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TUB ASSEMBLY PROCEDURE

IMPORTANT

Please read through this entire procedure CAREFULLY before beginning the first step. If there are any questions or concerns, PLEASE CALL US. We are more than happy to do all we can to assist you with assembling your hot tub.

WARNING! It is imperative that the wood of the hot tub remains absolutely and completely dry until assembly is completed! Store the unassembled tub indoors until ready for assembly. "Looks like rain", wait till tomorrow... Have a tarp on hand just in case you need to finish assembly the next day, and turn off the sprinkler system. IMPORTANT! Once the tub is assembled, it needs to be kept covered and filled with water within 3 days.

In order to properly assemble the tub, you will need a minimum clearance of 3' (three feet) all the way around the tub. This needs to be totally clear and open clearance from the ground to the top of the tub (no posts, no decking, no trees, no fences etc). If necessary, the tub can be assembled close by and then moved into place with the help of a few people.


Step 1: Setting & Leveling

A hot tub full of water is extremely heavy and must sit on a proper solid concrete pad. The necessary thickness of the pad may vary depending on different soil conditions. Generally a 3½" thick, metal reinforced pad on stable ground will suffice. Verification by a local concrete contractor is advised. Footings may or may not be necessary depending on local conditions (freezing, rain, ground movement etc.). Consultation with a local concrete contractor is also advised.

Place the chine joists on the concrete pad so that they are 5 ½" tall and arranged as shown in Figure 1. Check the chine joists with a level and make any necessary adjustments to bring them level. The best way to do this is to first determine the highest point of the chine joists and then bring all joists level to that point. When shimming the chine joists for leveling, it is important to shim along the entire length of each joist. With the total weight of the tub it is important to have enough shims under the joists to prevent the shims from compressing.

Step 2: Assembling the Bottom

Next, put the three dowel pins in one half of the bottom and place the bottom-half on top of the chine joists. Be sure the side of the bottom that is nicely sanded, without writing on it, is face up.

Put the other half of the bottom on the chine joists and then slide the two bottom halves together, pushing them together as tightly as possible. The edges of the two halves should meet tightly. There may be a gap towards the center of the halves depending on the size of the tub and/or the type of wood. Note that the bottom boards are placed perpendicular to the chine joists as shown in Figure 1. After the bottom is in place the two plywood strips supplied with the hot tub (measuring about 1" x 3", located in the same plastic bag as the band hardware) must be screwed down across the seam of the bottom halves. These strips go on the top of the floor and are removed after assembly is complete. Place the strips about 3" in from either end of the perimeter of the tub. Use four 1" screws to secure each strip. Remove these strips only after the hot tub is fully assembled. Please Note: Failure to use the plywood strips will cause serious problems in later procedures.

Step 3: Installing the Suctions

At least two suctions must be installed for each pump. There are a few configurations that the installer may choose. The preferred method is one suction in the floor to facilitate draining and any remaining suctions in the side of the tub (see figure 2 below, left drawing). As an alternative, all suctions may be installed in the floor, or all installed on the side. If you plan to put any suctions in the floor of the tub, it is easiest to do so at this point, before the tub is assembled. Be sure the location of any floor suctions does not interfere with the chine joists and be sure the holes are drilled wholly on one board. Please note, regardless of where the suctions are installed, (on the floor, and/or side of the tub) they must be separated by as much distance as is feasible. Any suction installed on the floor should be located under a bench, where it can’t be stepped on, with the center of the suction no more than 5" from the edge of the bottom. The suctions require a 2-½" hole. If you use a hole-saw you will have to drill from both sides of the board. This will eliminate any tear out or splintering from the bottom side.

To install the suctions themselves, please consult further instructions in our Build Your Own Hot Tub System Manual. Be careful not to over tighten the nut; very snug hand tightening should suffice. (If the nut is screwed onto the through-hull too tightly, the swelling of the wood when it gets saturated may crack the flange, leading to leakage.)

At this point it is advisable to plumb any bottom suctions to the outside of the tub and complete any other plumbing that may occur underneath the tub. To plumb the drain from under the tub, glue a 1-½" street 90 into the female threaded suction body of the suction fitting, and a sufficient length of 1-½" flex PVC into the street 90 to extend from under the tub.

1 suction in floor 5" from edge, 1 suction
in side. 3’ between both suctions

2 suctions installed in the floor,
3’ apart, 5" from edge

Figure 2

STEP 4: Fitting the Staves to the Base

Each stave must be properly positioned between the alignment lines located around the perimeter of the bottom. You will note that in Figure 2, the side of every other stave has a groove that is centered directly on the alignment line. The side of every other stave that has a tongue does not necessarily line up perfectly on center of the alignment line. All the staves go on in this fashion. There will generally be gaps between every other stave put on the tub. Do not worry about these gaps and do not drive the staves on with a mallet. The staves may be lightly tapped on with enough force to keep them from falling off (if the staves have a tendency to fall off, running a strip of masking tape along the tops of them will prevent this). Please note; the staves are milled with absolute precision. Under no circumstances should a stave need to be cut or re-milled in order to fit them onto the bottom. The best way to get the last stave onto the bottom is to slide it down from the top. When it reaches the bottom, gently tap it outwards till it just clears the bottom, then slide it down into place. If the last stave will not fit (not enough room between the adjoining staves), the other staves can gently be slid out wards and over making more room. Once all the staves are in place you're ready for the bottom band.


STEP 5: Applying and Tightening the Bands

The bands must be pre-assembled before installing them onto the tub (with the nuts barely screwed on, about 2 or 3 turns). With straight-sided tubs the bands are slid down from the top into place. On conical tubs the pre-assembled bands must be set on the ground and the tub built inside of them. They are then slid up and into place (conical tubs are pre-notched for band placement).

Please note in the picture below the orientation of the lug on the band. Failure to assemble the band and lug in this manner will cause the threaded part of the band to dig into the tub and may cause the band to break. While it is extremely rare, it is also possible for a band to break if over tightened. When tightening the nuts, you'll want to watch the band and make sure it isn't twisting. If a band should break, it will break right at the beginning of the threaded area and "pop" off the tub with some force. For this reason it is important for the person tightening the band to stand directly in front of, and in the center of the lug. Standing in this position, if a band should break, it would spring off the tub, clearly missing the 'tightener'.


Figure 4

 

The number of bands per hot tub varies depending on the size of the tub and the type of wood. We DO NOT provide any extra bands, so however many came with your tub is how many need to be installed.

Conical tubs are pre-notched for band placement. Our most common straight-sided hot tubs, 6’ and 5’ diameter, 3’ or 4’ tall cedar hot tubs use three bands. Placement of the bottom most band is critical (second from the bottom with jarrah hot tubs)! The bottom band MUST be centered over the bottom of the tub! Be sure it doesn't’t move while tightening. Placement of the other bands is not so critical, and can be slightly adjusted to accommodate jets, fittings or decking.

The following table lists the heights of the bands depending upon type of wood and size of tub. If your particular hot tub, or the number of bands you have, does not seem to fall into the following table, please call us.

Distance to the underside of the bands, measuring down from the top of the tub.

 

3’ tall

4’ tall

5’ tall

Cedar

4½"
18"
31½" *

(up to 6’ diameter)

4½"
24"
43½" *

(7’ diameter or greater)

4½"
17½"
30½"
43½" *

4½"
21½"
38½"
55½" *

Teak

4½"
18"
31½" *

4½"
17½"
30½"
43½" *

4½"
21½"
38½"
55½" *

Jarrah

4½"
18"
29½"
31½" *
33½"

4½"
17½"
30½"
41½"
43½" *
45½"

4½"
21½"
38½"
53½"
55½" *
57½"

Once all the staves are positioned onto the bottom, the lower* most band is installed first (NOTE, on jarrah tubs, the second lowest* band is installed first). See figure 5 below. 4 to 6 nails set into the tub, evenly spaced around the perimeter, can be used to hold the band in position (this is not necessary on conical tubs that have notches for the bands). WARNING: do not drive the nails more than ½" into the wood! Drop the band over the top, lower it into position and tension the nuts. Go around the tub with a tape measure and check the height of the band. Once the band is properly leveled, you may begin to tighten the band. Two people best perform this process. While one person tightens the band, the other person strikes the band with a dead blow rubber mallet. The stave boards should be driven on slowly and evenly. Start by gently pounding on each stave making one revolution all the way around the tub. Make another revolution around the tub, pounding a little harder. And then another revolution pounding harder. The object is to drive the boards on evenly all around the tub. It usually takes 4 or 5 times around the tub to accomplish this. The bottom band requires a lot of tension (it is normal and expected, for the band and lug to dig into the wood slightly). Tighten the bottom band nuts to the point where you meet a lot of resistance (A sign of over tightening is the band starting to twist. The band should be VERY TIGHT)). Try to avoid stripping the nuts from over tightening.

* WARNING! Improper placement of the bottom band can cause irreparable damage to the tub and void your warranty. The bottom band MUST be centered over the bottom. Be sure to check that it didn’t move while tightening.

Figure 5

After the first band is completely installed, 4 to 6 nails can be set into the tub, evenly spaced around the perimeter to hold the next band (this is not necessary on conical tubs that have notches for the bands). WARNING: Do not drive these nails more than Ύ" into the wood! Drop the band over the top (on conical tubs, lift it from the ground), lower it into position and tension the nuts (the lugs should be staggered with no two lugs resting of the same stave, but all in the same area as to hopefully hide them from view). Go around the tub with a tape measure and check the height of the band. Once the band is properly leveled, you may begin to tighten the band. Repeat this process until all the bands are installed. Please note, over tightening the top most band can cause the top of the tub to become out of round.

Once all the bands are installed you may find that additional tightening is necessary. Starting with the bottom band, attempt to tighten if further. Then move up to the next band and tighten it. Continue to the top most band. This procedure may need to be repeated a few times till all the bands are tight.

When the tub is completely assembled there should be NO gaps between any staves directly above the floor. If there are any gaps the stave boards need to be driven on further and the bands (especially the bottom band) tightened more.

Figure 6 (below) represents a 4’ tall hot tub and shows the bottom band at 43½" down from the top.

STEP 6: Finishing the Tank Top Rim

Go around the top rim of the tank with a belt sander to level the top edge. Finally, round off the inside and outside edges of the top rim, using a router with a quarter-round-over bit.


Epoxy Sealant

The epoxy sealant provided with the tub is purely a preventative measure against initial and possible future leaking. All wooden hot tubs leak slightly in the beginning, till the wood swells up from the water and the main purpose of the epoxy is the reduce this.

The epoxy is applied after the tub is completely assembled, and is easiest to apply before the bench is installed. The epoxy consists of 2 bottles, the larger that is the resin, and the smaller, the hardener. Pour the contents of the smaller bottle into the larger bottle. Put the cap back on and mix by shaking and rolling the bottle for at least one minute. After the epoxy is well mixed, screw the pointed "squeeze cap" onto the bottle. On the inside of the tub, around the perimeter of the bottom is a trough, or depression. The epoxy is applied (squeezed) into this depression filling it completely to the top. Be careful not to overfill it causing the epoxy to spill out onto the tub bottom.

Generally the working time of the epoxy is 15 to 20 minutes, however in hot weather the working time can be greatly reduced. Drying time also varies, but we recommend allowing the epoxy to dry for 24 hours prior to putting water in the tub (in very hot weather, the drying time can be much quicker. Once the epoxy is no longer sticky or tacky the tub can be filled).

If the epoxy is being applied when temperatures will drop below 40 degrees some additional heat will be needed to assure the epoxy dries properly. After the epoxy is applied, a small heater or a couple of 100-watt lights can be put into the tub. Put the insulating cover on the tub to retain the heat, and let the epoxy dry for 24 hours.


INSTALLING THE BENCH

Circular Sectional w/o Legs

Follow the procedure outlined below to install the bench in the tub. All necessary parts have been provided, including hardware. Tools required include a variable speed electric drill, a #2 phillips head driver bit, a #10 pilot bit, a measuring tape, and a straightedge.

Decide how high the bench should be mounted in the tub. Factory-made tubs are assembled with the top of the bench 26" below the top of the tub, but the bench can be mounted higher or lower to suit you.

Determine where the 2 x 4 bench supports should be attached to the tub's staves. Measure up from the floor of the tub and make a mark 1-½" below the desired total bench height. Make sure this mark is centered on a stave.

Holding one end of a support against this mark, make a mark on the tank where the other end falls. Using this mark as a horizontal guide, measure up from the floor the same distance (1-½" below the desired bench height) and make a height mark for the other end of the support.

NOTE

To ensure that the screws will not go completely through the side of the tank, these holes MUST be drilled about 2-1/4" from the longer end of the beveled bench support and perpendicular to the beveled edge (i.e., at a 45Ί angle with respect to the outer surface of the support, and angled toward the bevel). The screws should protrude 1" into the tub.

Note that both ends of the support have beveled sides, which go against the staves. Using a #10 pilot bit, drill two holes through each end of the support for the screws that will attach the support to the tank. These holes should be about 3/4" from the top and bottom edges of the support.

Using a power drill and the screws provided, attach the first support to the tub wall.

Select another support and repeat steps 3, 4, and 5. Repeat this procedure for the other two supports.

Place one bench section on top of the bench supports, centering it where two supports meet, as shown in the illustration.

Insert two of the splines provided into the slot in one end of the bench section and slip the end of the next bench section over the protruding edges of the two splines.

Continue in this manner until all the bench sections are laid out on the bench supports.

Center the assembled bench so that each of its corners is equidistant from the tub wall.

Use a straightedge to mark the centerline of each bench support on the bench sections it supports and

using the #10 pilot drill you used before, make holes along the line you just drew. The drilled holes should be near the splines but take care not to drill through any of the splines, and make sure that each bench section is attached by two screws.

Use your electric drill to drive the screws provided through the pilot holes and into the supports. The heads of the screws should sit flush with the top of the bench.



INSTALLING THE BENCH

Slab Bench w/o Legs

Decide how high the bench should be mounted in the tub. Factory-made tubs are assembled with the top of the bench 26" below the top of the tub, but the bench can be mounted higher or lower to suit you.

Lay out the slab bench(es) on the tubs bottom to determine their orientation. Determine where the 2 x 4 bench supports should be attached to the tub's staves. Measure up from the floor of the tub and make a mark 1-½" below the desired total bench height. Make sure this mark is centered on a stave.

Holding one end of a support against this mark, make a mark on the tank where the other end falls. Using this mark as a horizontal guide, measure up from the floor the same distance (1-½" below the desired bench height) and make a height mark for the other end of the support.

NOTE

To ensure that the screws will not go completely through the side of the tank, these holes MUST be drilled about 2-1/4" from the longer end of the beveled bench support and perpendicular to the beveled edge (i.e., at a 45Ί angle with respect to the outer surface of the support, and angled toward the bevel). The screws should protrude 1" into the tub.

Note that both ends of the support have beveled sides. The diagram below shows the orientation of the supports. Using a #10 pilot bit, drill two holes through each end of the support for the screws that will attach the support to the tank. These holes should be about 3/4" from the top and bottom edges of the support.

Using a power drill and the screws provided, attach the two supports to the tub wall.

Place one bench section on top of the two bench supports, center it and attach it to the supports with 4 screws as pictured.


View the entire Assembly and Operation Manual for our Hot Tub Systems in PDF Format (25 Pages - 207 Kb)

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