In Warm Water - Moving a Hot Tub
There’s no doubt that a hot tub provides relaxation in the best way possible. Who can deny a warm soak after a stressful day? While they provide a sense of comfort and enjoyment, when it comes time to move them, it can be a stressful task. If you need to move a hot tub to a new home, the best thing to do is call professional movers who have experience moving them. Hot tubs are large and heavy. They can weigh up to 900 pounds without water.
If using professional movers is not an option due to budgeting or scheduling conflicts, it’s possible to do it yourself. Just follow these steps and you can be successful.
- GATHER A TEAM
You won’t be able to move this thing on your own, unless it’s an inflatable tub (but let’s face it – you’re not reading this because you have an inflatable tub). You will need to amass at least three strong helpers. One or two more would not hurt, but the very least is three. If you can’t find volunteers, you could always hire labor-only movers to help fill the gaps.
If you can’t gather the minimum helpers, you may want to opt on the side of caution and consider selling the hot tub and purchasing a new one when you are moved. It’s not ideal, but it may be your best bet. Less than three helpers could be a safety concern, so make sure you make the best decision.
- SCHEDULE A MOVING TRUCK
Don’t wait until the last minute to think about your transportation option. There’s no sense in getting your crew together if you can’t find a truck large enough to transport the tub. Your friend’s pick-up truck won’t cut it – you will need at least a 15-foot box truck to cart the tub to your new home.
Schedule the truck as soon as possible. Moving trucks get rented quickly, especially on the weekends. When you call to schedule it, make sure the truck has a loading ramp. The ramp makes loading easier and safer.
- GET THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
When you call to schedule the truck, ask the rental company if they rent out heavy-duty dollies. You need at least two that can hold 800+ pounds. You’ll also need 4 pieces of 4x4 plywood planks. These will be used to lift the tub off the ground so you can roll the dollies underneath. A tape measure will need to be used when planning your moving path. Lastly, get strong moving straps to keep the tub snug to the dollies.
- PLAN THE MOVING PATH
Don’t wing it – plan it! This part of the move is easily forgotten, but with a piece of furnishing this large, planning your moving path is a must. You’ll need to take stairs, doorways, arches, and ground cover into consideration. Measure doorways and other openings before the move. If there are stairs in your path, you may want to re-think the professional movers. Things can get disastrous very quickly.
Take the path of least resistance, even if it means a longer trip to the truck. If you have a paved walkway, use it. Be on the lookout for any obstacles, uneven surfaces, or other hazards. Bottom line – safety for yourself and your crew is always first.
- DISCONNECT, DRAIN, CLEAN
Before doing anything, disconnect the hot tub from your electrical network. Most tubs have a storage compartment for parts. Coil up the power cord and store in that compartment. Make sure all other cords are coiled and wrapped up to prevent any dangling, which can cause a trip hazard while moving – something that could prove devastating.
Next, drain the water. Obviously, moving a hot tub with water is silly. Every tub is a little different, so follow the instructions for draining that was provided by the manufacturer. In most cases, you will need to shut off the water supply. You’ll need to use a long hose if your tub is inside.
Once fully drained, start cleaning. Some tub manufacturers will either sell or provide with tub purchase a specially formulated cleaning product specifically for their hot tubs. If not, they may recommend a product to use. With a soft cloth, clean all surfaces of the tub. Rinse well and dry thoroughly.
- TIME TO START THE MOVE – GET THE PLYWOOD & DOLLIES READY
Before moving, remove the tub’s cover if the tub has a detachable cover. You may need a screwdriver to help you accomplish this, but it should be fairly easy to do. Store the screws some place safe and remember how the cover was removed so that, when your move is complete, it will be a quick reinstall.
The first true challenge of the move is now – maneuvering the tub onto the 4x4 planks. The goal is simple enough: lift the tub up sufficiently to slide the dollies underneath. Have all your helpers lift each corner one at a time so you can insert the wooden plank. Once done, the tub should be 4 inches off the ground and completely stable.
Slide the first dolly under the front section of the tub and the second at the back and secure the dollies with straps. You want to make sure the tub won’t slip off the dollies, thus negating all your effort.
- SLOW AND STEADY TO THE TRUCK
Designate one of your crew (or yourself) as the eyes of the move to keep a lookout for hazards and hurdles you may not have seen when selecting your move path. Every crew member should keep their hands on the tub to keep it steady. While the dollies and straps should keep the tub mostly stable, taking extra caution is advised. Start rolling the tub to the truck very slowly, trying to avoid sudden movements. Communicate with your crew if changes should be made.
- LOAD IT UP
The final, and most dangerous, step is getting the tub in the truck successfully. With the ramp extended properly, position a member of your crew in front of the tub as a guide and the rest of your crew in the back. Push the tub with enough momentum to safely ascend the ramp. This is the most challenging part.
IF IN DOUBT, CALL PROFESSIONALS!
Once safely in the truck, secure it for the ride and you are good to go. But your battle is only half over… you’ll need to unload as well. Good luck!