Hot Tub Setup Guide

Proper installation and setup of your hot tub is vital to the safe and enjoyable use of it. Please read the manual for your particular model, speak to your local dealer about the delivery process and keep the following guidelines in mind as you prepare to use your spa.

Choose and Prepare the Location

Consider safety, appearance, convenience and maintenance when selecting the spot for your hot tub. While certain details are unique to the specific location, the following guidelines suit most situations:

  • Know local codes, restrictions and covenants for installation, which may include security measures like locked gates.
  • Clear a wide path from the curb to the installation site, and be certain any gates and doorways are wide enough for the spa.
  • Place the hot tub where a water hose can reach it for filling. Ensure the surface it sits on will allow water to drain away from the base of the spa. Select a space away from sprinklers, roof overhangs, gutters and other water sources and drainage spots.
  • For outdoor hot tubs, think about distance from and paths to doors. Also consider the potential for wind damage, sun exposure and falling debris from trees.
  • Allow enough space around the hot tub for maintenance and repairs, typically at least 2 feet by the electronics and 18 inches on all other sides.

For Outdoor Hot Tubs

Outdoor hot tubs should be installed on level, concrete, steel-reinforced pads. If you need to lay a new concrete pad, contact local utility companies to be certain you won’t disturb underground lines with digging.

Observe the following steps when making the concrete pad:

  1. Dig an area at least 8 inches longer and wider than the spa itself, and 6 to 8 inches deeper than the planned elevation of the hot tub.
  2. Fill the site with 3 to 4 inches of crushed stone.
  3. Place three-eights-inch steel reinforcement bars above the crushed stone on a 16-inch grid.
  4. Pour 3 to 4 inches of concrete.
  5. Level the concrete and finish the surface with a course broom to make the top slip resistant.

Note: If you are in a freeze/thaw zone or the ground is prone to shifting due to materials or low water tables, we suggest installing poured concrete footings below the water table or freeze line.

If the spa will be surrounded by a raised deck, ensure that you can access the side panels for maintenance and repair.

For Indoor Hot Tubs

Hire a contractor to confirm the load bearing capacity of the floor, drainage capabilities, water supply, wide enough entry points and that the site will be able to handle tub draining and maintenance.

Consider the following when choosing a spot and preparing the site:

  • Are the floors safe and slip-resistant?
  • Will the chemicals and/or their vapor react with/damage anything in the vicinity?
  • Is there proper ventilation to moderate humidity and prevent mold growth?

Hot Tub Delivery and Placement

Talk to your Aqua Living dealer to learn all you can about the delivery process of your particular model, including where you are putting it, potential obstacles and how it will be packaged.

You may need people on hand to assist with the offloading process or even a towing bed or crane.

If a towing is required for installation, consider having the tower arrive at the time of drop off so the deliverer can place the spa directly onto the tow bed.

For crane services, make sure the company has experience with hot tubs for proper strap placement.

Never allow the hot tub to be placed on its top or sides. This could damage the structure, components and acrylic, even if the spa is still packaged.

Be sure the hot tub is level while the power needed to move it is still on the site. Never use shims to level the spa, as this can create pressure points and cause damage.

Clean and Fill the Spa

Your hot tub should not arrive dirty, though you should clean it of debris and marks made in transit and during installation.

Debris might have collected in the plumbing lines during transport and installation. To clean it out:

  1. Open the drain bib.
  2. Remove the filters.
  3. Run water through the filtration canister and jet lines until water coming from the drain bib runs clear.

Do not connect the hot tub to power until it is full of water – running it dry could damage the components.

Follow these seven steps to fill the spa:

  1. Remove the electrical access panel and check for obvious signs of damage, such as broken pipes or loose wires, and call the number in your manual if you have concerns.
  2. Hand tighten plumbing unions and ensure slice valves are locked in the “up” position.
  3. Remove all weirs, skimmer baskets and filters from the filtration canister. Put weirs and filter baskets aside and put the filters in the foot well (so it gets saturated during filling).
  4. Place a garden hose in the empty filter canister, turn the water on and let it run until it’s an inch over highest jets (except those for neck and shoulder massage).
  5. Take the hose out of the tub and turn off the water.
  6. Replace the weir, skimmer basket and weir. Reassemble the filter in its housing.
  7. Make certain there are no leaks in the spa cabinet, especially at the plumbing unions. If you see leaks, call the number in your manual for assistance.

Connecting the Hot Tub to Electrical Power Sources

Understand that all electrical connections must be performed by a qualified, licensed electrician who follows state and local codes.

Failing to follow proper procedures could result in injury or even death.

Once all electrical components are in place, take the following steps to get electrical power into your hot tub:

  • Plug the ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) directly into the outlet. Never use extension cords or surge protectors, and test the GFCI before each use to confirm all cords are safe.
  • Never allow electrical devices, such as lights, televisions, etc. within 5 feet of the hot tub, outside of those built in by the manufacturer.
  • Do NOT turn the GFCI on until the tub is filled with water.
  • Once the spa is full of water (see previous section), and if you see no leaks, turn the GFCI “on.” The spa controls will implement a check cycle.

Purge Air from the Plumbing Lines

When the hot tub’s power is first turned on, the spa will run routine diagnostic checks and go into priming mode, which removes any air trapped in the plumbing lines.

You may see a message or symbol on your topside control indicating air in the lines and directing you to run the pumps.

If air remains in the lines after observing all priming instructions, turn pumps off and call for assistance to avoid serious damage to your hot tub and heater.

Program Setting Preferences

Check your manual to learn the factory settings for temperature and modes, and adjust to your preferences.

If your topside control display is flashing, the spa is in programming mode and you should wait five seconds before pushing a new button.

Determine the best filtration cycle for your hot tub, and know that continuous filtration is not recommended.

You may also work with the jets, lights and audio equipment to find your personal preferences.

Familiarize yourself with the error codes for your hot tub, and keep the manual on hand for quick fixes.

Treat the Water

Maintain proper water quality in your hot tub to protect the spa and the bathers.

If the chemicals are even a little out of balance you may end up with foam, damaged components, build-up and skin issues.

Once the water has reached 80 degrees Fahrenheit you may treat it. Consult your manual and chemical product labels for specific instructions for testing, mixing and treating schedules.

Do not get into the tub immediately after treatment to avoid exposure to the vapor, which can be strong right after chemicals are added to the spa.

Using Your Cover

Every hot tub should have a cover. Whether it’s detached or you use a cover lifter, the cover is an important part of setting up your spa and the surrounding area.

Detached covers will need a clean, nearby surface to rest on while you’re using the hot tub.

The space should be far enough from the tub to not get splashed, and never bent or dragged when being moved.

If you have a cover lifter, carefully follow the instructions for installation and use.

Be sure all bathers know to leave the cover and lifter alone during tub use for their own safety and the preservation of the cover.

Please feel free to contact your Aqua Living dealer with any questions or concerns about setting up your hot tub.

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