Do You Need a Licensed Plumber to Install Your Spa or Hot Tub?
A spa or hot tub is the perfect way to unwind, relax, and refresh yourself. But installing your unit can be anything but relaxing without the correct knowledge, procedures, and tools. Your friend says he knows a guy who can do it at minimum cost? We think you need a licensed plumber with the right skills and certifications to make sure you really can unwind without any worries. Here are some things to consider when you’re thinking of installing a spa at home:
Special License Required
In the state of Florida, you are required to have a certified residential pool/spa specialty contractor’s license. This is why a licensed plumber is your best bet at a pain-free installation.
This license can be obtained from the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB), and allows the license holder to install, service, and repair residential hot tubs, spas, and pools. To qualify for this license, you need to be 18 years of age or older and have 4 years of relevant experience. Alternatively, you need up to 3 years of accredited college level courses and 1 year of experience, or to complete a 60 hour course approved by the CILB and 1 year of experience. You must also pass the Florida certified swimming pool/spa servicing contractors’ examination, and meet other requirements, like good moral character and financial responsibility. As you can see, this license is no joke and ensures that the plumber or contractor is qualified to do the job.
Safety is Key
Safety standards are the motive behind these strict regulations, and for good reason. There are so many things to consider when installing a spa or hot tub. Prudent planning and practical experience is needed.
First, a hot tub or spa unit is very heavy and needs to be transported carefully. Some units may even require a small crane to be lifted and placed in your yard! You’ll also need to ascertain the best area for installation, how much additional space you’ll need around the unit, and the kind of foundation on which it needs to rest. This is really important, as the unit’s weight increases when filled with water. A poorly installed hot tub can destroy your garden or home with leaks and breakages. A properly licensed plumber or contractor should know how to assess the desired area of installation, and make sure it meets the required safety standards.
Next, your unit requires a combined knowledge of both water and electricity – two elements that are incredibly dangerous together! If your contractor doesn’t know what they’re doing, you could have a fatal accident on your hands. You need to have the correct wiring, a separate circuit, and a circuit breaker. When filling the unit with water, you need to make sure the nozzles, knobs, and valves are placed correctly. Again, your installation needs to be foolproof to ensure that leaks don’t meet the circuit.
Make a Splash
Finally, you’ll want the finished product to look inviting and beautiful – a licensed professional should also be able to finish any tiling or wooden paneling you need done, or be able to subcontract this task. You’ll also need to know how to properly clean and maintain your spa unit, or have someone come to sanitize and service it on a regular basis.