Installing a Jacuzzi The Basics
Imagine slipping into a hot and bubbling Jacuzzi after a long day at work. Yeah, you can get used to that! Where at one time Jacuzzis were a luxury of the rich and well-to-do, today, more and more people are choosing to incorporate them into their home designs as costs have come down and the tubs are more accessible to the average homeowner.
Many homeowners choose to cut their Jacuzzi costs even further by performing the installation themselves. Because of the nature of electricity and water, it’s extremely important that you know what you’re doing if you are considering a self-installation.
Here are some things you will have to do if you are performing the Jacuzzi installation on your own.
Installing a Jacuzzi – Start at the Base
A successful Jacuzzi installation starts at the ground level, literally – the ground has to be level! If the floor is off by even a fraction, it can cause problems with the Jacuzzi’s draining system and other sensitive components. Also, if you are installing the tub on the second floor, the flooring beneath the tub must be able to handle and support 150 lbs. per square foot.
Build your support frame, or use the one that came with the tub if it did and pour two inches of thick concrete to help support the weight of the tub. The frame needs to support the bottom of the tub as well as the upper rim of the unit. Again, make sure that everything is level!
Installing a Jacuzzi – Remember the Access Panel
Don’t forget to plan for an access panel. Ideally, you want an 18” x 18” removable panel for gaining access to the tub’s pump and motor.
Installing a Jacuzzi – Fitting the Tub to the Frame
With the frame level and finished, it’s time to fit the tub inside. Use wood shims to make any necessary adjustments to keep the tub level. Once level, secure the tub in place by screwing it to the frame and along the sheetrock nailing flange.
Installing a Jacuzzi – The Plumbing and Wiring
One of the biggest concerns with self-installation is that you can void the warranty if you hook something up wrong. Follow the water hook up directions to the last detail. The tub also needs to be grounded properly to prevent electrical shock. If the tub comes pre-wired with a cord already in place, it will need to be plugged into a GFCI outlet. If the tub is wired directly, follow the wiring diagram that is included in the junction box or in the instruction manual.
Installing a Jacuzzi – Test Before Finishing
Once the tub is secured and the plumbing and electricity work is all finished, test the tub’s performance before finishing the drywall. But, before you do the test, make sure the tub is entirely clean and free from any debris. Then, fill the tub with water and allow it to run for 15 minutes. During this time, check the plumbing for any leaks.
Installing a Jacuzzi – Finishing
If no problems arise with your plumbing, go ahead and install the drywall and finish your installation. It’s important to note that if you are finishing the floor and/or walls with ceramic tile, you must take in consideration the weight of the tile when figuring the flooring support requirements. Lastly, don’t forget to apply caulk around the Jacuzzi’s edges to seal it against water leaks.