Why Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Lose Their Air?

An inflatable hot tub is a great purchase for someone who doesn’t have the budget or space for a hard-shell hot tub. They are portable, easy to set up, and require next to no maintenance compared to a regular hard-shell hot tub. However, one of the main concerns that a hard shell doesn’t have is the deflating issue. 

Inflatable hot tubs will most likely have a puncture or tear within their lifetime. Regular use, age, maintenance, and sharp objects all influence if your hot tub will spring a leak. Fortunately, most deflation issues are fixable such as repairing a puncture or tightening the air valve. 

If your inflatable hot tub is deflating, it is safe to say there is a problem. A hot tub should not deflate on its own, especially within a few uses. Figuring out why your hot tub is deflating too quickly should be done sooner rather than later, as a once easy-to-fix deflation issue could become a much bigger problem if left untreated.

What Causes an Inflatable Hot Tub to Deflate Over Time?

Hot Tub at a Luxury Resort at sea

A hot tub that deflates on its own can be a huge problem, especially if it deflates quickly and within a single use. However, finding the reason behind its deflation is easy, and usually, one of two things has occurred.

A Puncture in the Material

The number one cause of air leaks in an inflatable hot tub is a puncture or tear in the vinyl shell. 

Unfortunately, most inflatable hot tubs will spring a leak or two within their lifespan, which can happen for several reasons. These include regular wear and tear when it comes to frequent use, the unit’s age as the material breaks down, lack of routine maintenance, or being punctured by a sharp object. 

However, most puncture marks can be repaired, so there is no need to go out and buy a new hot tub every time yours springs a leak. Instead, get yourself a hot tub repair kit (on Amazon) and fix the hole yourself by following the instructions. 

The key is to fix the hole as soon as possible since letting it linger could prove to be more difficult to repair later on and cause more significant problems down the road. 

A Loose Air Valve

Another reason your hot tub might lose air is a leaking air valve. Usually, this happens with a hot tub fresh out of the box or after it has been stored for some time. The valve becomes loose or hasn’t been screwed on properly. Thankfully, there is a simple fix to this problem. 

  1. First, check to make sure it is a loose air valve. Soak the valve in soapy water, and if you see foam or bubbles coming to the surface, you know the air valve is loose as air is getting through the water when it shouldn’t. 
  1. Next, deflate the hot tub if it isn’t completely deflated already.
  1. Hold the back of the valve inside the hot tub and turn it clockwise with a wrench until it is tight and secure.
  1. Inflate the hot tub once more and perform the soapy water test to ensure it is tight enough. 

You are good to go if there are no bubbles or foam. If there is, repeat the last step and try tightening the valve once more. 

How to Prevent Your Hot Tub’s Air from Escaping

Hot Tub at a Luxury Resort. Outdoor hot tub and sea view

It’s almost a given that an inflatable hot tub, at some point, will get a puncture mark. However, you can do a few things to minimize its risk and prevent needless holes.

Make Sure the Air Valve is Tight

When setting up your hot tub for the first time, or getting it out of storage, try to turn the air valve to tighten it with a wrench first. Sometimes the change of weather, or getting knocked while storing it away for the colder season, could twist it a little loose.

This check can prevent the tedious task of deflating and re-inflating the hot tub if there is a leak, which only takes a few extra seconds.

Check for Debris

One of the cons of having an inflatable hot tub is its soft vinyl exterior. This makes them prone to puncture holes or cuts in the lining that can lead to deflating or water leaking. 

When setting up the hot tub, you want to do a once-over on the area it will be placed on to ensure there are no rocks, sticks, or other debris that could puncture the bottom. Even the smallest pebble or twig could puncture through the lining once the weight of the water and people are put inside.

Use a Hot Tub Pad

Another precaution to protect the bottom of the hot tub is to lay down a hot tub pad (on Amazon) underneath. This could add another layer of protection in case you miss a pebble or stick. It also has the added benefit of keeping the heat in and lowering the heating bills of your hot tub.

Keep Pets and Sharp Objects Away from Your Tub

You also want to keep pets away from the hot tub, given their nature to jump up and place their paws on the edge or even jump into the water. Their claws will easily scratch the lining and could puncture a hole through it. 

Lastly, you want to keep all sharp objects away from the hot tub. Knives, eating utensils, scissors, or anything else that might have a sharp edge should be kept at a distance. You might even want to invest in plastic glasses to avoid accidental glass shattering if you drink in the hot tub.

One broken glass could slice right through that lining. Not to mention, shards of glass in water are invisible and dangerous. 

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