What is the proper set up for a hot tub?


Old 11-24-02, 06:00 AM
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What is the proper set up for a hot tub?

Good morning,

I am interested in finding out what the proper set-up for a hot tub is. Right now the pump, heater and air blower are all under the tub which is completely out of the ground with a wooden wall build around the edge of the tub. Basically an obove ground hot tub. I am wondering if it would be a better set-up to move the pump and accessories to an exterior location to the hot tub and put them in their own enclosure. Currently they are quite loud when working.

Also, can you install a tub like this into the ground partially or completely?


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Old 11-25-02, 04:49 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Installing hot tub

Following manufacturer's installation instructions is very important, as these can be very different depending on manufacturer and model. Check with building inspector regarding codes, permits, and inspections. Codes tend to vary from area.

Some general instructions from one manufacturer:

National code (your local code may differ) requires the equipment to be located at least 5' from the tub unless separated by a permanent solid barrier. Many, if not most people locate it much further than that. One of the advantages to a hot tub over a portable, or self contained spa is that you're not sitting on top of the equipment having to listen to it while in the tub. Where, and how far away to locate the equipment is up to you, but the following should be kept in mind;

If located more than 50' from the tub, the pump and piping should be upsized so as not to experience pressure loss in the jets from greater friction loss.
If the heater is located more than 5' below the water level of the tub, a simple adjustment to the heater will need to be made. If located more than 10' below the tub, a special flow switch will need to be installed to prevent the heater from operating when the pump turns off.
If the pump is located above the tubs water level, it could loose it's prime causing water circulation to stop and possible pump damage to occur (please let us know if this is how you're installing your pump so we can provide a different pump and valves to help prevent this).
If the equipment is more than 20' from the tub it may be advantageous to insulate the pipes to help lower heating costs.
With a long pipe run there tends to be quite a bit of water in the pipes. If the pump hasn't run in a few hours, and you get in the tub and turn on the jets, all of that 'cooled' water will need to be flushed out (against your back) before hot water starts bubbling from the jets. Remembering though to turn on the pump 5 minutes or so before getting in the tub easily overcomes this.
A gas heater requires a certain amount of clearance above it for safe and proper operation. Our standard gas heater needs a minimum of 61" of total vertical space for installation (25" tall heater plus 36" of clearance).

Equipment location & layout. Roberts Hot Tubs. Retrieved 25 November 2002. http://www.rhtubs.com/installation-equipment.htm

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