Installing spa heat pump cabling and plumbing underground

Heat pumps are an optional extra with your spa or swim spa. If one has been included on your Spa World sales order, and you are putting the plumbing and electrical into a trench, then this article is for you.

Installing spa heat pump cabling and plumbing underground hero

If you are not using this type of installation, please see the Heat Pump installation article.

A heat pump requiring trenching is a 'non-standard installation'. All electrical work must be carried out by a qualified electrician to electrical standards.

Please be aware:

  • Our team only connects the plumbing and heat pump leads from the heat pump to your spa controller.
  • All plumbing needs to be carried out in accordance with local regulations and the plumbing must be completed by you or your contractor prior to the heat pump installation.

Installing trenching for heat pump pipes and cables

If you choose to install your heat pump with pipework and cabling under the ground there are a few points you will need to consider:

  • Leak testing. Make sure that the plumbing is leak tested before the delivery date.
  • The depth of the trench. Unless you are going to concrete over the trench, the electrical cable (heat pump power lead) must be at least 600mm underground and adequately marked and finished off by an electrician. (please consult your own electrician).
  • Distance of heat pump from your spa. Ensure you read the information relating to the distance your heat pump needs to be installed from the spa, if you are going to be trenching 600mm deep, your distance will need to be reduced by at least 1200mm.
  • Width of the trench. The trench will need to be wide enough to accommodate 2 x 40mm internal diameter plumbing pipes and 2 x electrical conduit one for power and one for data.
  • Timing of work. The plumbing needs to be completed and leak tested before the installation of the heat pump.

Vortex and Fisher Swim spas have a pre-cut holes in the base to accept conduit/pipework. All other swim spas and portables will need to have a hole drilled into the base, on-site, at the time of delivery.

Can you plumb two heat pumps through the base of a swim spa?

If you have a swim spa and want to install two heat pumps, it is possible to bring plumbing for two heat pumps up through the base.

For example, if you are wanting to install plumbing for the 5.5kw Heat Pump (for the Spa Zone) and separate plumbing for the 8.8kw Heat Pump (for the Swim Zone) it can come up through the base of the Hydrozone™ swim spa pool.

However, you will need to make sure the trench, and cutout in the bottom of the swim spa base are large enough to accommodate this.

"For information regarding where to bring the pipework and conduit into your spa, please consult your spa model specification sheet found on your specific product page on this web site. "

Planning your heat pump installation

Follow these handy steps below before the delivery date and ensure a smooth, safe and successful installation process.

Make sure:

  • Your trench is dug out and conduit and plumbing are laid to your electrician and plumber’s specifications.

As part of the installation, our technician will:

  • Connect plumbing to the heat pump and the spa.
  • Connect the power lead and data cable to the spa.
  • Run and test the heat pump.
  • Ensure your spa controller is programmed correctly.

Once the installation is complete your electrician will need to come back and finish off the electrical work.

In order to run the power and data cable through separate conduits, your electrician will need to switch off the power supply to the spa.

Once the power is off they can detach the power and data cable from the heat pump and run through the conduit. They will then reconnect the power and data cables and turn the spa back on. Everything should then work as normal.

Please be aware, once the heat pump is installed and operating, your electrician will need to mark and fill in the trench as per regulations.

Please note: If a Purezone™ filter is included in your spa, it should not be used in conjunction with a heat pump as it may cause a water flow error. We recommend using only appropriate pleated filters with heat pumps.

Important: If you are running your pipework through your slab or deck so that your plumbing is concealed, you will need to run the pipework conduit yourself beforehand.

What is not included in a heat pump installation?

When you include a heat pump with your spa or swim spa installation, we aim to make the process as easy as possible for you however, these are the things that we do not do:

  • Dig trenches or any other building or construction work in order to install the heat pump.
  • We do not do electrical work or fill in trenches.
  • We only do the final connections to the heat pumps.
  • We do not supply the condensate drain for the heat pump or connection of the condensate drain piping

For those tasks, you will need to need to hire external professionals.

SpaNet® External Heat Pump FAQs

How long are the data and power cables on an external heat pump?

The data and power cables on an external heat pump are typically 5 metres long. This length allows for flexibility in installation and ensures that the heat pump can be connected to the necessary power source and control systems.

Do I have to lag / insulate the pipework?

While lagging or insulating the pipework is not a mandatory requirement, it is strongly recommended.

Spa World™ does not include lagging or insulating the pipework.

For those in extremely cold climates or individuals who plan to install their external heat pump further away from the spa than 3 meters, lagging or insulating the pipework becomes more beneficial.

Do I need to bolt down the external heat pump?

Bolting down the external heat pump is not a requirement, but rather a recommendation. It is not included as part of the standard installation provided by Spa World™. The reason behind this recommendation is that the heat pump itself weighs around 80 kilograms and is typically connected to the spa using PVC piping.

Do I need to upgrade the power/amperage for a heat pump?

In most cases, installing an external heat pump does not require upgrading the power supply. However, there are some exceptional circumstances where power upgrades may be necessary.

The power draw of the external heat pump, in combination with the circulation pump, should not exceed the power provided to the spa. If the total power draw exceeds the capacity of the existing power supply, then upgrading the power may be required. For example, you decide to install a 12-kilowatt external heat pump (which draws more than 10 amps on its own) to a spa using 10-amp.

However, if you plan to run the external heat pump at the same time with all of the other pumps and equipment, you may benefit from adding additional amperage to compensate for the power draw or wiring the power supply for the external heat pump separately.

The following Vortex Models will require an additional 10amp circuit if the spa has the VORTEX Audio WiFi Kit installed. If so the EcoCube™ HeatPump will require an additional 10amp power circuit to be installed:

Neon™ Mercury™ Xenon™ Cobalt™ Nitro™ Titanium™

Need more help?

We hope this information has been helpful. If you have any questions or concerns over the placement or installation of your heat pump please contact your Spa World concierge.

Five Star Trust Pilot Rating

We are proud that Spa World customers have given us a Five Star Trustpilot rating.