Making a DIY Spa Cover Lifter is one of the most rewarding projects I have done for a while. Many people have asked how I made it, so here are the plans to make the DIY spa cover lifter for your hot tub or Jacuzzi. Plus it will save you heaps of money. Cost me about $50 in materials.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Make a Spa Cover Lifter
- 2 Spa Cover Lifter Design
- 3 Materials needed for Spa Cover Lifter Parts
- 4 DIY Spa Cover Lifter Steps
- 5 Welding Up DIY Hot Tub Cover Lifter
- 6 DIY Spa Cover Lifter Pivot Point Brackets
- 7 Making Spa Cover Lifter
- 8 Version 2 Update Reinforcing the spa cover lifter.
How to Make a Spa Cover Lifter
There are a few plans and ideas on the net, with people making their own Spa Cover Lift, but many of those were made out of PVC conduit. This seemed a little too flexible to withstand the larger Spa Cover. I have an Oasis Spa cover which is 2.3m x 2.4m and is quite heavy.
As an electrician, I had a whole lot of spare PVC conduits, so I was able to make s prototype out of PVC conduit to get all the sizing correct. I just didn’t glue it together, so as to use the PVC conduit later on another project.
I thought I would make the final product out of 20nb galvanized water pipe. Which is around 25mm or 1 inch in the imperial scale. This would give me the strength I needed, to move the spa cover from closed to open, on the side of the hot tub.
You will need a pipe bender to bend all of the right angles, or if you don’t have access to one, purchase the galvanized right-angle bends from a hardware store. You will need 6 at a few dollars each.
Spa Cover Lifter Design
Before I designed my Spa Cover Lifter, I looked at some of the retail spa cover lift retail products. Some were just not suitable for our location of the spa, and many were just overpriced for what they were. The closest I saw that I liked were the Covermate II and the Cover Rock-It Hot Tub Cover Lifter.
There were a few on Amazon that was interesting and cheap like the Bottom Mount classic cover lifter and the Cover Valet EX but I felt I could do better. Off to the drawing board.
Materials needed for Spa Cover Lifter Parts
Depending on the size of your spa you may need to increase or decrease the materials needed.
- 9m of 25mm 20nb Galvanized water pipe conduit. (Get it from Masters as they are closing down with great prices)
- Hydraulic Pipe bender or Ready-made Galvanised elbows if you don’t have a pipe bender.
- Arc Welder with welding rods, gloves, and welding helmet.
- Cut off saw with a metal cut off disc
- Angle Iron steel 40mm x 40mm x 1 meter
- 12mm Galvanised nuts and bolts x 2
- 12mm Dynabolt Concrete Bolts x 4
- 15mm Galvanised water pipe x 8cm
- 4 x 12mm washers
- Paint – Rust guard
- Tape measure
- Right angle square
- Battery Drill – Ryobi One+ 18v My favorite kit.
- Plenty of time and patience
DIY Spa Cover Lifter Steps
As my spa is an 8-person Oasis Riverea which is on the larger size of hot tubs 2.3m x 2.4m you will first need to work out, how much overhang to want from each side of the spa. I wanted 5cm or just enough to get your hand in to move the Hot tub cover lifter over. I wanted a streamlined look.
This meant that my overall measurement was 2500mm so this is my 2 longest sides. This is where you will start to make your first two bends. Make your first bend and check your length. Taking into account the width of the pipe. Next, make the second bend so your overall length is 2500.
Next work out where you would like the pivot point to be. As all of my bends were going to be right angles a pivot point of around 18 inches from the end of the spa seemed to work out well.
Work out the height of the pivot point shown above the top of the spa. My measurement was 1050mm.
The next section is the pivot point side. My measurement was 500 mm.
Depending on the length of pipe you have bought and how good you are with your bending continue down to the pivot point.
Welding Up DIY Hot Tub Cover Lifter
The Jacuzzi pivot point will need another right-angle bend. Then back up to the end which will rest on the ground when the spa cover lift is opened up. Welding all pipes with spot welds first is preferred if you need to make small changes like adding pipe or cutting off some pipe.
I used small 2.5mm welding rods. If you can get the stainless welding rods this will stop your weld from rusting over time, I just used Satincraft 13 electrodes.
Once the final piece is in place, you can fully weld up all seams and then grind the weld flat. It should look like a V with one side larger as shown above.
Weld a 4cm 15mm pipe cut off to each pivot pipe elbow. The Spa / Jacuzzi pivot point bolt will go through this. Drill a small hole to allow any water to drain out as this is the lowest point on the DIY Hot tub cover lifter.
DIY Spa Cover Lifter Pivot Point Brackets
I cut the 40mm angle steel at 30cm and 10cm. Weld these two lengths together to form a right angle. If your welding is like mine (splatter) use the grinder to clean it up.
Drill 3 13mm holes for the bolts. Two at the bottom and one at the top.
Put a 12mm galvanized bolt into the top hole and weld it into place.
Round all sharp corners and sides of your DIY Spa Cover lift pivot point and paint with your favorite steel protection paint like Rust Guard or Kill-rust.
Making Spa Cover Lifter
Once it is all painted and dry, bolt the pivot points to the DIY Spa Cover Lifter frame. Use some grease on the pivot point bolts. It’s now time to bolt it into the concrete slab. I used 12mm dynabolt concrete bolts. Use a socket set to make sure it’s bolted down nicely and tight.
Test for square operation and make any adjustments as necessary. I will need to put some padding or rubber on the DIY Jacuzzi Cover Lifter side that touched the floor to stop it from being damaged by the concrete slab.
Version 2 Update Reinforcing the spa cover lifter.
Over time I found that there is a slight bend in the right angle water pipe that bolts to the pivot point. This is more due to the weight of the spa cover, so I needed to weld a bracket to a flat bar. This was easy I just needed to grind off the pain and weld on a piece of 2mm flat bar. It is really strong and works really well now.
Below is the video of my DIY spa cover lifter, that some of you have been asking to see it in action.
Congratulations you have now made a Hot Tub Spa Cover lifter for about $50 saving many hundreds of dollars. But if you want a cheap ready-made Spa cover lifter, then check out the ones shown below from Amazon.
I am a qualified Industrial Electrician for the past 20 years and I love to share my knowledge on home repair jobs.
I love fast toys like Motorcycles, Cars, Jetskis, and Boats so writing about them is easy.
To keeps costs down I do all my own mods, repairs, and servicing. These skills I want to share with everyone. DIY is a skill everyone can learn.