After scrounging a Hot Tub, my son Garrett figured he deserves and I should pass on to him the title of

Top Scrounge

Who holds the title is not as important to me as the fact that a landfill site
has been spared another item which is still valuable if simply given some TLC
by someone who does not mind fixing a few problems and has the knack.

July 15, 2001

Finally, something that my wife agrees is not junk! A month after our son Garrett (center) scrounged this hot tub he bought a house and Mom is OK with him moving out, BUT she made it clear that the Hot Tub Stays!

When Garrett over heard someone mention how much it was going to cost to have his old hot tub hauled to the dump he quickly introduced himself and enquired why the tub was being scrapped. The owner said he got tired of replacing a motor control switch that kept burning out and had purchased a new tub. Garrett figured this was a fairly simple problem to solve so quickly offered to haul the old hot tub away for free. Remember the saying "if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is"? I figured this hot tub may turn out to be an example of this (which it did), but we had nothing to loose and considering what a new hot tub cost one could afford to spend a few dollars on repairs and still end up with a great deal. Like most hot tubs, the bottom must be properly supported for the tub to withstand the weight of all the water, however it was obvious that this had not been done and that the outside edges of the four walls had been supporting a lot of the weight as there were a number of stress cracks around the upper portion of the side walls which leaked. It was also obvious that the water heater had failed when the outside temperature was below freezing and that no one had noticed in time to prevent the water from freezing as a number of the fittings had been damaged and leaked from this happening, but a little fiberglass work repaired the leaking cracks and a little ingenuity fixed the leaking fittings. Anyone that knows Garrett and myself knows we would have replaced the simple thermal control switch with a fancy programmable electronic temperature control, which we did with one that had been scrounged of course, and a few hundred dollars for repair materials was still a pretty good deal for a tub costing $6,000 to $8,000 new.
















July 15, 2001

(above - hot tub testers hard at work)

With the truck, trailer and assistance of Barry, VA6DX, the hot tub was brought home. The first thing done was to set up and operate the tub in a bare open support frame to locate any leaks or other problems requiring repair before the open frame was insulated and closed in. Making sure there are no leaks is very important or mold damage could occur especially if the hot tub is installed inside the house. Mold removal by a certified NY cleaning service can be quite expensive so preventing leaks is essential.

Oct 13, 2001

After several weeks of hard work testing the tub, it was drained, necessary repairs were made and it was set in it's final position. 2" insulating foam board was used under it over the earth and 4" foam board was used to insulate the 2 x 4 framed walls before the exterior wood boards were applied. The existing deck was then extended to the tub enclosure and along one side.

The wood deck was made from various pieces of 2x4 and 2x6 material that was thickness planed to the same thickness and jointed together. This is how the existing deck surface was also made and, like the existing deck, all of the wood used, other than for a few pressure treated 2x4's purchased for where it would contact the soil, was from various lengths of salvaged lumber discarded by home builders nearby. My thickness planer and jointer paid for themselves several times in these 2 projects alone and the close up photo of the deck shows the tightly fitted, perfectly flat and smooth deck surface such tools make possible and will be covered later with indoor/outdoor carpet.

access door
before & after
the door
was insulated.

Main pump, heater, control box and water filter.

The electric water heater is inside the white pipe that runs from the pump & control box to the water filter.

A second pump located behind the main pump is accessed through a smaller side door.

Oct 20, 2001 - Winter threatened to arrive before the carpet was installed so a temporary enclosure
was made to allow a reasonable temperature to be maintained until the carpet adhesive cured.

October 21, 2001 - It got cold and began snowing a few hours after the shelter was built.

It was -8°C (18°F) outside, but inside the enclosure a small electric heater kept it a balmy 18°C (65°F)
& allowed work to continue. (Right) Before the carpet was installed a deck railing was made and stained.

The carpet was installed and a duplex outlet W/P cover was used to house the home brew tub controls.

Less than a week after winters first snow fall, warm weather returned which stayed for another 4 weeks and gave me time to build the support frame for a fabric roof, stain everything and permanently install my Deck/Christmas Lights.

November 22 - Winter finally came to stay and a tarp placed over the roof structure and around 2 sides attached using "C" clamps will do until a fabric cover with snap fasteners that's quick and easy to attach and detach is made.

For more Hot Tub photos, check out Auntie's Kids Hot Tub Moments

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