How to Move a Hot Tub by Yourself

hot tub that has been moved and installed to a new corner of the yard

How to Move a Hot Tub by Yourself

If you’re wondering how to move a hot tub by yourself, 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. We’re here to help you learn how to move a hot tub safely and efficiently.

Should I Try to Move a Hot Tub Myself?

Moving a hot tub or home spa is certainly something you can do yourself. But the question of how to move a hot tub really does depend on your specific situation. Any number of factors may influence your decision, such as the size of the tub, the distance of the move, and if you feel comfortable picking it up.

First, we should define what we mean by “yourself.” When you move a hot tub “by yourself,” we are by no means describing a one-person operation. Given the size and scope of the task, it is simply not possible for one person to undertake this job without help.

If by “yourself,” you mean moving a hot tub without necessarily hiring professional movers, you have come to the right post. Though there is a bit of work involved, you can definitely accomplish this without professional help. But you will need a couple of people who can help you out.

With a little bit of planning, you can easily learn how to move a hot tub by yourself.

How to Prepare for Moving Your Hot Tub

Long before moving day arrives, you must gather your essential tools and have your plan in place. In order to know what those entail, you need to start by doing some reconnaissance.

1. Measure the Hot Tub and the 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.

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.

Well in advance of the planned hot tub move, outline your plan. Go over it with a few friends, ideally consulting with at least one person who has helped move a hot tub before. Listen to constructive criticism and note any areas of concern so you can address them as best you can. Once your plan is in place, be sure to communicate it clearly to your helpers.

3. Gather Supplies

Depending on the details of your plan, 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

4. Drain Your Hot Tub

man starting to disconnect a hot tub by himself

Before moving day arrives, you will want to disconnect and drain your tub. Be sure to use a wet vac to remove any remaining water before you pick it up. This is best done within 24 hours of the move. That’s because draining a hot tub and leaving it empty for extended periods of time can damage the structure itself and the attached plumbing.

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.”

Pro Tip:

If your home spa has been stagnant or neglected for a while, we recommend thoroughly cleaning it. This process can make it easier to handle. You can also check for structural damage and leaks before you get started.

How to Move Your Hot Tub in Different Situations

Once you’re ready to actually move your hot tub, you’ll follow the same basic series of steps. However, some obstacles may take some extra effort to get around. For the most basic procedure for how to move a hot tub, you’ll follow these steps:

  1. Lift the hot tub (whether with a jack or by hand with helpers).
  2. Slide wooden boards underneath the bottom of the shell so it’s fully supported.
  3. Transfer it to the dolly or hand trucks nearby.
  4. Roll the whole thing to the truck or new location as smoothly as possible. If you’re loading it into a truck, make sure at least two people are supporting it as it rolls up the loading ramp.

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. If you’ve put in the work and designed a location-specific plan, this process should be fairly straightforward.

There are other situations to consider, however, and they each have their own set of unique moving tips.

How to Move a Hot Tub on Grass

Perhaps you’re simply considering how to move your hot tub from one side of the yard to the other. In this case, 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 safe hot tub moving.

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.

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.

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 on 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 the doorway or gate. This is an especially tricky proposal.

First, know that 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.

Second, remember that 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.

We recommend minimizing 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 Used 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 gets 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.

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.

Whether you’re moving houses or redoing your landscaping as part of a home improvement project, don’t let your hot tub stand in your way. With this guide, you can easily evaluate your situation and make a solid plan.

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