There can be different reasons why you want to use an inflatable hot tub indoors. Maybe you do not have the space outdoors, or it is too hot or too cold outside. Some people also use it indoors during the winter as an inflatable hot tub is often not very well insulated, and heating can be costly.
Can inflatable hot tubs be used indoors:
An inflatable hot tub can be used indoors as long as you take care of some conditions. The floor should be strong enough to handle twice the weight of the fully-loaded hot tub and must cope with some water spillage. Ensure proper ventilation. The warm water creates a lot of moisture. The location should have adequate drainage if you want to remove the water or when there is a leak.
In this blog post, I will explain in more detail what the location of your indoor inflatable hot tub should look like. Some other questions like what you should put under your hot tub, can you use your hot tub without chemicals will be answered.
- 1 Can inflatable hot tubs be used indoors?
- 2 Can you use an inflatable hot tub without chemicals?
- 3 How often should you change the water in an inflatable hot tub?
- 4 What can I put under my inflatable hot tub?
- 5 Should I leave my inflatable hot tub filter on all the time?
- 6 Can you put an inflatable hot tub on pea gravel?
Can inflatable hot tubs be used indoors?
The most attractive aspect of inflatable hot tubs is that they are portable and relatively cheap. You can place inflatable hot tubs in many locations, including indoors. This is especially attractive during winters.
Inflatable hot tubs are notorious for their poor insulation. It causes rapid heat loss when used outdoors when the surrounding temperature dips. To reduce heat loss from the tub, some people prefer placing them indoors during the cold season. However, there are certain conditions you should look at when you want to use your tub indoors:
– A full inflatable hot tub is a heavy load:
Generally, the hot tub should not be placed on the second floor as they are heavy when filled with water. When empty, an inflatable hot tub weighs 60 to 80 pounds. But when filled with water, its weight increases up to 2500 to 3000 pounds. I always recommend ensuring that the floor can cope with twice the weight of the fully-loaded hot tub, including water and occupants.
In case you are unsure about the load-bearing capacity of the floor, get help from the building inspector or a licensed contractor. Ensure that the floor can sustain the tub load before placing it indoors. Of course, it depends significantly on the construction of your house. A concrete structure typically can support a heavier load than a wooden one.
– Moisture from the hot tub:
An indoor hot tub generates a lot of moisture. Ventilation alone would not be enough to deal with it. Preferable place the hot tub in a room with water safe walls. Typical walls will absorb moisture and decay. Place a humidifier or fan in the room where you are planning to put the tub. Good ventilation is essential in the room where you are placing the tub. And always remember to cover the hot tub when you are not using it. This will reduce the steam vapor.
– Wet floor:
If you are putting the hot tub indoors, the floor will get wet. I recommend using flooring that can get wet such as tile or vinyl. Carpet or wood would be disastrous as they would absorb the water and rot. If the floor gets very slippery when wet, you may need to place rubber pads with holes that are not slippery but allows water to drain away from the tub.
– Access to drainage:
This is a must when you are putting the hot tub indoors. You need to drain the water when you want to remove it or clean the tub once in a while. The drain needs to be below the level of the hot tub. It allows the water to flow away from the tub. An inflatable hot tub can spring a leak for many different reasons. In such cases, proper drainage is essential. You do not want to have the water find its way to the rest of the house.
– Access to power and plumbing:
The tub needs an outlet to run the pump and heater. I recommend not using a generic extension cord or power strip. Overheating those can cause a fire and also damage the tub components. When you use such an extension cord, a dip in voltage can seriously damage the pump unit in the tub. Always use a heavy-duty extension cord, and ensure that you entirely unroll or unwrap it. Or install a suitable outlet before placing the hot tub indoors if you do not have any power outlets near the tub.
Can you use an inflatable hot tub without chemicals?
I would not recommend you to use an inflatable hot tub without chemicals. It may make you sick since the water quality will deteriorate without sanitizer in the tub water.
Primarily, chemicals kill the bacteria in the water and keep it clean. Without chemicals, bacterial or algae grow quicker in the hot tub warm water. Bacteria in the tub water create biofilms inside the pipework if you do not use sanitizing chemicals like chlorine or bromine. These biofilms act as a reservoir of bacteria in the tub water. It may cause rashes and various skin diseases for those using the tub.
Apart from killing bacteria, chemicals help in balancing the water and offer a pleasant bathing experience. Water balancing controls the pH level of the tub water. Water may turn more acidic in the absence of water balancing chemicals, corroding the tub parts. Using an adequate chemical dosage enhances the bathing experience and increases the durability of an inflatable hot tub.
However, excessive use of chemicals in the tub can create other issues. Adding too much chlorine in the tub water may lead to bad odors and an unpleasant experience for the tub users. And it can mean that your whole house will smell.
How often should you change the water in an inflatable hot tub?
Generally, you have to change the water in an inflatable hot tub every three months to maintain the water quality. After every use, the water in an inflatable tub will have dead skin cells, sweat, oils, or creams from the people who used the tub. And fibers from clothing, etc.
Hot tub filters will filter them out, but over time tiny particles will remain in the water. Also, ensure that you run the hot tub filter regularly. Depending on how often you use your tub and how many people, I recommend twice a day 2 to 4 hours. Also, check and clean the filter regularly and add sanitizer to the water to keep it clean.
After a point, the water quality will be difficult to sustain despite regular maintenance and filtering. It indicates that the tub needs to be drained. If the water turns cloudy and smelly despite putting the regular dose of sanitizer or if it loses its sparkling quality, this is a signal you need to drain the tub.
You may extend the durability of your inflatable hot tub by doing the following:
- Clean once a week: You should clean the filter once a week.
- White vinegar: Deep clean the filters by submerging them in white vinegar at least every month.
- Change the filter: Unlike permanent hot tubs, filters in inflatable hot tubs are cheap and less durable. Therefore, change the filter every two months.
- Add sanitizer: Add a balanced amount of bromine or chlorine to maintain the sanitary condition.
- Dirty marks: Use white vinegar on a soft cloth with warm water to clean off dirty marks.
What can I put under my inflatable hot tub?
You need to plop your inflatable hot tub on a level surface. Unlike regular tubs, the bottom of an inflatable tub is not very thick. It creates two issues, poor insulation, and possible punctures. For addressing these issues, it is better to place additional layers under the inflatable hot tub. You may use any of the following for the purpose:
– Ground Cloth or Bubble pad
Your brand new inflatable hot tub may come with a ground cloth or a silver bubble pad. You can use it as a base for your inflatable hot tub. The ground cloth prevents damage to your inflatable hot tub from sharper objects. Finest quality polyester geotextile material is durable, affordable, and keeps your inflatable hot tub safe. However, their insulation capacity is not up to the mark.
– Plastic Resin Base Pads
You may place resin bathtub pads under your inflatable hot tub. This material is perfect for both indoor and outdoor hot tubs. The interlock pieces of resin base pads make the inflatable hot tub more energy-efficient and can withstand corrosion. In this case, you can also easily dismantle the base pad while shifting your inflatable hot tub.
– Interlocking Foam Tiles
Interlocking foam tiles are a good option for additional padding to your hot tub. They are easy to install and coat around 30-40 pieces, depending on your spa type. For advance protection, you can also add a ground cloth above your interlocking foam tiles.
Depending on your budget and convenience, you may go with any of these. However, many of these will trap moisture under them and will lead to mildew growth in the long run. So ensure that you clean them whenever you drain the tub.
Should I leave my inflatable hot tub filter on all the time?
The filtration cycles in an inflatable tub should be set based on the usage patterns. Consider the following scenarios:
- Regular use: Suppose you use your inflatable hot tub daily. I recommend you keep the filters running all the time to keep the water clean. Most filters in inflatable hot tubs are designed to work nonstop. Some more expensive models have pumps with several programs and a timer that can run at a specific interval. Check the manual for your
- Occasional use: If the tub is used only two-three times a week, ensure that you run the filters daily at least once. If your pump only runs nonstop, you can use a timer clock for this. But always ensure that the hot tub stays clean with this interval.
- Sporadic use: If you will not use it for three or more weeks, drain it and pack it away.
- Outdoor in the winter: Keep it on all the time with the heating point cranked up. It will avoid water freezing inside the pipes and pump units of the tub and damaging them. Generally, the pump and filter system in an inflatable tub is designed to keep its water treatment system running at all times.
The above steps can help you to maintain and keep your hot tub healthy while spending less on electricity and less noise when used indoors.
Can you put an inflatable hot tub on pea gravel?
Gravel is a common base used for tubs generally. It offers a level surface and quick drainage. However, it is not a good idea to place your inflatable hot tub directly on a pea gravel base. It may puncture the bottom of the tub if there are sharp objects underneath. In cold weather, the pea gravel base will function as a heat sink if the tub is placed directly on top of it.
For setting up a pea gravel base for your tub, you first need to dig 6 inches of soil before stuffing the space and installing a 4-inch layer of gravel. Besides, the gravel should be coated with an extra layer of mini size pea gravel.
I recommend placing 2 inches thicker foam sheets or rigid rubber pads above the pea gravel base and then placing the inflatable tub. It helps in making the bottom of the tub safer. It also functions as efficient insulation to decrease heat loss, bringing down the heating costs involved.
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