Things You'll Need
Tractor or shovel and hoe
The surface under your hot tub can comprise many materials besides gravel, including concrete, wooden decking, paver stones or a prefabricated pad. It is essential that whatever surface you use be strong enough to support the filled and occupied tub.
Do not locate the tub within 10 feet of any overhead power lines. This will help to minimize the risk of electrocution. Before completing the installation of your hot tub, check to see if there are any city or county codes you must comply with, to avoid potential problems later.
A hot tub is a self-contained unit that circulates and filters water that has been chemically treated. Hot tubs come in different sizes and can usually accommodate two or more people. When placing a hot tub, the ground on which it sits must be level, smooth and solid enough to support the weight of the tub, the water and its occupants. Consideration should also be given to convenience, appearance and proximity to such necessities as power and water. Potential problems like overhead power lines and trees should be considered as well.
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Select a site for the hot tub. The site should be in an area that gets good drainage, so that the tub does not end up surrounded by puddles or mud.
Check the area carefully. Keep away from overhead power lines, trees and messy shrubs. Also make sure the site you have chosen does not block access to your septic tank, sewer lines or other necessary utilities coming to or from your house.
Evaluate the distance to a water source, such as a garden hose. A hot tub is generally drained three or four times per year, so it is important that it be convenient to refill it on a regular basis. A hose should be nearby.
Make sure the site is at least five feet away from your electrical panel or outlet. Depending on the hot tub, you may need to have electrical service connected by an electrician, but some hot tubs plug directly into a 15-amp household outlet, using a plug like the one on a washing machine.
Level the ground where you intend to place the hot tub by removing bumps and filling in holes. A tractor works well for this, but you can use a shovel and a hoe if you prefer. Remove any large rocks or other debris, and do not place the hot tub in an area where there are large tree roots above or near the surface. The ground must be smooth and level before the tub is placed. Uneven surfaces and slopes can cause problems with installation and later use of your hot tub.
Place a layer of gravel on the leveled spot. The thickness of the layer will depend on the size and weight of your hot tub, but a layer four to six inches thick should be adequate for most hot tubs. Extend the gravel out around the tub in all directions, to avoid having a muddy area around your hot tub. Compact the gravel by packing it down tightly. Make the surface as smooth and even as possible. You are now ready to place your hot tub.