Ever dream of having your very own backyard hot tub? Imagine relaxing in the warm water on a cold winter night, with bubble jets percolating all around. Of course, hot tubs aren't for everybody – they come with drawbacks as well, particularly in the form of increased plumbing costs. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of installing a hot tub, and what you need to do if you decide to move forward with an installation.
Your Problems Turn to Bubbles
The biggest downside to purchasing a hot tub is the cost. The cheapest models start around $500 and go up from there, and that doesn't include what you pay for installation and the increased plumbing and energy costs that you'll have to shell out for – perhaps an additional $30 per month on your water and electricity bills. You'll also be responsible for maintaining the installation by adding chlorine, checking the pH levels, cleaning the filters and other tasks.
If you aren't daunted by the increased plumbing costs, there are a lot of reasons why a hot tub can be a fine addition to your yard. It feels great to sit around in warm water, and it can provide a wonderful outlet for stress relief. Hot water can also help relieve muscle pain and sore joints, and can be particularly therapeutic for people who suffer from arthritis.
So You're Ready to Buy
Before you decide to go forward with your purchase of a hot tub, you need to make sure you have an appropriate spot to install it. You need a flat space in the yard, at least 10 feet from overhead power lines and five feet from the tub's electric panel. In fact, it's a good idea to install a concrete slab or other foundation so you are ensured of a surface that can support the tub. The location also needs to provide proper drainage for water that splashes over the side.
The other big factor to consider when it comes to location is access to your home’s plumbing and electric systems. Most hot tubs require their own dedicated 220-240 volt circuit protected with a ground fault circuit interrupter to minimize electrocution risk. You'll also need a way to connect to your household plumbing.
Don't Go in Over Your Head in Plumbing Costs
Installing a hot tub is a complicated process, and you should have expert help to ensure that the job is done safely, effectively and in compliance with local code. When you're ready to start shopping for your hot tub, have a qualified plumber help you get the work done right the first time.