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The Best Way to Move a Hot Tub

Backyard patio and lawn area with hot tub
Artazum / Shutterstock

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Moving a hot tub can be a real challenge. The biggest question is “how do you even move a hot tub?” By design, home spas are large, bulky, oddly shaped, and extremely heavy. 

In fact, the average weight of an empty 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 move the hot tub yourself. If you’re up for the challenge, follow our step-by-step guide on how to move a hot tub. 

What you need to move a hot tub

Moving a hot tub doesn’t require a ton of supplies, but there are a few must-haves you need to gather if you want to make the hot tub moving process as stress-free as possible.

Step-by-step guide to moving a hot tub

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 one: clear a path to the moving 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 to clear a path when you move the hot tub into your new home as well. 

Step two: 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 three: 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. After you’ve drained the hot tub, 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 four: pack up hot tub equipment

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 five: round up your helpers

With your plan fully in place and the hot tub ready to move, now it’s time to gather the team. You’ll need at least two or three strong friends to help you move the hot tub.

Step six: set leverage and furniture dollies

Working as a team, tilt the hot tub to one side, and place a 2-by-4 underneath it. Repeat this for the other side as well. Once the hot tub is set on the 2-by-4’s, slip one furniture dolly in between the 2-by-4s on each side of the hot tub.

Step seven: secure the hot tub

Use the moving straps to secure the hot tub to the dollies. Make sure the ramp on the truck is set and secured.

Step eight: 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 shouldn’t do can be just as important as what you should do. In order to avoid the risk of injury, equipment damage, and property damage, never do the following:

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

Consider hiring a professional to move your hot tub

If there’s room in your budget, consider bringing in professional hot tub movers 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, a professional moving company 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 

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, consider hiring hot tub movers. 

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, and the spa’s size and weight.

How much does a hot tub weigh? 

In general, a small two or three-person hot tub 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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