Before we jump in, let’s address an important question: Can you move a hot tub by yourself without help?
Moving a hot tub or home spa is certainly something you can do yourself without the need to hire professional movers, but when we say “by yourself,” we are by no means describing a one-person operation. In fact, given the size and scope of the task of moving a hot tub, you should always seek out the assistance of others.
To determine the help you’ll need, weigh out important factors that pertain to your unique situation, such as the size of the tub, the distance of the move, the pathway you’ll need to carry it across, and if your route is better suited for using straps, a dolly, a cart, or getting everyone together to lift and carry it.
So, if you’re wondering how to move a hot tub without having to hire professional movers, you have come to the right place. Whether you’re moving to a new house soon and want to take your hot tub with you, installing a used hot tub you just bought online, or selling your hot tub to a neighbor, we recommend starting with a detailed plan and this guide will provide you with a solid place to start. We’re here to help you learn how to move a hot tub safely and efficiently.
How to Prepare and Move a Hot Tub
Here are the steps you need to prepare your hot tub for moving without risk of damage or injury. You can also jump ahead to learn how to move a hot tub in specific situations if the general guidance below are too broad for your specific hot tub moving scenario.
Step 1: Measure the hot tub and moving path
Measure the size of your hot tub itself, the width of all pathways you will take, and the width of all the spaces your hot tub will pass through during the move. In addition to taking measurements of width and depth, be sure to weigh (or at least estimate the weight) of the tub when it’s unfilled.
This process is as simple as breaking out the tape measure or consulting your tub’s user manual (or looking the specs up online). Whatever you do, don’t skip this step. Knowing the dimensions and the weight you’re dealing with are critical elements to making a safe and effective moving plan.
Step 2: Inspect the moving path
This step goes hand-in-hand with the one listed above. Walk the path you plan to take, going step by step and evaluating the ground as you go. Consider any obstacles along the way and how you will best work around (or over) them. Consider any doorways, gates, or fencing that may need to be adjusted. In some cases, you may need to do a bit of temporary deconstructing to create a safe and efficient pathway.
Step 3: Gather supplies
Depending on the route you plan to take to move your hot tub and what type of help you have available, basic moving supplies may include:
- Some extra sets of hands (at least two or three people are recommended)
- Two 2×4 pieces of wood
- Moving blankets
- Moving straps
- Two furniture dollies or appliance dollies
- A moving truck
Step 4: Disconnect the hot tub
Before any moving occurs, it’s important that you disconnect the hot tub by unplugging the power cord. Once it’s unplugged, wrap it up neatly, using cord ties if you have them and place it in a bag or box for safe keeping.
Step 5: Drain the hot tub entirely
It may sound obvious to need to drain your hot tub before moving, but it’s not as simple as it seems. If you simply dump out the water as it stands, you can significantly damage the area around the hot tub. There are two methods for draining a hot tub depending on the model you own: using the drain spigot or using a submersible pump.
To drain a hot tub using the drainage spigot (up to an hour):
Find the drainage spigot on your hot tub and then attach a long garden hose carefully to it. Most drainage spigots are plastic, so be sure not to force the garden hose to ensure you don’t break the spigot. Make sure your hose is long enough and at a downhill angle to then run the water out towards the street gutter or in a place that won’t cause damage to your lawn or patio.
To drain a hot tub using a submersible pump (up to 10 minutes):
Set the pump at the bottom and place the outflow hose out and over the edge of the hot tub. It’s likely that you’ll need to attach a garden hose to the end of your outflow hose to make sure the water drains out far enough to the street gutter or area you intend to dump all the water. Once this is done, you can turn the pump on to let it begin draining the hot tub, but once it’s removed all the water, be sure to turn it off immediately.
Step 6: Clean and dry your hot tub thoroughly
Once all the water is drained, you can now give it a good cleaning. This shouldn’t be an intense task requiring hard scrubbing. In fact, this is a rather delicate step because you don’t want to use chemicals or cause scrapes to the shell of your hot tub. Using soft, microfiber cloths is perfect for simply wiping down the entire surface area of your hot tub without causing any damage. Be sure to wipe every nook and cranny. According to hot tub professionals, “Water left in the pipes and equipment can grow bacteria biofilm, which is difficult to eradicate. Plus, without water, seals and gaskets become dry and begin to leak. Therefore, make sure to not leave your hot tub sitting empty.”
Step 7: Secure a cover over the hot tub
Place your spa cover over the hot tub. There are different types you may have, or if you don’t have a custom cover for it, place a cushioned blanket over the top and use moving straps to secure it. You’ll want to use the moving straps to secure the cover on it either way to ensure the cover stays on during the entire move.
Step 8: Tilt and set your 2×4 planks underneath
On one side of the hot tub, lift it just enough to slide one of the 2×4 wooden planks underneath. Then, do this on the other side, sliding in your second 2×4 wood plank. If the hot tub is too heavy to tilt and lift up to slide the planks by yourself, use a jack to help you, but do so carefully to avoid scratching or damaging the siding. Your spa should now be a few inches off the ground, allowing you to inspect the bottom to ensure there’s no debris or obstructions that would hinder you from getting a hand or a dolly underneath.
Step 9: Slide your furniture dollies under the hot tub
With the hot tub off the ground and stationary on two wooden planks, you can now slide your furniture dollies underneath with ease to then lift and move your hot tub along the route you’ve already inspected and decided on. Make sure you have plenty of spotters surrounding you as you do this.
Step 10: Roll your hot tub along your moving path
With friends around to help you navigate and spot check, you should be able to haul your hot tub along your desired moving path towards your moving truck or trailer. Make sure someone is always ahead of you on the path to ensure there’s nothing in your way and make sure there’s someone along the path following behind you and the hot tub to point out if anything begins to fall off or show signs of damage while being hauled.
Don’t forget to pack up ancillary parts, too, such as the hot tub cover and drain caps. Then you’ll simply reverse the moving process when you arrive at your destination to unload your hot tub. If you’ve put in the work and designed a location-specific plan for where you want your hot tub to be placed, this process should be fairly straightforward.
How to Move Your Hot Tub in Different Situations
When moving a hot tub, some situations may take some extra effort. Here we’ve provided moving tips for moving a hot tub in these specific types of situations:
- How to move a hot tub on grass
- How to move a hot tub on its side
- How to move a hot tub across town or cross-country
How to move a hot tub in grass
In the case of moving a hot tub to or from a grassy yard, you can dispense with some of the tools and procedures outlined above. However, don’t let the seeming simplicity of the task cause you to overlook the necessary tools and precautions for safely moving your hot tub.
When moving a hot tub in grass, here’s what you SHOULD do:
- Treat the move as important even though it’s small.
- Just as you would for a major move, take care to jack up the tub, carefully slide wooden boards underneath, and transfer it to a dolly or hand truck.
When moving a hot tub in grass, here’s what NOT to do:
- Do NOT attach your jacuzzi to a pick-up truck by ropes or chains and drag it across the yard. This will not work. You will damage your hot tub, tear up your yard, and perhaps even damage your truck.
- Do NOT plan to simply “scoot” the hot tub across the grass from one location to the other. You will damage the integrity of the tub and likely tear up your yard.
Depending on how far across the grass you plan to move the hot tub, this could be the extent of the procedure. If, however, you’re moving it across an extensive length of grass (a field, for example), you’ll want to consider transferring it to a truck.
How to move a hot tub onto its side
When navigating your hot tub from its original position to its new home, you may need to turn it on its side so it fits through a doorway or gate. This is an especially tricky proposal. Below are some important items to remember if you must turn it on its side in order to transport and there are no other options available.
- No side of the hot tub is likely to be a flat surface: Hot tubs have electrical units and plumbing lines extending from the bottom of the tub. They also have rims, jets, and drain ports. These protrusions must be handled with care.
- Hot tubs can still weigh up to 800 pounds, even after they have been emptied: Special precautions must be taken in order to tip hot tubs safely without losing control. In a group effort, every member must be aware of personal responsibility and contribute to handling the total weight.
- Minimize the time a hot tub spends on its side as much as possible: Try to have someone at each corner of the tub to help lift and rotate it. If you can, move it through the obstacle and rotate it back into position without setting it down. If that’s not possible, choose the side of the tub with the fewest weaknesses and pieces of hardware as the side that will make contact with the ground.
How to move a hot tub across town or to a different state
When you’re thinking about how to move a hot tub across long distances, the moving process can a lot more complicated. How far will you be moving the hot tub? What sort of terrain will you pass along the way? What speeds will you travel? Will you have to enter or exit a major highway?
If you’re taking flat suburban roads and the journey is short, moving a used hot tub may be a simple matter. If you anticipate complications or you’re going a long way, perhaps it would be best to consult with professionals so that your hot tub arrives at its new destination safely.
Should I Hire a Moving Company to Move My Hot Tub?
If you are considering how to move a hot tub and anticipate some complications (or if you would rather not handle the stress and heavy lifting), hiring professional hot tub movers is a good idea.
To start the process of hiring movers, try reaching out to friends and family for recommendations. However, this isn’t the sort of task people outsource every day. Not everyone will have a referral to make in this area. You can also search online through local business directories. Professionals can quickly assess your situation, formulate a plan, and take the question of “how to move a hot tub” off your hands.
Browse all our guides for moving and packing:
- How to Move a Couch
- How to Move a Mattress
- How to Move a Refrigerator
- How to Move a Piano
- How to Move a Pool Table
- How to Pack Shoes for Moving
- How to Pack Dishes and Glasses
Other helpful moving resources:
- Ultimate Moving Checklist
- Where to Find Free Moving Boxes
- Tips for Hiring Movers and Packers
- How Much to Tip Movers
- Should you Stage your Home When Selling?
- Change of Address Checklist
- Moving with Kids
- Moving with a Dog
- Ultimate Guide to Unpacking
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