How to Move a Hot Tub by Yourself

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If you’re moving to a new house and want to take your hot tub with you, there are two basic options: hire a moving company (or add the tub to the list for the company that’s moving the rest of your belongings), or move it yourself…

And I don’t mean try to move it all by yourself–you’ll need help, at least three or four friends with strong backs. An empty hot tub can weigh between 500 and 1000 pounds. It is important to plan your route and devise a plan. Hire professional movers if you don’t have enough help or the route is too difficult.

What you’ll need

  • A pickup or moving truck
  • Four-wheeled furniture dollies (at least two)
  • Nylon moving straps
  • Two 8-foot 4x4s
  • Ramp
  • Measuring tape
  • Four strong friends
  • Two or three sheets of 1/2 -inch plywood (if you’ll be moving across grass)

Steps to Move a Hot Tub

  1. First, unplug the power cord from the tub. An electrician will be needed if the tub is hardwired.
  2. Measure the dimensions of the tub so that you can rent or borrow the right-sized truck. It is possible to move a tub on the flat or edge. The first option is the easiest. If the tub is positioned flat, it will be easier to move. If you are unable to find a truck that is wide enough, the second option should be considered. You can still move a hot tub on the edge if you are careful.
  3. Drain the tub. Connect a gardenhose to the drain by opening the access panel. Make sure you read the instructions on the tub. Give yourself enough time for the water to drain. This is a good time for you to clean out the tub.
  4. Once the tub is empty, check the manual to remove the tub’s cover, and pack it separately. You can remove screws from the tub by placing them in a bag and tying it to the cover.
  5. Take time to plan your entire moving route so that it’s as direct and barrier-free as possible. You should check any gates and other passageways for clearance. You need to plan carefully because a hot tub can be cumbersome and heavy. The move should go smoothly for everyone involved, including your tub.

How to Pick up a Hot tub

When you’ve procured a truck, a crew, the necessary materials, and assured your route is clear, it’s time to move.

Moving on the flat

  • With as many helpers as it takes, lift one side of the tub high enough so that you can slip a 4×4 underneath the tub’s edge. Repeat the process on the other side.
  • Next, slide a furniture dolly under one end of the tub between the two 4x4s and slide the second dolly in place opposite the first. Take out the 4×4. Secure the tub to the dollies using moving straps.
  • Position a helper on either side to stabilize the tub and start to slowly roll it toward the truck. As you move, reassign helpers to maintain the balance.

    Note: If you happen to be moving across an area of lawn, it’s best to place a sheet of plywood on the grass so the dolly wheels don’t sink into the ground. You can “leapfrog”, the plywood sheets as you move across a large area of lawn.
  • When it’s time to push the tub up the ramp into the truck, be careful to keep the dolly wheels on the ramp. Secure the tub by attaching ratcheting straps inside the truck box.

    Note: Most rental trucks have rings bolted to the box sides for this purpose.
  • Cover the tub with moving blankets to protect it during the trip.

Moving on the edge

If you can’t find a truck wide enough for your hot tub, you may have to move it upright on its side.

  • Get half of your crew on one side of the tub. You don’t want the tub’s weight resting on electrical connections or access panels when you raise it. Plan accordingly.
  • Place a furniture dolly alongside the chosen edge of the tub, and station two people at the dolly. Everyone should lift the other side of the tub until it is completely resting on the dolly.
  • Secure the tub to the dolly with straps, and, monitoring the tub’s balance, start to move the tub as described above.
  • Once you have the tub loaded on the truck bed (assuming the truck is a pickup), use straps to secure it so it can’t move from side to side. Use moving blankets to protect the tub. Be careful when turning sharply.
  • Before leaving, be sure to take with you all the 4x4s, plywood, and anything else that you’ll need to unload and move when you arrive at the tub’s new location.
  • When unloading the tub, make sure to have crew members stabilizing both sides of it as it comes down the ramp.
  • After you’ve wheeled the tub to its new location, reverse the dolly-loading procedure to offload it, and begin the installation. Enjoy a relaxing soak.

Charles Bickford
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