plan the details. Spa installation should be done in a suitable and accessible location around your home, especially if there are building and electrical codes that you must follow.

Plan to do your installation when the weather is nice and not too cold to avoid any serious or dangerous complications. In general, you should allow yourself at least half a day for the installation process and several weeks for the entire project depending on whether you need to build a foundation, get a permit, etc.

Security considerations

Hot tubs are incredibly heavy. Whenever you move or work around a hot tub, you should wear closed-toe shoes and handle the tub with care. Never attempt to move a spa by yourself – it is extremely dangerous and damage caused may void the warranty. Always enlist the help of at least three other people.

You can also use a professional mover or installers, but never hire someone without insurance. Using moving equipment like straps, furniture carts, and plywood to help move your spa will likely make the process easier. Preparing and measuring the path from the curb to the foundation in advance will help you know exactly what to do.

Installing a spa also means installing an electrical system that the spa can connect to. Unless you are a licensed electrician, do not attempt to do this wiring yourself. The system may need to follow local codes and your electrician can ensure that it does.

Disinfectant chemicals, such as chlorine or bromine, can also be dangerous if misused. All chemicals must be accompanied by safety instructions and warnings on the container label. Read them ahead of time and follow the recommended precautions. Also, be sure to be careful when storing the excess.


  • Moving equipment (straps, carts, etc.)
  • Tape measure
  • Level


  • Garden hose
  • Disinfection chemicals

Preparation instructions

When you are considering purchasing a hot tub, you need to prepare and plan the details before you can even begin the installation process. Perform all of these steps before purchasing your spa to avoid further complications down the road. Note that some of these steps may take longer than expected (for example, obtaining permits or installing a foundation), so plan accordingly.

1. Choose your spa

Prices vary depending on the model, style and manufacturer of your spa. Specifications, such as water volume, chemical systems, occupancy rate and installation procedure, may differ from spa to spa and will also affect the final price. Do extensive research to decide which spa best suits your needs.

2. Check and obtain all necessary building permits

Depending on your location, your local government may require a permit for an outdoor hot tub. They may request information about your intended location, foundation, and electricity. Final permits can cost between $ 50 and $ 500.

3. Choose your location

Your tub should be placed in a building code compliant space where you will have room around the tub to get in and out. Although the exact dimensions will depend on the size of your tub, try to give yourself at least a foot or two of space around the entire tub.

Other practical and aesthetic factors you may want to consider are:

  • Proximity to a tub filler pipe
  • Proximity to safe drainage areas when you need to empty the tub
  • Whether you like the view or not
  • Whether your spa will be protected from the elements or has shade
  • If your spa will be in a sufficiently private location

Note on location: Many of us participated in questionable activities when we were young. One of those questionable activities that our team members witnessed was placing a hot tub inside a second floor bedroom on a hardwood floor and modifying it so that it could be used. powered by numerous extension cords.

While everyone had a blast and no one was ever hurt, we cannot stress enough that placing a hot tub indoors or on any surface, not a foundation or reinforced slab is not It is not advisable without consulting an engineer (not an “engineering student”).

4. Prepare and install the foundation

A full hot tub easily weighs 3,000 to 4,000 pounds, which means you need a flat, sturdy base that can support the weight. Concrete slabs, spa cushions or a reinforced deck are all possible options for a foundation. Talk to a general contractor to make sure your planned foundation can support your spa.

5. Install the electrical system

Unless you are experienced, confident, and familiar with your city’s electrical codes, hire an electrician ($ 400- $ 800) to wire a power source for you. You will generally need a GFCI circuit breaker, with amperage and voltage requirements depending on your spa’s specifications.

installation instructions

1. Have your spa delivered to your home

Most retailers will deliver your new spa right to your home. Make sure the path to the final spa location is clear and unobstructed, so that you or delivery personnel can easily move it to the prepared foundation.

2. Place and position the spa

Make sure you are happy with the location of your spa before proceeding; remember, once you have filled your spa with water, it will be impossible to move it again without emptying it.

3. Assemble the spa

Follow the assembly instructions in the owner’s manual included with your spa. Spas are fairly straightforward to install, but be sure to read the manual completely before working on your spa to avoid damaging it. Note that you may need to hire an electrician again for this step in order to connect your spa to your power source, depending on the complexity of the system.

4. Fill your spa

Continue to follow the specific instructions outlined by your manual for this step. You can use your garden hose to fill your spa. While the spa is filling, watch for any leaks that may appear. In general, you will also need to:

  • Make sure the electricity is off
  • Clean the inside of the spa
  • Check and prepare jets, knobs and controls
  • Open the air valves

5. Turn on your spa

Begin the process of heating the tub. It can take some time. Put the cover on your spa while heating.

6. Add disinfectant chemicals

While your tub is heating, add the appropriate sanitizing chemicals to the water. Be sure to follow all safety precautions on chemical bottles. Use a water test kit to make sure the chemicals are balanced before using your spa.

7. Enjoy your new spa

It will take approximately four to eight hours or more for your new spa to reach the proper temperatures (100 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit). You can also wait a day to make sure the chemicals in your water are properly balanced and all chlorine levels are safe. Note that chlorine is not the only choice when it comes to a disinfectant chemical. Generally, you can expect to start using your spa within 12-24 hours of filling.

When to call a professional

You should always call a general contractor if you are unsure of your ability to complete any step of this installation. Although relatively easy to install, hot tubs require a lot of preparation. All electrical work should be done by a licensed electrician. Foundation preparation can also be done by a contractor, especially if the chosen location requires structural reinforcement or leveling to support the weight of the spa.

Likewise, hot tubs are heavy and difficult to maneuver, even for two to three people. If you cannot find adequate assistance, or if your spa will be placed in a slightly more complicated location (for example, up a few stairs), hire a contractor who can use an experienced team to move the spa to you. Beware that hiring someone to do something as dangerous as moving a spa requires ensuring that the proper insurance is underwritten by the appropriate parties.

Professional spa installation will cost on average around $ 3,400. However, this price usually includes costs such as building permits, electrical services, and moving costs. Depending on the contractor, they may also be able to prepare a suitable foundation. Always ask contractors for quotes and don’t be afraid to shop around for the professional service that best suits your needs.

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