15 Tips on Successfully Installing and Maintaining Hot Tubs
In this guide, one will learn the best practices involved, when it is time to install and maintain a hot tub or spa. Here are Hot Tub Variety’s top #9 installation tips and top #6 maintenance advice.
- Avoid an attack of buyer’s remorse by planning the installation and maintenance of a new hot tub before you buy one. The variety of spa styles and options can result in purchasing a beautiful unit without knowing for sure that it is a match to the area where you plan to have it installed or that it can even be easily moved inside the yard or home. Following are some helpful hints to help you decide where to place the unit and how to make sure it is easy to care for after it is installed.
- User convenience is the most important thing to consider. If the person who will use the hot tub most often is only mobile inside the home, select an area inside the house that is easily accessible for him or her. Measure the section for fit, allowing room for walking space around the spa. Doors and carpet may need removed prior to installation. Measure any outdoor area being considered as an installation site, allowing for the size of the unit, additional equipment, safe entry, and the room needed for maintenance.
- Access to power is of primary importance. The Jacuzzi brothers provided the opportunity for home hydrotherapy treatments in 1956 when they devised a tub with a submersible hydraulic air pump. Read more on safe wiring of outdoor hot tubs at http://www.lowes.com/cd_Safe+Wiring+of+Outdoor+Hot+Tubs_1323181062. Over the years features have been added that require more electrical power. The proximity of water to electricity emphasized the need for more intense electrical codes and additional training on wiring for the hot tub installation.
- Extension cords are not recommended when connecting the unit to electrical power. Install the unit close enough to the outlet so it can be plugged in without stretching the cord. Check the specifications for the unit you have chosen to see if it requires 16 amps, 20 amps or 30 amp electrical power. Codes in many areas require a certified electrician to do the wiring regardless of whether the unit is installed indoors or outdoors. Installing the main switch 5 feet or more from the hot tub is an additional safety factor.
- Support pads vary greatly. Outdoor and indoor units rest on pallet-like wooden frames, plastic spa beds, reinforced concrete, and patio blocks. Their purpose is to help balance the spa and keep it level.
- An even base is required to install a hot tub properly because it keeps the unit stable. The foundation must be strong enough to hold the tub, water, and the maximum occupancy weight as specified by the manufacturer. The beautiful deck outside the sliding glass door may not be designed to bear the weight. A contractor can check the strength of the deck to confirm whether it is sound enough to do the job or needs reinforcement.
- Floor drains take away the water spilled or dripped onto both the indoor and outdoor hot tub area. You increase safety of friends and family when drains are installed because the chance of slipping on built-up water is reduced. The drains also protect flooring by removing water quickly.
- Ventilation is an important consideration with indoor hot tub installation. Moisture and heat created while the unit is being run promotes mildew, mold, and rot. A contractor can advise you if the room needs additional ventilation.
- Comply with all state and local building and electrical codes when installing your hot tub. A licensed professional will plumb, wire, and install the unit properly, avoiding fines, additional work and even the removal of the unit until everything is up to code.
- Maintenance begins as soon as the unit is installed in the form of adding hot tub chemicals. Allow 12 hours for them to balance the water. During that time, the water is also heating up. Caring for your spa on a regular basis will keep the water and walls clean at the same time it provides for smooth operation.
- The unit’s filter typically lasts for one or two years. It is the first step to keeping the water clean. Check the instructions to find out how to clean it and the recommended cleaning schedule. Clean, clear water is obtained through a thorough weekly maintenance schedule and through draining, cleaning, and refilling the spa every three months.
- Check spa water weekly or more often with a test strip. In addition to killing bacteria, chemicals keep the water’s pH level between 7.4 and 7.6 (follow the manufacturer’s recommendations if they differ from this range). Low and high pH irritates eyes, skin, and harms plumbing. The most-used chemical treatment for hot tubs is chlorine. Bromine or natural minerals and enzymes are additional water treatments. Test strips indicate if treatment is needed for other minerals like calcium, which builds deposits and harms your spa’s equipment.
- Reduce evaporation, conserve heat and support clean water by covering the hot tub with an insulated cover when it isn’t being used. The foam insulation absorbs moisture over time causing it to get heavier and lose its insulation value. Replace the cover every 5 years to reduce heat loss and lower the cost of operation. http://www.neo.ne.gov/neq_online/sept2004/sept2004.10.htm
- Use a skimmer to remove bugs, twigs, and debris. Wipe down the water line weekly and clear dirt and algae from the sides and bottom with a spa brush or pool vacuum cleaner.
- Establishing a maintenance routine will prolong the enjoyment and life of your hot tub.