You’ve just purchased a new spa or hot tub and are having it custom built into your backyard oasis. Color coordinating, adding accents and having a deck built around your tub to give it that sunk-in look… uh ohhh, that could be a problem.
Most hot tubs have one or more service panels that are removable to give access to internal components like pumps and electrical equipment as well as plumbing. The problem is that although decks around hot tubs may look great they impede a service technician from getting access to fix your tub in those unexpected times of need.
If a built-in deck does not allow the panels to be freely removed, beams or boards too close to screws or blocking panels, the deck has to be dismantled which means way more time which in turn equals way more cost. Some spa technicians will not even remove decking at all as they are not carpenters. This leaves the customer to have to delay the repair while they do it them selves or pay another contractor to do it. Add the fact that during winter months this gets next to impossible or even more costly.
Save yourself time and money by not building a deck too close to your hot tub, or if it really is key to your whole backyard look add a hidden access panel or two. Frequently your local spa dealer will have valuable ideas on how this can be easily done with little to no additional expense and still preserve that look you want.
Consider if you had to remove a panel and squeeze down below to work on your tub for a few hours how you would need at least 3 or 4 feet of depth a well as the width of whatever access panels the tub comes with. On the flip side even if your deck is high enough for a technician to crawl under to access vital components are beams in the way? Is it really high enough? Crawling on all fours is uncomfortable enough, but having to do a belly crawl can make it way worse especially if there is snow involved and tools to carry.
One may think, “well, it’s the technician’s job…” well, it is but the extra time and labour is ultimately going to land on your pocket book. Taking a few minutes to consider accessibility and design can save everyone a lot of aggravation.
One alternative is the use of free-standing benches, steps and other add-ons from the spa company, such as “Environments™” from Marquis Spas. These modular units give the built-in look with the ease of moving them if the need arises.