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Hot tub news

Find out the latest from the world of hot tubs and spas

Q. I live in a newish house and the access is not very wide. What are the alternatives to get hot tubs in? What are the important dimensions of the hot tub that will determine if it will go in? Is it possible to go through a neighbours garden or will I need to resort to a crane?

A. Yes unfortunately developers seem to be squeezing houses closer together which sometimes does pose problems for hot tub delivery teams! Here are the main solutions that hot tub companies will look for when they conduct a site visit in order of preference.Since the hot tub will be trolleyed into position using a device called a spa dolly it will positioned on its end so the standing height of the hot tub (plus a little bit more for packaging) will be width that you will need (ideally on a straight run as hot tubs do not bend araound corners!) as clearance for the route to the spa base. Measure the narrowest points as these are the important ones. Look out for anything jutting out such as fence posts, steps, drainage down pipes, electrical service boxes, wall lights etc etc when measuring the narrowest points.The width of the hot tub plus about 6-8 inches for the spa trolley will be the height clearance required so look out for eaves, tops of gates, and anything sticking out from the sides of the house at height such as central heating ducts, wall lights, hanging basket brackets etc. Some of these obstacles may be removable so bear this in mind as a potential solution.If it obvious that the hot tub will not go down the side of the house the second option is to go via a neighbours garden and through a removed section of fencing. Check with neighbours first and ensure that they have adequate access. Make sure you reinstate fences afterwards and a nice bottle of wine will be much appreciated by them for the inconvenience.

If all else fails and there is simply not way of getting to hot tub in a crane may be the only option. See the posts regarding crane hire for the implications.

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This photograph of a Sundance Spas hot tub housed within a traditional thatched hot tub building was recently sent to us by Peter Frankish of Braaihouse.  Peter informs us that Braai is the African term for BBQ and besides designing and building luxury bespoke thatched buildings for hot tub and spas, Braai offer a full range of outdoor entertainment products under the Braai brand.  For more details visit their website at www.braaihouse.co.uk

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Hot Tub Floods

Posted on July 3, 2007 by , in 2. Hot Tubs & Gazebos

We have had a number of emails from people owning hot tubs in areas around the North and Central England who have suffered garden flooding which has resulted in potential flood damage to their hot tubs.  As a note of advice, if your hot tub has suffered water damage DO NOT reinstate the power to your hot tub as their may still be residual water or dampness in the hot tub pumps, heater, electronics, wiring and sensors.  We advise that you turn off power to your hot tub at both the RCD and the isolation switch and let it thoroughly dry out.  Contact a local hot tub service engineer and arrange a service call inspection for them to assess the damage to your hottub.

If you have hot tub insurance (something we highly recommend for all owners of hot tubs) contact your insurer as it may be that if your hot tub has suffered serious or prolonged water damage that it will have to be written off.

A note of caution to hot tub buyers…be very wary about buying a hot tub over online auction sites over the next few months as hot tubs on offer may have suffered water damage which could make them irreparable or even dangerous.  Only buy through local reputable hot tub companies to ensure that you get bonafide hots tubs and aftersales service.  For a list of local companies request What Spa Magazine and see our comprehensive Hot Tub Retailer Directory or visit the Find a Retailer on www.whatspa.co.uk for a real-time list of local hot tub dealers in your county.

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What Spa Front CoverThe Spring/Summer issue of What Spa? Magazine is here at long last…and the good news is that every single one of our readers can request their FREE complimentary copy on www.whatspa.co.uk . Simply fill in the form on our Spa Buyer’s Guide page to request your copy now. 

Your 100 page free What Spa? magazine will be winging it’s way to you in the post within days. See which celebs are relaxing away from the flashing cameras of the paparazzi in their own luxury hot tubs in our cover feature and get the rundown on all of our hot tub buying tips, insider secrets, landscaping ideas and whatspa reviews and ratings on the best hot tubs in the UK.  So request your copy, do all of your research in the comfort of your own home and feel confident that you have all of the tools at your disposal to buy the hot tub, sauna, or swimspa of your dreams.

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You don’t need a permanent water supply for a hot tub or garden spa but you will need a suitable electrical supply to run the tub.  Hot tubs have a specific section in the 16th Edition IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) Regulations and fall into the same category as swimming pools.

When appointing an electrician to prepare your hot tub electrics check that they are suitably qualified electrician.  Do not attempt to install hot tub electrics yourself if you are not a fully qualified electrician. 

The Government introduced a new law in January 2005, which demands that most electrical work in UK households is only carried out by a ‘competent’ person.  This law means that Electrical safety requirements have been included in a new Part P of the Building Regulations.

Part P Explained:

The law states that anyone carrying out fixed electrical installations in households in England and Wales must ensure that electrical installations are:

– Designed and installed to afford appropriate protection against mechanical and thermal damage, and so that they do not present electric shock and fire hazards to people

– Suitably inspected and tested to verify that they meet the relevant equipment and installation standards .

It is now against the law to have a new circuit installed in your home without having it inspected and tested to ensure it is Part P compliant.  This can be achieved in 2 ways

1. Appoint an electrical contractor who is registered with a competent person scheme.  If you are unsure about who is Part P qualified visit the websites of the following organisations who all run Part P registration schemes.  Make sure that your contractor is registered with one of them.

NICEIC – http://www.niceic.org.uk

NAPIT – http://www.napit.org.uk

ELECSA – http://www.elecsa.org.uk

BSI – http://www.bsi-global.com/kitemark

BRE – http://www.partp.co.uk

2. Appoint someone who is not Part P registered but contact you local authority’s Building Control Department first.  The work will have to be inspected and tested by your local authority before it can be signed off.  There will be a charge for this service.

Either way you will receive a Part P certificate after the hot tub electrical supply work is completed.  From later in 2007 these will need to be kept on file and presented if you ever sell your house as part of the new home sellers packs. 

Your hot tub retailer can liaise with your electrical contractor regarding the exact specification for your spa but you must meet the following specification:

The hot tub must be hard wired on its own fused spur back to your household consumer unit. (i.e. the tub should not be sharing a supply with any other appliances)

The hot tub should be protected by a sufficiently rated MCB (mains circuit breaker) and should cover the maximum amperage pull of the spa PLUS 25% to allow for brake torque (i.e. the extra rush of current when pumps are first started.)  So a hottub that has a maximum current draw of 20 amps should be fitted with a 25amp MCB.

The hot tub should also be protected against earth faults by an RCD (Residual Current Device)  This is a trip switch which prevents danger of electric shock from damaged or waterlogged cables and connections.  A suitably rated 30mA RCD is recommended.

Outdoor cabling should be protected from damage by either laying protective ducting (pvc pipe) below ground or by using Steel Wired Armoured (SWA) cable.  Your electrician will calculate the size of cable required depending on the loading and the distance from the mains supply.  6mm2 3-core SWA cable is perfectly suitable in most cases but always consult an electrician first.

Isolation SwitchAn IP65 45amp Rotary Isolation Switch is also recommended so that the hot tub can be isolated outdoors in an emergency or for service work.  This is simply a rotary on/off switch but should be sited more than 2 metres away for the hot tub so that bathers cannot be in the spa whilst touching the switch.

Gland PackThe hot tub supply can then be  directly hard wired into the load box inside the spa.  Waterproof gland packs should be used to prevent ingress of water on all outdoor electrical connections (2 at the isolation switch and 1 inside the hot tub)  Ensure that all earth cables are clearly colour coded with green/yellow insulating tape or earth sleeve.

Once the hot tub is filled with water and the electrical supply is installed, your hot tub installation team should commission the hottub and check that everything is fully operational before “handing over” to you with a thorough training of how all of the hot tub features work.

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