Inflatable Hot Tubs: 23 Most-Asked Questions


There’s a real lack of information around commonly asked questions relating to inflatable hot tubs, which is why I decided to put them all together in this one article.

This guide is especially useful if you’re thinking about purchasing an inflatable spa. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please feel free to get in touch with me using the contact page.

1. How Long Does an Inflatable Hot Tub Last?

According to various manufacturers and experts, the average lifespan of an inflatable hot tub is 5 years. Typically, most inflatable hot tubs last anywhere between 2-7 years. 

One factor that can affect the lifespan of an inflatable hot tub is its quality. Low-quality inflatable hot tubs tend to last between 2-3 years, while high-quality ones can last between 5-7 years.

2. Can You Use an Inflatable Hot Tub without Chemicals?

Unless you fill the hot tub with fresh water after each use, you should always use sanitizing chemicals. Even if you’re using the inflatable hot tub for a few days, you must still add chemicals to the water. 

You need to treat the spa water in order for it to be good for soaking. If you don’t use the appropriate chemicals, you’ll create the perfect environment for bacteria, algae, and other contaminants to thrive, thereby putting your health at risk.

3. What Chemicals Do I Need for an Inflatable Hot Tub?

The first chemical you’ll need for your inflatable hot tub is a sanitizer. Sanitizers are used to keep your hot tub water clean and safe. Some popular sanitizers include chlorine and bromine.

Another chemical you’ll need to add is an oxidizer, also known as shock. Oxidizers are used to break down organic waste in the water, such as skin cells and body waste. The types of oxidizers include chlorine, bromine, and non-chlorine oxidizers.

Furthermore, to maintain an acceptable pH range of 7.2-7.8, you will need a pH increaser or pH decreaser.

4. How Hot Does an Inflatable Hot Tub Get?

Inflatable hot tubs can get as hot as 104°F (40°C). However, if the ambient temperature is below 40°F (4°C) degrees, your inflatable hot tub will probably struggle to reach this temperature. 

This struggle is due to the fact that inflatable models lack proper insulation. Additionally, the heater and jets in an inflatable hot tub cannot function simultaneously, which means there is a compromise in temperature.

5. How Many Gallons (or Liters) in an Inflatable Hot Tub?

An inflatable hot tub has an average water capacity of 210 gallons (800 liters). A typical inflatable spa can hold between 200 and 290 gallons (750-1100 liters) of water.

The water capacity of an inflatable hot tub is determined by its size. For instance, a 4-person inflatable hot tub typically holds 210 gallons of water, while a 6-person inflatable spa can hold as much as 290 gallons.

6. Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Energy Efficient?

Inflatable hot tubs have poor energy efficiency. This is due to the fact that they don’t have much insulation. Because of this poor insulation, they take a long time to heat up. 

Inflatable hot tubs are nowhere near as efficient as hard-sided hot tubs. They can’t maintain their temperature as well due to the continual heat loss. Consequently, it takes quite a bit more electricity to heat up and maintain a stable temperature in an inflatable hot tub.

7. How Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Heat?

Inflatable hot tubs heat up by using electrical resistance heaters. These heaters come with an element coil that converts electrical energy to heat. 

The pump in the hot tub moves the water past this coil, causing the water to heat up. After the water has heated up, it circulates into the spa’s main body.

8. How are Inflatable Hot Tubs Powered?

An inflatable hot tub is powered by connecting it to a mains electrical supply. This power supply will then power the spa’s pump, heater, and jets.

Most inflatable hot tubs come with a power cable which you must plug in away from the water. They also come with an RCD unit which will cut the power if an electrical fault should occur.

9. How Many Watts Does an Inflatable Hot Tub Use?

A typical inflatable hot tub uses an average of 4000 watts while it’s running. This power rating is split among the heater, pump, and jets.

For a typical inflatable hot tub, the power rating of the heater is within 1000-1500 watts. The pump also has a similar power rating of 1000-1500 watts. Meanwhile, the jets usually have a rating of 1000-1200 watts.

10. How Fast Does an Inflatable Hot Tub Heat Up?

It takes an average of 12 hours for an inflatable hot tub to heat up for the first time. However, some inflatable models may take as long as 48 hours to heat up to maximum temperature.

The ambient temperature can affect how fast the spa heats up. For instance, during summer, the water you use to fill the hot tub might have a higher temperature than normal, causing the hot tub to heat up in less time.

11. Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Dangerous?

Inflatable hot tubs are not dangerous. They pose no greater danger than the regular hard-sided hot tubs, provided you take the necessary caution and maintain the spa properly.

Like other types of hot tubs, inflatable models require regular maintenance in order to avoid potential hazards like slipping or skin irritation.

14. Do You Need a Permit for an Inflatable Hot Tub?

You don’t need a permit for an inflatable hot tub. As a general rule, a prefabricated, above-ground hot tub placed wouldn’t require a permit unless its water capacity were to exceed 5000 gallons (19,000 liters) of water.

Since hot tubs rarely exceed 1000 gallons (3800 liters), it’s safe to say you don’t need a permit for one. However, it’s always worth checking with your local municipality because different areas have different rules and regulations. 

16. What is the Largest Inflatable Hot Tub?

The largest inflatable hot tub is the Bestway St. Moritz SaluSpaOpens in a new tab., which has a water capacity of 314 gallons (1190 liters). It is 85 inches in diameter and 28 inches tall and has about 6 feet of interior space (216 × 71 × 183 cm) that can seat 5-7 people.

It comes with a chlorine dispenser, 180 jets, and two filter cartridges for water treatment. Furthermore, its pump can be used for inflating, filtering, and heating up the hot tub, so you don’t need any extra tools or spa accessories.

18. Where Can You Buy an Inflatable Hot Tub (US)?

You can buy an inflatable hot tub in a nearby Target store. You can also buy an inflatable hot tub from Home Depot. Lowe’s is another home improvement retail company that sells inflatable hot tubs. Alternatively, you can get an inflatable hot tub online. Walmart and Amazon are excellent options.

19. How Deep are Inflatable Hot Tubs?

A typical inflatable hot tub is 25-28 (64-71 cm) inches deep. This means the water line is going to be around 20-22 inches (51-56 cm) off the ground. Conventional hot tubs are much deeper, having an average depth of 32-38 (81-97 cm) inches.

Inflatable hot tubs might not seem very deep; however, for most bathers, the water level should sit right around the shoulder when in a seated position. 

20. How Strong are Inflatable Hot Tubs?

Inflatable hot tubs are strong enough to last you for up to 7 years. However, the quality and manufacturer affect the strength of the inflatable spa.

For instance, higher-end inflatable hot tubs are made from reinforced vinyl and are strong enough to resist punctures and scrapes. Whereas, low-priced inflatable spas are of poor quality and are not so strong.  

21. Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Dog-Proof?

Most inflatable hot tubs are not dog-proof. The average inflatable hot tub isn’t resistant to the sharp claws of a dog and can easily tear when scratched. 

However, some modern inflatable hot tubs are made from strong materials that can resist dog scratches. For instance, Intex uses Fiber-TechOpens in a new tab. construction to produce something stronger than the ordinary inflatable spa.

22. Where Do you Sit in an Inflatable Hot Tub?

You sit on the ground whenever you’re in an inflatable hot tub. A typical inflatable spa doesn’t have seats like a traditional hard-sided hot tub; however, this doesn’t mean you have to stand. 

Inflatable spas are designed to be shallow enough so that you can sit comfortably on the base and still be at an appropriate water level. Most models come with a cushioned bottom on which to sit. You can also buy removable hot tub seatsOpens in a new tab. to make bathing even more comfortable.

23. What Type of Base to Put Under an Inflatable Hot Tub?

Providing it’s perfectly level, the best type of base for an inflatable hot tub is concrete. Alternatively, if you have an existing concrete patio, you can use that as your base. However, the patio must have a strong foundation to carry the spa’s weight.

Decking is another option, but you must ensure that your deck can support the load of a fully filled spa with people.

24. What to Put under an Inflatable Hot Tub on Concrete?

If you intend to place your inflatable hot tub on concrete, then a foam padOpens in a new tab. is one of the best things to put under the spa. Not only does the foam protect the base of your hot tub, but it also acts as an insulator to prevent the spa from losing heat.

25. Can You Put an Inflatable Hot Tub in a Garage?

You can put an inflatable hot tub in a garage, provided you place the spa on a flat surface. However, the ventilation in garages is usually poor, leading to high levels of humidity and moisture content. This would, in turn, lead to the growth of mold and mildew.

Adding an inflatable hot tub to the garage would only worsen the situation because of the evaporating moisture from the spa’s surface. So, if you want to put an inflatable spa in a garage, you must improve the ventilation first. An effective way is to use a powerful exhaust fanOpens in a new tab..

26. Can I Use My Inflatable Hot Tub in Winter?

You can use your inflatable hot tub in the winter, provided the ambient temperature in your area remains above 40°F (4°C). During winter, a standard inflatable hot tub will struggle to reach temperatures above 95°F (35°F), even with good insulation.

Insulating matsOpens in a new tab. and jacketsOpens in a new tab. can help protect your hot tub during the winter months. They also make it a lot easier for your spa to stay warm. Thermal blankets can also reduce heat loss during the winter period.

27. What Type of Inflatable Hot Tubs Can Be Used in Winter? 

The best type of inflatable hot tub to use in the winter is a 4-season inflatable hot tub. This type of inflatable spa is specially designed to withstand freezing temperatures. It is created with high-quality materials and insulation that will keep you and your hot tub warm all winter.

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