If your hot tub is damaged beyond repair or you’re replacing it with a new one, you need a plan for removing and disposing of the old one.

First, understand that manufacturers generally recommend repairing a hot tub rather than replacing or disposing of it. In most cases, the repair is possible and far simpler than replacement, which can cost consumers a lot in terms of removal, transportation, and new installation.

When removal of the hot tub is your only option, take the following steps to do so safely and properly.

1. Drain the Hot Tub

You can’t remove the hot tub if it’s full of water. Before draining the water, check with local and state requirements for water disposal and be sure the spa water won’t get into public water sources.

Generally, if the pH and chemical levels are balanced in your tub, it’s safe to drain the water onto your own lawn (assuming no potential for flooding or erosion).

Draining the hot tub is simple if you check your owner’s manual and follow these steps:

1. Turn off the ground-fault circuit interrupter and unplug the hot tub.
2. If the tub will be used again (if you’re moving or selling it), hand tighten the plumbing unions.
3. Locate the drain bib or drain valve, both of which are plugged holes at the base of the hot tub. Usually, it’s near one of the corners.
4. Attach a water hose to the valve to prevent water from pooling around the tub base.
5. Open the drain bib/valve according to instructions, which may mean turning it counter clockwise until it pulls out from the cabinet panel.
6. Aim the hose to where you want it on your property, be mindful of children, pets, and plants.
7. Dry out the shell with a towel or wet/dry vac to dry up the last bits of water. The tub should be as dry as possible, especially if it will be used again.

2. Uninstall the Hot Tub

You can try this yourself or hire a professional (who may also dispose of or move the tub for you). If the hot tub will be used again, we highly recommend paying someone to uninstall the spa.

If you’re uninstalling and dismantling yourself, have your manual on hand to reference assembly directions.

Be prepared with protective eyewear, gloves, and clothing. It’s possible that small pieces of metal and plastic will go flying and cause damage. Keep all children and pets away.

Follow these steps to uninstall the hot tub and get it ready for removal:

1. Disconnect all plumbing, gas and electrical components and remove the components from the hot tub structure. If left in place they could inhibit the dismantling of the spa body.
2. Dismantle the spa skirt, which may be in place with screws, nails or tongue and groove slats. In other cases, you may need to saw the pieces apart. You will likely deal with foam insulation during this process, as it generally fills some or all of the cavity under the shell.
3. The shell is one piece with jets throughout and insulation on the underside. If the tub won’t be used again you can cut it into manageable pieces with a jigsaw or reciprocating saw. Avoid hitting jets with the saw as they’re made of metal.

If your hot tub is housed within a deck and you plan to replace it, be careful not to damage the deck or the spa foundation, as you’ll need them for the next hot tub.

3. Dispose of the Hot Tub

Removing the hot tub could mean throwing its small pieces into a dumpster or loading it up intact for a new location. If you’re moving the tub to a new property for the use you should consider hiring a professional (they might also uninstall it for you).

If the Hot Tub is Trash

Once you’ve got the hot tub components, skirt, and shell into manageable pieces, you can toss it all into a rental dumpster and have it hauled away. The dismantled hot tub is not likely to fit in a bin for regular trash removal.

If the Hot Tub Is Being Recycled

If the electrical, plumbing and heating components and spa pack are in good shape, you may be able to sell them on their own. Then you can take the wood or plastic skirt panels to a local recycling center that accepts those materials.

While the acrylic shell is not recyclable, the individual parts of the cover (foam, nylon, vinyl, etc.) are likely recyclable.

If the shell is damaged but not in pieces, a spa scrapper or refurbisher may want it. You might find someone who will pay you for the parts and haul them away.

If you have questions about draining, uninstalling or disposing of your hot tub, feel free to contact your local Aqua Living dealer with questions or concerns.