DIY Network

Outdoor Hot Tub Basics

Installing a hot tub outdoors can give your outdoor room a whole new purpose. Learn the basics of a hot tub to prepare for installation.

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Hot tubs are fixtures often found in new homes and if you don't have one, they can be purchased from many suppliers. They can be totally self contained-which makes for ease of installation, or can be bought as parts that must be placed and connected to make the completed unit. Buying as parts allows the homeowner to integrate the unit into the outdoor landscaping more fully, but a self-contained unit means quick and easy installation and that you can be soaking in it almost immediately.

Plumbing in a Hot Tub
The plumbing for a hot tub is totally self-contained, although you will have to connect it up to your home's water supply and drain.

Connecting to the power supply
The electrical connection is normally by a 120-volt supply that must be on a dedicated circuit and must be grounded with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.

Water makes a total surface connection to your body and if electricity is allowed to make contact with the water-either due to a wiring fault or during an electrical storm-it will make a contact with you. Because of the danger posed by mixing water and electricity, a grounding connection is imperative to afford safety from possible electrocution while using the hot tub. The electrical components of the hot tub must be grounded via a driven metal rod-as per local codes. This means that the rod is typically about six feet long and driven into the ground so that only a few inches of it is exposed. A heavy grounding strap or cable is attached to this using a grounding clamp for positive contact and the other end is connected with a clamp to the hot tub electrical system.