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How to Disassemble a Hot Tub

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Disassembling your old hot tub takes a lot of time and planning. If you’re doing a DIY hot tub replacement, disassembling the old unit is the first step in the process.

Familiarize yourself with the tub’s assembly and take the proper precautions. This is not an easy process but can be done safely and properly by taking time to plan and follow these steps.

To disassemble a hot tub, you’ll need to:

  • Shut off the water and electricity/gas to the tub
  • Drain all the water
  • Unscrew or remove any removable parts
  • Remove the tub skirt
  • Disassemble the tub itself
  • Dispose of all the parts properly

How to Properly Disassemble Your Hot Tub

If you’re getting rid of your hot tub, it makes the most sense to disassemble it first. In-tact hot tubs are heavy, cumbersome, and some waste removal services may not even accept them!

It’ll be much easier to dispose of or transport your tub if it’s in smaller, more manageable pieces. 

If you need to remove a hot tub from your yard, follow these steps to ensure the safety of yourself and everyone around you. Here’s how to begin the hot tub disassembly and removal process:

Disconnect Your Hot Tub from All Utilities

Disconnect the tub from any water, electrical, or gas lines it’s connected to before you do anything. Failing to do so can cause a:

  • Gas leak
  • Electrocution
  • Flood

If your hot tub uses electricity, you may even want to flip off the switch it’s connected to on your circuit breaker to be 100% sure.

After you’ve made sure the tub is disconnected from water, electrical, and gas lines, read over your owner’s manual to locate any gas lines or electrical wiring that can be removed before you begin disassembling. If you don’t have a physical copy of your manual, you can likely find one on the manufacturer’s website.

Drain and Dry Your Tub

Now, it’s time to drain the water from the hot tub. Locate the drainage spout on the floor of the tub. If you can’t find this spout, consult the owner’s manual for a diagram.

Once you’ve located the spout, attach a garden hose to it. This will allow you to direct the water to a specific location where it won’t flood your yard. You can also easily move the hose if one area starts to get oversaturated with water. 

After the water has drained, dry up any remaining water with a wet vacuum.  If you don’t have access to a wet vacuum, you could also use a few towels to sop up the leftover water. Be sure the tub is completely dry before moving on. If you have a pool, you can actually drain the water into your pool.

Use Safety Equipment to Disassemble Tub 

For these next few steps, you’ll need to have some tools and safety equipment handy:

  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Protective clothing/mask
  • Screwdrivers
  • Jigsaw or reciprocating saw
  • Dumpster or truck bed for discarded materials

Remove the tub’s skirt. Consult your manual to find out how your skirt is attached to the tub. Some tub skirts have a tongue-and-groove assembly, which means you’ll be able to simply unscrew the skirt instead of sawing it apart! If your skirt is connected to the tub, however, you’ll need to saw it apart.

If your tub has any removable lights or jets, you’ll want to remove them before doing any sawing. 

Next comes the actual disassembly of the tub. Remove any remaining motors, wiring, or pipes before proceeding, and be sure your tub is 100% dry before using an electric saw.

Break down the tub’s shell with your saw. This is typically the hardest part of the process. The shell is usually made from one solid piece, and if you weren’t able to remove the lights and jets, you’ll need to take extra care to avoid hitting them. 

Take your time, exercise caution, and be sure to wear all your safety gear. There might be a lot of flying debris, and you’ll need to protect yourself.

Dispose of the Pieces

Once you’ve broken up the tub, it’s time to dispose of the waste. You could hire a dumpster, or bring the materials to a dump yourself if you have a pick-up truck. 

If you’d like a greener solution, you can take the electrical and metal parts to a recycling center, instead! In some areas, you may even be able to make some money off the waste.

Once the hot tub has been removed from your property, you can begin preparing the area for your new tub’s installation, or putting in a new patio or garden!

Can You Remove a Hot Tub While Keeping It In-Tact?

If you’re moving to a new home or selling your hot tub, you might be wondering how easy it is to move it yourself! While removing an entire hot tub from your property is a difficult task, it’s not impossible. 

Home Depot suggests considering the following factors:

  • How far will you be moving it?
  • What will you have to maneuver around to get the tub to its new place?
  • Is the path wide enough to move the hot tub? If not, can you turn it on its side?
  • How much does the tub weigh?
  • What are its measurements?

Make sure you have enough helpers, stamina, and space to move the tub before you attempt to do so. This careful planning will prevent injuries and damage to the tub.

Tools Needed to Move a Hot Tub

To properly move a hot tub, you’ll need to rent or buy the proper supplies. These include:

  • 1-2 dollies/hand trucks
  • Moving blankets
  • Tie-down straps
  • Lifting straps
  • 4×4 lumber boards
  • A truck with a ramp
  • At least 4 strong helpers!

Once you’ve acquired all the necessary equipment and found a few volunteers to assist you, you can start the removal process.

How to Move an In-Tact Hot Tub

Disconnect any water, gas, or electricity, drain the water out, and dry it completely. After you’ve done all this, you can start moving the hot tub!

  • Have at least one person hold each side of the tub. Lift it up and place it on your 4×4 boards and lifting straps.
  • Slide the dollies or hand trucks under the front and back of the tub and pull the boards out from underneath.
  • Secure the tub to the dollies with tie-down straps to prevent any sliding as you move it towards the truck.
  • Begin rolling the tub up the ramp. Make sure there’s someone on each side to prevent any issues. Once it’s safely onto the truck, use the lifting straps to move it off the dollies and onto the moving blankets. 

Once the tub has been loaded onto the truck, it can be safely moved to its new location. Then, it’s time to begin unloading!

  • Use the lifting straps to lift the tub off the moving blankets and onto the dollies. 
  • Slide it down the ramp, with a helper on each side.
  • Move the tub carefully to its new location. Place the boards down first to allow for easy adjustments. 
  • Lower the tub onto the boards, make any adjustments needed, and remove the boards once it’s in the right place!

Keep in mind that hot tubs are very heavy, even when empty. An empty tub can weigh anywhere from 500-1000 lbs.

You should never attempt to move a hot tub on your own. For best results, you might even want to hire a professional moving company with experience moving hot tubs. 

Final Thoughts

Neither disassembling nor removing a hot tub from your property is an easy task. You need to take extreme care while doing both, prepare properly, and always use safety equipment. If you’re wanting to get rid of a hot tub because its too old, or it doesn’t work anymore, you could consider safely demolishing it.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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