Select a structurally sound flat surface that is reasonably level to serve as your spa’s foundation to prevent serious damage to your spa. A foundation that shifts or settles may cause stress to the spa shell.
The foundation that your spa rests on must have a weight bearing load capability of supporting the weight of your spa, its water, and the people using it. The maximum filled weight of a spa can be as much as 6,000 lbs (2,722 kg), plus the weight of the occupants that use the spa. You can find the spa weight by visiting the spa model page on BullFrogspas.com website or by asking us.
To prevent serious damage to your spa, it is important that the spa foundation be supported by a flat, stable, and consistent subsurface. Bullfrog Spas highly recommends consulting a qualified, licensed contractor prior to the installation of any spa foundation. For assistance, contact us at the store.
Recommended flooring materials include a concrete pad, concrete pavers or bricks, pea gravel, crushed rock (1.5” [3.81cm] or more), or a reinforced deck.
Concrete foundations should be a minimum of 4” (10.16cm) thick and should be reinforced with either rebar or mesh. For electrical grounding purposes, the rebar or mesh should be attached to a bond wire.
If your spa’s pad is slightly sloped, it will not affect the performance of the spa or its structure; however, there should be no dips, sags, or unevenness in the pad. Most patios are built to slope away from the house for drainage purposes. There should be a maximum of ½” (1.27cm) slope in an 8‘ (2.44m) run. Do not use shims to level the spa, this could create tension on the spa shell which might result in damaging your spa.
Because your spa pad must provide continuous support for the entire base of the spa, you should never level it with shims. If it is necessary to level your spa, make sure the entire spa’s structure is fully supported, both in the center as well as the outer edge. When leveling your spa, there should be no voids beneath it. Contact us before making any leveling adjustments. Structural damage to the spa resulting from incorrect installation, placement on an inadequate foundation, or improper leveling will void the spa’s warranty.
*Please see owner’s manual for full electrical requirements, definitions, conversions, and diagrams.
You will need to ensure that you have the appropriate space equipped with electrical source. You will usually need to hire an electrician to wire your hot tub before it can be used. Depending on codes where you live, an electrician can either hook up the tub once it’s delivered, or set up the wires ahead of time.
The installation of all spas must be in accordance with national and local wiring rules. Always have a licensed electrician perform the electrical installation. Each Bullfrog Spa is manufactured and tested to a standard that provides maximum protection against electrical shock. Improper wiring may prevent the spa from operating safely which could result in electrical shock, injury, or death. Improper wiring could also lead to a malfunction of the spa’s equipment and risk of fire.
If you are needing recommendations for a licensed electrician, we can provide help. It can be beneficial to use an electrician recommended by us as you know they will have done electric work for hot tubs before.
See technical dimensions diagram for the available wiring configurations and recommended ratings amperage for each Bullfrog Spa model.
Most Bullfrog Spas are equipped with 240V~/60Hz equipment. These permanently-connected 240V~/60Hz spas require a GFCI protected, 4-wire (Line 1, Line 2, Neutral, and Ground), 240V~/60Hz, 50A or 60A, Single-Phase, dedicated electrical circuit. It is important that this circuit is dedicated (not being used by any other electrical appliance) or the spa may not function properly. Spa models with 3 jet pumps (M9, M8, and A9L) require a 60A service for full functionality. Installation must be in accordance with all national and local wiring rules.
Some smaller Bullfrog Spas models (A5L, R5L, X5L, STIL5, X6R) are available to be ordered with a 120V~/60Hz cord-connected Installation. These are sometimes referred to as “plug and play” spas. Cord-connected spas have already been converted to operate on 120V~/60Hz power at the factory and come with approximately 15‘ (4.57m) of usable power cord (the maximum length allowed) attached to the spa. This factory installed power cord comes with a built-in GFCI breaker.
WARNING: Never connect to an extension cord.
The size of wire required to supply the spa with power is dependent upon the length of the electrical run and should only be determined by a licensed Electrician. Installation must be in accordance with all national and local wiring rules. All wiring must be copper to ensure adequate connections. Never use aluminum wire.
The following document can help your electrician determine the wire length needed based on your spa model, the spa installation location, and the GFCI box location: Electrical Wire Length Recommendations.
For service purposes, allow easy access to the circuit breakers in the electrical service panel (permanently connected models), or to the interrupter switch on the end of the power cord (cord-connected models).
Each Bullfrog Spa is manufactured with three electrical access chase ways in its base to allow conduit to be run to the spas control system. These chase ways are marked by stickers indicating access points.
The installation of all spas must be in accordance with national and local wiring rules and with applicable permits consistent with local regulations. A licensed Electrician must perform the electrical installation and GFCI test procedure. Each Bullfrog Spa is manufactured and tested to a standard that provides maximum protection against electrical shock. Improper wiring may prevent the spa from operating safely which could result in electrical shock, injury, or death. Improper wiring could also lead to a malfunction of the spa’s equipment and risk of fire. When considering a location for your spa, consult with a licensed Electrician pertaining to the following:
Based upon the national and local wiring rules that apply to your area, you will need to install your spa at the required minimum horizontal and vertical distances from all power lines.
Based upon your area, a disconnect device must be incorporated into the fixed wiring in accordance with national and local wiring rules. If the national and local wiring rules permit, a GFCI Sub-Panel may be used to substitute the service disconnect, providing that it is located within the same parameters.
Based upon the national and local wiring rules that apply to your area, you must install your spa at the required minimum distance from all electrical outlets, switches, and devices.
Based upon the national and local wiring rules that apply to your area, the Control System Box located inside the equipment compartment of your spa must be bonded to all metal equipment, handrails, fixtures, enclosures, pipe, or conduit that are located within the maximum specified distances. The bonding is to be connected to the ground lug connector on the exterior surface of the Control System Box and all metal items previously described.
Your home most likely offers multiple sites where your spa may be installed. Use the information presented in this section to assist you in carefully selecting the site that works best for you. It is your responsibility to choose and prepare the site properly before delivery, so you will experience a smooth and efficient delivery as well as obtain optimal use and full enjoyment of your spa.
Some people choose to install tile or custom wood around their spas. If you are installing your spa with custom trimming, remember to allow access for service. Should your spa need service, a technician may need to remove the spa’s equipment compartment door or side panels, or access the spa from beneath. Leave at least 24 inches of space in the front for A, R, X, and STIL spas. See diagram here. M Series spas will need 24 inches of space in the front as well as room on the front-left corner. See diagram here.
Also, it is always best to design special installations so the spa can still be moved, or lifted from the ground.
For service purposes, also allow easy access to the circuit breakers in the electrical service panel (permanently-connected models), or to the interrupter switch on the end of the power cord (cord-connected models).
Most hot tubs are square or rectangle and between 6 and 8 feet in external dimensions. The larger the spa, the more people it will generally accommodate. It’s good to measure the space where you intend to place your spa before shopping. Also, keep in mind it’s sometimes necessary to leave an additional space of 1 to 2 feet around at least 1 to 2 sides of the spa to accommodate accessories like cover lifters and to allow for access.
Spa dimensions for each model can be found on their individual spa model page on our website, in the owner’s manual, or on the technical dimensions sheet.
You can also preview what a spa will look like in your backyard or desired location by using our augmented reality tool on any phone or table. Visit this page and find which spa model you are looking for. The spa will appear and you can move it around to see how it will fit.
Make sure to plan on leaving space for any spa accessories you’ll have with your hot tub. Here is a list of common accessories and their dimensions.
If using a cover-lifting mechanism, allow up to 24” (.61m) of clearance behind the spa. CoverMate I requires just 10 to 15 inches of clearance behind the spa and 5 inches on each side. CoverMate III requires just 6 inches of clearance behind the spa and 5 inches on each side. Check with us for the exact clearance requirements for your cover-lifting mechanism.
Other common accessories to plan for include side tables, towel racks, and handrails. Please check with us or the accessory’s manufacturer for dimensions.
Most hot tubs are installed outdoors, either free-standing above ground or in-ground. Here are some tips when placing your spa outdoors to help protect your spa from the elements and to give yourself the best experience possible when enjoying your spa.
If you are planning on installing your hot tub indoors, the environment both around and below the spa should be water resistant, and preferably waterproof. It must be capable of handling water splashed out from the spa as well as the possibility of a malfunction. Recommendations to handle water around the spa include, but are not limited to, a floor drain and/or a catch basin equivalent to the volume of water in your spa.
Make sure the installation location is structurally sufficient and can support the weight of the spa when filled with water. Ground floor recommendations are generally preferred for indoors.
Condensation can also occur on the spa cover and drip onto the floor. Therefore, ensure that flooring materials provide a good grip when wet and are resilient to constant exposure of water and chemicals.
In addition to handling the water from the spa, it is recommended that the room be properly ventilated. Humidity levels will naturally increase after the spa is installed and in use. Water may get into woodwork and produce dry rot, mildew, or other problems. Over time, high levels of humidity and spa chemicals can cause water damage to your floor, wall, and ceiling surfaces. To minimize humidity damage, it is best to provide plenty of ventilation such as a ceiling fan and moisture-resistant paint. An architect can help to determine if special ventilation equipment is required, such as a humidistat or dehumidifier which can be installed to regulate indoor humidity during spa use.
NOTE: Typical indoor surfaces include, but are not limited to: concrete, wood, non-slip tile, or linoleum.
If you’re looking to install your spa on a deck or other elevated structure, consult with a qualified structural engineer or contractor before installation.
Be certain your deck or elevated structure can support the maximum filled weight of your spa along with the total weight of occupants that use it. You must know the deck’s weight-bearing load capacity and ensure that it is greater than the maximum filled weight of your spa combined with the occupants using it or serious injury or structural damage could result. To find the weight bearing load requirement along with the maximum filled weight of your spa, refer to the Spa Technical Specifications Chart or us for assistance.
To prepare for the delivery of your hot tub, make sure the delivery path is clear and no obstructions are present. Obstacles such as overhanging tree limbs, awnings, protruding gas meters, water meters, and A/C units can prevent easy access. It may be necessary to remove a gate, part of a fence, or other items in order to move the spa to the desired location. If there are more than six consecutive stairs without a landing, you may be required to find another delivery path. Check the measurements on 90◦ turns to make sure the spa will fit through.
Most spas are moved using a dolly or slip sheet, but occasionally a crane is required to install the spa by lifting it to its final destination. This occurs when the spa has to be taken off of the dolly cart to go over a wall, either because the entry area is too narrow, the eaves are too low, the corner is too tight, or the stairway is too steep. The use of a crane is a common practice and is usually the easiest and safest method for moving a spa when access is difficult. The crane has a truck-mounted boom and can fit easily in your driveway. The Crane Operator will lift your spa over walls, buildings, or any other obstruction and place it as close to the installation site as possible.
After your spa is delivered we can show you how to properly fill up your spa with water and give instructions for initial startup. Instructions are also found in your owner’s manual. Do not run your spa when it is not filled with water. You will be given an instruct training by one of our team members to walk you through the controls of operating your spa and programming the different settings. You can also reference the owners manual. It usually takes between 24-48 hours for your spa to reach desired temperature before use.
Our spa maintenance guide also has helpful tips on taking care of your spa.