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5 Steps To Preparing For The Installation Of A Backyard Hot Tub

So, you’ve decided to take your backyard retreat one step further by installing a hot tub? Before your hot tub arrives or before you purchase it, you should consider taking care of some important tasks off of your installation to-do list. Here are five steps to prepare for your hot tub, including pieces of construction equipment that may prove to be helpful in making your project easier:

1. Decide on the Location

First things first, you need to choose where you want to install your hot tub. Make sure to consider placing it away from electrical lines in the event that there is a storm and one of the overhead power lines falls down. You should also make sure that it is well within reach to the control panel for the hot tub so that you don’t have to worry about excess wiring. Don’t forget to also choose a location here water discharge does not occur to avoid any structural issuers later down the road.

2. Leave Room for a Walkway

You probably don’t want to build a pathway to the area yet since the hot tub isn’t installed, but you will want to make this part of your initial planning. You need to leave enough room around the hot tub to create a good walkway. Plus, there needs to be ample space for you to access the hot tub motor, pump, etc. for routine maintenance. You may want to consider renting a plate compactor (from companies like All Star Equipment Rental & Sales, Inc.), which will help pack the dirt so that it is more stable for your concrete pavers, stones, gravel or other material that you decide to use for your walkway.

3. Start Breaking Ground

Before you install the hot tub, you must create a firm, level surface to support it—which is a lot of weight, by the way. Make sure to go bigger than the actual size of the hot tub, as it is better to have extra room than not enough. Now, you’ll likely need to move dirt, dig dirt or both in order to prepare the spot. Therefore, you may want to consider contacting your local construction equipment rental company to rent a mini excavator that could help save you some significant time and effort (and your back!). You will also want to consider renting a laser level at the same time to ensure that the hole is level. Otherwise, once the hot tub is installed, it could potentially be unlevel.

4. Install the Base

Once the surface has been prepared, you will need to create a base. Depending on your timeframe, there are many options for a hot tub base. If you have time for it to cure, you can use pour a concrete pad. This is probably the most durable option and should be six inches thick in order to handle the weight of the tub. If you decide to do concrete, you can rent a concrete mixer to help speed up the process. Another possibility would be a bed made from gravel, as the gravel will conform to the tub’s base and help hold it in place. A third option would be a pre-fabricated base, which tends to be far less expensive than concrete, but it is just as effective.

5. Prepare to Flip the Switch

You will need electrical plugs near your hot tub in order for it to be powered. In fact, you may be required to have a certain type of circuit. Unless the hot tub is a very small one that can run off of your standard household 110v power source, you will likely need to have a hard-wired, higher-amp circuit that should be installed by a licensed electrician. In fact, the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires a GFCI-protected circuit for a full-sized hot tub. Regardless of circuit size, you are required by the NEC to install a manual-disconnect spa panel at least five feet away from the spa and within sight. Consult with an electrician to find out what your hot tub needs.

Whether you’re installing a hot tub or something else entirely, contact your local construction equipment rental company if you want to save some time and effort on your part and make the job a bit easier on you.