You may start to notice that your inflatable hot tub seems a bit squishy or soft as you get in. The next day you notice that it is quite a bit softer and the water is close to spilling over the top. You may have a leak in your inflatable hot tub.
Sounds pretty simple, but if you do have a leak and can’t find it, you’ll quickly understand how frustrating it can become. So where should you begin to look for a leak in your inflatable hot tub? The first thing to do is get some soapy water and start spraying section by section.
Where To Start
Listen! Can you hear any hissing sound when you put your ear on the side of the tub? Sometimes you may get lucky and find an obvious leak just by listening. If you can’t hear any hissing noise, then start feeling the surface for any puncture points or anomalies that may be the cause of the leak.
Pay attention first to any areas that come into contact with the ground or with use, like where you get in and out. Next check the seams because they take most of the constant stress, so to start by checking the seams first. Fill an empty spray bottle with water and a few drops of dish soap, shake the mixture making sure you have a moderately soapy consistency.
Get Out The Spray Bottle
Now that you’ve got your spray bottle of soapy water begin systematically, section by section, spraying the seams. Get enough of the soapy water on the surface to visibly see any new bubbles forming from the air inside the tub. When you see little or even big air bubbles forming on the surface, bingo! You have found your leak, at least the first one.
If you don’t find any leaks on the seams, then it is time to go surface area to surface area, again do this systematically because it is easy to miss a leak especially if it is the size of a little pin hole. If no hole is found on any of the top and visible surfaces, the leak may be underneath the spa. In this case, you will have to drain the spa and flip it over, but at least you have eliminated any possible leaks and fixes the easiest way first.
Just remember, leaks can happen from the tiniest pebble, thorn or just from expansion and contraction as your spa has sat in the sun all summer and may have even survived a winter. Keep all the possibilities open as to where the leak may be. Don’t forget to check around the around the plugs too.
This is where it will not save you any money or time to cut corners on a cheap fix. Don’t get an indoor inflatable air mattress or inflatable toy patch kit, it just won’t work, at least not in the long run, if at all. Make sure you get a patch that is recommended for outdoor inflatable equipment or use the kit that may have come with your hot tub originally if you still know where that is.
Once you have the repair kit and of course have found the leak, make sure to prep it according to the manufactures recommendations. Some may suggest rubbing alcohol or acetone, the preparation is critical so don’t rush or cut corners at this stage. Most will recommend roughing up the surface too, clean the surface, sand it, and clean it again to remove any loose material.
A tip here is to make sure your tub is inflated enough to be firm, in other words, you don’t want the surface to be squishy, it will just make it difficult to work with the patch and easier to make sure you got a good seal too.
Now here is the hard part, waiting. But make sure you don’t keep disturbing the area, let it sit and cure for the suggested amount of time before testing it. After 12 or 24 hours, get out the spray bottle again, making sure it is fully, but not over inflated and spray the area. If no bubbles appear, congratulations you have successfully fixed your leak, at least that one.
If not, don’t be discouraged. Especially if you are repairing a seam, you have to take extra steps to ensure the seam is closed since the leak can be under the seam and will travel along the seam until it leaks at the end of the patch. There are a few great videos you can watch on those who have done the same patching you are, it helps to know you are not in this alone.