Changing an above ground spa into a raised bed

loganladyOctober 20, 2012

I am wondering if it is possible. It's an above ground fiberglass outdoor spa that we don't use. I would love to change it into a raised garden bed, if possible? My husband is questioning how can he get drainage? It sits on top of cement tiles.

Any help would be gladly accepted...thanks in advance :)


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Hey Beca,

Hope your day is going well so far! I think this would be a great idea. While checking other sites out, I have seen people do some great things. In areas with limited planting area such as rooftops, they have used those plastic kiddie swimming pools with holes drilled along the bottom and about an inch or so up the sides for drainage. Have also seen the metal watering tubs that horses and large animals drink from as well. I would think as long as you clean out the spa as much as you can to eliminate chemicals from the spa, you would probably be alright. Drilling holes just above the ground sounds accessible, but not sure how much the spas weigh in order to get them drilled along the bottom. Nifty idea, and hope it works out for ya!!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 11:29AM
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You will never use it as a spa again ?

At this point there is no turning back the spa is done for as a therapy water soaking device spa. Price point and cost reasons as you may know.

Remove all panels and set them to the side

I'm sure you have removed all the electrical connections pumps blowers relays circuitry ect. If you can flip it on a side peel and scrape to remove the bottom insulation expose the bottom suction pipe work. They'll be PVC threaded nuts easy to cut out with a small blade hack saw and easily remove the bottom suctions completely.

Blower holes (jets): These will be smaller in size to the water jets and will loop back down then up as a Heartford Loop. While flipped you can remove every connection to the blower holes You shouldn't have to worry about the blower manifold it is under the Heartford Loop and closest to the actual blower motor Same removal tool a small hacksaw blade for these back underside nuts as well a wrench may do the job here too just cutting them will be easier

If you care to try your hand at some plumbing then you could even re-plumb some of the water jets to the bottom suctions as well.

One person can lift 900 pound spas from the ground to any of it's sides and up to a 3-4 foot high deck all day long alone but that's only because the one person who can do it knows how. I'd suggest you have 2-3 even 4 VERY CAPABLE people to help flip it and depending on size of spa.

How to flip a spa on it's side: When drained and ready to flip place a 2x4x6inck long block of wood on a corner of the narrowest side ( less weight)

2) Use two people to lift a corner where block of wood is

3) kick the piece of wood under the corner leaving some of the 2x4x6inch wood exposed

4) Use the remaining 2x4x8 as a lever placing it into the spa bottom and 2x4x6 inch

5) PUSH the lever upward to again flip the corner 2x4x6 inch corner block so the spa sits on the 4 inch side of wood
You can repeat these steps again to set it on the six inch side of a 2x4 but should be easy to lift the rest of way on side by sheer lifting by using 3-4 peoples hands and arms.

If one person is to lift best advice is to let the center of gravity be your best friend now. Okay ?

At this point if you want to continue walking the spa up ( and over on it's side) use a second 2X4 on the same lifted side of other slightly lifted corner.

A shop type vacuum cleaner will help remove any residual water in all the pipes. If the pipes dont get cut vacuum the inside of each jet.

When bringing back to ground move slowly with good communications and slowly down with same steps as lifting in reverse to set on piles wood blocks or cinder blocks as rest stops to ground level area.

Panels : Remember those things you set to the side ?

Before you put them back on you still have a chance to cut the backs of each nut of each water jet and remove them as well with a small hack saw blade. You may have to remove some pretty hard tuff foam sprayed insulation here. Use a pry bar and go easy if you want to prevent prevent cracking of the spas fiberglass shell

You can also drill a couple 4-6 inch holes in the bottom of the spa as well but you will also be going though unseen surfaces other than fiber glass. Understand the hole saw blade on the end of drill might not be deep enough to reach a visually safe hole for drainage of future raised bed gardening spa.

Personally I think what your doing is the best thing to happen to any spa.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 9:45PM
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Thanks for the info ally7 and mrlike 2u!!! We will start this in a month or so. Yeah...I see a beautiful raised bed in the future :):)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 1:42PM
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