When you buy an inflatable hot tub for the first time, you’re probably uncertain about how to set it up. You’re possibly a little worried you might even do it wrong. Well, worry no more! Here are our top 8 tips for setting up your inflatable hot tub, straight out of the box.
These tips are also a useful reminder if you are setting up your inflatable spa in the Spring or Summer, after the long months of Winter. Read on my friend!
1. Read the Owner’s Manual
Yes, we get it. Nobody really likes to read instructions. They can be so boring!
However, this one can save you a lot of frustration. It can even save you time and money, especially if you think that connector surely goes right there and – bam! – it’s not the right piece and now it’s jammed or even cracked. Either way, you’re going to have to try and get it off and then maybe send off for a spare part, which can take anywhere from 24 hours to a couple of weeks.
So read the instructions before you even get the hot tub and fittings out of the box. A general scan will do first off, because you can follow the steps as you go along.
Also, check the list of pieces carefully against the pieces that come in the box. It can be really annoying to have the hot tub almost up, only to find that last connector hose is missing.
If you have misplaced your Owner’s Manual, you can run a search through Google for your specific inflatable hot tub model. Otherwise you can visit the manuals library where they have many of the manuals available for free: Manuals Library (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, if you visit your manufacturer’s website, you’ll often find the manual available for free in the Support section.
Of course, what’s even better than reading a manual is if there’s an instructional DVD that comes with the hot tub. But even if your hot tub doesn’t have a DVD, there’s a strong chance that you’ll find a how-to-set-it-up video over on Youtube.
2. Choose Your Site Carefully
Spend a little time selecting where you are going to put your inflatable hot tub.
For starters, it must be close enough to a power point. We strongly recommend that you never use an extension cable. Even if using one would let you put your hot tub on the perfect site in your backyard.
That’s because using an extension cable can be a potential safety issue. Because many cables are not up to a suitable specification for running an inflatable hot tub, then using one creates a very real risk of fire.
So if you really have our heart set on an area which is away from a power point, why not have an electrician install one nearby?
Next, the place you choose needs to be smooth and flat. If you set it up on uneven ground or a slope, it will feel uncomfortable when you’re sitting in the hot tub. Also, it will skew the hot tub and end up putting stress on the whole tub. This could end up damaging your inflatable liner and making it unusable.
Also, check that there are no rough areas or sharp objects in the ground or close to the hot tub. Even though the outer layers of an inflatable hot tub are tough these days, it is still possible to puncture the skin, especially when you’re moving the hot tub into place before you fill it with water.
3. Bear in Mind the Filled Weight
You might want to put your hot tub indoors, in its own outdoor building, or on a deck. If that’s the case, make sure that the floor or deck are strong enough to support not only the weight of the water-filled tub but also the accumulated weight of the users.
As we always point out in our guides and reviews, when it’s full of water an inflatable hot tub can easily weigh more than 2,000lbs. So you need to check that any floor you want to put your hot tub on can support that kind of weight. If you have any doubt, get a specialist in to advise you.
If you are putting your hot tub indoors, make sure there are no exposed electrical sockets nearby, in case water spills or splashes. The same is true of any valuable items – make sure they’re placed away from the hot tub.
Because of the risk of splashes and water spilling from your hot tub, we strongly advise you only put your hot tub on the ground floor. If you put it on, say, a first floor or in an apartment, any water spillages will gradually weaken the floor and the weight of the hot tub will then cause structural damage.
4. Think About a Windbreak
We’re always looking for ways to save money with our inflatable hot tub. One of the best ways is to place your hot tub near a wind break. This can be a natural wind break such as a hedge or bushes. You can also put up a fence, some tall plants in pots, or a small stone wall.
Whichever you choose, having a wind break near your hot tub cuts down on the wind chill factor. When the wind is blowing directly over your hot tub, it is cooling the water. Even a warm summer breeze will cool the water in your spa a little!
And when the water in your inflatable hot tub cools a few degrees, you then have to heat up the water, which costs money. So a windbreak really will help you reduce your running costs.
5. Inflate Your Hot Tub Then Move It
We prefer to lay out and inflate any inflatable hot tub in an open area of our yard. Once it’s up and ready, we then carry it over to where we are going to site it.
Inflatable hot tubs are not too heavy, but it will take at least two people to carry the hot tub into place. Even if you can carry the hot tub by yourself, you’ll need someone to carry the motor unit.
We believe it’s well worth the effort in following this tip! That’s because having room to walk around the hot tub without treading on it is a real bonus. It also means we have room to attach the connectors and pipes without being cramped or having to contort our bodies into uncomfortable positions.
This is a simple tip but it’s one that has saved us a lot of effort over the years.
6. Don’t Over-Inflate Your Inflatable Hot Tub
When you inflate your hot tub, don’t overdo it. There are two important reasons for this.
Firstly, if you over-inflate your hot tub, you are putting strain on the seams. This can weaken them and cause them to leak or even rip. If you check out owners’ reviews on sites such as Amazon, you’ll find the occasional review which says that the hot tub leaked straight away. It’s highly likely that the person wasn’t aware of this weird tip and they over-inflated their hot tub, causing the water to leak out at the seams.
Secondly, when you fill your hot tub with water, there needs to be a little give in the hot tub walls. This is because – as we already mentioned – the water can weigh over 2,000lbs. So if the walls are too rigid, from having too much air in them, all that weight will distort the shape of the hot tub. This can also put stress on the seams and connectors and cause leakages.
7. Don’t Overfill Your Inflatable Hot Tub
You also need to make sure you don’t fill your hot tub past the maximum-fill line. You’ll see this on the inside wall of your hot tub.
The reason for this is to allow room for the water to rise when you and your hot tub users get in. It also leaves room for the water to bubble when you turn on the massage system. If you overfill your hot tub, then when you get in the water could pour over the sides. This is a waste of expensive hot water and, if you have your hot tub indoors, could cause some problems.
We actually recommend that the first time you use your inflatable hot tub that you only fill it to the minimum fill-line. This is so that you can get used to how much the water rises when you get in the hot tub and when you use the massage system. Once you’re used to your hot tub, it’s then relatively simple to add some more water (but only up to the maximum line!).
8. Add Inflatable Hot Tub Chemicals From The Get-Go
As soon as you have filled your hot tub with water, add your chemical floater with your sanitizer of choice (chlorine or bromine are the usual choices).
Keeping the water sanitized in your portable hot tub is plain common sense. It keeps the water clean and safe for your hot tub users, and it prolongs the life of the water, so that you don’t have to replace it (and then re-heat it) as frequently as untreated water.
What this means is that when you buy your new hot tub, or shortly before you take it out of storage, you need to check that you are stocked up with enough chemicals.
If you are unsure about the whole area of inflatable hot tub chemicals, we have an easy-to-follow guide, which you can read here: Your Guide To Inflatable Hot Tub Chemicals (opens in a new tab).
We hope these simple but important tips help you with your inflatable hot tub. Now that you have your portable hot tub up and running, you might be interested in ways to keep those running costs down. If so, check out our guide Money Saving Tips For Inflatable Hot Tub Owners.
Thanks for reading!