Looking to buy a hot tub - base questions

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
132
Grand Rapids MI
Hello,

We recently purchased a new home and are moving in the first week of December. I'll need to update my signature, as we're moving away from our current pool. At the new house we are looking to purchase a hot tub but have a few questions and need some advice. This thread won't be for which one to get, etc, I'll start another for that eventually. What I'm looking for is some advice on timing.

We move in the first week of December and in Michigan it's getting pretty cold by then, so not an ideal time to line up someone to poor a concrete patio for the hot tub. There is a deck off the back of the house that we are planning to remove and then add a nice size ground level concrete patio. I'll attach a picture below for what we are thinking. Because we aren't going to pour the patio until probably next Spring (need take out deck, move irrigation, etc), my question is, can we still purchase the hot tub once we move in and have it sit on pavers in the corners for the winter? Or am I just rushing and this is not a smart move? If we play that scenario out as well, I will need to drain and move the hot tub next spring while the work is being done. Has anyone attempted to do something like this before or know of any potential options?

In the picture, the deck will be removed eventually (next Spring). The white lines show where the patio is planned (existing deck footprint, plus some in to the existing yard and then a pathway to the driveway). The red lines show where I would put the hot tub for this winter and then it would be fairly close to that spot permanently after the patio is poured next Spring.

3673306F-79EF-4DB6-B8C3-EBBF0AD20162.jpeg
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,088
Morris Cnty NJ
You could use the plastic base stuff. Easiest way is to remove the sod and make a frame with 4x4s and fill flush with gravel. It would hold for a winter
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
132
Grand Rapids MI
I like the gravel idea with 4x4's supporting. I might give that a shot if we pursue it this winter. Also sounds like hot tubs may be sold out in our area for awhile...

I don't have power there yet, but plan to have an electrician run 220.
 

jseyfert3

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Bronze Supporter
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Oct 20, 2017
1,274
Southern WI
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I don't have power there yet, but plan to have an electrician run 220.
Good. You want a 240 volt hot tub. Hot tubs are best in the winter and 120 tubs cannot draw enough power to maintain temps with the lid off in cold weather and quickly cool off. Be sure the electrician knows you want to move the tub so he can hopefully position the disconnect appropriately so that doesn't require moving later.

Sounds like a lot of work to set up temporarily, but as I said winter is the best time for a hot tub so I can't blame you.

Perhaps others can chime in but if pouring a slab for a hot tub it may be desirable to have it poured without a slope, or with minimal slope. Regular patios have a standard slope for drainage, so our hot tub (which we inherited with the house) has water about an inch and a half deeper on the low side. But of course then water could pool on the patio by your house. Maybe the section for the hot tub could be flat and slope the rest? That's why I'm hoping someone else will chime in here.

If flat isn't a good idea then putting the skimmer on the low side may be better, our skimmer is on the high side and we always overflow with 4+ people. Then again maybe we would even if it was level...but the slope does make it overflow faster than it would otherwise.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,846
NY
IMHO your ground will be rock hard soon once the cold sets in and I don’t think the tub would sink enough to care in a couple of months. 15 years of freeze/thaw cycles and wet springs ? Sure. But 4 cold months ? Probably not. If you think about all the above ground pools that sit on undisturbed ground they have a lot more weight than the hot tub.

I’d remove the grass, level what’s left and roll the dice with pavers for the short term.

@RDspaguy, thoughts ?
 
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RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,012
Cabool, Mo
Flat is more important than level. But level helps. If it isn't flat, you can do irreparable damage the first time you fill it.
You NEVER want your spa to touch dirt. Your cabinet and frame won't last.
I bought a house with a pavers-on -gravel spa pad that had a 1992 sundance put on it new. I would have advised against that method, but it clearly did fine for almost 30 years. It currently has a hot springs leaker on blocks on it that I am fixing.
A pool has even weight distribution accross its bottom, but a spa has a framework that puts the weight on a few 2-4" wide boards on the bottom. Plain old gravel will shift and cause it to settle over time, but with pavers would be fine for a winter (or 30 apparently) assuming its pretty flat.
 
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