I really wanted to get a hot tub for some time now. I planned on it and the placement of it with our deck since we bought our fixer upper home. Hubby explained the expense and maintenance is why some people buy them and give up on them. It could be an expensive and regretted experiment.
So, I thought why not find a used, inexpensive tub for sale to try it out. Several are listed weekly and older ones are usually free for various reasons. ("You Remove" and "Take Away" are always stipulated in the ads.) I found quite a few during my searches over the last couple of summers. Often too late for a freebie. Until this one. It was advertized: "$250 or best offer, you haul away". I called and the owner decided it was "free, just come and get it". The motor, heater and everything functioned. Awesome!
|Original state at the original owner's home.|
The appearance was another story. A vintage kind. The beige/pink finish was really faded. The original wood frame was rotted and carpenter ants resided in and around the insulation. So we took off all of the framework and exterminated the insects. Once the ants vacated and died, we built a new frame, added new insulation around the base of the tub, and cleaned and tested the tub in motion. We lost water. Quite a bit leaked each day during testing process. After researching where the leak was, we found that it was located at the tub base, somewhere in the air flow system. Then we needed to find a way of sealing it underneath. More complicated to do than say.
The air vents were completely sealed from underneath the unit. That was frustrating after getting so far. That made us decide that we could live without the air bubbles on the bottom. So I used bondo to seal them off at the top.
Bondo, used for automobiles, boats, etc., was ideal for this fiberglass tub. It's workable in small portions, using the bond material and a hardener solution. It dries rock solid within an hour. After applying and drying, I was sanding it to smooth it out in no time at all. After sanding the entire tub (old water stains and whatever other residues), we vacuumed the remnants and cleaned the entire surfaces with an alcohol based cleaner. Looking "pinkish" and clean, I taped off the blowers and controls in preparation for painting.Using Scotch painters' tape on each area not painted remained protected.
|Finally, after the hard work was done, I filled the tub with the garden hose. The 6'x6' tub took awhile to fill to the water intake vent.|
|We started running the motor, jet blowers and the heater. Then the ultimate test, watching the water level for leaks.|
|After waiting overnight, everything was good to go.|
|After adding sanitizing chemicals and checking water levels again,|
|we discovered no leaks.|
|This was worth the work and the small investment. |
(Pressure treated lumber for the frame, cedar siding, some wood preservative, some caulking, bondo, pool paint and a few chemicals.)
|Oh, and the cover? To "top it off" (pun intended)... a curb side rescue during town clean up week. What a lucky coincidence! |
|So far, I'm a spa tub person. This is a keeper.|
Thinking of doing this yourself? Yah, go for it.