Junk Removal Advice
The luxury of hot tubs has existed since ancient times. Stone house-type hot tubs have been around since before Roman times when the stones themselves provided the heat and steam for creating the desired environment of comfort. These stone hot houses relied primarily upon the natural heating of the sun and water for producing a “hot springs” effect which was very similar to what can be artificially produced by modern spas and hot tubs of today.
Hot tubs may be cut up with a Sawzall and reduced to small pieces. All electrical and gas connections must be disconnected before the hot tub is deconstructed, the hot tub must be emptied, and the hot tub’s skirt should be removed. To avoid harm, safety equipment such as goggles should be worn while dismantling the hot tub.
In the 1950s hot tubs began to increase in popularity in California and other western states. In the early years, this primitive form of the hot tub was often made from old industry size wine barrels that had been cut in half horizontally to form a flat, rounded tub. Hot tubs in our modern era have advanced features like high-powered whirlpool jets, high-tech lighting and remote control to name a few.
As the years went by hot tubs increased in popularity and demand until reaching a peak in the early part of the new millennium. With many units today there are computerized touch screen controls, remote control. Some even have wifi capability allowing simple and easy remote access for starting and adjusting the controls of the unit to the desired setting from a computer, tablet or cell phone. In some areas of the country hot tubs have slowly decreased in demand and popularity.
The remains of older hot tubs contribute to the depreciation of both the residence upon which it sits and the nearby properties. Many hot tubs at various locations are old, not working and even considered a danger and eyesore upon a given piece of real estate. Some homeowners and neighbors want them removed from their view.
Modern Hot Tub Removal
Many older hot tubs in need of removal contain a variety of different hidden dangers that should be handled properly to avoid personal injury to individuals, family members, pets or damage to nearby property and/or the surrounding environment.
The priority when demolishing a hot tub concerns the electrical connection. To avoid personal injury or electrocution, the electrical connection must be safely disconnected before beginning any demolition work on a hot tub. Many hot tubs work on a 240-volt, 50 amp dedicated line.
A 240-volt/50 amp connection is a specialized electrical line that supplies the higher power necessary for some hot tubs to be used. Due to the increased risk of personal injury or fire, this type of electrical line should only be disconnected by a licensed electrician. After the electricity has been safely disconnected from the hot tub, further demolition efforts can then be continued.
Some hot tubs have a simple cord with an electrical plug that can be easily plugged and unplugged from a standard 120-volt outlet. With this type of electrical connection, anyone can quickly unplug the connection before moving on to the next step in the demolition process. Be sure to practice safe techniques like making certain you are not standing in water or touching anything damp with moisture when unplugging any live electrical cord.
After draining any water from the hot tub, the electrical wires can be safely cut and removed. Any wires that are physically holding the unit in place or obstructing further demolition can also be cut. After removal, the copper wiring can be saved and recycled.
2. Standing Water
All water must be safely drained from a hot tub before demolition. This can be done in a primitive manner with a small bucket or hand pump and a mop. A submersible electric water pump can be used to empty all water contents from a hot tub before moving on to the next step. Just be sure if an electric water pump is used to observe all safety precautions while emptying and also unplug from its electrical source before removing it from within the hot tub.
Care including protective clothing and equipment should be used for anyone nearby while draining the hot tub. This includes protection for the lungs and any part of the body that makes contact with the dirty water like the hands and arms. While somewhat rare, infections of the skin and respiratory system can occur and should be treated without hesitation.
After draining the hot tub, all plumbing connections must also be disconnected before demolition of the structure is started. This includes the water, pump and any other type of drain connections. Be sure to shut off all water from the source before beginning and disassembling the plumbing from the hot tub.
Most modern hot tub plumbing connections are likely PVC or some other synthetic material fastened by being glued and cemented in place. These can be cut with either an electric saw or a manual handsaw. Take care not to cause damage to the house plumbing to which the piping is connected.
4. Gas Heating
Many hot tubs use natural gas or propane as the heating source. After the electricity and plumbing have been disconnected and the hot tub is completely drained, the gas can then be disconnected. If for any reason you are uncertain of the correct method for completely shutting off the gas flow to the hot tub, be sure to contact a professional for assistance before beginning demolition.
The first rule is to be sure the gas is completely turned off from its source. If the heating source is natural gas, the main shutoff is likely somewhere near the hot tub or house. If the heating source is a propane-type tank, then the shutoff will be attached to the tank itself. After the gas heating source has been safely disconnected the demolition process can continue.
5. Hazardous Materials
When the hot tub you are removing is made of hazardous material care must be taken during demolition. The modern hot tub framework is constructed of a variety of different types of material. It could be fiberglass, ABS plastic, cast acrylic or polyethylene. These materials are safe while they remain in an intact prefabricated condition, however, can become dangerous if microscopic particles are allowed to become airborne during demolition.
Whether using a power saw, sledgehammer or some other tool or apparatus for demolition, oftentimes small and tiny particles will become airborne when breaking or cutting a hot tub into pieces. The microscopic dust molecules can be unintentionally inhaled or come into contact with the eyes and skin causing irritation and possibly damage.
Larger pieces of the framework and plumbing can also unexpectedly become dislodged and go airborne at high speed. It is important to always wear protection for the face and eyes in addition to the lungs. The most important task during a hot tub demolition is to protect your health and the health of anyone nearby. Some may prefer to wear a face shield with a pair of safety goggles for added protection from flying pieces of debris while demolishing a hot tub.
7. Health and Safety
Health problems such as lung damage, allergic skin reactions and serious eye irritation can occur. It is important therefore to wear proper clothing, gloves, goggles and an approved respirator for protection. The most important task during a hot tub demolition is to protect your health, the health of your crew and anyone else nearby.
Care should also be used when demolishing a hot tub to avoid accidents to individuals. Any cuts or wounds obtained during demolition should be cared for by a trained medical professional or emergency room personnel. This is why some may find it a better choice to hire an experienced professional to completely remove a hot tub and haul everything away.
Properly disposing of a hot tub being removed is essential. Several different materials can be salvaged and recycled while others are harmful to the environment and must be taken to a specific location for proper disposal. There can be fines and penalties in some areas for improperly disposing of hazardous materials in any quantity.
Proper disposal of a modern hot tub also includes safely transporting the materials to another location. There are some dangers with materials themselves falling off the truck. There is a greater hazard of airborne particles being released during transport.
It is essential therefore to use an enclosed truck or trailer with a proper cover when transporting a hot tub during disposal. This is important if the hot tub has been cut into pieces or has received significant damage during removal. This is especially crucial if a far distance of travel is necessary to properly dispose of the hot tub.
There are a variety of different types of danger with completely demolishing a hot tub. Never forget that when working with water and electricity, everything electrical must be turned off and disconnected before beginning demolition. All water must be also turned off and drained away from the area before starting the demolition process.
Also, remember that it is important for any workers demolishing a hot tub to wear protective equipment. This should include protection for the eyes, lungs and skin. A quality first-aid kit should be nearby at all times for treating minor wounds.
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