Among all the dos and don’ts about inflatable hot tubs, the most frequently asked question raised by users is, “Can you use inflatable hot tub in winter?” And our answer is YES! you can. With proper insulation and water heating system, you can enjoy your inflatable hot tub even in winter.
Obviously you have always heard that you should not use an inflatable hot tub in winter; how badly the freezing cold can damage the pump of the tub. Yet, here we are to show you how to use inflatable hot tub in winter in two steps. Does it work? Yes, it does. However, let us warn you it will be a great deal of work to make it happen.
So if you want to feel the hot, warm soothing water playing around you in a cold snowy day, read on the article. We assure you, you won’t regret it.
Can You Leave Inflatable Hot Tub Out in Winter? : The Cold Issues About Inflatable Hot Tub
Before moving on to the technical solution of the issue, at first let us explain why people say you shouldn’t use inflatable hot tub in winter. Moreover, many manufacturers explicitly mention in their instructions that the unit is not to be used when the temperature is under 40’ Fahrenheit.
Why? Because most of the models of inflatable hot tub available in the market are not designed to work in winter. They lack behind in two areas.
Poor Insulation Properties of Inflatable Hot Tub
Most of the inflatable hot tubs available in the market are using a triple layer of Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC. In addition to the internal structure, these layers provide good support to hold the weight of hundreds of gallons of hot waters and the people relaxing in the tub.
But, they are not strong enough to keep the water warm, while fighting the freezing cold. You need a hot tub that comes with much thicker skin to insulate the hot tub properly.
Integrated Heater Blower System:
Let us ask you a simple question. What do you want your inflatable hot tub to do in winter? Well, what a stupid question, you are thinking. Obviously, you want it to flow hot warm water in the tub!
That means you need water continuously flowing through the motor system of your tub while remaining hot. That should not be a problem in summer, but in winter it won’t work.
Under freezing or subfreezing temperature, as soon as, you will remove the inflatable hot tub cover, the water will start to cool down radically. Now, you will need to run the heater to warm up the water while having the blower working at the same time.
Unfortunately, most of the available models in the market do not have this option. You can’t run the heater and the blower simultaneously. That leaves your inflatable hot tub ineffective in a cold winter.
Luckily there are few new generation inflatable hot tubs that have overcome these lacking of the conventional one. If you already have one of these models, share with us your experience of using it in the comment section.
We would love to hear it from you. We are going to publish a review article on those models very soon.
Till then you can try out the following way to have your inflatable tub in full form.
Can You Use Inflatable Hot Tub in Winter? : Yes, You Can.
At this point of this write-up, you already know what to do to keep your inflatable hot tub working even in the freezing cold. Yes, you are right.
To survive in the freezing cold you need to have good insulation properties and separate heater and bubble massage system in your hot tub.
How To Insulate a Hot Tub for Winter? : Insulating the Hot Tub Properly
Whether you have the conventional one or the new generation one, you need to provide some extra insulation support for your hot tub in the winter.
1. Find out the radius of your hot tub from the manufacturer’s manuals or calculate it by dividing the widest distance between the two opposite edges of the tub by 2.
2. Get some 1 inch Expanded Polystyrene Foam Sheets (EPS). As EPS sheets come in square shape, you may need a few of them to cover the circular base of the tub. The size of the tub will determine how many EPS board you will require.
3. Arrange the sheets properly to make a full circle base for your tubs. Press a nail into the board and tie a string a little larger than the radius of the tub to the nail.
4. Attach a razor knife to the other end of the string and by moving the knife around the nail keeping the string straight and tight, cut the EPS board into a nice circle.
5. You may need duct tape to attach the cut slices to each other.
6. Slip the EPS base under your tub.
7. Place your hot tub insulated ground hot mat over the EPS base.
8. Use some of EPS to cover the hot tub heater unit too.
9. You can make a wooden frame to hold the EPS boards in place around the heater unit.
10. Build a simple screen around and over your hot to prevent wind directly blowing onto or across your hot tub. In addition, it will give you some privacy.
That’s it. You have ensured the proper insulation for your hot tub.
It seems pretty much work to do, isn’t it? Trust us, this simple job will reduce the heating cost allowing your heater motor to work without any extra load while maintaining the water temperature at 104F!
Click here for a video tutorial on how to insulate your hot tub in winter properly.
How to Keep Inflatable Hot Tub Warm in Winter? : Building a Separate Water Heating and Blowing System
You need to go for this if you are using those conventional inflatable hot tubs which have all in one heater blower system. Here, we are going to show you how to build a separate water heater and pump system.
Caution: This segment requires some wiring to do. Besides, as it is not recommended by the manufacturers, you have to follow this hack at your own risk. So if you are not comfortable with wiring you can seek professional help or you can abort the project right here.
What Will You Need?
1. Portable Propane Water Heater (Tankless):
As you can’t use a heater and blower of your tub at a time. You will need to create a secondary water heater system for your hot tub. We suggest using a portable propane water heater as an alternative to the electric water heater of the inflatable hot tub.
2. A Propane Tank
To provide energy supply to your propane water heater, you will need a propane tank. A 20 gal propane tank will be sufficient enough for the tanker.
3. A Water Pump
It will circulate your tub water through the propane water heater pulling the hot water and pushing hot water in the tub.
4. Two Hose Pipe
You will need approximately 20 feet of hose pipe of ½” internal diameter. Your spare garden hose can serve the purpose, though you may need an adapter to the garden hose to the pump.
5. A 12v AC Adapter
You will need this to power your water pump through a regular AC outlet.
6. 12v DC Timer/Switch
It will allow you to wire the connection between the pump and the AC adapter. If you do not have wiring skills we suggest you seek professional help for this portion of the project.
7. Propane Tank Cover
This one is optional. You can look for a propane tank cover if you want the system to look neat and clean.
How to Build a Heater for Hot Tub? : DIY Propane Hot Tub Heater
1. Place the propane tank beside the hot tub and plug the hose to a portable propane water heater.
2. Attach the pump to the water heater.
3. Attach one hose pipe to the pump and place the rest of it in the tub.
4. Attach the other hosepipe to the water heater placing the rest of it in the tub too.
5. Now, use the 12v Switch to make a connection between the pump and the adapter.
6. At last, connect the 12v switch to the AC adapter to power up the pump by plug-in adapter.
7. Cover the propane tank using the tank cover.
Note: You can attach the propane water heater to the exterior of the propane tank cover.
Click here to watch another video tutorial on how to build a propane water heater system.
1. Don’t forget to drain the system when the hot tub is not in use and the weather is freezing cold. The remaining water in the pump will get freeze under 40 F and could damage the heater system.
2. Again if you are not familiar with basic wiring and plumbing, seek professional help or abort the project.
Benefits of Using this System:
1. Now, you can use the bubble mechanism and the heater simultaneously.
2. Based on the price of Propane and electricity in your area, you may find this system much energy-efficient, cost-saving and faster than the convention.
Caution: This system is susceptible to the same issue when the temperature is below-freezing cold. So, keep a watch on the temperature after starting to use it. If the temperature gets below freezing shut the system down until the weather improves.
Here you are, all ready to enjoy your inflatable hot tub to it’s fullest this winter. Now, whenever anyone will ask you, Can you use your inflatable hot tub in winter?”. You definitely can answer, “Yes, I can.”
Be careful while building the water heater system. How did you find our article? Please leave your feedback in our comment section. We really appreciate your valuable feedback.