How to Install a Portable Hot Tub

What You'll Need
Hot Tub
Power Drill

If you are thinking of getting yourself a hot tub, but aren’t sure of the long term investment, then getting a portable hot tub is for you. Installation is much simpler than in-ground hot tubs and doesn’t take a whole lot of work.

Step 1 – Location

This is often the most important step in hot tub installation, even for portable hot tubs. Portable hot tubs aren’t so portable once you fill them up, and if you decide you don’t like the location or that there is something wrong with the location (such as being near over head power lines, or not close enough to power outlets or on level ground), you’ll have to completely drain the hot tub to move it.

Step 2 – Site Preparation

At the very least, you’ll need to clear a path to your backyard for wherever you plan to place the hot tub. That may mean removing a section of your fence, trimming hanging tree branches, or moving other obstacles in your yard (unless you’ve purchased a portable inflatable hot tub).

Going along with site prep, it is important to have a good, level surface ready allowing you to sit on your hot tub.

Step 3 – Hot Tub Base

Concrete makes an ideal base, especially if you have a large slab already big enough for your hot tub. If you don’t, you can always piece together a short retainer wall, mix some concrete, and pour it. Another ideal option is an elevated wooden frame, built with 4x4’s with 2x6 joists laid on edge on top of the 4x4’s.

A less permanent solution is to use gravel, provided it isn’t sharp enough to pierce or damage the tub. The gravel also helps prevent water build up around the bottom of the tub (just as an elevated base would), which helps prevent long term water damage on the outside of the hot tub.

Step 4 – Electrical Wiring

Some portable hot tubs will run off of a single cord that you plug into a standard electrical outlet. However, others may require more complicated wiring. For any substantial wiring work (especially if you want to wire everything conveniently into a single breaker switch), it is best to call a professional electrician, or at least somebody with plenty of electrical experience. If you do the wiring yourself, have somebody else with electrical wiring experience look over your work, as a mistake here could be the end of your hot tub.

Step 5 – Further Installation

You should be ready to fill up your tub. Take note of the manufacturer’s specifications on how much to fill the tub up. After the tub is filled up, add the proper chemicals to ensure your own health as well as the safety of the hot tube.

As with any installation, be sure to refer to the owner’s manual for more specific instructions on how to install your particular hot tub.