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How to Move a Hot Tub

When you’re preparing to move something specialized like a hot tub, you need to make sure you’re prepared and that you can execute each step with confidence. This is especially true if you’re planning on undertaking this endeavor by yourself. Loading and transporting large objects like hot tubs can cause a host of injuries, ranging from minor muscle strains to major hernias. Thankfully, you can avoid these common injuries by creating a plan before you move.

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    How to Move a Hot Tub

    Step 1: Gather Equipment and Assistance

    Before you make a move, you need to make sure you have the appropriate tools and equipment to move something with the shape and size of a hot tub. The following are some essential pieces of equipment you should collect well before your moving date arrives.

    • Hand truck and moving dollies: You will more than likely need a hand truck so that you can maneuver the hot tub over smooth surfaces such as tile and concrete. You can even wheel the hot tub over grass if you have a spotter on each side of the hot tub. Moving dollies typically consist of four wheels on a flat platform, but you can use appliance dollies if you need to (the ones that fit onto a corner of something like a refrigerator or washing machine).
    • More pairs of hands: It’s best if you have at least two other people to help you move your hot tub. Having three people besides you is ideal if you’re not moving your hot tub up and down stairs—if you’ve got to move the tub across a flat expanse, having two spotters with you guiding the hand truck is ideal. You definitely need at least four people total when you’re lifting the tub, one in each corner.
    • Ratchet straps: Once you’ve loaded the hot tub into a trailer or onto a moving truck, you need a way to secure it. You may even be able to keep the hot tub on the moving dolly so that you can just roll it off the vehicle when you get to the destination, but you need to be sure that the hot tub is secured using the adjustable ratchet straps.
    • Loading planks: Speaking of loading and unloading your hot tub onto a vehicle, it might make the whole process easier (especially if you’re of smaller stature or unused to moving large objects) to use 4×4 wooden planks to roll the hot tub on the dolly or hand truck up and into the truck bed or trailer. This isn’t an essential piece of equipment, but if used properly, these loading planks can improve the process.
    • Blankets and padding: Hot tubs are smooth and usually finished, and you definitely don’t want to scratch the exterior when you’re relocating. You can wrap moving blankets or old comforters around the hot tub and then tape the blankets to secure them (make sure the tape is only touching the blanket or padding and the tape itself) during the move. This is how you can protect your hot tub and avoid damage that you might need to fix later.

    After you have all of your supplies and assistance arranged, you can move on to the next steps.

    Step 2: Measure Your Space and Hot Tub and Plan Your Route

    When you’re finished gathering your friends to help you and the necessary supplies, now is the time to make a plan for how you’re getting the hot tub from one place to another, onto the moving vehicle, and then unloaded and settled into its new home. Are there any stairs that you have to go down? How about the terrain—is it grass, concrete, carpet, a mixture? Are there any hallways or awkward corners? These are all questions you need to ask and answer before you move your hot tub.

    You should measure the dimensions of your hot tub, adding an extra inch or so to take the cover into account and give yourself a little cushion. You then need to measure your route (the width of the path or any hallways) to make sure you and your helpers can get the hot tub through. Planning your route will keep you from encountering any unpleasant surprises on moving day.

    Step 3: Recruit Moving Help and Book Your Truck

    As mentioned in step 1, you will need at least two other people besides yourself to move the hot tub on dollies, but a total of four people to do any hot tub lifting. Make sure you’ve got people who are committed to helping you on moving day. If you’re concerned that anyone may pull out at the last second, make sure you have a backup or two on hand that you can call in a pinch.

    If you don’t already have a trailer to hook onto your vehicle, you will need to rent one or book a moving truck. You’ve already measured the hot tub’s dimensions, so when booking your truck, make sure it’s big enough to fit your hot tub inside and that you can secure the tub within the truck or trailer. We recommend booking your moving truck as well in advance as possible in order to save money on your move.

    Step 4: Disconnect the Hot Tub

    24 hours before you intend to move your hot tub, you should disconnect it from the power. If your hot tub has a plug, make sure that’s secure and away from any water, especially during the next step.

    Step 5: Drain the Hot Tub

    After you’ve disconnected the hot tub from power, you need to drain all the water out of the tub like you do when preparing it for winter. Get a garden hose and attach it to the tub’s drainage spout. This can be found within the drain panel, which can be opened with a screwdriver. Once the hose is attached to the drain spout, simply place the other end of the hose where you want the tub to drain. Then turn the drainage valve and the hot tub will drain.

    Step 6: Dry the Tub and Remove the Cover

    There might still be some water, like a small puddle, in the middle of the tub after you drain it. Make sure to remove any excess water by using a towel and wipe down all the nooks and crannies of the hot tub. If you haven’t cleaned your tub recently, you may want to consider doing so now so you can prevent infection when you use it at your new home.

    You should always move the hot tub and the hot tub cover separately. Not only does it make things a little easier to hold, but it allows you to also protect the cover from tearing when you take it off the rub first.

    Step 7: Load the Hot Tub

    If you’re loading the hot tub from a flat surface onto another flat surface (like directly onto a truck bed), use the following steps for a safe load.

    • Get into position: Using four people, instruct each one to stand at each corner of the hot tub. Lift the tub so that you can put the dollies underneath the tub. You might use 4×4 boards first if the hot tub is on grass so that moving it against the grass won’t scratch it.
    • Load onto your dollies: Once you’ve gotten the hot tub onto the boards, move one side and then the other onto the dollies. If you’re not using boards, put the tub directly on the dollies.
    • Move the hot tub: Once you’ve got the tub secured onto dollies with any straps you need, you and your team can roll the hot tub onto the truck bed or trailer. This is where the 4×4 boards can also come in handy, allowing you to make a ramp up into the vehicle.

    If you’re moving a hot tub on its side (in case of stairs or precarious corners), this process will look different. Use the following steps to prevent injury and damage when moving a hot tub on its side.

    • Get the hot tub on its side: With you and your helpers stationed away from the electrical panels, two people need to lift one side while two people secure the other side. Once the hot tub is positioned on its side, now it’s time for the appliance dollies.
    • Place the dollies: Place the appliance dollies in each corner of the tub that is positioned on the ground.
    • Make sure the hot tub is secure: Secure the appliance dollies to the hot tub using tie-down straps. Make sure that the hot tub is entirely secure before moving on to the next step, as loose straps can result in serious injury to you or your loading partners in the event that the hot tub breaks loose.
    • Get ready to move the tub: If you’re moving the hot tub downstairs, hoist it so that the hot tub side facing you goes back onto the wheels of the dollies. Now two people can guide and spot the first part of the tub that’s coming down the stairs, and two people can control the part of the tub that’s on wheels. Make sure to take your time to do this extremely slowly.
    • Shift the hot tub if necessary: Once you get to the moving vehicle, if the trailer or truck bed is narrower than your hot tub when it’s flat, you can transport it on its side. If needed, you can also shift the tub right-side up again. No matter how you decide to load your hot tub, make sure it’s secure.

    Step 8: Unload at Your New Location

    At this point, your hot tub is secured with blankets and straps either horizontally or on its side in the moving vehicle. Now it’s time to go to the new location. If you’ve hired a professional moving company to transport your hot tub, all you’ll need to worry about is tracking your shipment with any GPS technology offered by the service provider.

    Once you reach the new location, loosen and remove the straps. You may want to keep the blankets on to protect the hot tub if you’re concerned about scratching it during the unloading process. You and your helpers can now roll the hot tub down from the truck bed or moving trailer, and then continue to use the dollies or hand truck to move the hot tub to its resting place. Once it’s where you want it, with the control panel facing toward the power source, now you can remove whatever blankets or padding and tape remain.

    Step 9: Refill the Hot Tub and Relax

    Give your settled hot tub a quick rinse and wipe to remove any debris that may have attached itself during the moving process. Then fill it up with a hose and treat it with the proper chemicals. Now you’re ready to relax and enjoy your hard work.

    Extra Tips for Moving a Hot Tub

    These tips can keep you from making mistakes that could lead to big problems later.

    Be Sure the Hot Tub is in Movable Condition Before Beginning

    If there are any cracks or chips whatsoever in the body of the hot tub, consider getting those repaired before moving the hot tub. All it takes is one misplaced bump or one tap on the corner of a step in just the wrong spot for the small crack or chip to become a huge one and a much more difficult-to-fix problem. Make sure the hot tub’s walls are secure and sturdy. If your hot tub meets these criteria, you’re ready to move it.

    Using a Moving Trailer vs. a Moving Truck

    If you’re moving a hot tub in a trailer, you have to tie the straps around the hot tub and trailer as well as over the hot tub and under the trailer. This way the hot tub has absolutely nowhere to go and it’s as secure as possible. This should go without saying, but you should also ensure that the hot tub is balanced in the middle of the trailer, not leaning off to one side.

    If you’re using a moving truck to move your hot tub, you’ll probably be loading it vertically (on its side). Use your helpers to place the hot tub on wheels and then load the hot tub into the truck bed. This is where you’ll need the blankets and tape, as well as the straps to secure the hot tub in the back of the truck.

    Have Enough Helpers

    Without a big enough team, you can get hurt trying to move something this heavy and large. You need at least four people total, especially if your hot tub is intended for half a dozen people. Don’t try to do this by yourself or with just one other person.

    Be Mindful of the Hot Tub’s Control Panel

    The electronics are what differentiate your hot tub from just a vessel that holds water, so make sure to avoid any bumps or jolts to the control panel while you’re making your move. By no means should the control panel be touching the ground side when you’re moving a hot tub.

    Check Out Your Warranty

    If your hot tub is relatively new, check the warranty before you do any of the aforementioned steps. Many warranties specify that if you attempt to move the hot tub yourself, it will void the warranty. In that case, call the hot tub dealer to set up and schedule the move so that you can retain your warranty as long as you can.

    Finally, Consider Hiring Professionals

    If your hot tub is in pristine condition, or even if it’s something with antique or sentimental value, and you would rather not risk damaging it, consider hiring movers to relocate it rather than planning and executing the move yourself. It is cheaper to move it yourself with some friends, but if it’s within your budget to pay a few hundred dollars to have professionals (who already have the appropriate tools and equipment) take care of this for you, it can end up saving you a significant amount of moving stress.

    Our Recommended Hot Tub Movers

    If you’re looking to ensure that your hot tub isn’t damaged during your move, you might want to consider enlisting the help of some professional movers. The following are our recommendations for moving companies when a hot tub is involved in the process.

    American Van Lines

    American Van Lines (AVL) is a full-service moving company offering almost every type of assistance that you might need prior to your moving day and on the date, you head to your new home. Unlike many other moving companies, AVL does not hire out any of its labor to third-party companies. This allows AVL to strictly control the training process of each of their employees, limiting the possibility of your hot tub being damaged.

    Worried about paying too much to move your hot tub? AVL offers a unique price-matching policy—if you get a more affordable quote from a competing moving company, AVL will match it. This allows you to take advantage of AVL’s great services at a more affordable price.

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    International Van Lines

    International Van Lines (IVL) is a well-established moving company with decades of experience operating throughout the United States. As the name suggests, IVL also has experience moving between more than 150 countries located around the globe. No matter where you’re moving, IVL can help you get there safely.

    If you’ve never moved in the past, you might be worried about coordinating your move on your own. IVL’s customer service team is well-trained and informed and has even been recognized by major publications like Newsweek for their attentiveness. Knowing that you’ve got a helpful team standing by before your upcoming move can take some of the stress off of your shoulders—especially when you’re moving a heavy, awkward item like a hot tub.

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    If you’re only looking to move a hot tub and you don’t want to pay to hire a full-service moving company, you may want to book your move with uShip. uShip is a unique online marketplace-style platform that allows you to list a shipment that you need to complete while collecting quotes from local moving companies able to complete the job. If you already know what you’d like to pay for your moving services, you can also name your price and allow moving companies that have availability and experience with the item that you want to move to book your job online.

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    Move a Hot Tub Affordably

    Though it’s possible to move a hot tub with the help of a few friends, we recommend leaving this tough and potentially dangerous task to the professionals. Scheduling a professional hot tub move may sound expensive, but it might be more affordable than you think if you begin the process early. We recommend getting a quote from each of our partnered moving companies before booking your date to be sure that you’re getting the best price.

    Moving a Hot Tub FAQ

    Is it easy to move a hot tub?

    It’s going to be hard work to move something as large as a hot tub. Having the right planning and equipment, especially having enough people to help, should make a challenging day as simple as it can get.

    Is it okay to transport a hot tub on its side?

    Yes. This is how you have to move a hot tub up or down stairs. Just make sure you use moving straps when carrying it if you need them, and that if you place the hot tub in a moving truck on its side, strap it down securely.

    How heavy is an empty hot tub?

    When a hot tub is empty, it is anywhere from 500 pounds to 1,000 pounds, depending on whether it’s for three people or up to six people.