Introduction: Home Made Spa Cover Lift

Picture of Home Made Spa Cover Lift

After a nice long soak, who wants to lift a heavy spa cover. Not Me!
This Instructable will show how I overcame this problem. With a few tools and less than 20.00$

Step 1: Materials List / Tools Needed

Picture of Materials List / Tools Needed

Here's what I used to complete the project.
Materials List:
1. Two 10' long pieces of 3/4" EMT conduit
2. One 10' long piece of 1" EMT conduit
3. Three 1" two hole conduit straps
4. Six #10 X 1" pan head sheet metal screws
5. 20 #10 X 3/4" Tek screws

Tools Used
1. 3/4" Conduit bender
2. Hacksaw
3. Level
4. Drill motor
5. Screwdriver

Step 2: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started

The first step is to layout and mark the two pieces of 3/4" conduit. Lay both pieces of 3/4" conduit on the seam of the cover, and center from side to side. Measure and mark both pieces at the edge.

Step 3: Making the Bends

Picture of Making the Bends

Using the marks made earlier, place the conduit bender as shown in the photo and bend one side to 90 deg. Next place the bender on the other end and make sure it's parallel to the first bend and bend to 90 deg. Now you will have a "U" shape with short legs and a long middle. Do the same with the second piece of 3/4" conduit you marked in the last step.

I wish I had the time and energy to explain how to use the bender in greater detail. If I'm not clear GOOGLE " Using A Conduit Bender". You will have more information then you will ever need

Step 4: Attaching the Lower Piece / Laying the Top Piece

Picture of Attaching the Lower Piece / Laying the Top Piece

Now we'll attach one of the pieces we just bent to the base of the spa using three 2 hole conduit straps. You will notice they are loose fitting on the conduit. If you were to use 3/4" straps they would be too tight and not let the conduit rotate freely. I had to notch the skirt on my spa to get the straps on the base. It is 2X4 material and I wanted the extra screws in something thicker than the 5/8" siding.

Getting the second piece into position is a little more complicated. Remember in step 2 we had to lay the conduit centered on the seam. We have to do it again but now the piece is bent...

Step 5: Cutting the Uprights

Picture of Cutting the Uprights

Now we need to get the upper and lower pieces of conduit working as one. I used the 1" conduit as a sleeve to join the upper and lower halves. Just angle the two pieces of bent conduit toward each other and measure the longest length you can fit before the bends. Cut both uprights (sleeves) from the 1" conduit. I could fit a 40" piece, your measurements will differ.
Remember always measure twice and cut once.

Step 6: Attaching the Upper and Lower Halfs

Picture of Attaching the Upper and Lower Halfs

I centered the sleeve so I had equal spacing above and below. I drove 4 Tek screws in each joint to secure the three pieces as one. After you get one side joined and half of the second side done, use your level to level the top piece before securing the last joint.

Step 7: Installing Restriant System

Picture of Installing Restriant System

This step will keep the cover from falling over. I used a piece of nylon webbing off a travel bag I no longer have. I attached it to the conduit with two Tek screws, I then moved the conduit just past vertical and attached the other end to the rim of the spa with two more Tek screws.

I also sealed the top joints with stainless steel tape to keep water out.

Step 8: Using Your New Lift

Picture of Using Your New Lift

Using the lift is very simple(and easy on the back)

1. Lay the conduit down on the seam.
2. Fold cover over conduit
3. Lift conduit and cover out of the way

This will leave your cover suspended next to the spa. The cover will stick up above the rim some though. Think about your views( or blocking your neighbors views ) when installing this lift.

Step 9: All Done / Be Safe

Picture of All Done / Be Safe

This is the final and most important step. CLOSE AND LOCK THE LID!!!
Twenty two years ago working as a firefighter I pulled a five year old child from under a spa cover at a model home. Sadly he drowned and could not be revived.


Kokose (author)2016-11-03

Cool idea, I made a spa cover lifter following the procedure shown here and from other ideas around the web. All rolled into one.

Saved a packet, large spa covers require 2 people to remove and replace , not any more. Galv water pipe, all the way :)

The PVC cover lifter show on other sites is ok for small covers but not for large ones.

rt4me99 (author)2016-02-28

Love this, so easy to open and close by myself and less wear/tear on new cover!

rt4me99 (author)2016-02-21

Amazing, my husband did not think this was a good idea! Now he realizes it was a great project and we built it in about an hour. Our new cover will last a long time. Thanks for making these plans available to all of us!

rkeller5 (author)2014-09-24

worked great. Thank you.

cnyhottubs1 (author)2014-09-09

This is awesome! Honestly, the most important instruction is in the last paragraph "This is the final and most important step. CLOSE AND LOCK THE LID!!!" Download our free hot tub safety guide here:

Harbourlights (author)2013-04-24

Thanks for the very simple instructions. The only change I made was I spent a little more and used 'elbows' instead of trusting my bending.

gmthomas (author)2012-11-25

Great instructions. It took about an hour to make. Thanks!

dmardis1 (author)2012-11-24

Turned out great in the end, thank you very much!

dmardis1 (author)2012-11-23

!WARNING! For those who have never bent conduit before, there is a deduct you have to take into consideration when marking the conduit. If you follow these directions without that knowledge, you are going to waste a piece of conduit. So when you make your marks, you want to subtract 6 inches(the deduct is 6 inches on 3/4" EMT) and make another mark (towards the ends) on BOTH sides, and then use the second mark to line up with the bender arrow.

ambclimber (author)2012-01-12

Thanks, these instructions were easy to follow and saved me some $. $28.00 at Lowe's and about an hour to make. Can't go wrong...

Fishbum Frank (author)2011-11-18

I am a retired firefighter from NY. These covers are even heavier in the cold. Thanks I'm building mine tomorrow.

This is the best plan I've seen. I built mine in 2 hours. I did buy an extra 3/4 EMT that I had to use after messing up the first one

crossfirebass (author)2011-03-12

AWESOME MY MAN!!! Thanks for the instructions.

mazinbenny (author)2011-02-21

I finished this up a little over a week ago... took me several hours, but a lot of that was removing the old rusted (not working) one from the hot tub that we have in a tight corner. The new one works great, thanks for the great instructions! Even after watching many videos online, I still messed up the bending, ended up having to get a 3rd piece of 3/4 pipe. Oh well, luckily the pipe is only like $4 per. My total cost was more like 60 or 70, but I bought a conduit bender to keep and have if I need to do this again. Thanks again!

chuckers (author)2011-01-01

Cool instrutable; clear and well done. Thanks i can use this

sirmorrow (author)2010-10-03

After pricing the store models I went out and built this. For $20 I now have a lifter that I wished I'd had for the last six years. The hardest part was finding a bender to borrow. Thanks for a great instructable.

valhallasmine (author)2010-09-04

After BUYING one of these 10 years ago -- and before becoming addicted to -- ours finally gave out. And HERE you have provided the perfect solution! Thanks for taking time, for posting this, and for saving me tons of hassle and a few pounds o'cash!

Thanks for the favorable comments. I am glad this worked for you... Ken

tvhj (author)2010-08-25

Great Plans, just what I've been looking for.....Many Thanks

gene claridge (author)2010-08-18

hope its easy as it looks

dafrimpster (author)2009-09-15

I built one like this last night. I secured mine to the concrete slab my tub sits on rather than the tub case itself. My total cost including a masonry drill bit was less than thirty dollars compared to 150 to 200 dollars for a commercial product. Great Instructable!!

dafrimpster (author)2009-09-11

I am going to whip one of these up this weekend

oakironworker (author)2009-09-02

just what i needed thanks

garrettmikesmith (author)2007-06-24

very clever. now all i need is a hot-tub and i'm set.

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