The building codes of most U.S. states vary, but typically, a building permit is only required for a pool, spa or hot tub with a water capacity of more than 5,000 gallons. This exempts most hot tub installations in most areas of the country.

However, if you are building a custom spa or hot tub from scratch (it is not prefabricated or pre-made) at a single-family residence, you will probably need electrical, plumbing and/or mechanical permits. This is due to safety concerns about electrical and plumbing hook-ups, which often required adherence to building codes.

Even if not required in your area, since electricity and water are not friends, it is a good idea to have a local official sign off on all your hot tub’s connections.

hot tub inspection

Safety Codes for Hot Tub Connections are Frequently Violated

Hot tubs have unique electrical requirements and it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure that a hot tub’s electrical connections are made by a licensed electrician in accordance with the National Electrical Code, as well as local and state electrical codes at the time of installation.

However, around half of all hot tubs installed in the US have some type of electrical or plumbing code violation, even if they were installed by a professional. This is probably due to the fact that most spa technicians have expertise in hot tub hardware and equipment, but not in plumbing and electrical systems.

Safety violations include substandard electrical grounding; exposed and unprotected wiring, and worse, lack of ground fault protection, which can expose hot tub users to electrocution.

Pools, hot tubs and portable spas should always have their plumbing lines pressure-tested before use. If you are not sure if your hot tub or spa was installed in accordance with electrical and plumbing safety guidelines, to protect your family and avoid liability in case of an injury, have your hot tub connections checked by a professional.

For more information visit our hot tub buyer’s guide pages. Also, click on the pink boxes and complete our free local quote form to get competitive prices from local dealers in your area.


  1. Another thing that should be considered when inspecting hot tubs is noise. Hot tubs make noise both when in use and when not operating due to the need for self cleaning. The low frequency noise emitted in cleaning mode can be very insidious and your neighbors may hear it even if you don’t. Thus it is important to have your unit evaluated for noise as well as safety.

  2. Thanks for the reminder that pressure testing is also essential when making use of a hot tub. I will keep that in mind because I plan to find a good outdoor spa construction service soon. I think that will be great to look into since I have the outdoor space for it anyway.

Leave a Reply