How to Move a Hot Tub

If you have a portable hot tub, then it’s pretty easy to move it around. Just make sure it is empty of water and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Grab a helping hand or two if needed and you’ll be able to position your hot tub in a few minutes.

Purchasing a permanent hot tub, however, is a whole different story. Many hot tubs that are designed to sit in-ground or in-deck are delivered curbside and will need to be moved on your own – unless you hire someone to do the moving and installation for you. Above ground hot tubs are also usually delivered curbside.

Knowing how to move a hot tub properly will help you prevent it from being damaged as you set it in its final location. Follow any instructions from the manufacturer about positioning and placement and use this guide for reference.

1a. Hire a specialty mover. If you absolutely must move your hot tub, your first option should always be to hire a specialty mover. These movers must be insured against damages and loss, so if they do something to your 800+ pound hot tub, you’ll be able to recover from the loss. 

1b. Get the equipment you’re going to need. If hiring a specialty mover is not possible because of budget constraints or a lack of movers in your area, then you’ll need to have some equipment at the ready. This includes an appliance dolly, two 4-wheeled furniture dollies, tow straps, two 4×4 wood chunks, and three other people besides you. Once you’ve got everything and everyone ready to go, you’re ready for the next step. 

  1. Clear a path. Once you have the hot tub up and moving, you’re not going to want to stop moving it. That means you’ll want to clear a path so you can move the hot tub from Point A to Point B. Make sure any openings are wide enough for you to move the hot tub through them as well so you’re not stuck wondering what to do with something that weighs half a ton. 
  1. Remove the power supply to the hot tub if necessary. If your hot tub has already been installed, you’ll need to unplug the unit. If there is a gas supply line, most local building codes will require a professional utility worker to disconnect it. Water lines will also need to be disconnected. 

If this is a new installation, you can skip to Step #6. 

  1. Drain the hot tub. You’ll need to remove the water from the hot tub according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some communities have specific laws which must be followed for draining large amounts of water. Extend a hose to a proper drainage spot if you have an indoor unit or drain the hot tub slowly if necessary. 
  1. Close the drain cap. Once you are certain that all of the water has been drained from the hot tub, you’re ready to close the drain cap. Make sure you secure it so that it doesn’t become dislodged during the moving effort. If there is any water or dampness remaining in the hot tub, use a dry, clean towel to do so. 
  1. You’re now ready to lift your tub. Each person should carefully lift the corner of the hot tub. Place the two pieces of 4×4 wood underneath the hot tub as the lift is occurring. This will make the next step a lot easier to complete. Make sure the hot tub is securely resting on the wood blocks before letting go of it. 
  1. Attach the dollies. If you have a flat surface to where you’re moving the hot tub and it is flat on the ground or blocks (as if you could step into it to use it), then attach the two furniture dollies to the unit. Place one at the back of the hot tub, the other at the front, and then move the dollies as one across the flat surface. Use straps to secure the hot tub in place during the move. 

If the hot tub is on its side already, then an appliance dolly is your best option. Loosely strap the hot tub to the dolly and then have everyone lift the hot tub so that the dolly can be slipped underneath it. Then tighten the straps. Although an appliance dolly is a one-person item, make sure everyone involved is supporting the weight of the hot tub so it doesn’t tip backward or forward on you while moving it. 

  1. Roll the hot tub to its destination. Now you’re ready to move your hot tub to its intended destination. This may mean a moving truck or its final installation point. If you need to take the hot tub up an incline, it is better to pull instead of push for best results. This way the hot tub won’t fall on you if you happen to slip for some reason. Move slowly, take your time, and have someone scout the route for any obstacles that might have been missed previously if at all possible. 

If you are moving the hot tub into a moving truck, then it should be the first thing you load up. Make sure it is at the back of the truck and keep the dollies attached to it. Cover the hot tub with blankets, packaging material, and other protective items to prevent scratching and dents during the transport. Then secure the hot tub to the sides of the truck so it will not move. 

  1. Install the hot tub. Once you’ve reached your destination, you’re ready to install the hot tub. If it has been transported on furniture dollies, then unstrap the hot tub and have four people lift at each corner. Move together and then slowly lower the hot tub into place. For above-ground models, you may just need to remove the dollies. 

If you have transported the hot tub on its side, then you will need to carefully lower the hot tub into position. Unstrap the hot tub from the dolly and then carefully begin to lower the hot tub into position. Support the weight as it comes down and then have others provide assistance at the corners already on the ground once the hot tub has come down enough. 

And, if you just moved your hot tub to a new home, then you just need to follow these steps in reverse order. 

Knowing how to move a hot tub will help you safely move this investment to whatever location you need it to be and then hook it up for normal operation. Always remember to follow any specific manufacturer’s instructions and follow local codes and laws when necessary. This will help you have the best moving experience possible.

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