Getting a Hot Tub? You Need a Professional Electrical Installation
Relaxing in a hot tub, either on your own, or with family or friends, is one of life’s great pleasures that many people aspire to. While you might think that installing it yourself is a simple job, working with electricity always has the potential for danger, and this is even greater where water is involved. If you do it yourself and install the hot tub incorrectly, that may void the warranty and you could end up with an expensive white elephant. To be sure that your new hot tub is safe and the work complies with the National Electrical Code, the smart choice is to hire professionals to perform this electrical installation. They can also advise on the need for permits and handle this aspect of the job for you.
The location of your hot tub is an important consideration. If you wish to have it outside, you must make sure that it either has a lockable cover or take other precautions to ensure there is no danger of anyone falling in accidentally. You might also want to undertake some landscaping to create an attractive setting, so using a contractor who is also licensed to carry out building work as well as electrical, makes sense if this is the case.
If you want to have your hot tub indoors, you also need to consider the matters of ventilation and drainage. Chemicals needed to keep the hot tub hygienic can release harmful fumes which must be allowed to disperse safely.
Hot tubs are relatively power hungry appliances, so one of the first jobs for the electrician to do is to establish whether your home’s power supply is sufficient to cope with the extra demand. If not, you may need to have your electrical panel upgraded. In any event, a dedicated circuit and breaker will need to be installed for the hot tub.
To protect users from electrical dangers around outdoor facilities, the National Electrical Code requires hot tubs to be fitted with a ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI). The GFCI measures the flow of electric current and interrupts it if it detects even very small differences between the current that comes in and flows out. Even a very small leakage of current into water can create a serious electrocution hazard.
To maximize the enjoyment you can derive from your hot tub, you might want to add lighting to your deck or yard, and provide additional outlets so you can make the area a center for entertainment and create a party atmosphere once in while. For safety purposes, there are regulations determining how far away any outlets must be placed from water and all such equipment should also be fitted with GFCIs.
Heating a hot tub is going to add to your electricity bill but there are several measures you can take to keep the costs down. Consider heating your tub in off-peak periods, or turning the temperature down a few degrees and up to the desired level a couple of hours before you plan to have a soak. Make sure the tub is well insulated and that it has a close fitting cover, to retain the heat when it is not in use.
When all the work is completed, you want to be able to sit back and relax in your hot tub and let the cares of the day wash away. If you have had the electrical installation done by licensed contractors and have taken all necessary safety measures, then you can properly unwind, without having to worry about hidden dangers and unsafe connections. Leave the stress to the professionals and enjoy your new hot tub!