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How to Install a Spa Cover Lifter

Spa or hot tub covers are large and bulky and they can be difficult for one person to remove. The manufacturers of spas have created an assortment of lifting systems that make opening and closing the insulated tops much easier. There are different types of systems, but in general a cover lift is a set of bars that attach to the cover. When you open the first half and release the bar and press gently in the direction of the cover's opening, the bars will tilt in that direction and guide the cover open.

People enjoying a hot tub.

Center the spa cover on the spa. Your lift kit should come with two arms that are labeled left and right. At the end of each arm is a bracket with four holes. This bracket is intended to mount to the deck or to the spa.

Measure 7 inches from the true corner of the spa. Since most spas are round cornered, you need to pencil out from the straight lines to draw the true corner on the deck or floor where the spa is installed.

Mount the bracket to either the spa or the deck (must be the same on both sides of the spa). Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes to prevent wood splitting. Attach with long deck screws and a screwdriver.

Loop one safety cable over each of the arms. Place the two L-shaped bars on top of the spa with the long side flat on the spa top and the short side hanging over the side.

Center the stretcher, an adjustable bar that connects your two L-shaped bars, on the width of the spa. Slide the long L-shaped bars into the stretcher so that the bend in each bar clears the spa width.

Slide the short ends of the L-shaped bars into the arms. Keep the long ends and the stretcher horizontal with the spa cover. Position the long ends and stretcher bar just at the fold of the cover.

Turn the stretcher until the attachment holes are facing away from the fold toward the back of the cover. Drill pilot holes and use self-tapping screws to attach the long sections and stretcher together.

Attach the short ends of the L-shaped bars to the arms by pre-drilling pilot holes and using self-tapping screws. Fold the front of the spa cover over the horizontal bars and tilt the cover and bars back into the resting position. Fully extend the safety cables to the upper frame of the cabinet. Mark the location of the bracket.

Place the spa cover back down on the spa. Pre-drill pilot holes and mount the brackets with wood screws. Don't over-tighten these screws as they allow the swivel post to rotate freely.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Self-tapping screws

Tip

  • There are many types of cover lifters and they use variations on this design. Read the installation directions for your lift type carefully before you install the lift. It is also a good idea to visit local spa stores and look at some installed lifts. This will allow you to ask questions and resolve problems.

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.

Photo Credits