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Hot Tub Installation Requirements And Considerations in North Carolina

With great weather the majority of the year, North Carolina is the perfect place to have a hot tub at home. ¬†Keep in mind, you can’t just decide to install a hot tub without the proper permits. Additionally, as hot tubs are electrical devices, you’ll need to get a professional to help you with configuration and setup details. In this article, we’ll cover the details of installing a brand-new hot tub in North Carolina.

Legal Requirements and Permits

The City of Raleigh, NC, notes that your hot tub installation should follow four basic guidelines:

  • A Certificate of Appropriateness, which certifies that your hot tub is nowhere near a historic district or any building designated a Raleigh Historical landmark
  • A recorded map of the parcel you own, to verify that the tub won’t be encroaching on any easements when it’s constructed
  • You’re not allowed to build your hot tub over wastewater or septic infrastructure or their repair area
  • If a sewer easement exists on your property, you will need to get permission from the city to install a tub over it.

Electrical Requirements for Hot Tubs

A hot tub typically carries one of two types of electrical connections. They may be 110V/15A tubs or 220V/50A tubs. Tubs carrying the smaller voltage are often referred to as the “plug-and-play” variety, while larger ones are referred to as hard-wired tubs. From an electrician’s perspective, hard-wired tubs operate more efficiently than plug-and-play models because of their larger heater, which requires a bit more power output to run.

These tubs do require a GFCI electrical outlet to limit the chance of electric shock. Even though 50A tubs are the norm, some have higher amperage ratings ranging from 60A to 100A. These tubs usually have added features like multiple jets that require extra power. Home Depot reminds us that a hot tub or spa should either be wired directly into a GFCI-protected circuit and have a manual disconnect device known as a spa panel between the tub and the electrical circuitry.

Where to Put Your Hot Tub

Ideally, your hot tub should be placed on a solid surface. Some owners have a plinth or concrete decking explicitly built for the hot tub. Hard-wired tubs are permanent structures, but plug-and-play fixtures may not need concrete. You can get by with a wooden decking for the less demanding tubs.

Even so, you should be careful when constructing the decking, since it will have to support the weight of the tub, water, and all people inside of it. You can build plinths out of stone, wood, or even plastic in this case. There are specialized spa and hot tub supports constructed out of pressed, reinforced plastic for this use-case.

Water Care in a Hot Tub

Most hot tubs are plumbing-free, even the hard-wired ones, and don’t require you to put in extra water handling capabilities on your property. While you can fill up and recirculate the water multiple times, it’s important to remember that changing the water every so often may benefit you. Cleaning the filters at least once a year is recommended. You don’t have to refill the spa every time you use it, but it’s a good idea to do a drain and fill operation every few months.

Installation Isn’t a DIY Job

You might be tempted to think that a hot tub installation is simple and straightforward because there’s no need for plumbing. However, you would do well to remember the permits and electrical requirements tubs have, especially in North Carolina. When it comes to anything that deals with electricity, call in a professional for the complex jobs. LiveWire has been serving the NC community for years, and we’re ready to help you with your hot tub install. Contact our offices, and we’ll send out a crew as soon as possible for our first visit. Let’s help you get that hot tub installed safely, securely, and following all the regulations.

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