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7 Tips For How To Set Up Inflatable Hot Tubs

Updated January 10th, 2024

Inflatable hot tubs are a great way to enjoy a hot tub anywhere without the giant expense of a regular hot tub. Setting an inflatable hot tub up is easy. You inflate the hot tub, hook up the pump, fill it with water, and then turn it on. There really isn’t much more to it than that. There are a few things to keep in mind when setting it up. Picking the wrong location or setting it up incorrectly can lead to fire or damage to your home. Here are some tips for how to set up inflatable hot tubs.

Tip For How to set up inflatable hot tubs

1 – Read the owners manual

I get it. Nobody likes to waste time reading the manual. Just watch a Youtube video and get to it. The manual for your hot tub could contain some valuable important information. How cold outside can your hot tub operate? How does the pump go together and where does it go? Reading the manual is always a good idea when putting together anything new. Breaking your hot tub during setup means you have to wait for replacements. This means you won’t be enjoying your hot tub.

2 – Where do you put an inflatable hot tub?

Picking the right location for your hot tub is important. If you put it in the wrong place you might damage your home. Lets take a look at a few things to consider when choosing where to put an inflatable hot tub.

Where is the power?

Where are the power outlets at? Your hot tub will draw a lot of current. Most inflatable hot tub manufacturers recommend you do not use an extension cord. The current draw through the cord could cause a fire. Nobody wants a fire in their home. The cord on your inflatable hot tub is not that long. If there isn’t an outlet with a few feet of where you want, don’t fear. An electrician can easily add a new outlet to your home just about anywhere.

Can it support the weight

2 people can easily pick up an inflatable hot tub when it’s empty. It’s a different story when it’s full. Your inflatable hot tub may hold 200 gallons of water or more. 200 gallons of water weighs 1668 lbs. Throw a few adults in there on top of that. The place you put your hot tub needs to be able to support at least a few thousand pounds of weight.

Is it level

The place you put your inflatable hot tub needs to be level and flat or close to it. If you put it somewhere on an angle all the weight of the water will push against one side. This could lead to your inflatable hot tub wearing out quickly. The inflatable hot tub is designed to support all the weight of the water and people in it when it’s flat.

Blocked from the wind

Wind can cool down the water in your hot tub very quickly. Inflatable hot tubs only have the ability to heat the water 1-2 degrees per hour. If the wind cools down your hot tub, your heater may not keep up with it. This means you can’t use your hot tub for very long before it’s too cold. You have to take a break for a few hours until it heats up again. It’s best to choose a hot tub location that is sheltered from the wind.

For more tips on setting your hot tub up for cold weather see our article on insulating an inflatable hot tub.

3 – Inflate your hot tub to the correct pressure.

Your hot tub manual will have directions for how much pressure to inflate your hot tub too. Do not over inflate it. More air pressure is not better. Holing a few thousand pounds of water puts a lot of pressure on the material seams. Over inflating it only puts more pressure on the seams. Once the seams break, the air comes out and your hot tub leaks. If you want your inflatable hot tub to last a long time, always inflate it to the recommended air pressure.

4 – Inflate all the parts before filling it with water

After you finish inflating your hot tub, check to see if there are any more parts to inflate. Once you hook the pump up to heat and circulate water, you can’t inflate with it anymore. Some inflatable hot tubs have inflatable covers, cushions, or seats. If you want to use the electric pump, then make sure you inflate all the parts before filling the hot tub with water.

5 – Move your hot tub after inflating it

You can move your hot tub to it’s final location after inflating it. If it’s not quite in the right location after inflating it, you can move it. If you decide the location isn’t good because of wind or power access go ahead and move it. Go ahead and experiment and find the perfect hot tub location now that it is inflated. Don’t start filling it with water until you are satisfied with where it’s placed.

6 – Fill it with the correct amount of water

Your hot tub should have markings on it for the correct water level. You should stick to that range. If you overfill it, you have more water to heat, which means it will take longer to heat. When people get in the hot tub you might overflow it wasting all that water and energy to heat it. Putting too much water into the hot tub also puts more stress on the material and seams which can lead to leaks.

If you don’t put enough water in the hot tub, you may not have enough water for the pump and heater to work correctly. It may not be enough water for you to sit and enjoy the hot tub. Make sure you keep the water level at least at the low watermark.

7 – Use Hot Tub chemicals

Start using chemicals such as bromine right away to keep the water conditioned and safe. If you don’t the water will grow bacteria, mold, and other disgusting things very quickly. No one likes a moldy smelly hot tub. Pickup the correct hot tub chemicals to use and start using them right away as soon as the hot tub is filled. This will ensure a clean healthy safe hot tub.

wood sided hot tub on patio

Inflatable Hot Tub Setup FAQ

Q: Can you put an inflatable hot tub on decking?

You can put an inflatable hot tub on your deck if your deck is built to support that much weight. If you are not sure whether your deck is strong enough, consult a decking contractor. They will inspect your deck and tell you if it’s strong enough or if it needs to be reinforced to put a hot tub on it. Even inflatable hot tubs weigh thousands of pounds when filled with water.

Q: Can you leave inflatable hot tub out in rain?

Yes, you can leave an inflatable hot tub out in the rain. It’s a hot tub so the material is waterproof. You should keep the cover on your hot tub when you are not using it. This will keep the rain out of the hot tub water. It will keep the heat in your hot tub so it’s hot and ready for your next use.

Q: What should you put under inflatable hot tub?

If you are putting your hot tub on top of grass or other natural surfaces, you should put down a ground covering. You don’t want the grass or rock cutting and scratching up the bottom of your hot tub. A ground covering is still a good idea anywhere else you are going to put an inflatable hot tub. It will insulate the hot tub from the ground. This means it can heat and stay hot longer. For even better hot tub performance you can put down a foam insulating layer. Construction foam works well for this purpose.

Q: How long does it take to set up an inflatable hot tub?

Most inflatable hot tubs can be set up in 15 to 30 minutes. This is for inflating the hot tub and hooking up the pumps. It can take a while to fill it up with water. Inflatable hot tubs only heat the water at 1 to 2 degrees per hour. The longest part of setting up your inflatable hot tub is waiting for the water to heat up. If your hot tub water is 40 degrees and you want to heat it to 102 degrees, that is 62 degrees of temperature change. At 1-2 degrees per hour that could take up to 62 hours to heat up.

Q: Should I leave my inflatable hot tub filter on all the time?

If your inflatable hot tub is filled with water, you should leave the circulation pump on. You want to keep filtering the water and maintaining the chemicals in the hot tub. If you don’t do this you may come back to your hot tub and find it is full of green swamp water very quickly.

Q: Do inflatable hot tubs use a lot of electricity?

The average inflatable hot tub uses a little under 1400 watts of power to run its heater and pumps. The heating element being the most of it. For the average electricity rate in the United States that works out to about $130 a month in electricity. Your hot tub may not need to run it’s heater all the time. The warmer a location you are, the less it needs to run. Putting your hot tub in a sheltered or heated spot will mean it needs to run even less. See our article on inflatable hot tub costs to learn more.

Q: Are inflatable spas worth it?

An inflatable hot tub costs thousands less than a regular hot tub. You can buy 10 inflatable hot tubs or more for the cost of 1 good regular hot tub. The cost of electricity isn’t free, it’s not a huge cost considering how much you saved on the hot tub. When your relaxing in your hot tub sucking down a cold one in the evening after a hard day, it is absolutely 100% worth it.

Set up videos for inflatable hot tubs

Below are some setup videos for the most common inflatable hot tubs.

Coleman and Bestway SaluSpa/Lay Z Spa

Intex Pure Spa

Cosy Spa

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am a homeowner and love having get togethers and finding the best things to make spending time at home easier and more fun. We spend a lot of time at home so why shouldn’t we have a great time there?  I decided to start Great Home Gear as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things home living with everyone.