This is a general guide for barrel sauna assembly that outlines some key considerations. We offer several different barrel sauna models and you should always refer to the assembly manual which is included with your particular unit.
What is involved in sauna assembly?
All our barrel sauna kits come ready for easy DIY assembly. No cutting or sawing is required. All the lumber is pre-cut and grooved. You will need is a large rubber mallet, tape measure, screwdriver or cordless drill, spirit level, pliers, 15/16" wrench. The kits are designed to be assembled by DIY enthusiasts with an average level of handyman skills. Professional carpentry skills are not required.
Choose a site with a strong and level foundation
It is important to choose a site that has a level, strong, and stable foundation. This is critical, because a sauna with several bathers inside can weigh over 1000 lbs. A deck or concrete pad (patio) are both excellent options for placing your sauna atop. If you will be placing the sauna directly on the ground, we recommend you rest the polymer support cradles atop concrete pavers to prevent the cradles from settling into the ground. This could result in the sauna not sitting level and may cause issues over time.
If constructed properly (compacted well and levelled), a concrete pad will maximize the life of your barrel sauna. The concrete pad should be 4" thick and be reinforced with mesh to minimize cracking. We recommend constructing the pad significantly larger than needed for the sauna alone, as this will allow room for accessories such as chairs and tables. There is a wealth of information available online with instructions on how design and pour a concrete pad.
If you have ever seen a sauna on a deck, you know it is a wonderful place for a sauna. It looks great, and it is close to the house, meaning you will maximize your usage of the sauna. If you choose to install your sauna on a deck, be sure that your deck has been designed to support the weight of a full sauna (over 1000 lbs). We recommend you have the deck inspected by a qualified architect or building engineer prior to proceeding.
All electrical wiring must be performed by a qualified and licensed electrician with complete knowledge of local codes and regulations. Costs of hiring an electrician can vary greatly depending on several factors, including your sauna’s distance from your electrical service box, the state you live in and cost of materials. We always recommend you get quotes from 2 to 3 different licensed electricians before you begin installation.
The sauna heater will require 220v and must be hard-wired to the electrical box. If your sauna comes with a 4.5kw or a 6.0kw heater, it will require a 30-amp breaker and 10/2 wire, unless it is positioned more than 30 feet from the breaker in which case it will require 8/2 wire. If your sauna comes with a 8kw heater, it will require a 40-amp breaker and 8/2 wire.
You can consult our sauna heater manual for more information
Your electrician will drill a hole in the wall of the sauna below the heater for the conduit. All of the wiring will come into the sauna through this hole. In a barrel sauna, it can also come up through the floor below the heater.
Use copper wire with 90C insulation. Do not use aluminum wire to make the connection. Consult with an electrician so you can determine the requirements for your particular situation. All wiring must conform to all national, state, and local codes and regulations.
Because our saunas run on 220v of electricity and draw less than 40 amps of power they are quite energy efficient and should not be a significant drain on your electricity bill.
For further information and instruction on your heater installation and operation, please consult the provided heater manual included with your unit.
Download Harvia Sauna Heater Manual