house with hot tub in the yard

How to Move a Hot Tub (Without Breaking Your Back)

Packing Tips and Hacks

by LB Gabriel Posted on August 23, 2021

During a move, there are certain things you take with you and other stuff you leave behind. Sure, some may be no-brainers (and often outlined in your sales agreement), like permanent fixtures such as ceiling fans and built-in furniture. But others may not be so easy to discern. What’s more, sometimes deciding what stays and what goes is part of the closing negotiation process. 

If you’re moving to a new home and thinking a hot tub is one of those things you have to leave behind — especially because it’s so large and bulky — think again. While it’s not necessarily going to be easy to move, it can be done. You’ll just need the help of some strong friends or moving professionals — and to follow these eight steps — to make it safely happen.

Here’s how to move a hot tub in 8 steps:

1. Make a plan

Don’t take action until you have a moving strategy. Not only will you need to gather the necessary supplies and rent a truck or portable moving and storage container (more on that in a minute), but you should also consider the best, most direct route for getting your hot tub from its current spot to the truck or container and then from the truck or container to its new location. 

Are there obstacles, like a fence or uneven terrain? Will you need to turn your hot tub on its side to get it down the path, or can you carry it as is? Do a walkthrough, make notes, and take measurements. You don’t just need to measure your path; you need to measure your hot tub. Pull a tape measure across the tub and add a half-inch to the length to account for the cover.

Q: How much does a hot tub weigh?
A: A large hot tub that holds up to six people weighs around 1,000 lbs. without water. Smaller hot tubs weigh in around 500 lbs. Now that’s what we call some heavy lifting!
A group of people coming together to help with a move

2. Form a team

Want to know how to move a hot tub by yourself? You don’t. We repeat: Do not try to move your  hot tub alone. It’s way too heavy for one — or even two people — to handle. You’ll need at least four (but more like six) able-bodied helpers. If you can’t source enough people for your team, consider getting professional packing and loading assistance. PODS can connect you with local moving help to add some muscle to your crew.

Using PODZILLA to move a large (16-foot) PODS container

3. Get moving supplies and rent a truck or container

Now that you’ve measured your hot tub, it’s time to find a truck or portable moving container that’s the appropriate size. Here’s an easy-to-use size calculation tool for the most accurate estimate. Just make sure the truck you’re looking to rent has a loading ramp, if you’re going that route. Your best bet? Take advantage of the fact that PODS containers are at ground level, so you don’t have to worry about getting up to truck height at all — you simply leave that part up to the innovative PODZILLA® lifting machine after your container is loaded.

In addition to the truck or portable container, you’ll need moving supplies: two furniture dollies, moving straps, large plywood pieces, cleaning supplies, and tools to drain and disconnect your hot tub, to be exact.

4. Disconnect and drain the hot tub

Unplug your hot tub from its electrical source. Once that’s done, put the cords in a waterproof container or bag. To drain the hot tub, consult your manufacturer's instructions. Most likely, you’ll need to attach a garden hose to the drain valve. If you want the job done faster, consider using a submersible pump. See if you can dump the water out in a street drain to prevent yard flooding. And once the main draining is done, use a wet vac to clean up any remaining standing water. 

A woman cleaning her hot tub before moving it

5. Extra credit: Clean the hot tub

It’s rare that your hot tub is empty, right? So this is a great opportunity to give it a thorough cleaning. All you need is an all-purpose cleaner to wipe it down. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you notice scratches, dings, or other minor damage, this is a great time to fix those issues, as well.

6. Put a flat surface below the tub

Take your plywood planks and put them below the tub. To do this, get your team to lift one side of the tub, then slide the plywood underneath. Do the same for the other side until you’ve created a flat surface.

7. Use your furniture dollies and moving straps

Now that you have a secure base below your hot tub, slide one furniture dolly on the front end of the hot tub and one furniture dolly on the back end. Secure the hot tub to the dollies with moving straps. Place at least one moving team member on each side of the hot tub to keep things in place during transit.

A group of fit women coming together to move a hot tub

8. Move the hot tub

Now the fun begins! It’s officially time to roll your hot tub to your moving truck or portable container. Using your predetermined path, move the hot tub to the truck or container, then load it carefully into place, securing the hot tub on the side of the truck or using the tie-down rings on the container’s wall, if applicable. Prevent bumping and scratching by covering the hot tub with moving blankets. And remember to keep all of your supplies — the furniture dollies and moving straps — in an accessible place so you can easily unload it at your new house.

Okay, time for some real talk. Eight steps may seem pretty manageable, but let’s face it, moving a hot tub is not only hard work, it’s a dangerous endeavor if you don’t have the right help or plan in place. We can’t stress that enough. Not something you really feel comfortable handling yourself? You’re not the only one. Remember, there are local professionals in your area who can do the job for you. There’s no shame in putting a difficult task in other (qualified) hands!

Looking for more tips on moving heavy furniture? Visit the PODS blog for advice on moving a mattress, preparing to move a piano, and more!

LB Gabriel is a freelance writer and frequent PODS blog contributor. When she’s not on a deadline, you can find her on a tennis court or golf course.

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