I’m getting in hot water.

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by bud16415, Apr 17, 2015.

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  1. Apr 17, 2015 #1

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    After a couple years in the house we rehabbed on a shoestring and seeing as how the deck made from free recycled wood made it thru the extreme frosts we had this winter we are about to do the unthinkable and actually “buy” something new.

    We have long wanted our own hot tub and have used others enough to really know that it would be a great thing for both of us and our plan with this house has always been to make the house a kind of destination resort for us without having to get in the car and go anyplace. So maybe the destination idea is more for friends and family to come join us. It’s also kind of fitting the little town we live in was 100 years ago a destination location for people to come to from all over the world and it once had 22 hotels. Cambridge Springs Pa was known for its mineral springs that would cure anything that was wrong with you. The town prospered until modern medicine of the 1940’s explained that there really wasn’t anything special about the water here. That and the interstate highway system made train travel obsolete. And being exactly half way between NYC and Chicago on the main rail line no longer was important.

    Well we want to capture a bit of that history along with today’s technology and medical reasoning explains maybe this soaking in hot water when it’s 30 below zero outside isn’t without merit and if nothing else it might have some mental benefits even if it won’t cure gout.

    Being a cheap bargain hunter by nature I believe she calls me a cheap SOB I started my search where I always do on Craigslist and soon found out a used hot tub from a fraternity house was not going to be acceptable to the little woman. I found a few that were ok but maybe 6 or 8 years old and selling for 75% of what they paid for them. Most people it seems are upgrading to something better as the technology in these tubs has went from hot water and bubbles to some really powerful massaging machines that offer some real therapeutic benefits. Not to mention they are way more energy efficient and have all kinds of maintenance improvements.

    When we made the decision (she did) to actually shop in a real store, we have 4 places close that sell this stuff and only one of them I didn’t feel like I was being lead down the primrose path by a slick talking used car salesman turned spa salesman. It happened the place we liked also sold the brand we like (she liked) and after research I liked. I think some of the people here have some experience so I would welcome any opinions on the brand and model we want to get. We like the Caldera Brand and the model is the Geneva. Here is a link to what we are thinking about.
    http://www.calderaspas.com/shop/utopia/geneva
    I was pretty set on the Marino as it’s priced 30% lower and I’m sure would be a really nice tub, but as she pointed out it’s more the tub people were upgrading away from.
    http://www.calderaspas.com/shop/vacanza/marino
    I find it strange at this age in my life making a purchase of something purely frivolous is so hard to do. All those years of always prioritizing and providing for others I guess put me in a mindset more like my parents had instilled in me being they came from the depression era. I kind of am justifying the purchase by thinking this will keep me going and working longer and harder as a result. When what I really know is I just want the decadent luxury of jumping in this thing a couple times a day.

    Well I will have a whole bunch of questions about wiring this up and if my deck can take the 6000 pounds of weight. I thought it would at the time I built it but now I’m thinking a few more posts wouldn’t hurt. But for now I was just wondering if there were other spa people in the forum and what you think of the plan.

    geneva.jpg
     
  2. Apr 17, 2015 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Your deck will need some work, easier to restructure and cut a hole for the tub or set the tub beside the deck.
     
  3. Apr 17, 2015 #3

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    What about putting it next to the existing deck on a lower platform so its not sitting so high above deck level, suken tub like? Just a thought...

    And, life's to short Bud, take time to smell the roses...or soak in a hot tub if you want.
     
  4. Apr 17, 2015 #4

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Thanks oldog that’s the advice I would give others as well. Sometimes for me it’s hard to take my own advice.

    As to the suggestion of adding a new lower deck beside the existing is a very strong option as when I first built the deck I went as wide as I dare with a property line issue and I was assuming a small tub of 6’x6’ now we are approaching 8’x8’ plus the thing that lifts the cover takes a good 2 to 3 feet to operate and that’s really shrinking up the rest of the deck area. The advantage we have with using the deck area is the corner we were looking at is the most private and protected area along with the shortest distance from the door for winter use. The disadvantage after watching the snow and ice come off the house this winter has me wondering about the safety of the tub in that location.
    It would be simple to build a small low deck off the end and I made the end rail a removable 8’ section to bring the tub up on, so I could just extend it in length and keep my deck area as is. I think such a platform would work out good for servicing the unit as well as all 4 sides come off.
    I have seen tubs sunken to flush with the deck or some there the just the upper rim is exposed. In a way it’s awkward to enter one at floor level and equally as hard when 3 feet off the floor. The easiest entry and exit would be with 18 inches below and above I would think. Trouble with that is then the side panels are split down the middle with the floor around it unless I don’t have a floor around it.

    The other option on extending the deck area would be to leave the spa on the deck as we first planned and extend the deck out to make more room if we think we need it for the table and grilling area.

    The deck has 3 rows of 4 posts and the 8 posts on the left hand side are cross braced 4 places. The first location was the far back left location. The weight would be over 6 of the 12 posts. I could cross brace those 6 posts going the other direction as well. I have seen tubs sitting on a lot less structure and a lot higher off the ground. But then again I want to be 200% sure I have enough. :)

    Deck.jpg
     
  5. Apr 17, 2015 #5

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Here is a photo of the back corner where we had hoped to locate the tub.
    Also shows the proximity of the neighboring house. We are pretty much in the country except the neighbor is quite close. Thankfully they are older and don’t pay much attention to anything our direction as most of their outside living area is the other side of their house.

    What we really liked about this location is its out of the wind and out of the line of sight from roads and its very dark for star watching.

    Deck Back.jpg
     
  6. Apr 17, 2015 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Most of the houses we build have a simple deck with ledger lag bolted to the house and a double 2x10 beam across two or three posts. One home buyer had an engineer look at it for a hot tub. He called for the ledger to be thru bolted to the rim and he didn't like the posts to be ar 10 ft apart, and consulted his book two or thre times, then he called someone else. After about 20 minutes on the phone he came back and said add 2 more 2x10s to the beam, it will be right at the limit with six people in the tub.
    We have built a U shaped deck around a tub set lower but the lower deck is always over kill with footing and beams, but with service door to the outside, it looked like a good set up.
     
  7. Apr 18, 2015 #7

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Neal thanks for the input. I didn’t do a ledger for a bunch of reasons but the biggest on a 100 year old house who knows what I would be bolting too. I have the whole deck 1” from the house and free standing on 12 posts with 3 beams the beams rest on top of the posts and are doubled up 2x8x16’ so there are 6 of them supported every 4.5’ and then the joists run across 16” on center. The whole thing is screwed together with over 2000 Guard Dog screws. The decking is 5/4.

    I ran the numbers on the posts today and of course you have to factor in the height and mine ran between 1’ and 3’ in length. Because they are so short the numbers really shoot up and the longest posts max out at 17,000 lbs each. The tub full of people and water should be around 6,000 lbs , even with the weight of the deck and another dozen people standing around I think I still have a good safety factor. If we did fail we are only going to fall less than 2’. Having 6 posts bridging the area under the tub I think I did ok. Tomorrow I’m going to add cross bracing to the far outside posts just for the fun of it mostly but that would stop any racking in that direction should something try and move it. I cantilevered it all the way around 12” to give it the floating look so the cross bracing set back in wont be noticeable from the neighbors side.

    We talked it over as we had dinner out on it tonight and decided to keep the tub to the back of the deck and extend a new section out the front to give the table a little more room. I have in my head something like the bow of a ship. I think I have more than enough PT from the pool I took down to build that.
     
  8. Apr 18, 2015 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Designers would have you step down to the second deck to give it a feel of a different room. I have seen tubs on decks I wouldn't walk on.
     
  9. Apr 18, 2015 #9

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Funny you said that about one step down she mentioned that tonight and asked me what I thought if that would look good. I said I think it would and if she wanted that it’s how I would build it for her. I said personally someday when I’m old “like next year” if more steps will be good or not. Kind of like the sunken living room idea.


    Tonight I stopped at the hot tub place to ask some questions about what I needed to get the wiring in place and how much of the wiring they did when they installed it. They looked at me like are you nuts. And said they just sit it in place and leave. It’s up to me to hire the rest done. There is nothing turnkey about a hot tub I see. The girl sales person said they could recommend someone to do the setup it runs around $1500. Told her no thanks I’m a DIYer when it comes to $1500. It did make me ask the question about where is their service team located. Glad I asked as they are “Kind of in the area” and do service work here on tues and thurs unless its an emergency.

    I have seen so many decks that I wouldn’t walk out on myself. We went to eat at a place on the lake last summer and they sat us at a table under a deck that had 50 people above us with a sketchy looking ledger board and 4x4 posts every 12’. The people above were a good 12 foot in the air. I told the girl I wont eat down here and I’m sure as hell not eating up there. We ate inside .
     
  10. Apr 18, 2015 #10

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    The wiring you can do, there's lots of help here but is something like 50 amp 240 with expensive breakers, conduit, the works.
     
  11. Apr 18, 2015 #11

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    I have an open 50 amp breaker in my box now so that’s good. The spa company supplies you with a GFCI disconnect switch with each tub. I’m under 40 foot of total length but I think I will run 6 gage wire. Once the wire leaves the house it will all be above ground and below the deck except where it comes above the deck to the GFCI and then back down and over to the place it will come thru the deck to install into the tub.

    The place where the wire runs up to the GFCI and back down will be in ridged conduit of some sort.

    The two points I’m not sure about is the link between the deck and house could have slight movement due to the deck is not attached to the house and frost could move it a little. The other place I’m not sure how to best do it is with two sides of the tub blocked by walls or the deck rail in order to work and remove those side panels to get inside the tub the tub will have to be moved out after drained. I could run the power thru a flex conduit to allow for that move.

    The reason for the 6 gage wire is for future use and also some tubs I’m told can be switched to run drawing 60 amp with a 60 amp breaker. In doing that I’m told both pumps and the heater can all run at the same time instead of one pump being locked out of high speed. I couldn’t find out if this one works like that or not yet.
     

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