Although there are a few ways to go, using a Sawzall and a 12” carbide-teeth blade is the best way to cut up a hot tub.
You need to disconnect the unit from all the power sources, empty it, detach the side panels (skirt), remove the mechanical components, and wear safety gear before you turn on the saw.
We will walk you all throughout the process to keep you organized and help you get the hot tub cut done the best possible way.
Things You’ll Need to Cut Up a Hot Tub
1. Safety gear
Get pivotal gears for your safety and ease of work. Be sure to cover up head to toe with a hardy outfit.
2. A respirator mask is a must
To avoid inhaling fiberglass particles, use a respirator mask that will keep your lungs safe and sound.
3. Death wand
A hot tub sometimes is an electrical mess. Make sure the power has been entirely turned off long before the cutting session. A death wand will allow you to examine the condition and it’s super simple to check.
It is so sensitive to currents that you just put it on the wire, and it’ll light up when the wire is still hot so you’ll know if they’re safe to cut or not.
Note: You’ll surely find other wire testers or volt checkers in case you can’t find a death wand.
4. Reciprocating saw/ Sawzall
There are several tools you can use to cut up a hot tub such as a jigsaw, chainsaw, or even a hacksaw. But the Sawzall is the most preferred by pros, and we strongly recommend that you use it for safety.
A sawzall will allow you to cut up your tub the most effective way.
5. Carbide teeth blades preferably 12-inch and +
Have a drill with you. It will make it a lot easier to take off the skirt of the tub. You will also be able to unscrew the side panel in seconds.
How to Cut Up a Hot Tub – 6 Simple Steps
1. Read the manual carefully first
The first thing you need to do is check the manual carefully that came with your hot tub to know where the electrical and gas lines are. It will also give you information about the hot tub’s pumping system and its connection.
Knowing them can make you safe during the process and operate the first initial requirements correctly as you need to cut these lines before demolishing the tub. Blind cuts can bring about dangerous situations; even an accident along with damaging to your tools!
If the user manual is missing then you can search for the instructions online using your hot tubs brand and model number.
2. Disconnect the electrical wiring
Read through the owner’s manual first and completely cut off all the power wires and gas hookups (if gas-heated) for a safe operation along the way.
Look around the tub for any ground wires and keep them distant from the demolishing area to prevent any injury. Don’t forget to check the pump connection.
3 basic hot tub wiring points
- Electrical hookups
- Gas lines (if gas-heated)
- Pump connection
3. Drain it before dismantling
It will be unwise to cut your hot tub with liquid inside. Drain the water and start cutting manageable sections once it is dry and ready.
You can use a portable sump pump or a garden hose with a spigot to pull the water out fast.
Warning: Don’t throw your chlorinated tub water onto the lawn since this may damage the grass and cause flooding. Instead, point your hose into a gutter or onto the asphalt.
4. Detach hot tub skirting panels
This is the frame surrounding the tub; it houses all the powered components. Simply unscrew them panel by panel. They’re often wood, cedar, vinyl, or other composite materials.
Sometimes the side cabinet is not screwed and removed with a tricky move when you push upward or sideways and it comes off easily. Get back to the owner’s manual to get some help you need.
5. Save mechanical components
Once you’ve successfully removed the skirt, extract out the mechanical components and devices like pump, lighting, heater, jets, filters, display panel, and other such equipment.
Keep in mind that you only need to obliterate the foamy body and coated fiberglass shell all along. Hot tub gears will always have value even if they seem irrelevant now.
6. Check up on safety gears
Cutting up a hot tub may not be a hot knife through butter. Fiberglass can be pretty thick and you might have to deal with tight spacing and use your tools and equipment at the same time.
Safety and precaution are needed elements while cutting up your tub. Be sure to put on over-the-top safety gear such as a sturdy outfit, goggles, thick gloves, heavy-duty boots, and a helmet.
Note: Avoid wearing shorts or sandals and save yourself from the sharp glass bits and pieces.
7. Cut up the tub
- Make a plan
Measure the tub and divide it into 4 to 8 sections, neither too large nor too small, depending on the size and thickness.
Do your framework and draw some marks if you need. Figure out the best way to do it, ask yourself how would you start, where would you stand on, which part should you take down first, and how will you get rid of the pieces when you’re done.
- Get to Action
Hold your “Reciprocating Saw” or jigsaw tight with both hands and switch the thing on. Your blade should be at least 12-inch with a carbide tip to pierce through the thick and problematic structure. The thicker the tub will be, the longer the blades you’ll need.
Begin with a smaller cut to see how it holds up. Carefully proceed once you’ll get your rhythm.
Getting Rid of That Old Hot Tub?
You probably got your tub ages ago for luxury bubble baths or therapeutic use, then something forced you to stop. For instance, it sprung a leak, jacked-up your electric bill; an additional couple of hundred bucks a month took up some extra space you could use, and eventually became an eyesore.
You tried a few ways to sell it over the years, they displayed a wholesome interest but didn’t follow through.
The tub has been left dry, lost its charm, and became too old now. Calling in a junk service and having them do away with it is no cut-rate business.
Some companies will come and get your tub for free. But they might want to take the tub intact because there is mechanical equipment in your tub they’ll make use of.
What you can do is remove those mechanical components like motor pump, jets, heater, lighting, display panel, and all other parts from the tub. Such things have demands, perhaps some of your local buddies are struggling to get the parts you already have left abandoned.
Notify the local mechanics and junk dealers; but if you refuse to do it locally, get online.
Hire a professional
If you are no way a DIYer or you can’t find time for some junky hot tub in the backyard that’s done for, call a pro.
They will have all the necessary tools and techniques under their belt and you can even dispose of an old unit and replace it with a new one in a single day if you can hire the right guys.
It can be used as a micro garden, a fish pond, or even a fountain. You may change your mind and decide to reuse your stinky old hot tub after seeing these images that will give you ideas and make you take more productive decisions.
Tip: Get your DIYer friend in the house and plan something impossible and jaw-droppingly rewarding!
Idea 1 – A tiny personal garden in the backyard.
Idea 2 – An exciting modification for your gloomy melancholic pool.
Idea 3 – A ground to cultivate.
Idea 4 – A secret box as a table to enjoy your evenings with friends and family.
Idea 5 – A small fish pond with a home fountain.
Idea 6 – A fountain in the paddock for horses to drink from.
1. Can you use a chainsaw to cut up hot tubs?
Ans. A chainsaw would not be an ideal choice for this project. The blade might get chewed up at some point. Get a reciprocator saw or Sawzall to get rid of that old tub.
2. How much does it cost to remove a spa?
Ans. Hot tub removals cost between $150 and $700 but people normally pay $300 to $400 to de-tub their houses.
3. How long does it take to cut up a hot tub?
Ans. To cut your hot tub into appropriate sizes, it will take around 3 to 4 hours for a large one and 2 to 2.5 hours for a small one if 2 or 3 men work together using sawzalls. You can reduce the time if you can manage a crane to demolish your hot tub.
4. How heavy is a hot tub?
Ans. A large hot tub (for up to 6 people) is usually 1,000 lbs while a medium one is around 750lbs. Smaller tubs that can accommodate 2 or 3 people may weigh about 500lbs. All these weights are for empty tubs. Water-filled tub’s weight is much higher than these calculations.