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Old 05-12-2018, 09:39 AM   #1
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Hot Tub Install


Not sure if this is the best place for this discussion but here goes anyways. I have just purchased an Artic Spas Kodiak hot tub and am somewhat frustrated with the implementation of my final plan and will be interested in any comments or advice from other users. Here's my story:
I have not yet taken delivery of my tub so cannot yet comment on the tub itself. I have a large deck with access to my back yard (acreage). My plan is to have the stairs go 2/3 of the way down to a landing/deck that will be against one side of the tub and flush with the top of the tub skirt. The last of the stairs will return from this landing to the ground. My first issue was maintaining access to the service panels of the tub. My plan was to have the deck joist parallel to the tub stand off just enough that the panels could be removed The panels are full tub height and unless the deck was to be higher than the tub the joist interfere with the access panels. This is my first point of frustration. The next point came when the tub dealer advised me that they will not crawl under any decks to service a tub and that top side access hatches need to be built into the deck. With a bit of extra work I can accommodate this which now brings on my 3rd. point of frustration; access/safety rail. There are a few rails out there but each has it's issues. A couple of models can be swiveled once the cover is removed but the locking mechanism is a thumb screw half way down which would mean climbing under the deck each time plus the fact all models compromise removal of the access panels. Another model can be mounted to the deck surface but ends up being too high and I'm not sure the rail can be safely attached to the tub access panels and, so far, the vendor canít tell me if the mounting bracket can be flipped so I can attach it to the inside of the joist.
If anyone has installed a tub with a surrounding deck I will be interested in hearing your comments and experience and your choice of hand rails, if any. I have not yet installed the tub or completed the lower deck so I can still modify my plans if necessary. Thank you.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:26 PM   #2
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Re: Hot Tub Install


A picture of your existing deck would certainly help us get started. Also you are talking about railings, where are they and what are they protecting? Your entire post is kind of vague as to what you have and what you need other than the part about needing easy access to the panels.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:01 AM   #3
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Re: Hot Tub Install


Bob....

You may get more readers/responses with some paragraphs in that mass of print.

Just an idea...

Good luck
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:42 PM   #4
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Re: Hot Tub Install


Msradell & MTN Thank you for your replies. I appreciate the value of clarity and apologise if I did not make myself clear. I was appealing to people who had already installed a hot tub and thought my ramblings would have been clear to anyone who had installed a hot tub with a surround deck.

In the spirit of further clarity I would be pleased to include a picture of my deck but do not see a way to insert an image into this message.

To help understand the situation here is a link that shows the Kodiak tub that I have. https://www.arcticspas.ca/arctic-spas/kodiak/ As can be seen from the photo there are two access panels on each of the four sides. These cover almost the entire side and it should be obvious that there is not enough clearance between the top of the panel and the top of the skirt for a deck joist. I had no problem planning for the joist to stand off from the tub enough to allow the panels to be removed. Whether or not I needed the clearance it would have been good practise to not have the joist tight to the tub. My first point of frustration was that the tub vendor insisted that access to the tub had to be through hatches in the deck rather than crawling under the deck. I’m not sure I see squatting down in a hatch opening easier then laying on the ground under the deck but so-be-it. I can come up with some kind of design so that there are two hatches that can be removed without impacting the appearance of the deck. I was curious if anyone who had gone through this had any good ideas.
When I spoke of the access/safety rails I was referring to something like the following links that would provide safe and secure access into the tub. http://www.leisureconcepts.com/produ...ies/smartrail/ or http://www.hottubessentials.ca/under...hand-rail.html The undermount would have been a good design except for two things. Ideal placement would have interfered with removing the access panel and getting at the lock screw would have meant crawling under the deck each time. The other design does not swivel but that would be acceptable. The problem is mounting it to the deck surface places it a bit too high above the tub. If I can reverse the sideways position of the mounting bracket I could mount it to the inside of the joist and have fairly ideal placement. The vendor does not think the bracket can be reversed but I’m still waiting for a final decision. It is frustrating that all of the rails that I have found seem to be designed for a fully exposed tub with no access panels to interfere with the placement.
I hope this better explains my situation and is not too difficult to read. If anyone has experienced similar issues perhaps they have some better ideas than I do. If worst comes to worst I’m sure I can make it all work somehow. Thanks
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:40 PM   #5
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Re: Hot Tub Install


Your idea about having the support members for the hatches set off the side of the tub to work however I think you would be better off having the hatches hinged on the side away from the tub instead of removable. That would make them much sturdier.

I do agree that I don't believe either 1 of those 2 handle designs are going to work for your installation. You may end up having to have some handles custom-made. That shouldn't be too hard to get done however because many shops can easily bend aluminum tubing and some can even bend stainless tubing. You show them the pictures of the ones you have as examples. Another option may be to buy the smaller one and have someone fabricate a bracket that would work for your situation.
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