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Put Your Inflatable Hot Tub Indoors or in the Basement – 7 Tips for Locating Your Hot Tub

Enjoying a nice relaxing hot tub can be a great way to end the day. Inflatable hot tubs are nice inexpensive way to get a hot tub for your home. If a hot tub sounds like a good idea to you, you might be wondering can you put an inflatable hot tub indoors at your home. The quick answer is that yes you can put an inflatable hot tub indoors. There are some things to think about before doing it. Below are some tips for putting your hot tub inside your home.

Benefits of an indoor hot tub

Why would you want to put an inflatable hot tub indoors? There are many benefits to putting your hot tub indoors. Below are a few reasons why you might want to be in inflatable hot tub inside.

  • You can use it when the temperature gets too cold outside. Most inflatable hot tubs can’t be used in temperatures below 40F. If you are somewhere that is much colder in the winter you might want to move your hot tub indoors for the winter.
  • You don’t have to worry about what the weather is like outside. If it’s raining or snowing you can still use it. No running through the cold or snow to get to the hot tub to sit in it.
  • Your hot tub will be easier to keep clean without leaves and other outdoor dirt falling on it.

Can you put an inflatable hot tub indoors or in the basement? 7 Tips for setting up your inflatable hot tub inside.

1 – The floor will get wet. Use water safe flooring

If you are going to put your inflatable hot tub indoors you need to put it on flooring that can get wet. The area around your hot tub is going to get wet. No matter how careful you are, you will drop on it and spill water out of the hot tub. You need flooring that is water safe such as tile or vinyl. Carpet can get soaked and rot. Wood will absorb the water and rot over time. You can also put down a plastic mat to catch the water around the hot tub.

You want to avoid surfaces that are slippery when wet. Some tiles and concrete finishes get very slippery when wet. No one wants to slip and fall when getting in and out of the hot tub.

2 – Have good ventilation

Your hot tub is going to release steam vapor while it’s heated and running. You need to have adequate ventilation where you will put your hot tub. Ideally you want to have an exhaust fan to keep the air circulating where your hot tub is. Think of it as a hot shower that is running non stop. If you don’t have good ventilation moisture will keep building up and it can rot and damage your home. It can help mold grow which you also do not want.

Always put the cover back on your hot tub when you are not using it. This will go a long ways towards keeping the room from filling up with hot humid air.

3 – Moisture safe walls

The room you put your inflatable hot tub in is going to have a lot of moisture in the air. No matter how good a job you do with ventilation it will still be there. If you are going to run your hot tub inside for an extended period of time you want to put it in a room with water safe walls. Regular dry wall will absorb the moisture and can rot.

You can use water resistant drywall that is sold for bathrooms. Cedar lining, glass enclosures, and cement walls are also good wall materials to use. It is a good idea to put a vapor barrier behind the wall material to protect the wood studs and structure of your home.

4 – The floor must be able to support the weight

Your inflatable hot tub may only weigh 60 to 80 lbs when it is empty. When it is full it will weight 2500 to 3000 lbs. You must make sure that the flooring in your home is able to handle that much weight. No one wants a hot tub falling through the floor and flooding the house. If your not sure whether the area in your home can support the weight or not, you can contact a building inspector. They can look at your home and determine whether that floor can support the weight.

5 – Access to water

An average inflatable hot tub can hold 250 to 300 gallons of water. You need a way to fill the hot tub with that much water. It is a good idea to put it somewhere you can access with a hose. You can use an outdoor water spigot and run the hose back into your house to where the hot tub is. You can use a hose that attaches to a sink spigot as well to run water to your hot tub. 250 gallons is a lot of water to have to fill one bucket at a time.

You need to drain and refill your hot tub every 6 to 8 weeks so it’s not a one time occurrence.

6 – Access to a drain

Now that you have your hot tub filled up and running, sooner or later you are going to need to drain it. Either for cleaning or to take it down. You have to be able to drain the 250 to 300 gallons of water. It is a good idea to place your hot tub somewhere near a drain. Keep in mind that the drain needs to be below the hot tub so that the water will flow into it from the hot tub. You can also use a siphon hose to suck the water from the hot tub if you need to use a drain higher than the hot tub.

7 – Access to power

Your hot tub needs an outlet to run the pump and heater. Most inflatable hot tub makers recommend you do not use an extension cord or power strip. The hot tub draws enough current while running the heater and pump. This can cause an extension cord or power strip to overheat and catch fire. If you don’t have an outlet near the location where your hot tub will go, you can have an electrician install one.

8 – Use Oderless hot tub chemicals

The odors from your hot tub will spread around the rest of your home. You don’t want you whole house to smell like chlorine. It is a good idea to use odorless chemicals such as those by SilkBalance. The best way to keep your hot tub from getting too smelly is to do regular cleaning and maintenance. The smell given off by bromine and chlorine is from chemical reaction with bacteria. If you let maintenance go and bacteria builds up in your hot tub then you can expect some odor when you shock it. Develop a good maintenance routine for your inflatable hot tub if you keep it indoors.

Using an inflatable hot tub indoor FAQ

Q: Can I put a hot tub in my apartment?

You can put an inflatable hot tub indoors. If you live in an apartment or rental property you should contact your landlord first. Make sure you have their permission before putting a hot tub inside. You might also want to check with your renters insurance policy as well. You don’t want to be stuck with a giant bill if something goes wrong and you cause thousands in water damage.

This isn’t a case of doing it and pleading ignorance if you get caught. If something goes wrong with the setup you could do a lot of damage you will be responsible for. Sure, having a hot tub in your apartment sounds like an awesome idea for a party, but please think about all the really really expensive things that could happen as a result of doing it.

Q: Can you put a hot tub in a conservatory?

There is nothing stopping you from putting your inflatable hot tub in a conservatory, greenhouse or sunroom. You need to follow all the cautions for putting an inflatable hot tub indoors in these locations. Good ventilation, flooring, power source and water source are all important.

Q: Can I put inflatable hot tub in basement?

You can put an inflatable hot tub in a basement. You need to make sure there is adequate ventilation. You don’t want the humidity and moisture from damaging the structure of your house. You do not want to fill the structure of your house with mold from the moisture either. You need to think about how you are going to drain the hot tub as well. Does your basement have a floor drain somewhere you can use.

Q: Do you need ventilation for an indoor hot tub?

Yes. The hot tub will produce a lot of steam and humidity. If you don’t have good ventilation where you put your inflatable hot tub you are asking for a lot of mold to appear.

Q: Do you leave inflatable hot tubs on all the time?

Once your inflatable hot tub is set up and running you need to leave the circulation pump and heater on all the time. Without the pump running the water will not filter and it will get dirty very quickly. Without filtration and chemicals you will have a green swamp instead of a hot tub in a few days. Inflatable hot tubs can only heat the water at a rate of 1 to 2 degrees per hour.

You can turn down the temperature down to save on electricity and heat it up when you want to use it. Even at 2 degrees per hour, it will take 5 hours to heat the hot tub up 10 degrees or 10 hours to heat it 20 degrees. You can’t leave it sitting at 70 degrees hoping you can turn the heat on and use it an hour later. It might be more like 20 hours later when you can use it.

Q: Do inflatable hot tubs need chemicals?

Yes, an inflatable hot tub needs chemicals just like a regular hot tub. It can take 24 to 48 hours to heat up an inflatable hot tub after filling it. Inflatable hot tubs are portable but not in a setup and use for a few hours and put away kind of way. Hot tubs will turn into a green swamp in a few days without chemicals.

If you don’t use chemicals, you might have very dirty water by the time it heats up and you didn’t even get to use it yet. Even if you only plan on leaving your inflatable hot tub set up for a week, use chemicals to keep the water clean and safe.

Q: Can you put an inflatable hot tub on artificial grass?

Yes, you can set an inflatable hot tub on artificial grass or real grass for that matter. You should use a floor mat under the hot tub. Many inflatable hot tubs will come with one to insulate the hot tub from the ground. You need to make sure you put the inflatable hot tub on a flat, level surface that can support it’s filled weight.

Q: What should I put under my inflatable hot tub?

Many inflatable hot tubs come with a floor mat to put them on. This mat will insulate the hot tub from the ground that will help it heat up faster. If your inflatable hot tub didn’t come with one it’s a very good idea to use one. You can make a pad out of construction foam to further insulate your hot tub from the ground.

Inflatable hot tub heaters can only heat at a rate of 1 to 2 degrees per hour in the best condition. Any help you can give it will make it usable faster and for longer before it cools down and needs to heat up again.

Q: What do you sit on in an inflatable hot tub?

You sit on the bottom of an inflatable hot tub. They do not have molded in seats like regular hot tubs do. The bottom and sides are inflatable so they have built in cushioning. They are quite comfortable without any seats. Inflatable hot tubs are not as deep as regular hot tubs. When you sit on the bottom your head will still be out of the water. You can get cushions and seats designed for inflatable hot tubs if you want to sit on something.

Q: How often do you have to change the water in an inflatable hot tub?

It is a good idea to change the water in an inflatable hot tub at least every 6 weeks. If you do regular filter cleanings and changes along with proper chemical use you can get 6 weeks out of the water. The more the hot tub gets used, the faster the water will accumulate bacteria and bio material. If your hot tub gets smelly and shocking it isn’t helping it’s time to change the water.

Q: Is an inflatable hot tub worth it?

You can get an inflatable hot tub, pool chemicals and a cleaner for $500 to $600. You can’t touch an above ground non-inflatable hot tub for under a few thousand dollars. You can buy several inflatable hot tubs and still be money ahead. For winter usage, you will be limited to days that are in the mid 30’s and higher with an inflatable tub. You will be saving a lot of money by losing those days. See our article on inflatable hot tub costs to learn more about the total cost of ownership.

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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.