How to Remove a Hot Tub from Your Backyard

Bill Taylor
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Things to Consider Before You Remove a Hot Tub

If you are thinking about removing your hot tub from the backyard, here are a few things to consider before you make your decision. Removing the hot tub is a good option if you don’t want to keep it anymore, but you can still get a lot of use out of it. You can sell it, donate it, rent it out, or convert it into a cold tub. If you own your hot tub, one of the big benefits to removing a hot tub is that it will reduce your maintenance and energy costs.

The benefits of having a hot tub are countless as well. Not only do you get to enjoy the hot tub, but you own a unique space that will drive home equity. When you add up the perks of a hot tub, it only makes sense to try to re-purpose the space that it used to take up.

12 Steps to Remove a Hot Tub

The first step in the hot tub removal process is to have a hot tub removal company come by for an initial evaluation. When calling around, you'll want to get as much information as possible on the company, such as specialties, references, and whether you're dealing with a regional, national, or international company.

The second step in removing a hot tub is to make sure you have the proper type of equipment. A strong and stable utility trailer is your best bet. Something with four wheels and a hydraulic ramp is ideal, especially for larger hot tubs. If you have a punctured hot tub, it will likely need to be filled with water to keep it steady while you transport it.

The third step in the hot tub removal process is to empty your hot tub first. This will generally involve draining water through the plumbing and draining water from the spasuit. Some hot tubs won't drain unless the filter is completely removed.

In the fourth step in the hot tub removal process, you'll have to be prepared to dismantle your hot tub. This will vary depending on the type you have. Many spasuits and above-ground hot tubs are easy to dismantle — you may even be able to do this with just a socket and wrench. If your hot tub is large, it might require a backhoe. Be sure to check with your local building codes before you attempt to dismantle a hot tub.

Step 1: Secure a Moving Vehicle

The first step in removing a hot tub from your backyard is to secure a moving vehicle. The two most commonly used towing vehicles are pick-up trucks and flatbed trailers.

For most hot tubs, a flatbed trailer is the better option. It prevents a hot tub's weight from being strained.

However, there are two additional things to consider if you plan to remove your hot tub with a flatbed trailer: location and the weather.

Location: Determine where to place the trailer in relation to the hot tub. This is important because the trailers wheels must be swung in the direction of travel when they are attached to the hot tub.

Weather: Make sure the weather is cooperating before you move the hot tub.

Step 2: Get the Right Moving Equipment

You may need to contact professional hot tub movers for assistance. Moving a hot tub is a big job, and it is not something you can handle on your own. The tub may weigh more than 1,000 pounds, and you would be foolish to try to move it without equipment and the proper know-how.

If you are determined to move your hot tub by yourself, be prepared to do a lot of work. You will need to rent a truck with a truck bed and tailgate if it's not already attached. Otherwise, you will need to get a snap on bed, which will mount in place of your tailgate. The tub should be covered up completely and strapped down. It is important you have ample padding around the tub, because when the tub is rolled over on its side, it will need to be protected.

You should be very careful about how much you ask a standard pickup truck to carry. The average full-size pickup truck can only hold one to two tons. This is not going to be enough to hold a hot tub, so you may need to rent a van or box truck with an extendable body for this job. When moving a hot tub, you must also make sure you have a dolly with strong casters. You will also need power tools, a drill, and a crowbar or hammer.

Step 3: Find Trustworthy Helpers

Getting rid of a hot tub requires lifting, moving, and hauling. It will be an enormous process. Help is invaluable to moving the hot tub from its current spot into your vehicle and from your vehicle to wherever it is going.

Ask your significant other to help you organize help. Either friends or family members would probably be more than happy to help out, especially if they can bond with your baby at the same time.

It is ideal if you have two friends or family members to help you move the hot tub. However, if you don’t have enough people, don’t limit yourself to just family members. If one friend or family member can’t make it, call in a new friend to help you move the tub.

Now that you have the boyfriend or husband, the sister or mom, the neighbor, and the friend, you’re ready to move the hot tub.

You’re going to want to ensure the hot tub is completely drained and cleaned. Then you’ll want to remove the filtration system, pumps, and electrical cords.

Step 4: Assess the Exit Path

Above ground hot tubs usually come with adjustable legs which can be raised or lowered as needed. The exit path needs to accommodate these legs and they should be raised to the maximum height to allow for large exit holes. If you do not have the hot tub raised you won’t be able to remove it or it will leave a large, unsightly hole in your backyard.

If the hot tub is on a permanent structure, you might need to grout the exit holes closed to make the hot tub look more authentic. The above ground hot tubs are lightweight plastic and you will be able to transport a full one by yourself if you are in good physical shape.

Step 5: Disconnect the Tub

Use a screwdriver to detach the power cord from the wall. Be careful if you need to cut off the cord. Use a sharp knife and cut the cord as close as possible to the end of the plug. Pull the plug so that the cord doesn't unravel.

Step 6: Drain the Tub

Just after the hot tub is removed, turning off the spa water heater and flipping the breaker switch, will ensure that you don’t have a mess to deal with.

Step 7: Confirm removal

You will need to make sure your spa can be removed and cleared without any damage to your yard.

Step 8: Disconnect Furnace line

Disconnect the point where the gas line for the spa goes into the house.

Step 9: Allow air and water to drain

You will need to drain any air that is left in the system. You can do this by cracking the bleeder valve and draining the air until there is no more water coming out of it.

Step 10: Vacuum out the water

Remove the water from the hot tub. Fill a large clean bucket up with water and use a regular handheld vacuum to siphon the water out.

Step 11: Tarp the Waste

Cover the waste hot tub area with a tarp to prevent any glass from smashing in the back of the truck.

Step 12: Wrap the Hot Tub

Step 7: Clean and Dry the Tub

After the tub has fully deflated, you will need to remove the cover. If you have a synthetic cover, you can remove the cover by unhooking or unzipping the cover. Take note which way the cover goes back onto the tub to avoid a mess. If you have a solid top frame, the cover will need to be removed and stored separately.

Next step is to remove the steel liner. Having eight or more people at this step is very helpful. If you are doing this by yourself, then use caution. If you are having trouble removing the steel liner, you can try loosening the screws and removing the screws and letting the liner slide out. The liner will be soaking wet from the hot water so lay a carpet out on the ground to help remove the water. You will also want to place a few towels in the tub.

Now it is time to remove the high-powered hose line from the tub. This is the long electrical cord and it looks like a vacuum cleaner. To remove the hose, find the plug (usually at the back bottom of the tub. Unplug the cord and remove the hose.

Step 8: Pack the Cover

Wrap the whole thing in a heavy towel and set it aside. You will need to keep it dry until your hot tub arrives at its new destination. The tricky part of this step is the size of the tub cover, including the exterior non-skid surfaces. Usually when you have standing water inside the tub, it is full enough that you can roll it up and pull it off of the interior liner. Make sure you set it aside before you start draining the tub, though.

This step will be easier if you have a helper to lift the cover while you guide it off of the tub, or if you have one of those fancy exterior skid-type covers that you can push off with your feet without having to worry about twisting or pulling the cover and liner off of the walls.

Once it is set aside, it can dry in place, or you can cover it using the towels on the outside of the cover.

Step 9: Position the Wood Pieces

On Top of the Remaining Cinder Blocks.

The cinder block wall is to be at the center of the hot tub. Measure 2 feet 6 inches from the wall and set a wood block. Repeat twice until you've placed four wood blocks and the cinder block wall.

Now pick up the blocks and position them on the corners of the bottom board. Use the tape measure to get the blocks positioned correctly. Now mark the location of the screws you have to use on each of the holes. Remove the blocks and use the drill to make holes for screws.

Be careful not to break the blocks when you place them down. Place the blocks on the screws.

Step 10: Position the Dollies to Remove a Hot Tub

The hot tub probably weighs over 900 pounds, so it will require four dollies to move it onto the ground. You'll need to remove each of the four legs (as indicated by the yellow arrows below).

Good news…you don't have to move the legs off the dollies!

The depth between the main body of the hot tub and the leg system isn't all that great. It's possible to move the hot tub off the dollies while keeping the legs directly on each dolly.

When you remove each leg, set it aside.

By the way, to make moving the hot tub easier, you might want to remove the skirting. We've made that extra-easy for you. Just slide your hand under the skirting near the middle, and pull upward, and the skirting will detach.

Note that it's problematical to maintain clearance when you go down a slight incline, so you probably won't be able to get the hot tub through an average-wide door – you'll have to remove the hot tub in full and take it through in pieces. Be sure you have a minimum of nine feet between the wall and the hot tub when you let it down to ensure adequate clearance.

Step 11: Roll the Tub to the Truck

Your hot tub is now full of water and ready to go. It’s time to remove it.

Gather your family and friends to help you roll it out the back door.

Make sure you have padded your deck well before you placed the tub on it.

The tub should roll across the deck nice and easy. Keep an eye on the hot tub to make sure it stays level during the roll.

If it seems like it’s hard to keep it level, place some lawn edging along the short side it’s rolling into.

Once you get the hot tub into the back yard, you’ll need two people to lift it into the truck.

Step 12: Remove a Hot Tub and Load It Onto the Truck

One of the biggest challenges in loading up the spa for removal is removing all of the water. (If you’ve drained it down to a bare tub, this step becomes a lot easier because you’re not trying to balance a full load of water on the truck).

There are a couple of ways you can go about getting the water out of the hot tub. If you’ve drained it already, then you only have to worry about pulling the hoses and water lines out of the hot tub and getting the skimmer and pump out of the body of water. If you haven’t drained it (or if you drained it but the spa is so big that you couldn’t spend the time standing at the drain line pumping water into buckets), then you’ll need to get it pumped out to get it to a level you can work with.

Conclusion

Before you decide to take the plunge and purchase a hot tub for your backyard, make sure you take the time to think it through. A hot tub can be the talk of the neighborhood, get your family and friends together, and give you a great place to hang out. All in all, it can be a great thing.

With these hot tub thoughts and tips in mind, you should be secure in your choice and ready to have some fun in your new backyard addition. So, get your hot tub, and enjoy all the great things it can do for your family.