I was visiting some friends recently when their hot tub cracked open and flooded their entire courtyard and outbuildings; while everyone was trying to clean up the mess, a question popped up in my head, so I decided to do some research and find out how far a hot tub should be from the house, in this post I share my research with you.
A hot tub could be a permanent installation or a temporary installation. There is no set standard distance for how far hot tubs must be from a house, but installations are done no more than 5 feet from a disconnection point as per the National electrical code. This code is called NEC section 680.12.
After reading the National electrical code and doing further research, I realized that there was much more that one could learn from hot tubs, starting with the types of hot tubs.
How Far Does Hot Tub Need To Be From A House?
Hot tubs are a great way to relax, and many people prefer to spend time in a hot tub under the stars. The distance that a hot tub needs to be away from your home depends on personal choice, the national electrical, building, and plumbing codes, and the type of hot tub that is installed.
In this section, there will be looked at permanent hot tubs and temporary hot tubs; here is the information:
Permanently Installed Hot Tub
Hot tubs installed in a permanent position will be located close to the house with a disconnection point within 5 feet as per the national electrical code. The exact location will depend on the following factors:
- The design and layout of the house play a role in how far away the hot tub will be from the house. The question is whether the house was designed with a hot tub in mind, and is there space available for it?
- The availability of electricity and water is another factor to consider; whenever new installations are needed, it is better to turn to the professionals; it is crucial to look at the regulations and codes in your area.
- The lighting location is another thing to consider when choosing the distance of a hot tub from the house. There are a lot of possible obstacles in and around a home, and serious injuries can result from tripping, slipping, and falling.
- The ground condition of the yard is also something that can make a big difference in deciding how far away from the house is to install a hot tub. Hot tubs need to be on a strong and level foundation.
- The safety of unsupervised children is also something to be considered.
Permanent hot tubs are normally installed close to the house and are covered when not in use. Some people also have a roof and sides over and around it for the winter months.
Temporarily Installed Hot Tub
Temporary hot tubs will also be installed close to the house within 5 feet from a disconnection point because of Nec section 680.12; here are the other points to consider:
- Just like with a permanent installation, it is necessary to think about the design and layout of the house to decide on the distance of the hot tub from the house.
- A water source and electrical connection are needed close to the temporary hot tub. A proper electrical installation needs to be done to prevent the burning of cables and electrocution.
- A light source is important close to the hot tub for relaxing moments in the evening.
- The ground condition is an important factor to consider because sharp objects like stones can puncture a temporary hot tub.
- Privacy is another factor to consider when choosing a location for a temporary hot tub. Being seen by the neighbors in swimwear or compromised positions is not something that is desired.
- Hot tubs are always filled with water, so it is important to have fencing around a hot tub to prevent drowning accidents.
You can move temporary hot tubs to different locations because it is mobile. But you need to remember to have a disconnection point within 5 feet of the hot tub and consider the points listed above.
Distance And General Requirements For Outdoor Hot Tubs
Hot tubs must be installed keeping in line with the local building, plumbing, and electrical codes. Sometimes these codes affect how far from the house the hot tub will be. When there is uncertainty in terms of these, it is necessary to consult experts to prevent fines and penalties. Here are requirements to keep in mind:
- Although there is no specific space that a hot tub needs to be away from a dwelling, it is important to keep in mind that it needs to be 5 feet away from the property line as per building codes.
- If a hot tub is built into the ground like a swimming pool, then the same codes will apply as if the hot tub is a swimming pool.
- A construction permit might be a requirement so keep that in mind for some areas. Violations of codes and regulations are taken very seriously and might lead to fines. Do not build anything if there is any uncertainty.
- Fencing is a critical factor in terms of safety. It is fine to have a cover over the hot tub in some counties, but in other counties, it needs to be a child-proof fence. It is important to be familiarized with the applicable city codes just to be sure.
- Hot tubs require water to be filled and electricity for the pumps, heaters, and jets to function. Follow the plumbing and electrical codes to prevent issues. It is also advisable to use plumbers and electricians for the installations as they know the codes.
If all the applicable guidelines are followed, you will know for certain how far away from the house, fence or property line, water systems, and electrical systems the hot tub would need to be.
Placement Tips For A Hot Tub
As long as hot tubs are placed 5 feet away from a borderline and within 5 feet from a disconnection line, then the distance from the house does not matter; here are some placement tips for a hot tub:
- It is advisable to place a hot tub in a position with a solid foundation. Water is heavy, and the ground needs to sustain all the weight.
- A temporary hot tub needs to be set up in a location where the water will not become a hazard in cases of accidental leakage or a puncture of a wall of the hot tub. Extension cords are very dangerous in the proximity of water. It can cause electrocution.
- A clear pathway needs to be planned out for a hot tub because it can pose all kinds of dangers if it is not done. It is also a good idea to have non-slip materials around the hot tub. Serious injuries can occur because of slipping or tripping.
Foundation Tips For A Hot Tub Close To A House
The foundation for a hot tub plays a role in deciding how far from a house the hot tub must be. If you need to lay a new foundation, it will affect the distance from the house. Hot tubs and the water they carry are heavy, and the base must be level. Here are a few tips for the foundation:
- Once a suitable location is found for the hot tub, the base needs to be prepared; installers hardly prepare the foundation themselves, so it needs to be ready when the hot tub is delivered.
- The prepared base must be able to take a lot of weight and needs to be prepared to be in line with the dimensions of the hot tub and all extras that come with it, also think of space getting in and out of the hot tub.
- You can easily construct the foundation out of concrete. Concrete is a strong and versatile material; it just needs time to set before placing a hot tub on it. So ensure that the concrete has ample time to set.
- The foundation could be done as a wooden deck. If the rest of the yard has a natural feel to it, then wood is a good option to go for because some people prefer to use wooden decking because of its appearance.
- Another easy way of constructing a foundation is the use of paving bricks. Paving bricks are easy to work with, as long as the soil below it is as level as possible. Paving bricks gives a neat and tidy appearance when done correctly.
- You could also construct the foundation with interlocking hot tub pads. Specialty manufactured pads are a good option to install as a solid and level foundation for a hot tub.
Other Factors About A Hot Tub To Consider
Other factors could also have possible impacts on the hot tub and the choice, size, and distance away from the house. They are:
The Size Of The Yard
As seen from the rest of this post, it is crucial to consider different building and county codes, so if the yard does not have enough space to allow for these, then hot tub you are out, the tribe has spoken. You should avoid a violation of the building, plumbing, and electrical codes at all costs.
There is no need for a hot tub to relax in if it is too close to the house or to a borderline or there is no disconnection point or any safety considerations. In the end, you will spend more time watching over shoulders, when it is the relaxation that is wanted.
Hot Tub Weight And Size
It is vital to consider the hot tub’s size and weight. The hot tub will be very far from the house when it is not done because if there is not enough space around the house, it will remain in the front un-used until a plan is made to get it to the back.
In some cases, deliveries of a hot tub call for more hands or special lifting equipment and trolleys; for some hot tubs, it may even be necessary to lift the hot tub over the wall with a truck-mounted crane or even a mobile crane.
If these are situations that you didn’t think of before ordering a hot tub, then it will take some time before there will be any relaxation in the tub. Asking questions about these things will save a lot of time and effort.
Maintenance And Service Of Hot Tub
Who would have thought that even this can have an effect on the distance away from the house that a hot tub needs to be? The reason for this is because a hot tub needs to be cleaned and serviced occasionally, and where is all that water going to go.
If planning is not done properly and there is no drainage system, then the water from the hot tub can cause damage to the house if it is too close or create unwanted issues. It is advisable to plan the drainage ahead of time.
Always remember to put covers of the hot tub back after cleaning or servicing it. And keep fences and gates closed, children and animals can drown, even worse if you forget to put covers back, you might get into a hot tub with unwanted guests like snakes or gators.
Building codes, plumbing codes, and electrical codes give us a better understanding of planning for a hot tub installation. It is very clear when it comes to borderline spacing and disconnection spacing, and from that, we can understand the need for using qualified technicians.
There are a lot of other things to consider as well because the codes do not have specifics when it comes to the distance that a hot tub needs to be from a house, so by doing proper planning and following the codes, there is no reason why the hot tub installation can not be done safely.