How to move a hot tub in 10 steps

Man installing hot tub on a deck.
(Image credit: Getty)

Moving a hot tub can be a daunting task, but with proper planning and equipment, it can be done safely and efficiently. Even a small hot tub for two to three people can weigh as much as 500 pounds when empty. Any bigger, and you’re looking at around 900-1200 pounds of empty hot tub to shift. 

Tools & requirements

- Moving straps

- Blankets or padding

- Furniture or appliance dolly

- 4x4 lumber boards or inflatable spa wedge (optional)

- Truck or trailer with a ramp 

- Screwdriver 

- Garden hose 

- Towels

- Around four strong helpers

It’s almost impossible to do this independently unless you hire specialist lifting equipment. So make sure to recruit at least four strong helpers to help you move your hot tub safely, and more if your hot tub is on the large side. Our step-by-step guide will walk you through each step, from disconnecting electricity and draining water to moving to a new location. 

The best hot tubs can be expensive to replace if you damage yours during transportation, so follow our step-by-step guide to a safer move for you and your hot tub.

Quick steps: How to move a hot tub

  1. Disconnect electricity and drain water using the hose 
  2. Remove hot tub cover if possible 
  3. Lift hot tub onto 4x4 lumber boards or use inflatable spa wedge. Slide furniture dolly underneath 
  4. Slowly roll tub on dolly to loading area  
  5. Carefully load hot tub into truck using ramp  
  6. Secure tub tightly to truck walls with moving straps 
  7. Drive slowly and safely to new location  
  8. Unload hot tub by slowly rolling down the truck ramp using dolly
  9. Roll hot tub to final installation spot. Go slow on uneven terrain 
  10. Lift tub off dolly using 4x4 lumber. Reinstall hot tub cover and reconnect electricity & plumbing    

Cal Spas Hot Tub

(Image credit: Cal Spas)

Step by step guide: How to move a hot tub

David Cruz at MyJobQuote recommends the very first thing you should do when planning to move a hot tub. “Before you do anything else you need to plan the route your hot tub will take on its relocation journey. This includes removing it from your garden but also how it is transported to your new home.”

Do also ensure you have at least four strong helpers to aid you in moving your hot tub. It’s best to aim for at least one person per corner or side of the hot tub, plus an extra person to slide the furniture dollie underneath, ready for moving.

David Cruz
David Cruz

David Cruz has worked in the plumbing industry for over fifteen years. David has worked on countless domestic and commercial projects as a plumbing expert and gas-safe engineer. David also works closely with MyJobQuote to provide expert plumbing knowledge to homeowners, tradespeople and news outlets. 

1. Disconnect electricity and drain water using the hose

(Image: © Getty Images)

Start by locating the hot tub's power source and unplugging it from the outlet. Make sure to coil up the cord neatly and store it in the tub's cord compartment if there is one. If not, remove the cord and pop it in a safe place until you’re ready to re-install the hot tub. Cruz says while many hot tub models use a socket, “other models may be wired directly to their power source, so you’ll need a qualified electrician or spa specialist to disconnect it.”

Next, find the drain valve access panel, usually on the side of the hot tub. Attach a garden hose to the drain spout, ensuring the other end directs away from any lawn or garden area you don’t want to get soaked with chlorinated water. Open the drain valve and allow all water to empty from the hot tub - this can take around half an hour or longer. Cruz suggests using a submersible pump to speed up the process. 

Once fully drained, thoroughly dry the entire inside of the tub using towels. Close the access panel and replace any screws you removed.

2. Remove the hot tub cover if possible and store it separately

(Image: © Getty Images)

If your hot tub has a cover, take the time to remove it now. Locate any hinges or screws and detach it from the tub. Make sure to keep hardware like screws in a safe place for later reinstallation. Transport and store this cover separately from the hot tub, as leaving it on may lead to damage during moving. 

3. Lift the tub onto 4x4 lumber boards, or use an inflatable spa wedge, for moving to the furniture dolly or appliance dolly if you have to tackle steps

(Image: © Getty Images)

You will need 4 strong helpers to lift each corner of the hot tub high enough to slide lumber boards underneath for support (these maple lumber boards should do the trick). These boards will make it easier to position and center the furniture dolly used to roll the tub. Once the boards are in place, slide a dolly under the hot tub's front and back sides. We recommend a strong furniture dolly like this set from Loyal Tiger at Amazon.

Make sure it is centered to help balance the weight.

If you must tackle any stairs or uneven terrain, use an appliance dolly instead of the furniture dolly. Tip the hot tub on its side, strap it to the appliance dolly securely, and navigate any steps or rough terrain slowly. 

Cruz has a tip if you are unable to get a team of helpers, or you have a very heavy hot tub. “You need to be very careful that you don’t damage it in the process. An inflatable spa wedge helps you to do this slowly to stop the hot tub from getting damaged by tipping over too quickly. The wedge is pushed under one side of the tub and then inflated, gently tilting it to one side until it rests on the moving dolly. Ensure that the side you are resting the hot tub on does not have the control panel on it.”

4. Move to your loading area with a dolly

(Image: © Getty Images)

Slowly roll the tub on the dolly to the loading area. Take your time and make adjustments if the dolly shifts out of place. This is also where your fifth helper can come in super handy, guiding your team of movers and ensuring the furniture dolly stays in place and is centered.

5. Carefully load the hot tub into the truck using a ramp

(Image: © Getty Images)

Line up your hot tub, still on its furniture dolly, with the ramp leading into the truck. Slowly and evenly roll it up the ramp, having helpers on both sides to prevent it from tipping to either side. Make sure the ramp is fully lowered and that the dolly is centered under the weight. Go slow here. 

If you’re using an appliance dolly, pull the tub up the ramp with at least one other strong helper, and make sure at least two more are behind the hot tub, bracing and pushing to help out. 

6. Secure the hot tub tightly to the truck walls

(Image: © Getty Images)

Once the hot tub is inside the truck, carefully move it to where you want it. It should be secured to the side of the truck, so it can’t move or shift around during transportation. Take the time to cover it well with moving blankets and use ratchet-style moving straps to tie it tightly to the truck walls. If you’re using a furniture dolly, you can keep it underneath, but make sure it is strapped to the hot tub and the sides of the truck.  

7. Drive slowly and safely to the new location

(Image: © Getty Images)

Keep safety top of mind by driving slowly and cautiously to your destination. Sudden braking or swerving could cause your firmly secured hot tub to shift around in the back. Take your time and focus on safe driving.

Cruz recommends a trailer, if you can source one, instead. “A specialized trailer is a safer option for transporting your hot tub to your new home rather than trying to get it onto a moving truck. Once you reach your destination, you can just repeat the moving process in reverse, taking your time to minimize the risk of any damage.”

8. Unload your hot tub

(Image: © Getty Images)

Park the truck as close to the final installation spot as you can. Remove any blankets and straps securing the hot tub inside the truck. Ensure the furniture dolly is lined up properly with the ramp, and slowly roll your hot tub out of the truck and down the ramp. Have at least a couple of helpers guide it from both sides as it moves down the ramp.

9. Roll the hot tub to the final installation spot

(Image: © Getty Images)

Use the dolly to transport the hot tub to its final location. Scope out the path beforehand to make sure there is adequate space and no obstacles blocking the way. Take it slow across any uneven ground. At your final destination, enlist your strong helpers to lift the corners just high enough to slide the lumber boards back underneath or use the inflatable spa wedge. Remove the furniture dolly from underneath, then lower the tub onto the 4x4s or spa wedge, slide them out carefully, and set the hot tub directly on the ground. 

10. Reinstall the cover and reconnect electricity & plumbing

(Image: © Getty Images)

Finish by reconnecting electricity cables and water lines, reattach any hardware for the cover, and test to ensure your hot tub is fully operational.

How to move a hot tub: FAQs

Is it easier to hire a crane to move my hot tub?

For most standard home hot tubs moved at ground level, dolly and equipment rented from truck shops paired with a few helpers is usually enough. However, hiring an affordable crane truck for an hour or two can make it much easier in the right circumstances. 

For example, if you have access challenges, you may need to hire a crane to lift your hot tub directly over buildings. Using a crane also ensures that there’s no damage to your hot tub while lifting.

Get at least three or four quotes from local providers to see if it makes sense for your specific hot tub moving needs.

Final thoughts

Properly moving a hot tub requires planning, equipment, and helpers to prevent damage. 

Before moving, disconnect the electricity, drain the water using a hose, and remove the cover. Lift the hot tub onto lumber boards or an inflatable wedge to slide a furniture dolly underneath for moving. Slowly roll the tub on the dolly into a truck up a ramp and tightly secure it. Unload at the new location by slowly rolling down the ramp and transporting to the final spot. Lift the tub off the dolly using lumber boards or wedge, then reinstall the cover and reconnect electricity and plumbing. 

Having at least 4 helpers and driving slowly is key for safety. An appliance dolly tackling stairs and a trailer instead of a truck are also recommended for easier moving.

Joanne Lewsley
Customer Advisor, Vacuums, Cleaning and Air Quality

Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with some of the world’s best-known brands and websites, including BabyCentre UK and Medical News Today. 

You can read more of Joanne's work and get in touch via her website: