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A bathtub in the bedroom is great but a hot tub indoors could just be your perfect private getaway. But you may be asking: can hot tubs be used indoors?
For most homeowners, hot tubs offer the best ways to relax and soak in the surroundings of your home — the backyard being the perfect place.
If you’ve ever spent an enjoyable day unwinding in a spa inside a hotel suite, you most probably are convinced that a hot tub indoors would be a good idea, allowing you to end a long day.
If it’s not a must for you to have an outdoor hot tub so you can soak under the stars in your backyard, here’s all you need to know about installing one indoors.
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Can A Hot Tub Be Used Indoors?
Clearly, the rise in disposable income, an increase in awareness about health, changing lifestyles of individuals, and rapid technological advancements are some of the major factors that are driving homeowners to install hot tubs indoors.
So, yes, hot tubs can be used indoors. You can put a hot tub in your bathroom. You can put a hot tub in your master bedroom. However, this project is a little more complicated and requires expertise.
Hot Tub Placement Indoors
Went ahead and purchased your new hot tub? Congratulations! Now, with some advance preparation, the delivery and installation of your new hot tub will be a breeze.
Here is a planning guide to provide you with the information necessary for you to be ready for your hot tub’s placement indoors, prior to the scheduled delivery of your hot tub.
Proper preparation and care of your new hot tub will give your family years of relaxation and enjoyment.
But first, please make a record of the following information about your hot tub: its model, serial number, date purchased, date installed, and the dealer.
Here are other things to determine before the installation:
- Where will my spa be located indoors? How much space do I have available for a hot tub – that is, the size of the room?
- What are the measurements of door openings, or stairs for getting your hot tub to its destination?
- Check the dimensions of your hot tub’s length, width, and depth. Will it pass through interior doors or even, exterior gates?
- Check the weight of your hot tub without water and filled with water. Will your room floor support its considerable weight?
For indoor hot tub placement, regular, code-compliant floors or level basement concrete are adequate to support the weight. Four-season rooms, screened-in rooms, and porches must be checked for adequate floor support.
There is no single standard hot tub weight but they can be heavy when filled. This Aquarest Spas 5-person hot tub, for example, weighs 650 pounds when empty and 4599 pounds when full.
So, will your floor be able to handle such weight? According to Pool Spa News, ‘floors in most homes can support 125 to 300 pounds per square foot. But since each home is built differently, it is prudent to consult with an engineer before determining the tub’s final destination within your home.’
All in all, the area that your hot tub sits on must be able to support the weight of the hot tub, the water in it, and those who use it. If the foundation is inadequate, it may shift or settle after the hot tub is in place, causing stress to its shell.
It’s much safe to place a hot tub on a concrete floor slab than on bare ground, a brick, stone, or gravel base. That’s why garage floors are sweet spots.
- Does your home have a dedicated 50 AMP breaker in the house’s main breaker box or will one have to be added by an electrician?
According to Article 680 of the NEC, all hot tubs require GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) breakers for their electrical system to protect you from electrocution due to ground fault shock while you are in or around the water.
Therefore, it’s a must to choose a GFCI breaker with the proper amperage rating as specified in the manual or on the nameplate of the unit for the hot tub.
We recommend a double-pole 50A breaker that serves its purpose for big appliances that pull an immense amount of electrical load. It can supply 240V or 120/240V to a circuit. Meanwhile, a single-pole breaker can supply one circuit with 120V.
The Square D Homeline HOM250 Circuit Breaker is an excellent example of a 50-amp circuit breaker.
This demands you to hire an electrician to install the 240-V, 50 AMP neutrally protected GFCI. Your main breaker box will also need to have a 50 AMP breaker.
NOTE: The power supplied to the hot tub must be a dedicated circuit with no other appliances or lights sharing the power.
- How far is it from your main breaker box to where your hot tub will be located?
Many hot tubs do not have cord-and-plug type power supplies, and are, instead, hard-wired through the floor or side wall of the cabinet, directly into its control pack.
The GFCI is thus installed next to the hot tub on an exterior wall within 5 feet from the tub as this fulfills the NEC requirement for a disconnect and GFCI protection.
- Is there a water source available nearby to fill and drain the hot tub?
A common question homeowners have when installing a hot tub indoors is if they need a plumber.
No plumbing is required for outdoor hot tubs because your hot tub is entirely self-contained and can be filled using a garden hose and emptied by siphoning with a garden hose or submersible pump.
However, indoor hot tubs will demand a little more. Depending on its position i.e. by a wall, you may need to involve a plumber to install a faucet to deliver water to your hot tub easily. You most likely don’t want to be hauling buckets of water from your bathroom sink or shower to fill your tub.
Since hot tubs are not designed or intended to have the water drained and refilled before each use, unlike bathtubs, you may need to drain the tub after a couple of uses.
To drain your hot tub, turn the power off first by completely unplugging the tub or turning off the circuit breaker for hardwired hot tub setups. This prevents the pumps and jets from being damaged if they are used when there isn’t any water in the hot tub.
Next, drain the tub through the valve on the bottom of your tub to let the water out. If your tub isn’t connected to a drainpipe, you can drain the water with a garden hose. A submersible pump can also be used to speed up the process.
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What is the Best Flooring for under a Hot Tub?
Water will definitely splash out of the hot tub and onto the floor, no matter how careful you are.
This isn’t an issue while you’re outside but when your hot tub is indoors, you’ll want to select flooring that won’t be damaged by water and isn’t too slippery when wet.
Flooring made of wood and carpet should be avoided. Wood is organic and prone to rot over time while household carpet will soak and is susceptible to mold growth.
Instead, choose a non-slip ceramic tile, a matte-finish ceramic tile, or other water-resistant floor material as they won’t rot, and will keep wet feet from slipping.
Extend this water-resistant material at least 2 feet around the hot tub, in case of over-splash and to catch water from bathers exiting the hot tub.
Additionally, make sure the hot tub is positioned so you have full access to the equipment compartments located by the spa controls, at least 30″ around all sides and back panels will ensure easy service access if needed.
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How Do You Maintain An Indoor Hot Tub?
To keep your hot tub running smoothly is easy when you follow a simple maintenance schedule, which means taking care of the spa itself, the water in it, and your hot tub room.
- Before each use, check the water chemistry using the appropriate testing strips to measure alkalinity and pH levels.
You want to balance the chemicals before using the tub because
- After each use, sanitize the water before the next usage.
Unfortunately, some bacteria survive in warm water. For this reason, sanitize your water using either chlorine or bromine to keep it disinfected, clear, and smelling fresh.
For this reason, sanitizing your water is important to keep it disinfected, clear, and smelling fresh before the next use. The two most popular sanitizers are bromine and chlorine.
- Every 2-4 weeks, clean the spa filter (and more often if you use the hot tub more frequently).
This entails taking out the filter, lightly spraying it with a hose, and allowing it to dry completely before reinstalling it in the spa. Filters can also be soaked in a filter cleaner to ensure all dirt and debris are removed.
- Cover your hot tub when it isn’t in use & clean the cover too.
- Air out the spa cover at least twice per week.
Use a spa cover lifter to completely remove it or gently lace it off the tub if you don’t have a spa cover lift and give your cover a few hours to breathe and get away from the constant heat and moisture.
This is a great opportunity to add chemicals or shock the spa if not in use.
- Add fill water.
If the skimmer starts to suck air instead of water, it can damage the pump.
Therefore, the water level should always be in the middle of the skimmer intake or a little higher. You don’t want it too high, and you never want to overflow the hot tub, so keep a close eye on the water level while filling.
- Drain your hot tub every four to six months, depending on how many people use the hot tub and how often they use it, clean it and fill it with fresh water.
- Also, have your hot tub checked by a professional once a year. This check-up is just one more way to keep your hot tub working right and lasting longer.
- Indoor hot tub installation requires adequate ventilation.
When the cover is off and the hot tub is in use, considerable amounts of humidity and moisture are put into the air.
This moisture can damage, walls, ceilings, carpeting, draperies, and furniture.
Therefore, you will need to install a ventilation exhaust fan either above the hot tub in the ceiling or in a side wall or window, next to and above the spa water.
We also recommend a humidistat that will automatically turn on the exhaust fan when moisture is present.
Exhaust fans are rated by CFMs (cubic feet per minute). The fan must be powerful enough to remove all the air in the room in 3 minutes.
To determine what size fan you will need, measure the room’s length x width x height and divide by 3 = CFMs. Example: 20′ x 10′ x 8′ = 1600 cubic ft. / 3 = 533 CFMs. You would need at least a 533 CFM fan for this room.
- You also want to moisture-proof your walls to make it easy for them to handle the room’s high humidity.
You can add a moisture barrier to them. Or upgrade from drywall to glass, marble, ceramic tiles, or even cedar.
Ideas For Hot Tubs Indoors
Putting a hot tub indoors is great as long as you have enough space, and sturdy flooring to hold the weight of a hot tub, water, and the users.
It reduces your maintenance costs as you won’t have to filter out bugs, pollen, leaves, and even pebbles that fall into the water. Your cover will also not be exposed to direct UV hence spared from cracks and deterioration.
The best part is that indoor hot tubs maximize unused space and allow for much-needed privacy unlike outdoor ones, and allow for year-round use–whether winter or summer. You won’t have to worry about winterizing your hot tub.
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There are great spots to install a hot tub indoors:
In the Master Bathroom
In the Master Bedroom
In the Sunroom
A Hot tub in the Basement
Transform your space into a relaxation room by setting up soothing lighting, and matching your hot tub to the room’s aesthetic. Also, feel free to use scented candles and greenery to amp up the cozy vibe.
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With a hot tub installed indoors, you can design a spa right in your house that will allow you to enter a world of soothing relaxation to help relieve the stress and tension of the fast-paced world we all live in.
It also allows you to experience the health benefits of hydrotherapy as your body rejuvenates and heals itself while immersed in a soothing swirling mass of hot water.
Installing a hot tub indoors will turn an unused room into your private paradise.