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The Best Way to Move a Hot Tub

Backyard patio and lawn area with hot tub
Artazum / Shutterstock

If you’re looking for the best way to move a hot tub, then congratulations! The odds are that you’ve found a new home you love, and you want to make sure you can take your beloved spa with you. But moving a hot tub can be a real challenge. By design, home spas are large, bulky, oddly shaped, and extremely heavy.

In fact, the average empty weight of a hot tub is around 500 to 1,000 pounds! It’s best to leave the job to the professionals, but if you have a strong back and an equally strong group of friends, it’s possible to make the move yourself.

If you’re up for the challenge, here’s how to move a hot tub.

How to move a hot tub yourself

Never attempt to move a hot tub on your own without a clear, detailed plan. Preparation is the key to success. Here’s what you need to do, step by step:

  • Step 1: Make sure you have the right supplies: You will need two furniture dollies, moving straps, and two 2-by-4s. Don’t forget the tools and supplies necessary to disconnect, drain, and clean your hot tub.
  • Step 2: Rent a large enough moving truck: Hot tubs come in different shapes and sizes. Carefully measure your tub on all sides to ensure it will fit in the truck you choose.
  • Step 3: Plan a clear path to (and from!) the truck: When moving something as heavy and bulky as a hot tub, it’s important to take the most direct route possible. It’s equally important to clear obstacles out of the way. Don’t forget about the path from the moving truck to the hot tub’s new home as well.
  • Step 4: Turn off the power: Shut off the circuit breaker to the hot tub. If yours is a plug-in model, pull out the power cord. If it’s hardwired, you’ll need an electrician to safely disconnect it.
  • Step 5: Drain the hot tub: Attach a garden hose to the drain valve and open the valve to allow it to drain. If you’re in a hurry, consider using a submersible pump.
  • Step 6: Remove the remaining water: Use a wet-dry vac to pick up any leftover puddles in the hot tub. Switch it to push mode to clear the pipes, then vacuum up any water that comes out of the jets.
  • Step 7: Clean the hot tub: Though it’s not required, this is the perfect time to give your hot tub a good scrubbing and repair any scratches or dings.
  • Step 8: Pack up the supplies: Individually pack anything that you can easily disconnect from the tub. This might include the heater, pump, and other items, depending on the model.
  • Step 9: Gather your helpers: With your plan fully in place and the hot tub ready to move, now it’s time to gather the troops. You’ll need at least two or three strong friends to help you move the hot tub.
  • Step 10: Place 2-by-4s for leverage: Working as a team, tilt the hot tub to one side, and place a 2-by-4 underneath it. Do this for the other side.
  • Step 11: Set furniture dollies: Slip one furniture dolly in between the 2-by-4s on each side of the hot tub, and use the moving straps to secure the hot tub to the dollies. Make sure the ramp on the truck is set and secured.
  • Step 12: Move the hot tub: Again, working as a team, roll the hot tub carefully onto the truck. Wrap it with furniture blankets and secure it inside the truck. Reverse this process to unload the hot tub at your new home.

What not to do when moving a hot tub

When moving a hot tub, what you don’t do can be just as important as what you do. In order to avoid injuring yourself or damaging your hot tub, never do the following:

  • Try to move the hot tub alone
  • Put the full weight of the hot tub on its control panel
  • Try to move a full hot tub, which can weigh as much as 6,000 pounds

What you need to move a hot tub

Moving a hot tub doesn’t require a ton of supplies, but you can’t do without a few critical ones. Here’s what you need to gather:

Consider hiring a professional to move your hot tub

If there’s room in your budget, consider bringing in the pros to move your hot tub instead. Moving it yourself increases the risk of injury, as well as the risk of damaging the hot tub. Professional hot tub movers have the equipment, skill, and experience needed to safely and efficiently move your spa.

If your hot tub is still under warranty, professional movers may be required in order to ensure you don’t void the warranty. Note that not all moving companies are experienced with hot tubs, so be sure to specifically ask the companies you are considering or choose a company that specializes in this type of move.

The bottom line on moving a hot tub

It’s possible for a strong group of people to perform a successful and safe DIY hot tub move. It’s difficult and potentially dangerous, though, and it could void your hot tub warranty or lead to injury. If your budget allows, strongly consider hiring a professional hot tub mover.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to hire hot tub movers? 

Like all professional movers, hot tub movers charge according to the specifics of the move. Factors that can impact your prices include the total move distance, whether it’s an in-state or out-of-state move, any possible obstructions in the path, whether the hot tub needs to go upstairs or downstairs, the spa’s size and weight, etc.

How much does a hot tub weigh? 

There is no single standard hot tub weight. In general, a small two- or three-person hot tub generally weighs around 500 pounds empty and 3,000 pounds when filled with water. A six-person model typically weighs approximately 1,000 pounds empty or 6,000 pounds full.

How do I drain my hot tub for moving? 

Attaching a garden hose to the drain valve and opening it will get out most of the water, slowly. A submersible pump will reduce the drain time to just 10 or 15 minutes. You will then need to use a wet-dry vac to push the remaining water out of the pipes and vacuum up the leftover puddles.

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