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Old hot tub infiltrated by Raccoons

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  • Aug 13th, 2019 3:13 pm
[OP]
Member
User avatar
Nov 16, 2005
464 posts
37 upvotes
Toronto

Old hot tub infiltrated by Raccoons

I moved into my new home last winter and didn't use the hot tub that was already there. I drained the hot tub and turned it off.

Apparently, some raccoons decided to rip open the side panel and have babies inside. I knocked on the other side of the panel and there are quite a bit of insulation falling out.

The hot tub must be 10+ years old; its a "Savannah Spas", and also seems to be discontinued.

I called several place and they don't seem to help redo side panels + clean/re-insulate the tub.

I'm a total hot tub noob here. Is it worth trying to get new side walls and clean the inside? Or should i just go CNE to get a new one (given the old one has gone through two different families and some raccoons)?

Thanks,
Kev
5 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 18, 2005
11391 posts
2855 upvotes
Kingston
My hot tub has a plate on it with the build date (but its a different brand). Might be able to find that to verify its age. If it is 10 years old and the pump is original it might not last too much longer.

If you are handy at doing DIY, you could give it a try to fix it. I'd first try to identify if there is damage to any piping or wires. Just manage how much time and $ you put into it. I suppose you could fill it with water and confirm it still works before doing any repairs.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4888 posts
4950 upvotes
Vancouver
Outdoor hot tubs are a pain in the butt to maintain. Animal and insect damage is just one of the ongoing issues. While it's nice to relax in the tub on a cold day, most people don't use them in the summer and drain them in the winter to avoid wasting energy on keeping them hot when the ambient temperature is really cold - so are you going to get enough use out of it to be worth the maintenance costs and work?

I would say if it's over 10 years old, and you inherited it from a former owner, just get rid of it. They can cut it up with a chainsaw to remove it easily. There are professional hot-tub removal services, but they charge 2x the price of a guy with a chain saw and a helper. Yes, it will cost a few dollars, but far less than you will spend on maintenance and repair. And you probably don't even realize that your home insurance is charging you about $100/year extra for having a hot tub.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 6, 2010
14929 posts
9337 upvotes
Toronto
It's hard to say but what I do know is that if you have a raccoon that decided to make a home out of something you own, it will be very difficult to keep them out. I left a window opened a crack in my shed to keep a breeze and I had lots of fun trying to get and keep a raccoon out.
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Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
17103 posts
14499 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Hot tubs are one of those things where you get what you pay for
The high end tubs are built sturdier ...
which also means they can keep the critters out
And they can handle our weather year round
And last for DECADES not just years
We have such a tub
And love it
It’s serves as a great relaxing spa Fall thru Spring
And can be a plunge pool in summer (or spa)
All depends where we set the temperature to
(Arctic Spa is one of the few on the market that have this feature ... full control of the thermostat)

Sounds like your tub from Savannah Spas
(A Co I have never heard of ... and no doubt not made for our climate ... Savannah being the first clue)
Is beyond repair

My advice is therefore, go the chainsaw route

If you do decide to replace it with another
Look to Cdn made Arctic Spa ... gonna run you maybe $ 10 K all in
But worth every penny IMO
True year round enjoyment
And little cost to run or maintain
Waaaay better than a swimming pool for example
Best backyard investment we’ve made in the last 10 years
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3443 posts
2426 upvotes
Toronto
I bought a used simple, round tub with a cedar skirt. 120v plugs into the wall, and works just fine. Keeps it at 104 all year no trouble.

Paid $1400 or something for it almost 10 years ago, and just spent another $800 this spring replacing the spa-pack. Heater went, and it couldn't be repaired so a new Gecko heater, spa pack and control pad was installed.

We run it all year. In the hot months when we're at the cottage or travelling, we turn it down to around 80 but normally leave it at 104. I recently went to a salt water / chlorine generator setup with the unit sold at Costco. No complaints - chlorine levels are always good and the water stays in balance easily.

I'm on my 2nd cover, and use a bubble-wrap insulating blanket as well to keep evaporation under control and keep moisture out of the cover. They last a few years and then start to fall apart (the thermal blanket) so I need to get a new one soon.

We use it less now that we bought a cottage in the last 5 years, but still love it on cooler nights and all winter.

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