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Can’t remove inlet/outlet hoses from heater

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Replacing the heater in my hot springs grandee.  Finally got the corroded screws out, wiring ready, everything ready for the swap with a new oem Watkins heater.  But I can’t get the water hoses for the inlet and outlet off.  They are clear hoses (or once we’re) and are orange now and opaque.  Not exactly brittle, but I’m concerned with breaking them.  I tried a hairdryer to soften things up, but no joy.  Ordered a heat gun, so when that comes we’ll see if that helps.  But is there any tip for getting these off?  If there was only one, I think it would be easier.  But the second one is still on there so good and strong that I can’t just push the heater as I pull off the hose…the second one is like structurally keeping them together.  

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The hoses are just slipped over the barb fitting on the heater.  My guess is that they have conformed to those barbs and the hose has melted a bit to which it is stuck.  if you heat up the hose ends and carefully use a small flat head screwdriver, you should be able to gradually pry them lose.  Just be super careful with the one going to the circulation pump.  Last thing you want to do is break that little nipple on the elbow and need to replace that too.

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