Hot tub leveling???

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  #1  
Old 02-21-03, 10:32 AM
tkatc
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Hot tub leveling???

Got a nice new hot tub yesterday...it is truly heaven. However, my concrete pad outside my basement door slopes away from my house for drainage. Sounds logical, but now my hot ub is about 3 inches to low on the sloping end. Anyone ever deal with this problem? Any suggestions??
 
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  #2  
Old 02-22-03, 08:14 AM
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That's a tough one. We just got a tub also, and when I had the slab poured, I told them it was for a tub and they poured it level for that reason. Problem is you need even support under the entire base so shimming is out of the question. Without removing the tub and adding some sort of layer to the slab, not sure what you can do.

If you don't mind me asking, did you do the wiring yourself or hire it out? We've had our tub for a week but don't have the electric hookup yet and its killing us to look out at the empty tub and not be able to fill/use it (especially after all the shovelling here on the East coast)!! Unfortunately I've had 2 quotes, both $1400 for just doing the tub! That's with no trenching, and an unfinished basement so easy access to everything for running wire!!

Craig
 
  #3  
Old 02-22-03, 08:16 PM
tkatc
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Well, I was talking about shimming out my tub by slicing 2x4s or 2x6s at an angle so as to support the entire base of the tub. I have talked to my dealer and he said that is has been done before and suggested I do the same.

As far as electrical work...I DID IT MYSELF. I too had no electrical background, I did have some help from a cousin that knew what he was doing but it was so simple that I would do it myself in the future. $1400.00?? WOW. What a rip off. I was told the average hot tub wiring by a professional would be around $500. And that is parts and all. I spent just over $200 for parts and it took me a total of 4 hours but that is because I went VERY slow and took my time. It sounds as though you have a very similar set up to mine. Do you have central air? A tub is the exact same wiring set up as that. So if you have one you can just copy cat that set up and do it yourself. There are a number of variables involved but once I know more about your system I could walk you through it. First of all, if you have space available in your box for a double breaker, you want to know the brand name of your main electrical box for the house. I didn't have the necessary room so I replaced some single breakers with double breakers to create some room for the new breaker. Mine was Cutler-Hammer brand but there are many i.e. Siemans, Square D, etc. This brand will determine which GFCI circuit breaker to buy. Some brands will work with different electrcal boxes but ask the guy at the electrical place. Your tub instructions should tell you what amperage to use, 50a, 60a, something like that. Mine called for either but Cutler-Hammer doesn't make a 60a GFCI so I went with a 50a. Second thing you need to know is how many wires your tub takes. I ran what they call 6-3 wire which is 6 guage and 3 wires (there are actually 4 wires inside 6-3 wire: 2 hots, 1 neutral and 1 ground.) My tub only required 3 wires: 2 hots and a ground, so I just capped off the neutral wire with a wire nut and some electrical tape. The only other thing I bought is a disconnection box. I bought the type with a throw switch so I could turn the tub on or off with just a throw of the switch but you can also use a box that has a pullable fuse (that is the kind my A/C uses.)

This might sound complicated but it truly is a cinch. All you do is run wire (I had to drill a hole through my basement wall, I rented a hammer drill at home depot for $30 bucks and drilled the hole in 10 min.), hang a diconnection box outside for quick disconnect, run more wire from disconnection box to tub ( I put my wire in flexible direct burial conduit so I can bury it when I get around to digging a trench.) And lastly install the GFCI circuit breaker inside your main box. This can be very dangerous if you touch the incoming 240v wires. I turned off the power to my house as I connected the breaker and was STILL very careful not to touch the main hot wires coming into the house.

I think this is a 3 in degree of difficulty on the 1-10 scale. However, I would strongly advise on being very careful if you open up the main electrical box in your house. But if your careful you shouldn't have any problems, it was a piece of cake.
 
  #4  
Old 02-23-03, 06:57 AM
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Lightbulb Suggestion Thought

Hello: tkatc

If it's possible, my suggestion has merit in your case and applies, how about cutting out that part of the slab where the spa will be located? Kind of like a window box within the slab. A square or rounded area cut out from the entire slab. Sound okay?

In doing so you will be able to maintain the original large slab and have the spa pad within the larger slab. Once the area is cut out, level the surface and install the spa into the removed area.

Such has been done before and I have seen them. Many use novel and custom decorations of several sorts around the spa. The decorations can be level to the slab or recessed slightly with the base of the spa as can the spa itself. Doing so makes the area eye appealing, allows water spillage to drain away, etc.

Just my thought and a suggestion to you which may have several variations and be possible in the area you have to work within.
 
  #5  
Old 02-23-03, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for the info, though I do already know how to do it, have done a bit of wiring in the past. Sounds like we have the exact same situation (a full C-H box, etc), though my tub requires a 60 amp circuit. Problem with me doing it, is I have to pull a permit, since I have an existing building permit for my deck which isn't complete yet, and to pull an electrical permit, I have to have a licensed electrician. Also, one electrician commented that it looked like we'll probably need a service upgrade (all elect. house, including well, etc) if the inspector made him do a load analysis, and the elect. company won't hook up another panel without permits.

Good luck on the levelling. I would think as long as the dealer and manufacturer are ok with it you should be fine. After all, they're the ones that would have to deal with any warranty issues.
 
  #6  
Old 02-23-03, 10:33 AM
tkatc
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Hmmmm...cutting out the slab? It does sound logical and may work out fine but how does one go about chiseling out a concrete pad to make it level? I assume a jack hammer would splinter and chip the concrete rendering the existing pad useless. Not sure if I know what you mean.
 
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Old 02-24-03, 05:30 AM
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Hello: tkatc

The answer to cutting the square is easy. Concrete cutting saw. This power tool can be rented at any rental yard. They come in both electric and gas engine models.

Once the square is cut into the existing slab, the large block slab can be busted into pieces without damaging the surrounding slab. The rental yards rent electric jack hammers.

Cut the slab larger than the spa diameter, border it with decorate curbing blocks used in flower beds. Fill the center area where the spa will be with the bedding material and PRESTO, instantly the entire spa bedding project is completed.

Once all the other associated hardware, etc is installed, turn the wife loose to plant flowers around the outer diameter of the square. Once completed, the entire area arroung the spa will have great eye appeal and be useful and functional.
 
  #8  
Old 02-27-03, 02:44 PM
masterjoe
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Talking Q for TKATC

Just out of curiosity,

1) How far is your spa disconnect from the outer edge of spa??
2) What size wire did you use for a ground from disconnect box to the spa pack??
3) How deep did you bury the flex conduit??
4) Did you have a city inspector to inspect your work??

The reason I'm asking is because those are the code Q's.

I wouldn't recommend using any wood as shims to level the spa.
Cutting the sloped surface to fit the spa in is not a bad idea.
Or, you can build a form around the perimeter of the spa and pour more concrete to achieve a level foundation for the spa.
 
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