Hot tubs can be sunk into the ground. However, it is important to take the proper installation steps in order to ensure that the hot tub remains accessible for maintenance.
As a result, it is not wise for hot tubs to be placed fully in the ground but should be partially buried instead. For instance, the side of the hot tub containing the control panel and pumps must remain open. Therefore, it is usually preferable for this side of the hot tub to remain completely unburied.
Yet, if complete burial is non-negotiable, hot tub owners must ensure that there is enough room to access the control panel through an access hatch. In fact, it is recommended that hatches allowing access to the hot tub are placed around all sides to ensure that any damages that may occur can easily be reached and repaired without the need to dig up the entire hot tub as doing so can cost a significant amount of money.
How do you prepare the ground for a hot tub?
The first step to prepare the ground for a hot tub installation is to pick a spot. The hot tub should be placed in an area that has proper drainage so that the hot tub does not become surrounded by puddles of water.
In addition, the area should be free from low hanging power lines, trees, and shrubs which can cause debris to enter the hot tub. Furthermore, the area should not cause the hot tub to block necessary access to septic tanks, sewer lines, or any other utility lines.
Next, the hot tub should be located close to a water source such as a hose in order for it to easily be drained and refilled about three to four times a year. Similarly, the hot tub should be at least five feet away from an electrical panel or outlet.
Once the proper spot is chosen, the ground should be leveled. Doing so can be done with either a tractor or a shovel and a hoe. Leveling the ground requires removing any bumps and gravel and filling in holes that may be missing.
Btw, I have a great post on leveling your hot tub on concrete. You can click here to get more details.
Additionally, any large items such as rocks or debris should be removed, and the area should not contain any large tree roots. When all items have been removed and any holes have been filled, the ground should be smooth and flat.
Finally, a layer of gravel should be placed on the leveled ground. The thickness of the layer depends on the size and weight of the hot tub in question, but four to six inches is typically enough to support most hot tubs.
The gravel should cover an area beyond that which the hot tub takes up in order to prevent muddy areas. Then, it should be packed down as tightly and smoothly as possible, and the ground is ready for a hot tub!
What is best to put under a hot tub?
A layer of concrete is the most ideal base for hot tub installations. It should be at least six inches thick and reinforced with rebar. Decking, patios and terraces, and gravel beds are also common options to put under hot tubs.
However, decking is often not strong enough to withstand the heavy weight of a hot tub. Therefore, the underlying decks often need reinforced, and this process is not always possible depending on the structure of the deck.
Patios and terraces make decent options, but hot tub owners should ensure that they are level and have secure foundations before installing a hot tub. Otherwise, it is common for them to move and crack due to the weight of the hot tub they are supporting.
Finally gravel works well as long as it is placed on a level surface and tightly compacted.
How level does the ground need to be for a hot tub?
When installing a hot tub, the ground should be reasonably level. This means that the ground should have no more than half an inch to an inch slope. Additionally , the ground should be free from any unevenness such as dips, sags, or bumps which may be caused by debris, lack of dirt, and uneven ground.
Ideally, the ground should be as flat as possible and completely free from any sort of contaminants. This allows for solid foundations to be put into place which will protect the hot tub and surrounding area from any damage and ultimately increase the lifespan of the hot tub and the enjoyment that can be obtained.
Do I need a concrete slab for a hot tub?
Hot tubs do not have to sit on concrete slabs. However, seeing as concrete is generally affordable, sturdy, long-lasting, and easy to use, concrete slabs tend to serve as the most common bases for tubs. Other bases include decks, paver stones, gravel, and spa pads. No matter what base is chosen, it is important to note that hot tubs should never be placed directly on the ground or on a wooden deck that has not been built or reinforced to support the weight of a hot tub.
Can a hot tub sit on pavers?
Pavers can be used as a base for hot tub installations. However, the proper precautions should be set in place. For instance, pavers can sometimes cause hot tubs to not be leveled which inflicts damage on the hot tub. Therefore, it is important to use pavers that are smooth and can easily be interlocked in order to create a flat layer for the hot tub.
Additionally, pavers cannot be placed directly onto the ground. Instead, they must sit on a base. Concrete blocks are most commonly used. However, sand and gravel can also be utilized.
No matter what look a hot tub owner is trying to achieve or what type of pavers are chosen, the foundation should be properly put in place so that the pavers are locked in place with secured joints ensuring that the hot tub does not move or become damaged.