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How to Remove a Hot Tub from Your Backyard (with Video)

Have you got an old hot tub you don’t use anymore? Hot tubs are heavy and large, so if you’re in that situation, here’s how to remove a hot tub from your backyard.

    1. Cut the power at the disconnect.
    2. Remove the panels and power cord from the control box.
    3. Use a crowbar to remove the wood braces except for the 4 corners.
    4. Remove all equipment & cut PVC pipes as needed.
    5. Use an electric saw to cut the acrylic shell in half.
    6. Then remove all pieces and discard.

And make sure to use safety goggles when using power tools to break apart the frame and spa shell!

But of course, before destroying the hot tub, decide first if you want to try and sell it. Selling it is a great way to put a few hundred dollars in your pocket, and you can leave the hassle of spa removal to the buyer.

Or you can simply throw money at the problem and find a junk removal team or other hot tub disposal services. That might be the best way to get rid of an old spa.

There are lots of things to consider, such as the cost of junk removal services, electrical disconnection, and physically getting the hot tub off your property.

If you’re replacing your hot tub, you may be able to get the hot tub company to take the old unit away (or even give you partial credit for it), but if not, you have a few options to consider.

Read on to find out what’s best for you and your unwanted hot tub.

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How much does it cost to remove an old hot tub?

Generally speaking, the average cost of hot tub removal jobs is $350 for the whole process. But depending on the exit path and how much space there is to work around the old tub, it could range between $150 and $650.

Always ask for a free estimate before confirming!

But you can get your hot tub removed for free if the professional junk removal service thinks they can sell it. Usually, it will depend on the value of your hot tub to the removal company and the cost to them in stripping it down.

If you opt to do it yourself, you should be aware of any hidden fees such as landfill charges or the dump charge at a recycling facility.

If you’re paying for hot tub removal services, make sure the cost includes everything.

Most companies base their charges on weight or volume so get them to work this out for themselves before giving you a price and don’t add to it later.

Don’t just accept a cost over the phone.

Get them to come out and give you a proper estimate based on the physical conditions they can see for themselves, including any steps to encounter, fences or gates to negotiate, etc.

Also, you should be aware of what is expected of you before the junk haulers turn up.

Do they want you to:

    • Disconnect electrical?
    • Drain all the water?
    • Form a clear path for them from the hot tub to the curbside?
    • Provide a firm surface to run a hand truck over?

Make sure you get all this in writing to avoid any arguments later.

Is it worth it to move a hot tub?

It is worth it to move a hot tub as long as the hot tub shell and frame are in good condition. Even if a new control box and/or pump need to be purchased, it is much cheaper to move a hot tub to a new location than it is to purchase a new hot tub.

And installing the new equipment can be done by most homeowners. But there are a lot of things to consider, so let’s explore those things. The factors to be considered are:

    • The condition of your hot tub
    • How old your hot tub is
    • Distance to the new location 
    • Availability of a hot tub removal team in your area

How old is “old”? A hot tub is made up of 4 components, each having a different lifespan:

    • The shell 
    • The equipment 
    • The PVC plumbing 
    • The hot tub cover

So how long do hot tubs usually last?

In a recent article, I explained in more detail how each of these components can deteriorate and what to do to preserve them for as long as possible. Find out how by clicking on the link and reading it here on my website.

On average, you should get 15-20 years out of your hot tub, although, during this time, you may have to replace or repair 1 or 2 of the items listed above.

You may have no option but to move your hot tub when you’re moving. The new owners won’t be pleased if you leave them with the problem to deal with, especially if the old hot tub is unusable.

I once sold a house in Dallas that had an almost brand-new hot tub.

But the new owners didn’t want it and put into the contract that I had to remove it. So, I took a huge loss in getting it removed. But some home buyers might actually want you to leave it.

Once you’ve decided that the hot tub must go, you can then look at the various options. If it’s in reasonable condition and not too old and provided there’s room for it in your new home, you may decide to take your hot tub with you.

Look up hot tub removal teams in your area.

You can find these listed under “Removal Services” or just Google “how to get rid of a hot tub”.

It’s worth getting a few quotes, as these services vary depending on the team’s capability. One company worth a try is 1-800 Got Junk? – they have franchises all over America. But there’s also Junk King and College Hunks too.

The hot tub removal process is pretty much the same whether you want to relocate it or scrap it, it’s just the cost that will change.

How do you get rid of a hot tub without destroying it?

To remove a hot tub without destroying it:

    • Disconnect the power first at the disconnect box and the main breaker panel
    • Empty the hot tub of all water with a garden hose or submersible pump
    • Use a wet-dry vacuum to remove all remaining water
    • Remove the electrical cord from the disconnect box
    • Sell it online on Craigslist or a local Facebook group page

I once bought a used hot tub off my local neighborhood Facebook page.

I found a professional team of hot tub movers who moved it (within 40 miles) for $350. The previous owners had lied a little about the age and condition of the hot tub, so when I got there and saw it, I talked them down from $500 to $150.

Want to know more about my story and the step-by-step moving process?

In a recent article, I got into everything, including the 1 crucial mistake I made, which almost cost me $3,000 extra in electrical work I hadn’t planned on. But I found a solution!

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Once drained, you may decide to have a go at moving the hot tub yourself. This is perfectly doable with 2-4 people. But you must fully understand the implications of this. You will find some typical hot tub weights in the next section.

You must consider where you want it to go and how you are going to get it there.

How heavy is an empty 6-person hot tub?

On average, a 6-person hot tub will weigh 700 pounds when empty. But depending on the brand and shape, the empty weight can range between 500 and 1,000 pounds.

The owner’s manual that came with your hot tub should tell you the weight of it.

But if you no longer have this, you can get some great advice on weight from a recent article here on my website. I even show you how to calculate the weight with just a few simple measurements.

Just click on the link to read it.

Here are some examples of dry weight from different brands:

Model Size of your hot tub (inches) Weight (pounds)
Beachcomber 550 80 x 88 x 38” 650 lbs.
Clearwater Spas ES84 84 x 84 x 34 500 lbs.
Hudson Bay HB19 76 x 76 x 34 600 lbs.
Hydropool 670 84 x 84 x 39 794 lbs.
Signature Spas SS-5 80 x 80 x 34 750 lbs.
Sundance Optima 880 89 x 89 x 37.5 924 lbs.

These variations result from the specification of each model, taking into account:

    • Materials, e.g., acrylic or fiberglass shell, wood or metal frame
    • Number of jets
    • Weight of the pump and heater 
    • Built-in sanitizer – e.g., Ozonator
    • Other accessories such as lighting, water features, music system, etc.
    • Cabinetry – e.g., acrylic or wood

If you intend to scrap your hot tub or sell it off for parts, you can reduce the weight considerably by removing some of these parts.

You can even cut the shell up into smaller pieces. But don’t use a chainsaw for this; a reciprocating saw works best – and don’t forget your PPE!

I haven’t included the weight of the hot tub cover in this because it can easily be removed, but it is worth considering that this can add around 50 to 70 pounds to the overall weight to be removed or relocated.

How do you lift a hot tub over a fence? (or is it easier to temporarily remove a section of the fence?)

As a general rule, it will be easier and far less expensive to remove a section of a wooden fence to remove a hot tub than it will be to hire a crane. But on its side, most hot tubs can easily fit through a typical backyard gate.

As long as they are trustworthy, take the advice of your hot tub removal team, as this largely depends on the equipment they have and their manpower.

When moving a hot tub, you should tip it on its side, pump side up.

That’s because the pump access panel is a weak point and could give way under pressure. One way to tip a hot tub on its side is to use an inflatable lifting cushion.

These are wedge-shaped cushions that you slide under the edge of your hot tub and inflate using the pump supplied.

Use a spa dolly or hand truck to maneuver the tub toward the fence. If you or the removal team have a small crane – these usually come fitted to the truck – it’s a simple matter to lift the tub over the fence.

Without a crane, you could man-handle the tub over maybe a 3-foot fence but certainly no higher. For 6 people to lift a 900-pound tub, that’s still 150 pounds each; a daunting task for most of us!

Think about that before you invite your friends around.

Using a crane is a specialist job. Although the weight of a hot tub is nothing to a small crane, there are many factors to consider – not a job for the Weekend Warrior!

To transport a hot tub, you’ll need a flatbed truck or trailer on which the tub can be laid flat.

You can hire one of these for around $200 per day. Ensure the tub is securely strapped down and pack around any equipment that could work loose under vibration. Better still, remove it and transport it separately.

Is it easy to disconnect a hot tub electrical cord?

It is easy to disconnect a hot tub electrical cord as it is typically just connected inside the hot tub control box with 3 screws holding 3 wires in place.

But don’t go digging in yet.

We want to be safe, and you may determine (unless you have a small 110v plug-in hot tub) that you need to call in a licensed electrician for this.

But if you are competent enough and know how to turn off the supply, there is no reason why you can’t do this yourself.

In a recent article, I described how a hard-wired hot tub is connected through a circuit breaker to your main electric supply, and you can read it here on my site by clicking on the link.

When your old hot tub was first installed, it was most likely wired up to a disconnect box, which is a type of circuit breaker located near the hot tub (usually within 5 feet).

Here are the steps to follow:

    1. Cut the power off at the disconnect box
    2. Flip the breaker to the disconnect box on the main breaker panel
    3. Open the front panel on the hot tub
    4. Open the control box (often requiring a Phillips screwdriver)
    5. Using a screwdriver (often flathead), disconnect the wires from the control box that are coming in from the power cord)
    6. Using a wrench, where the power cord enters the control box, loosen the nut holding the cord in place
    7. Pull the power cord out from the control box
    8. Pull the power cord out of the hot tub shell and set it aside
    9. Mark both the breaker and disconnect box to indicate not to turn them back on. A lock on the disconnect box in the off position may be required by your local code.

Do local junkyards take hot tubs?

In many areas, local junkyards or the local landfill will not take hot tubs, at least in 1 piece. However, some will take a hot tub if broken up into several smaller pieces that can fit in their containers more easily. So it’s a good idea to call around first to find out where you can take it.

Hot tubs are made up of a lot of materials, most of which are not biodegradable. Take a look at these components:

    • Pipework – PVC
    • Shell – acrylic
    • Insulation – polyurethane
    • Cover – PVC, and Styrofoam
    • Jets – heavy-duty plastic
    • Cabinets – wood pulp and plastics

It is your responsibility as the owner to make sure your hot tub is disposed of correctly and legally. Getting someone in to dump it on your behalf does not relieve you of that duty.

Responsible contractors will break down your old hot tub into bits that can be reused, recycled, and repurposed. The remaining parts will be cut up and disposed of at local specialist landfills, where they cannot cause harm to the environment.

If you decide to try this yourself, don’t think you can just drop the chopped-up bits into your trash can either. If those parts can be traced back to you, you could be in big trouble.

Can you trade in an old hot tub when buying a new one?

Yes, you can trade in an old hot tub when buying a new one.

Hot tubs are a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors, but they can be expensive. Fortunately, many hot tub retailers offer trade-in programs that allow you to get a discount on your new hot tub when you trade in your old one.

When trading in an old hot tub, it is important to make sure that it is in good condition.

Most retailers will inspect the hot tub before accepting it as a trade-in. If there are any major issues with the hot tub, such as cracks or leaks, then the retailer may not accept it as a trade-in. It is also important to make sure that all of the parts are included with the hot tub so that it can be properly installed and used by the new owner.

Once you have determined that your old hot tub is in good condition and all of the parts are included, you can contact your local hot tub retailer to inquire about their trade-in program.

Many retailers will offer discounts on new hot tubs when you trade in an old one. The amount of discount varies from retailer to retailer, so it is important to shop around and compare prices before making a decision.

When trading in an old hot tub, make sure to keep all of your paperwork and receipts for both the purchase of your old hot tub and for any repairs or maintenance that was done on it over its lifetime.

This will help ensure that you get as much credit for your trade-in as possible when purchasing a new one.

How much can I sell a used hot tub for?

In general, used hot tubs typically sell for anywhere from $500-$3,000 depending on their size, age, features, and condition.

If your hot tub is in good condition and has all the bells and whistles, you may be able to get closer to $3,000 for it; however, if your hot tub is older or in poor condition, you may only be able to get around $500-$1000 for it.

The size of the hot tub is also important; larger models tend to be more expensive than smaller ones. If you have a large hot tub that‘s in good condition, you can expect to get more money for it than if you have a smaller one that‘s in poor condition.

Finally, where you’re selling your used hot tub is important as well.

If you’re selling online or through classified ads, you can get more money than if you were selling through a local store or dealer. After all, dealers have to make money on top of you compared to a direct sale through someplace like Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, or Craigslist.

Final thoughts

Whether you have ordered a new hot tub or are looking to move your old hot tub to a new location, search the Internet for a reliable hot tub removal team and get everything agreed upon in writing before making a commitment.

If you’re looking to scrap your old hot tub, check out restrictions at local landfills, look up junk removal services in your area, and compare costs. There may be things you can do yourself to get the cost to a minimum, so don’t be afraid to ask.

I hope this covers everything you wanted to know about removing a hot tub from your backyard, but if I missed anything, feel free to reach out. I’m always here to help.

And don’t forget to check out those links to related articles here on my site.

Photo which requires attribution:

Tub19 by Dave Stone is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

Jeff Campbell