When it comes to figuring out how to move a hot tub to your new home, it is probably best to do your research beforehand since the lightest two-seat spas come in at a whopping 800 pounds.
Professional installers have heard plenty of sad stories of hot tub owners trying to move the gargantuan objects on their own. One professional told us that a hot tub owner called his business and complained about the price to relocate it. A week later, that same person called back asking for help picking up the pieces of his broken hot tub because he attempted to move it, after a couple of beers, on Super Bowl Sunday.
“Without an experienced and insured staff, a customer could risk irreparable damage to their spa, damage to their property, leaving thousands of dollars lost,” said Dave Wooldridge, owner of a pool and hot dub dealer in Missouri.
There are nearly 6 million hot tubs nationwide, the largest number in California, according to The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. If you are one of those owners, read on for our expert tips on moving a hot tub, or deciding when you’re in hot water and need to call for professional help!
Easiest Way to Move a Hot Tub, or Not!
It is sometimes best to hire someone rather than trying to move a hot tub on your own. The simpler the move, the easier it is going to be to do it yourself, if you really want to.
“If it’s a straight shot driveway to the backyard, all concrete, I could advise for people to do it,” said Mike Lewis, owner of Spa Uber, a Los Angeles-based spa and hot tub moving company, who’s been working in the industry since 2000.
You can get together with at least four capable helpers, a rented truck, furniture or appliance dollies, moving straps and blankets, and give the move a shot.
“Get the right tools,” Lewis advises. “Some of the dollies you get from Home Depot aren’t strong enough. They’ll snap, depending on the strength of the spa. There’s a lot of things to think about before moving a spa on your own.”
The standard, two-seater hot tub, whether round or rectangular, can be a bit easier to move at the lower end of the scale. Larger four to six seaters, or even the newer swim spas, which allow you to swim in place against a current, can weigh from 1,200 pounds up to 2,000 pounds. So consider size before you decide whether to move this on your own.
Wooldridge, who owns Two Men & A Spa Dolly in Arnold, MO, adds that due to the size of a hot tub, there is always the possibility of minor scratching or fittings coming loose. His business has been operating for 16 years with more than 30,000 moves.
Before starting the moving process, he recommends inspecting your spa, maybe even hiring a respected professional to ensure it’s still usable and worth moving, and to determine if it needs maintenance.
“It’s typical to feel our personal property is worth more and in better condition than it actually is,” he said. “A professional inspection can help you assess the risks and realities of moving your hot tub.”
How to Plan Your Hot Tub Move
Wooldridge recommends identifying the new destination for your hot tub and planning the delivery path, making sure to take proper measures to account for any obstacles along the way.
“Does it need to be removed or replaced on a deck?” he asks. “Will the electric at the new location be sufficient? Does it need to be winterized? Moves are usually weather permitting, so plan accordingly.”
If there are wooden or concrete fences on the property obstructing the path from the delivery truck to the back yard, a crane may be required to lift the hot tub, and those can run from $250 and up to rent. If the fence is wooden, sometimes taking it down is a better option.
Of course, first make sure the hot tub is fully drained and disconnected before your move. You might want to work with an electrician and plumber when you need to connect it.
For standard hot tubs, Lewis works with one other mover. For larger models, he gets at least three people for the job, including himself. So be sure to have plenty of friends on hand to shoulder the weight before you move, and maybe have pizza delivered to keep the team motivated!
“Have your ducks in a row. Know the size of the hot tub. Know how to get it in,” he said.
Costs to Move a Hot Tub
Our experts say that moving a hot tub can cost about $275 to $1,000 or so to move, depending on the area and the complexity of the move.
“A lot of people want [the job done] the same day,” Lewis said.
“If it’s in my city, I will try if I don’t have a booked schedule. There’s a 50 percent chance I can do it in the same day if they call before 12. If they call after 12, I might be somewhere else.”