Sellers may want to take a hot tub with them to their next house, and buyers may want to get rid of one that came with a home they purchased. Can you safely move a hot tub yourself, or should you leave the heavy lifting to the professionals? Let’s get the job done safely without getting soaked on cost.
Before beginning, determine whether you are moving the hot tub for reuse elsewhere or disposing of it entirely. The answer changes how you do the job. Keep in mind that, depending on size, a hot tub can weigh close to 6,000 pounds filled and 1,000 pounds drained. If you will be hauling out the tub intact from a backyard, measure any gate you must pass through to see if the tub will fit. Determine whether you need to remove a fence panel to create an opening. If you are lifting the tub from a deck enclosure, check to see if you can get past any railings. Is there delicate landscaping you must pass through to get the tub to a truck? Take time to map out a safe way to get the tub out, and if the route is more than you can handle, hire a pro.
Shouldering the load yourself
If you decide to relocate the tub yourself, assemble everything you’ll need before you begin.
- You’ll need to rent or otherwise acquire a truck big enough to move the tub. Measure the tub’s length, width and depth to ensure your truck has adequate space.
- Ask the truck rental agency for moving blankets and heavy-duty moving dollies.
- Acquire some large pieces of flattened cardboard, sheets of three-quarter-inch plywood and some ratchet moving straps.
- Have hand tools like a hammer and screwdrivers ready.
- Recruit at least four burly friends who can help you lift and move the hot tub.
Before beginning, plot out the route that encounters the fewest obstacles.
Next, disconnect the electricity to the pump system at the breaker box. If there is a disconnect panel close to the tub itself, disconnect that as well. Be certain you have cut all power to the hot tub before proceeding. After these steps, disconnect the wiring from the tub’s pump.
Drain the water
Use a garden hose to drain the hot tub into the nearest storm sewer or the sewage drain port on your property. Disconnect the plumbing. If you intend to keep the tub, clean the inside with a disinfectant cleaner once it is drained.
Lift and load
Next, have someone slip the plywood sheets beneath the hot tub as your muscular recruits lift it by each corner. Then, lifting one side at a time, roll the furniture dollies underneath. Use the ratcheting straps to secure and stabilize the load. With helpers on all sides, follow your planned route to the truck and roll the tub up the loading ramp. Once the hot tub is in place, secure it so it won’t move. Place the cardboard sheets and furniture blankets on the sides to protect the tub from scraping the inside of the truck.
If the hot tub isn’t salvageable
Disposing of the hot tub instead of relocating it is simpler. After disconnecting all electrical connections, draining the tub and disconnecting its plumbing, use a reciprocating saw to cut the tub into multiple chunks of about 50 pounds. Be sure to wear safety goggles and a breathing mask. Then haul the chunks to the disposal site.
When to hire a professional
If you don’t have the knowledge or skills for any part of the job, especially the electrical and plumbing disconnects, find a professional hauler online or through a hot tub dealer. If the removal route is full of obstacles, you should also hire a pro who can use a crane to lift the tub.