Hot Tub in California

by Aimee
(Scotts Valley, California)

We just bought a home in Scotts Valley, California. Our deck is high, about 12 feet off the ground. There is an empty hot tub on top of the deck. Our contractor recommends we remove it because if there is an earthquake the weight of the hot tub will rip the deck off the house.

This saddens me because it's so beautiful here and I would love to enjoy the trees and stars from a hot tub. The deck is flush up against the house. Do we have any options if we want to keep the hot tub?

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Aug 11, 2009
Earthquakes and Hot Tubs on Decks
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

There is no question that hot tub full of water adds a lot of weight to any deck structure. This becomes an even more important concern when you are in an earthquake prone zone and even more so as the structure rises higher above the ground.

The higher the structure the more sway it has if under stress.

This is truly a job for a good structural engineer in your local area. No doubt they are well versed in building structures that are well engineered and this is a simple math question.

If you want to keep that beautiful tub on the deck I would recommend a phone call and seeking some engineering expertise to answer your question to the degree of certainty you are looking for.

Anything else on my part is just speculation as there are many variables.

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