How to Safely Move a Hot Tub In 9 Steps

It takes a village (or at least a couple of friends) to mobilize your hot water relaxation device

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated June 23, 2022
Man in hot tub stones grass overhead
Photo: Rick neves / Getty Images
Difficulty

Challenging

Only DIY if you know what you're doing.

Time to complete

24 hours

Including prep work.

Cost

$25

Keep it wallet-friendly.

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Tape measure
  • Furniture dolly (or multiple furniture dollies, depending on size)
  • Moving straps
  • Moving blankets
  • Towel
  • Attachable hose

SUPPLIES

  • Pressure-treated lumber

Being able to look up at the stars and soak away tension in your backyard hot tub is a goal for many homeowners. It sounds like heaven, right?

The one drawback, though, is that hot tubs are bulky and heavy, so when it comes time to move to a new home or redesign your backyard, you’ll need to take steps to move it safely or hire local movers who can help. While it’s possible to move your hot tub with the help of a few other people, the safest option is to hire a professional moving service to avoid personal or property damage. If you’re sticking to the DIY option, learn how to transport your hot tub safely in this nine-step guide.

  1. Drain Your Hot Tub

    At least 24 hours before your scheduled move, drain the water in your hot tub. To complete this step, you’ll need to unplug your unit and then attach a hose to the drainage spout (located at the bottom). Place the other end of the hose in a level area of your yard that’s at least 10 to 15 feet away from your foundation and has good drainage.

    Once you remove the water, close the drainage spout. If possible, drain it during a sunny day so your tub can dry before it’s time to move.

  2. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

    Along with draining the tub ahead of time, the key to moving a hot tub safely is mapping out the route to the moving vehicle. 

    Take time to measure the dimensions of your tub, the distance you need to travel, and which path you will take. Remove any obstacles that could make it difficult or dangerous to move a heavy object. In general, coming up with a list of trouble spots is recommended when working with movers. Your moving company may also want to know how much your tub weighs. Most unfilled tubs weigh between 500 and 1,000 pounds.

    After mapping out your course, you might find that disassembly of your hot tub is necessary. Read your instruction manual carefully or ask a professional for help with this process.

  3. Remove Your Hot Tub Cover and Store Separately

    Hot tub covers can weigh anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds, so it’ll make life easier if this item travels separately to its destination. They’re bulky, and you won’t have to worry about it falling off in transit. If your hot tub cover is going into the moving truck, wrap it in a moving blanket to avoid scratches or damage.

  4. Wipe Down the Inside of Your Hot Tub

    Before you begin the lifting process, give the inside of your hot tub a quick wipe down with a clean towel or rag. Remove any moisture you can, especially if you’re moving your whole house and the tub will travel alongside other possessions in the moving truck.

    If there are any pools of water left in the bottom, reopen the drainage valve and gently tilt the hot tub to help remove it. Have a friend or family member help you complete this step.

  5. Place Your Hot Tub on Pressure-Treated Lumber

    At this point, you’ll need to recruit the help of a third friend or family member (fourth if possible). Together, carefully lift your hot tub and place it on two pieces of pressure-treated lumber to create space beneath it. Two people can lift the empty hot tub, while one person slides the slats of wood underneath it.

    Keep in mind that the cost to hire movers can be as low as $240. So if you’re struggling to find people to help you move this heavy item, you may be able to justify the pro mover costs to protect your hot tub.

  6. Load the Hot Tub onto the Dolly

    Place your dolly (or dollies) underneath the hot tub. Use tie straps to secure the hot tub onto the wheeled device, and then gently roll your unit toward the moving truck or its new destination.

    You’ll want to have one person on each side of the hot tub while you move it. The cost to repair a hot tub is $324 on average, so a slip-up could be costly. Moving insurance is recommended to avoid these sorts of expensive repairs.

  7. Secure Your Hot Tub Inside the Moving Truck

    If your hot tub is going in a moving truck, carefully roll it up the ramp with the help of your partners, and then tie it down with ratchet straps. Ideally, you’ll be able to keep the dolly underneath for the duration of the drive. If you need to remove the dolly (and have space to do so inside the truck), position your tub against the back wall and secure it.

  8. Carefully Unload Your Hot Tub

    Repeat the steps listed above in reverse order. Unload the hot tub with the help of friends or moving professionals, and carefully move it into its new position. Ensure the drainage valve is shut. Check for any damage that may have occurred during transit.

    If you’re installing the hot tub on a second-story deck, you’ll need professional help with the unloading process. First, ensure that your deck is reinforced or strong enough to hold the weight of the hot tub. If so, the movers will move forward by lifting the tub onto the upper deck with a winch, crane, or, in rare cases, a helicopter. Luckily, many crane companies offer this service, and you’ll need to ensure that the overhead access is clear of trees, power lines, or other obstacles. Consult your moving service about scheduling a second-story hot tub installation.

  9. Get Your Hot Tub Ready For Use Again

    Hot tub wooden deck men smiles
    Photo: Hero Images / Adobe Stock

    Plug your device in, and then refill it with water and treat it with chemicals per manufacturer instructions. This information can be found in the manual that came with your machine or online.

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