Can I sink my hot tub or swim spa inground?
The short answer is YES!
It’s a great idea and can create a stunning centrepiece indoors or outdoors.
It can also make entering and exiting your spa convenient and safe.
Your very own ‘Aquatic Quarter’ could be finished with surround decking or stonework to compliment the look and setting - installing ambient lighting to further accentuate the tone in your perfect new garden-scape sanctuary.
Here at Bath Bliss, we recently received an inquiry regarding this very topic and we thought we’d put a few ideas together to help in answering this question.
Here are some principle considerations when planning an inground hot tub or swim spa installation:
If we take the example of our Evoca Swim Spa - this professional therapy spa has a dry weight of around 850kg, commissioned with 7000 litres of water this increases tenfold to around 8000kg.
So preparing the ground is all important to support its weight and not forgetting the swim spa occupants!
First the pit is dug, and a concrete base is laid and left to set dry.
Then the pit is further strengthened and reinforced with concrete blocks.
Next your swim spa is carefully lowered by crane into its resting position.
The technicians and builders will then align and level the swim spa. Then the wiring and plumbing can be completed - ready for commissioning.
Partial or Full Sinking
The sunken look itself is very alluring. But to achieve this you needn’t go all the way and fully sink.
Partial sink levels can differ from 300mm to 1000mm (spa height dependent) and the overall aesthetic is still achieved - partial sinking has benefits too, in terms of accessibility and ease of maintenance.
Access for maintenance and repair
It is essential that the control panel and pumps be accessible - we recommend a 600mm void or clearance and ideally a 1000mm clearance would offer even better access - especially on the side that houses the control panel and pumps (model dependent).
95% of the time only this control side will matter when it comes to maintenance.
In the very rare instance that pipework needs replacing elsewhere (Sunbeach Spas are ISO Certified - so buying from a top manufacturer reduces the chance of this happening in the first place) it’s recommended to have good clearance all round the Swim spa.
Lifting the swim spa back out of the ground for repairs would probably not be covered by any supplier warranty.
We recommend allowing access to all sides, if possible.
Ideally 600mm for hot tubs and 900mm for swim spas.
Drain +Power Point
Water feed nearby would be one of the first considerations. Make sure you know where the power & drain points are located on the swim spa or hot tub, planning where you would like your water to drain when emptying is an important consideration too.
This information can be found on our product technical specifications or the PDF brochure.
Decking is a great way to finish off the surrounding ground.
When decking around your spa, we recommend upright supports at regular intervals around the spa, set back around 600mm, then cantilever the joists so that the deck is self-supporting around the spa.
This will allow the technicians easy access to any panels as per your service protocol.
Deck access panels are a great practical solution for semi-sunken spas. This will allow for super easy access, saving time and money for maintenance and repair requirements.
Hot Tub Covers
Once the spa water has reached peak temperature maintaining it with a cover when not in use is a necessity less an accessory. Hot tub covers keep the waters clean and the water chemistry balanced.
Covers are essential to reducing running costs too. If you need a tot tub cover lifter please make sure it can still operate unhindered once the spa is sunk.
With hot tub and swim spa lead times approaching the 4 - 6 month mark currently (Oct 2021) you’ll have a head start and plenty of time to plan, organise and manage the inground preparatory process.
Planning the location of your spa is as much about practical considerations as it is style and the overall landscaping of your property.