Hot Tub shown with Cover Lifter

What is a Hot Tub Cover Lifter? Everything You Need to Know.

There’s a couple of inescapable issues for every hot tub and swim spa owner when it comes to the cover:

  • they’re heavy, with a typical hot tub cover weighing between 23 kgs and 35 kgs, and
  • they’re large, cumbersome and therefore difficult to manoeuvre.

But there is an effective solution, and that’s to install a cover lifter.

A hot tub cover lifter enables the tub’s substantial cover to be removed and replaced with greater ease, and is secured via mount for additional stability. Different types are available, including shelf lifters, manual pivot and hydraulic models, all varying in price and functionality.

Let’s take a look at the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to cover lifters.

Are hot tub cover lifters worth it?

A hot tub cover is an essential accessory for every hard-sided hot tub for two vital reasons:

  • they help to keep heat in the water when the hot tub is not in use, and
  • they keep debris out

We recently published a post that discussed the many benefits of hot tub ownership, and it’s safe to say the conclusion was that regular use offered a multitude of much-needed wellness benefits.

It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that your swim spa or hot tub cover won’t only be removed when you want to use it – you will also need to do so to test the water daily, keeping it safe for your bathers and optimising the performance of your spa.

Correct removal and replacement of the cover also helps preserve the cover condition, meaning you’ll need to replace it less frequently.

But if you’re smaller in physique or have any other physical limitations, then constantly needing to remove and replace such a heavy and awkward item can soon become an onerous task.

This is where a cover lifter becomes a useful and extremely practical accessory.

A cover lifter will also reduce the chances of injury to the user should it be lifted incorrectly, awkwardly or in a dangerous manner.

Swim Spa Cover Lifter

How do you lift a hot tub cover?

It’s necessary part of hot tub ownership to regularly remove and replace the cover, but without a cover lifter this needs to be done manually.

It should be noted that hot tub covers are large and heavy, so removing and replacing one shouldn’t be attempted by someone who is not physically able.

Whilst it is entirely possible to remove and replace a cover manually, it’s not a particularly easy manoeuvre to perform, and realistically needs two people.

This is why a cover lifter is a good investment for every hot tub owner.

How do you fit a hot tub cover lifter?

Our advice would always be to purchase a hot tub cover lifter when the hot tub is initially purchased, but we understand this may not always be possible.

It is imperative however that if you’re buying a cover lifter retrospectively, then do purchase from a reputable supplier who can advise on your best option and provide a fitting service (perhaps at an additional cost). At the very least your supplier should furnish you with clear, comprehensive fitting and maintenance instructions.

There are a number of aspects to consider when choosing and fitting a hot tub cover lifter, including:

  • How much clearance around the hot tub do you have? This will decide the type of mount on your cover lifter, the choice of which includes:
  • Bottom mounts – attached to the bottom of the tub, either at the side or at the back,
  • Side mounts – fixed on the top of the hot tub and at the side,
  • Back mounts – fixed underneath the tub at the back and require no space at the side,
  • Under mounts – for hot tubs situated on decking, typically attached via a metal plate that is in turn fixed to the decking.
  • Tools needed – check with your supplier what you will need. Sometimes power tools are required.
  • Fixing the mounting brackets onto the hot tub or swim spa
  • Fixing the pivoting, support and (where applicable) hydraulic arms
  • Fitting the cover to your newly-fitted cover lifter
  • Testing the cover lifter to ensure it is operating correctly

How much space does a hot tub cover lifter need?

Typically you will need 18 inches clearance either behind or at the side of your hot tub, depending on the type of cover lifter you opt for, in order to accommodate the cover when removed.

In Conclusion…

A hot tub or swim spa cover lifter is a worthwhile investment for every owner, given that it will facilitate access to the hot tub with greater ease, for both bathers and also for water testing.

The cover, when removed, will be stored correctly, meaning that it’ll remain in better condition and will doubtless last longer than one that isn’t as well cared for.

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