Deciding to purchase your first hot tub can be a joyous event. We remember, we’ve been there! But if you’re anything like us, the questions you have about hot tubs will only begin to multiply. What initially starts off as dreamy visions of relaxing in the warm, bubbly water soon turn into serious questions about how heavy is a hot tub and where you’ll put it. Knowing the weight of your potential purchase will dictate where it can be placed. And where you want to place it will depend on how much the hot tub weighs. So, to help you figure out how heavy is your hot tub and how that affects the base it sits upon, we’ve put together this piece.
How Heavy Is A Hot Tub?
Of course, answering this question will ultimately depend on the exact model of hot tub you’re asking about. And while the hot tub owner’s manual will often give you the exact weight of the hot tub when it’s empty, it’s possible to estimate the full weight from there.
When it comes to overall hot tub weight, it’s actually the water and the people inside that will make up the bulk of its heft. Water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon and even your smallest two person hot tub will hold at least 200 gallons. So, you’re looking at over 1600 pounds in water alone. And of course, none of us seem to be getting any lighter these days!
So, really you’re looking at over a tonne of weight in a hot tub full of water and two occupants. And that’s not even taking into account the hot tub itself. Because of this substantial load, a modern day inflatable hot tub isn’t even really worthy of registering in the big scheme of things.
That said, more traditional hot tubs with an acrylic shell weigh around 500 pounds at the smaller end of the scale and up to a thousand pounds as they hold more water and people. So, a full sized hot tub full of full sized people can actually tip the scales at over three tonnes! If you just plopped three tonnes of anything onto an unstable surface you’re probably going to run into some problems. This is why a level and stable surface needs to be a priority when installing your hot tub.
The Hot Tub Base
You’d be wrong to assume that you could just set your hot tub on the ground or an elevated deck without first preparing the area. Failing to do so could lead to the hot tub cracking and/or collapsing. Below are listed some of the more traditional hot tub bases.
A poured concrete pad or concrete pavers are often used for a hot tub base. Poured concrete is easier to level, but concrete pavers might be more easily installed by a DIYer.
Gravel is a cheaper alternative to concrete but requires a bit more manual labour. You’ll need to dig into the ground about a half foot to provide a bed for the gravel to sit on. Once excavated and leveled you fill the hole with coarse gravel and top it with a finer layer.
Hot Tub Pads
Hot tub pads are a newer invention that makes it much easier for the DIYer to lay down a hot tub base. Made of high density plastic and often designed to click and lock together, these pads are lightweight and quickly installed.
While hot tub decks are very popular, quite often they’re an optical illusion with the deck being built around a hot tub that’s sitting on the ground. If you’re planning on installing a hot tub on a deck that’s more than a foot off the ground you’ll very likely need to reinforce it. Employing the services of a structural engineer is the safest way to go about putting a hot tub on a deck.
To learn more about hot tub specifications download a free buyer’s guide below today, or visit us at our London hot tub store.