How to Get Rid of an Old Hot Tub

Once you decide to remove your hot tub, you need to know your options. Check out these ideas for trashing, removing or reusing it.

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Your hot tub may have fallen into disuse because of disinterest or disrepair. Or it may have come as an unwanted fixture in an otherwise exciting new home. Regardless, once you decide to remove it, you need to know your options.

Note: However you decide to dispose of your indoor or outdoor hot tub, be sure to shut off power and water to the tub before starting. And if you’re not comfortable closing up the exposed wiring and plumbing yourself, make sure to hire licensed tradespeople to do the work.

Trash It

If DIY is your thing and you just need it gone, you can carve it up into small pieces and send it to the landfill through your trash bin. All you need is a dust mask, a pair of heavy gloves, eye protection and a Sawzall reciprocating saw (although some wrenches might help, too). Acknowledging that this option represents the least environmentally friendly method of disposal, it does have benefits: It won’t cost much, and you can do it on your schedule without extra help.

Keep in mind these units are built to last a lifetime, so many of the parts have value to another homeowner, a dealer or a repair company. With a little extra effort you can keep a fair amount of the workings out of the landfill, and maybe make a few bucks selling them to someone who can put them to good use.

If you have access to a truck or trailer and can rustle up a little help, you could haul it in one piece to a local transfer station, the place where homeowners and contractors pay a small fee to unload all kinds of unwieldy stuff.

Junk It

An online search for removing a hot tub brings up many vendors who will come to your home, load up your hot tub and take it away — no questions asked! The more environmentally conscious haulers recycle or salvage anything with value. Others make a beeline to the landfill and dump it. Either way, you don’t break a sweat.

Trade It

When you buy a new hot tub, many dealers operate a trade-in program. Your hot tub may have value that can be applied to the purchase of a new one. Talk directly to your dealer about the possibility, or look online for promotional materials on manufacturer or dealer web sites.

Sell It

Just because you don’t want this hot tub doesn’t mean no one else will. No-fee sell-it sites such as Craig’s List, Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace can produce quick results. Our research reveals that trying to give it away may be a mistake, as people often assume that “free” translates to “needs costly repairs” — even if you advertise it as fully operational. Best to tag it with a price ranging from $100 to $500 (or more).

Get Creative

People have found creative ways to repurpose hot tubs around their homes. The most popular idea involves using the structure to contain a water feature (with or without koi) in backyard landscaping. A shovel, some masonry sand and a rubber pond lining and you’re in business.

Another creative idea we liked was flipping it over, cutting an access door and making it an insulated dog house. With a little work, an indoor hot tub could be converted into a sandbox or ball pit for the kids. One ingenious homeowner even figured out how to use one as an aquaponics tank for growing leafy greens and fish together. Let your imagination run wild!