Hot tub anyone? | Page 9 | GTAMotorcycle.com

Hot tub anyone?

GateKeeper

Well-known member
If you don’t disturb the soil below the depth you need, you should be fine, dig down 6 inches, add 2 inches of gravel, and pour your 4 inch concrete pad, either from a company, or mix your own, I’ve done 3 pads like this, 2 of my own and 1 for a friend, nothing has moved from the day they were made, more than 10 years already.

don’t forget you have a hot tub, with at least a thousand litres of water in it, where do you think anything is going to go

no special gravel used...as far as I know, it’s for drainage anyways..

i am no expert, but my way has worked for me so far..

.
 

nakkers

Well-known member
Site Supporter
If you don’t disturb the soil below the depth you need, you should be fine, dig down 6 inches, add 2 inches of gravel, and pour your 4 inch concrete pad, either from a company, or mix your own, I’ve done 3 pads like this, 2 of my own and 1 for a friend, nothing has moved from the day they were made, more than 10 years already.

don’t forget you have a hot tub, with at least a thousand litres of water in it, where do you think anything is going to go

no special gravel used...as far as I know, it’s for drainage anyways..

i am no expert, but my way has worked for me so far..

.

Regarding gravel, we just found the stuff recommended by the landscaping supply place was easy to work with. There was no cost difference.


I’ve used other gravel and sometimes a stone out of place make it harder to level a patio stone.


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Zoodles95

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Kind of weird to provide an update with today's news but here goes...

Electrician came over. He is the same one who wired up our new shed last year. Our "new" place does not.have a garage so we essentially built a one car garage in the backyard where the Bandit and beer fridge live.

At any rate I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is our panel is really maxed out. Furthermore, to change it would.be pricey and thencabinet it lives in would require some bucks to rebuild it or build a new one (we have a raised ranch with a finished lower level).

Good news is that he can inexpensively run a line from the panel in the shed.

Bad news is that the shed is on 40 A service. Most tubs are around 50 A. The co convertible and entry level tubs are typically 40 A.

So... We could.get a small or entry level tub and run it at 220. Some of these can be wired at 30 or 40 A. In the winter the beer fridge (or mixer fridge in my case because I am a gin guy) is unplugged so except for the battery tender on the bandit the panel is completely open.

Drawback to that is that the panel would then be maxed. Anyone looking at the house in the future would not see a potential workshop when there is no juice left.

Potential good news is that he is going to price out upgrading the shed power to 60 . At that point we can power any tub we want and there is still juice left on the circuit.

The take away of all of this is that I am now stuck. Can't do a pad because the wiring buried underneath it which feeda our shed may need to be dug up and swapped.

Hmmm... Thoughts?

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GreyGhost

Well-known member
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Kind of weird to provide an update with today's news but here goes...

Electrician came over. He is the same one who wired up our new shed last year. Our "new" place does not.have a garage so we essentially built a one car garage in the backyard where the Bandit and beer fridge live.

At any rate I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is our panel is really maxed out. Furthermore, to change it would.be pricey and thencabinet it lives in would require some bucks to rebuild it or build a new one (we have a raised ranch with a finished lower level).

Good news is that he can inexpensively run a line from the panel in the shed.

Bad news is that the shed is on 40 A service. Most tubs are around 50 A. The co convertible and entry level tubs are typically 40 A.

So... We could.get a small or entry level tub and run it at 220. Some of these can be wired at 30 or 40 A. In the winter the beer fridge (or mixer fridge in my case because I am a gin guy) is unplugged so except for the battery tender on the bandit the panel is completely open.

Drawback to that is that the panel would then be maxed. Anyone looking at the house in the future would not see a potential workshop when there is no juice left.

Potential good news is that he is going to price out upgrading the shed power to 60 . At that point we can power any tub we want and there is still juice left on the circuit.

The take away of all of this is that I am now stuck. Can't do a pad because the wiring buried underneath it which feeda our shed may need to be dug up and swapped.

Hmmm... Thoughts?

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I am 90% sure mine is on 40A (4 kw heater + 2x3hp pumps). The only time it was an issue was when I tried shutting off jets in seats we never use. That increased the pressure and would blow the breaker. With all seats on, it has never been an issue.

Your panel is maxed out on space or ampacity? It's cheaper to put in some space saver breakers on some 15A circuits than to put in a bigger panel if you just need space. Not sure if the recent requirement for afci everywhere screws up this plan.

I'm not completely awake yet, but doesnt code dictate minimum wire size? Could you run wire to the pad that allows 50A but protect it with a 40A breaker to allow to to upgrade to 50 in the future without tearing out that line? Trench for new line to shed could go around tub if you decide to upgrade (it will be a few feet longer). Keep in mind, tub will need a gfci breaker mounted within sight but not reach of the tub (I cant remember if a distance is specified).

EDIT:
I was wrong, I have 50A breakers (that I can pop when I do something dumb).
 
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crankcall

Well-known member
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Don't let a pesky little thing like money wreck you dream.
Run the new wire to the shed, get that shed panel up to required amps to run the tub.
Get the tub you want, 110v only tubs seems to be "lesser" in all areas.
Don't spend 5k if you need to spend 7. I know easy for me to say, but I've done it and every time I've felt bad later
 

mimico_polak

Well-known member
Site Supporter
@Zoodles95 Dig up the old wire yourself, figure out which wire you need to run 60A (I believe it's 6 gauge), swap them out, and then cover it back up. At this stage you mas as well get your house panel upgraded to 200A, and then use the old panel in the shed so that you can have the proper amount of Amps for whatever you need.

My dad did that. Figured out the amps needed, got the proper wire, protected it and ran it underground from the panel to the shed. Electrician came in, confirmed everything was alright, hooked it all together, and it's been working fine for 10 years plus.

There's a few electricians on GTAM from what I understand, so I'm sure someone way smarter will chime in and let you know the best path forward.
 

Zoodles95

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My wife is nixing the idea of me touching any electrical. Don't know why; my life insurance premiums are paid up. After 18 years of marriage and 26 years together you would think she would have had enough by now. Thank goodness for her bad taste in men.

Our electrician is being a bit flaky. Maybe this is too small a job for him?

Any electricians on here want the gig or know someone who would like a nice little cash job for a bit of weekend work?

We live in Waterdown. Until I get the electrical addressed we are stuck

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mimico_polak

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@Zoodles95 Very likely the job is too small for him with just that scope. Bump your incoming to 200A service and you might get a bite out of him, and you're futureproofing the house! Win-win!
 

GreyGhost

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My wife is nixing the idea of me touching any electrical. Don't know why; my life insurance premiums are paid up. After 18 years of marriage and 26 years together you would think she would have had enough by now. Thank goodness for her bad taste in men.

Our electrician is being a bit flaky. Maybe this is too small a job for him?

Any electricians on here want the gig or know someone who would like a nice little cash job for a bit of weekend work?

We live in Waterdown. Until I get the electrical addressed we are stuck

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@SunnY S runs a shop I believe. Not sure if he is interested.

I can get you the name of an electrician that friends used in dundas if you want but I was less than impressed by some of his work. They thought he was ok but I had pointed out some clear dodginess to the owners and the electrician dismissed it.
 

Zoodles95

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hot tub wire jobs typically run 1000 to 1500.

well above the budget of most gtam'rs
I have no problem with that budget; so long as it is done right and everything is safe.

Just the same I am going to look at a used soft.tub tomorrow. I may go that route and still upgrade the power to the shed.

If we get the soft sub and my wife enjoys and uses it then I will upgrade to a better tub in a year or two. If it is a bust I can always flip the soft tub (or take it on a camping trip and use it outside my trailer; that would get some looks).

I still contend that upgrading the shed to 60A service would be a nice selling feature as it would allow more power should a handy person want to make a workshop out of it.

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GreyGhost

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I have no problem with that budget; so long as it is done right and everything is safe.

Just the same I am going to look at a used soft.tub tomorrow. I may go that route and still upgrade the power to the shed.

If we get the soft sub and my wife enjoys and uses it then I will upgrade to a better tub in a year or two. If it is a bust I can always flip the soft tub (or take it on a camping trip and use it outside my trailer; that would get some looks).

I still contend that upgrading the shed to 60A service would be a nice selling feature as it would allow more power should a handy person want to make a workshop out of it.

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Dont put much faith in an extra 20A in the garage being a factor in a sale. I put a deck that would cost 30K on the last house and that was not a factor in the sale. Put in in because you want it or need it and it's a bonus for the next person.
 

Zoodles95

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Dont put much faith in an extra 20A in the garage being a factor in a sale. I put a deck that would cost 30K on the last house and that was not a factor in the sale. Put in in because you want it or need it and it's a bonus for the next person.
Good advice. I will only do it then if it leads to a hot tub. Just the same I wonder if a 220 V 40A hot tub can run on the existing 40A service? Some of the smaller 220V tubs are rated for 30A or 40A service. At least many of the smaller Jacuzzis can.

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Lyndsay

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Good advice. I will only do it then if it leads to a hot tub. Just the same I wonder if a 220 V 40A hot tub can run on the existing 40A service? Some of the smaller 220V tubs are rated for 30A or 40A service. At least many of the smaller Jacuzzis can.

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You could always dig in a conduit and pour your pad. Then, you're ready to do any upgrade you want later. Conduit doesn't cost much, and it's just your labor. For best results, go 30" deep, 36" under any vehicular areas, and don't forget to run a pull string and secure it at both ends.
 

Zoodles95

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Okay... I technically have a "hot tub" now; well a Softub...

The ironic thing about this is I checked them out year after year at the C.N.E. along with the other hot tub vendors that would be there. At our old house the Softub 300 was the one tub that I thought could work in our tiny yard. I kept adding it to my wish list for the old house. Hardwood flooring, new appliances, new rear door... You name it and it bumped the Softub down the list.

Fast forward and we are in a home where we could accomodate any size tub we want; even if it were a swim spa. I think the success of the pool has made my wife revisit her thoughts on a hot tub. Now we have the right yard but with Covid it seems that getting anything new would be Spring 2021 at the earliest. Mike on here had a really nice convertible spa that I should have jumped on. I just should have snagged it but I was trying to sell a watch to pay for it and also I still had no update from the electrician.

So you may ask. Why have I finally bough a Softub which would have been suitable at our old place in Guelph instead of something else? Well... The electrical issue is still outstanding and frankly there is nothing we can buy in the forseeable future on the horizon that works at 40A or below. Why a used Softub? Well, even a new one is not available until April in the latest. Last time I was pricing these out at the CNE I could have gotten a 300 for sub $4000. The best price I can find on a new Softub works out to about $5500 after tax.

Did I do okay? Bit of a weird tub. New 300s for years have a seat of sorts and also a light. The one we have has neither of these. Yet, the "Hydromate" is likely newer than the tub itself because the color of brown on it is darker and it has the switch and wiring harness for the light. Now, the only model that has a light is the 300. So, I am sticking with my theory that the tub is newer than the Hydromate (combo pump/heating unit/controller) that came with it.



Cover is a bit rough on the outside. However, it is still light and the foam is not waterlogged etc. I hope to get at least one season out of it and go from there.


I could patch this for now. New Hydromate covers seem to be about $50 give or take.


Even though the Hydromate works I took it to the Softub dealer to have it tested regardless. It also needs a new GFI cable so I am having him swap that on as well.


The rest of it made it to the deck for now.


The Mrs. does not want it on the deck so this weekend will be break out the shovel etc. Going to get a load of gravel on Sunday and make a nice 8'x8' pad. I think I will use my outdoor floor from my RV for this winter. It is a modular floor that I set up whenever I camp. I will use it over the winter and then see how it goes. Next spring once the pool is up and running I could always do pavers, or the ABS hot tub floor system etc. This way if we love the tub I can always pull up the gravel for electrical down the line.

Older style screw in filter. I obviously need a new filter, and while I am at it I would like a filter sock as well. Newer units have a suction type fitting. There is a kit to update the screw in style to suction but I think I will go with the screw in style for now and see how it goes.



I also require one of these which comes with a new tub. There is exposed plumbing between the tub and Hydromate once they are together. This foam insulates this and then a piece of vinyl wraps around it and velcros.



This is how it looks when it is covered in the vinyl.


I also do not have the safety straps. You put them under the tub before you fill it. Then they attach to the cover when closed. They also come with a combination lock to keep the tub secure.


All in all I am $1200 into this. I am hoping to be between $500 and $1000 in extra expenses once I account for the new GFI, filter, Hydromate cover (maybe), safety straps, Hydromate insulating foam plus vinyl, gravel etc. In the past a good condition used Softub in running condition was a $1500 item. There have been a couple on kijjiji for the $3000 range and they disappear. Poof... Gone. I could have tried going in at $1000. I'm sure the seller was offered the old take it away from you for free. $200, $500 etc. I made what I thought was a fair offer and they took it. I think I got a fair deal and that the seller did not get shafted.

I figure I cannot really lose here. If we both end up loving this thing as much as I think we will then great we can upgrade the wiring at some point and then wait for the right used tub or just go ahead and buy a new one. If it is a bust we should be able to flip it with little to no loss (other than the water, energy use, and chemicals of course). Would I prefer a beautiful new Marquis, Beachcomber, Artesian, Hot Springs etc with a cool water feature and some LEDs? Of course. A small tub with few jets beats the snot out of no tub and no jets.

Will let you know how this goes. I feel like a hot tub version of Hoovie's Garage (you tube channel). I have bought a bit of a hooptie hot tub but I think I will be okay because I got in at a reasonable price and the pump is running.

For $1500 you can get this Softub with a leak, and a Hydromate which is discontinued and hard to get parts for.



For less you can take on this project:



So, I have rolled the dice but tried to do my research and bought a tub which while not mint by any means should be able to be turned into a decent little haven for the winter. Time will tell.
 

Zoodles95

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Update... Or lack thereof. Electrician has not gotten back to me since he came out. I asked for the quote to upgrade shed to 60A, and how much for that plus hot tub hook up. No answer.

Same with the softub repair guy. I sent him some emails with requests for things to order from softub etc. No answer so my wife called him this morning to see what the deal was. Guy has not even looked at the hydromate. Maybe he will look at it this coming Wednesday. Sigh...

So, I said the heck with it and decided to start to work on my own pad.

Dirt depot people suggested screening. I figure I will go get 16 2'x2' pavers next weekend.

Just the same I gave my Ram a good workout. It is the Outdoorsman package which has heavier duty rear springs. Still sagged the rear end pretty good.



For comparison here is an older pic of it in Guelph unloaded. You can clearly see how much higher it usually sits:


Going to go with a 8' x 8' pad for now. Softtub 300 is 6.5' round so that leaves enough room for the hydromate that will sit off to the side.


Very clay like soil. In Guelph it was rock and boulder city. Here in Waterdown it is... Well... Clay!


Maybe I can build my own moat? Social distancing via dark age technology?


I think I am close now. Time to bring in the screening and get tamping?


We redid our front walkway at our last house and for some reason I never gave away or sold the tamping tool I had bought for that job. Luckily it is about to get used again!
 
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PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
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I forget if I already replied to this thread or not, but our Hot tub is a plug and play - a 20 year old Galboca. Company is out of business now AFAIK but the tub was super well built and it's still going.

Only issue with plug and play models is that in the depth of the winter the heater elements can't keep up with the cover off. So water starts at 104, nice and ideal, but within 30-45 minutes it's into 99-100 degree "warm bath" territory. If you don't care about that or only want quick dips, well, the simplicity is certainly convenient. With 2 EV's here on a 100A service there's no way we could do a 30-40A 240v hot tub without upgrading our service to 200A. I got a quote for that about 6 or 8 years ago when we had our panel replaced and it was many, many thousands of dollars as new wire would need to be snaked from the underground transformer several houses away. Plug and play hot tub it is!
 

GreyGhost

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I forget if I already replied to this thread or not, but our Hot tub is a plug and play - a 20 year old Galboca. Company is out of business now AFAIK but the tub was super well built and it's still going.

Only issue with plug and play models is that in the depth of the winter the heater elements can't keep up with the cover off. So water starts at 104, nice and ideal, but within 30-45 minutes it's into 99-100 degree "warm bath" territory. If you don't care about that or only want quick dips, well, the simplicity is certainly convenient. With 2 EV's here on a 100A service there's no way we could do a 30-40A 240v hot tub without upgrading our service to 200A. I got a quote for that about 6 or 8 years ago when we had our panel replaced and it was many, many thousands of dollars as new wire would need to be snaked from the underground transformer several houses away. Plug and play hot tub it is!
That temp drop isnt so bad. With a 4kw heater, ours drops ~1-2 F per hour when open.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
That temp drop isnt so bad. With a 4kw heater, ours drops ~1-2 F per hour when open.
It's probably 3-4x the water volume than ours however, so more thermal mass.

And I think I fucking jinxed things talking so fondly about the tub. Decided after coming back from a ride this afternoon and having a little chill on that we'd go hop in the hot tub.

Found it with about 12" of water on the bottom. Pump still running dutifully keeping that 12" of water nice and hot, however.

Faaack.
 

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