A leak in an inflatable hot tub can be a very frustrating problem, especially if you spent the last couple of hours prepping the hot tub only to find that it has this problem. But then at that point it isn’t about it having the leak, but the fact that you can’t locate it no matter how hard you look. Many leaks are undetectable, and can go on unnoticed for a long amount of time. This is a bigger issue with inflatable hot tubs more so than portable hot tubs, which may suffer from water leaks associated with different issues. But at least with a water leak you can see the general direction it is coming from. Much like air mattresses a leak can make the entire mattress completely useless. Thankfully finding and repairing leaks in a hot tub is not difficult, and even easier to fix. Many brands have a leak fix kit that shit with the hot tub system to aid you in situation just like this. So where exactly do you start when the problem arises?
Is there Any Leak?
Leaks aren’t just going to announce themselves when they happen, and sometimes mistakes can be made that lead to misinformation on whether a leak has even happened. Before you go off and call a repairman to fix something that may cost you a couple of hundred dollars, it is probably better to look at the situation step by step. Start by filling your hot tub up as usual, but paying attention to where the water level is. What you want is to see if that level will drop in about an hour if it is left unused. If you come back to your hot tub and noticed that the water level has dropped, then you have answered the first question about whether you have a leak. It’s important to do this with the short amount of time of 1-2 hours with the water unused. Using the water during this test could mean a guests splashed around the water outside, and if you let the water sit in the sun for a long while then natural evaporation will occur.
How to Find the Leak?
If the water has dropped, look around the hot tub area to see where it went. The easier part of this test is that if you notice an area that is wet around the tub then you have a general direction of where to start investigating. How big the wet area is will let you know how big the actual hole or rip is for the hot tub. A nice cheap way to determine where the leak is coming from if you can’t figure it out is by filling the hot tub again with water and this time adding a dark food color.
The food coloring will move to wherever the leak is coming from in the tub, giving you a perfect view of the culprit without having to do anymore guessing work. If it turns out that you can detect the leak but can’t fix it yourself, this still helps you out since the technician won’t charge you extra for finding the leak. Skilled technicians can easily charge up to $100 to find a leak for you, and all of that money goes toward the actual discovery rather than the fix itself.
Two areas where the hot tub can have a leak other than the interior and exterior is in the pump sealing or the heating assembly. These type of leaks are more common in inflatable hot tubs thanks to their all in one systems. The pump sealing deteriorates over time due to heavy usage but is an easy DIY fix for the skilled consumer. Catching this early is the key, as damage that is left unchecked in this area can render the pump unusable. When this happens it is bye bye pump and hello new pump, all out of pocket. Pumps can sometimes be as expensive as the inflatable hot tub itself, so use caution when maintaining the pump of a system.
The heating assembly is like the pump sealing in that it causes more damage when it is left unchecked. Leaking in this area is really bad, but can also be repaired by the customer. Because each brand is different, access to the area that the leak is occurring in the heating assembly may be limited. This will lead to some creative pulls in order to get the job done, but ultimately most difficult heating assembly problems will without a doubt end up with a call to the technician.
When to Call a Technician?
If you don’t know what you’re doing, then call a technician. It really is that simple, since tinkering with a hot tubs parts without knowing what they do can lead to more damage that goes beyond the technician’s expertise. Since Inflatable hot tubs are generally low in price, you should do an assessment on whether you even want to call a technician in the first place.
Hot tub makers are very good at giving you everything you need in the box from hole patching kits, general maintenance tips, and even a customer support contact line that can really help out in a pinch. The best offense against leaks is a good defense, starting out with a great warranty, knowledge obtained by the manual and great maintenance techniques. If all of that fails and you still need to call a technician, just make sure that the rate doesn’t cost you more than the hot tub itself.
Inflatable hot tubs will spring a leak if you don’t take care of them, a mantra that speaks about all inflatable products. Customers don’t have to babysit their products, but they do have to practice sound judgement when they are in use. Inflatable hot tubs aren’t going to automatically get leaks if they are being maintained well, just like a bike tire or car tire won’t. Throw away the technicians number if possible, and just enjoy your new purchase.