Well, it is said that the two happiest days of a boat owner’s life are the day they buy a boat and the day they sell it – a hot tub owner shares a similar fate.
The life span of a hot tub can be very long. Many of the parts, such as the shell can last a lifetime. They were built to last forever, which actually becomes a real problem if your old hot tub just killed over, despite regular maintenance and repairs. Since these parts were made to last it’s hard to find an eco-friendly way to get rid of them.
Let’s face it, the hardest part about hot tub disposal is the location of the spa.
Is the spa in the back yard?
Does that mean you have to take down your fence or worse get a crane just to move it?
Spas are tricky little devils, they provide hours of enjoyment, but as soon as they croak they become the biggest pain in the … neck, you’ll ever have to deal with.
Here are a few hot tub disposal options.
How to Get Rid of a Hot Tub
Trade it in
If you are planning to replace your old hot tub then a great option may be to trade it in. Many dealers will work with you on pricing if you trade in your old model. The upside for the dealers is they can fix it up and turn around and sell it to someone else. The upside for you, you probably get a discount on your new tub. Many dealers have an estimate on their website. You can plug in some information and see what they might be willing to give for your old spa. Even if the spa is beyond repair the dealer may be willing to haul it off where it will live out the rest of its life behind their store in the hot tub graveyard. Google map some pictures and you’ll see what we mean.
Sell it / Give it away
You can try to sell the tub yourself, assuming it is in good condition. Try Craigslist or a Facebook Yard Sale site, or there are dozens of other ways you can let people know you are ready to sell. If you can move the hot tub yourself you can even charge more. If it isn’t in working condition, you might be able to break it down and sell the parts. If you’re not having any luck selling it, you can always post it as “free” if the interested party picks it up. There are various social media apps and groups that allow you to reach out to people in your own neighborhood; check out Nextdoor.
Demolition & Removal – A DIY Guide
There is another method to get rid of your old hot tub but you’ll need to get a bit messy for this one. You really just need a couple of tools that are essential for this type of disposal. But don’t worry, we’ll talk you through the whole process that you can do yourself.
The Right Tools for the Job
If there is one tool that makes disposing of a hot tub easier to remove, it’s called a Sawzall. It’s a special type of reciprocating saw that has a blade used for cutting nearly anything. But the real benefit to using a Sawzall is that it can cut up an old hot tub in just a few minutes. You will need a special blade that can cut through the various hoses, wood, fiberglass, and insulation foam. The best cutting blade for this is the 12 inch Diablo Carbide cutting blade for general purpose cutting.
You can rent a Sawzall from any local hardware store or find an affordable model online. If you decide to buy a Sawzall, look for a quality brand like Milwaukee that can be plugged in. You need the pluggable version because a battery charged model will run out of power too quick for this kind of job. You should also buy two or three cutting blades, just in case one blade breaks. There are a couple of other items that are needed as well. One is wearing eye protection and some work gloves.
Since you are going to be cutting fiberglass, you should also have a decent dust mask that filters out the little fibers and dust that will kick-up while the hot tub is being cut. You should use the 3M N95 Sanding and fiberglass valve respirator. You can get these in 3-packs at any hardware store or Home Depot. Also, you’ll need to wear a long sleeve shirt to keep dust off your arms. Fiberglass is known for being pretty itchy, so any kind of work shirt with sleeves is good. You will also need to have an extension cord for the Sawzall.
One more item that is recommended is a long pry bar that is used for wrecking. You need to choose a bar thats at least 5 feet long so it can be used for wedging and separating the sections of the hot tub once it’s cut up.
Starting the cutting
Before you start disposing of a hot tub, you’ll need to disconnect any electrical wiring that powers the hot tub (if it hasn’t been removed already). You’ll then strip away the outside covering on the hot tub to expose the underside structure. Usually, the decorative covering is nailed or screwed on so you’ll need to pry them off with a claw hammer. Make it easier to cut the hot tub by draining any water inside it using a siphon hose. Start with cutting it at the top edges into 4 equal parts. There will also be pumps and hoses that you can cut-off under the edges of the tub.
To divide the tub into equally cut parts on the inside, you’ll have to stand within the tub to do the remainder of the cutting. The Sawzall blade should cut through any wood, plastic, and fiberglass it comes in contact with. Try to avoid cutting the nozzles that stick out from the sides of the hot tub interior. These don’t cut easily since they are metal, so cut around them if you have to. When you are done cutting, you should also cut supporting wood pieces along the sides of the tub. You then will be able to use the long pry bar to separate the 4 pieces from each other. If there are tubes still attached, cut them apart from each other.
Each piece should be easy enough to put into the back of a pickup truck and take to the city dump. Wearing gloves makes it less of a hassle for rough edges and little slivers of wood and fiberglass. You can do this in less than a couple of hours depending on the size of your hot tub. If the tub is bigger, you might have to cut the tub in more pieces. Be patient when cutting and never try to cut faster than the Sawzall allows it to cut through all the different layers. You’ll get a feel for how it works when you start cutting and disposing of a hot tub the first time.
Preparing a Spa for Removal
A broken hot tub is not like a cheating boyfriend you can just kick out; it’s more like a beloved college roommate who needs time to pack up first. There is an important checklist that has to get done before the spa is going anywhere.
- First, review the owner’s manual. You will not get deductions on your man card for this. In fact, you earn secret points for being smart rather than stupid. With the manual in hand unplug and disconnect the spa from all gas and electrical lines. You’ll get double points if you flip the circuit breaker before you get started.
Also, some of the wiring might be in hiding so keep that manual handy.
- Next, drain the water from the tub. If you’ve ever siphoned gas you know how to do this with just a hose, otherwise, you might need to rent a sump pump. Which is a little gadget that will suck the water out for you.
- Once you’re sure the spa is prepped it’s ready to move out.
Hire a Pro
The easiest thing to do with an old spa it to call someone to haul it away for you. AZ Junk will remove and haul off the old hot tub for you, so you don’t have to deal with the hassle. Also, unlike other junk removal services, we are eco-friendly and will recycle or repurpose everything we can. If the tub is salvageable we have contacts that can refurbish it, or if it’s not, they can tear it down and recycle the individual pieces. The best part, though, is we have hauled off thousands of spas and have years of experience removing them from difficult to access areas.
Call AZ Junk Removal
We are Phoenix’s hot tub disposal professionals. Schedule a pickup today! Ask for me Brad Thomason, owner of AZ Junk.