How to detect a leak in an inflatable hot tub

There is nothing worse than an inflatable hot tub that is leaking. 

majority of leaks are air leaks

Now, the majority of leaks are air leaks and are quite minor, to begin with. They will not cause you too many issues. Eventually though, if not treated correctly, they can develop into a rather big problem which will be nigh on impossible to repair properly.

Basically, if you believe your hot tub is leaking then you are going to need to go searching for that leak as soon as you can, and of course, deal with it as soon as you can.

Sadly, not everything is infallible. From time to time you may find that the air starts to escape that inflatable hot tub incredibly quickly, or even quite slowly.

If you find that the air is leaving the hot tub faster than it normally does then you need to go hunting for that leak.

torn hot tub

Now, many people seem to be of the impression that they need all sorts of specialist equipment to find a leak in their hot tub. You don’t. In fact, all you need is a small amount of water, some sort of liquid soap, and a spray bottle.

Now, many people seem to be of the impression that they need all sorts of specialist equipment to find a leak in their hot tubMix up your water and a couple of squirts of the soap in your spray bottle. Make sure the soap is well-dissolved in the water otherwise it will not be effective.

Now, with your spray bottle, you are going to want to spray around that blow up hot tub. You will want to aim for the locations where you believe a leak may be occurring.

spray the hot tub

If the soap starts to bubble up on the surface then there is air being forced into it. This means you have a leak. To look for locations to ‘spray’ you will want to search for small black marks on the surface of the hot tub. Not all of these marks will be leaks though. In fact, very few of them are.

However, you are going to look for these inconsistencies in order to deal with any damage to the surface of the hot tub.

I suggest that you look for leaks in your hot tub every time you inflate it. This is because, as I said, the earlier the damage is spotted in the tub the easier it is going to be to deal with. If you leave it too long then you will find that it is nigh on impossible to deal with the problem.

Most small leaks can be patched up quite quickly using the right tools. They will not destroy the aesthetic appearance of your unit in the slightest. A small leak is prone to getting bigger; particularly if there is a lot of weight being placed into the hot tub at once.

How To Determine The Cause of Leaks In Inflatable Hot Tubs

If I had to narrow it down to 4 reasons why inflatable hot tubs develop leaks, they would be

  • Age
  • Frequency of usage
  • Improper management
  • Pinch of the outer part of the tub via a sharp object

Just like humans, we cannot be as active as our younger years compared with our old age, thus, a hot tub also declines in performance with age. Also, if there is an increase in the frequency of usage, the tub will most likely feel the effect the most.

Maintenance is very important when it comes to having a properly functioning hot tub. Thus, if the tub lacks maintenance, there is a high probability of leaks occurring.

If a sharp object should pinch the outer part of an inflatable hot tub, leaks will occur. A leak can either be large or small depending on the cause of the leak.

Common Hot Tub Parts Where Leaks Occur

2 most common places where leaks occur in an inflatable hot tub are;

  • Pump sealing and
  • The heating assembly

Leaks occur in the pump sealing with usage and age of the tub. If you discover that the pump sealing is where the leaks occur, then, it is either the pump sealing is repaired or replaced.

The option of the replacement or repair depends on what the professional recommends. My point is call in a professional if the cause of the leak is the pump sealing.

Similarly, leaks occur in the heating assembly with usage and age of the tub.

2 of the most common places where leaks occur in the heating assembly will be;

  • The valves and
  • The union fittings

As with the pump sealing, call in the service of a professional if you find out that the valves are the cause of the leaks. This professional will also advise you on whether you should repair or change the valves.

As regards the union fittings, most likely the fittings might just have become loose, so all you have to do is tighten the fittings back with your hands. It is not advisable to use a wrench for this, this is because using a wrench can cause damage to the heater.

How To Be Sure That There Is A Leak

There are 2 methods to accomplish this without involving the help of any professional;

Method 1

This involves 3 steps. They are;

  • Fill the tub with water and mark the level of the water
  • Do not use the tub for at least one hour, then; check your marker to see if there is a drop or not.
  • The level of the drop corresponds to how high or low the level of a leak is

Method 2

To use this method, you will the following 5 materials;

Water, Vinyl Pool Patch, Spray Bottles, Soap and Paper Towel

Once you have these materials, here are the steps you should follow;

  • Fill the spray bottle with water and soap, then, shake vigorously. This is important in order to have a very good mix.
  • Spray the suspected area with the mixture you have created. This is to see if there will be an appearance of any bubble. If there is a bubble, it implies that the leak is confirmed.
  • Mark this area where the leak is
  • Allow air to completely get out of that portion of the tub where there is the leak.
  • Apply a patch to the affected area
  • Use the paper towel to dry the area. This is to ensure that the patch fixes properly

How To Use The Patch

Each manufacturer has specific instructions on how to use their brand of patch. However, 4 of the most the common instructions are;

  • Add adhesive to the back of the patch and stick the patch to the affected area.
  • Leave the patch for at least 2 to 3 hours before adding water
  • Add water
  • Lastly, spray the area again to observe if there is going to be a bubble or not. if there are no bubbles, then, the leak has been properly fixed. If otherwise, then you either repeat the process or call for professional help.

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  1. I have alrady tried both of these methods and they do not work and the guarantee expired over a year ago now, what can i do?

  2. is there eney dye that you can put in when inflateing the hot tub so that you can see where the air is leaking from

    • Use soapy water and watch for bubbles.

  3. Tub is blown up after a few days it goes down slightly .but won’t blow up using electric pump to blow it up .whats wrong .

  4. I have had my Spa barely 1 month & now it is leaking air! Have used it apx 10 times!
    The other thing I am not happy with is the fact that it loses heat very very fast!

  5. Hey how are you I but air in the hot tub the air keep on coming out I have a E90

  6. I have had my purespa tub for around 4-5years. My 2 kids (11&5) use it almost daily through the summer as a play pool with there friends.
    They walk around the edge and jump in, run up and jump into it.
    Maybe I’m lucky but this is the first time it’s started to go down and it is my own fault for leaving it out empty one night and it caught of a fence.
    Patched it up with standard latch and the rubber glue and it is holding air fine.
    Kids haven’t tried it as a spring board yet though

  7. I have a small puncture close to the seem on my paris hot rub.. Can this be repaired by a patch

    • Hi! Sure! In fact, there are even underwater patches available you can use for underwater punctures. 😉

  8. My friend has water leak in intex hot tub. Would “fix a leak” work to plug it? It seems good for pools and larger hot tubs.

  9. My Intex has leaked air from day one. I have had it for 5 days. Can’t find the leak using a spray bottle.

  10. Have Intex hot tub with slow water leak after one year of use. Live in central Texas and exposure temps range from 30 to 110 degrees with direct sun exposure at times. Can’t find leak as it seems to be a slow seepage. Taped entire bottom seal with flex seal tape but still leaking. No water in walls. Sits on concrete pad. I guess my question is, has the excessive expansion and contraction due to outside temperatures caused the seals to fail and it’s time for a new hot tub? I am considering putting the next one in my garage to shield it from the sun as well as provide a more consistent temperature. Good idea? Thanks

    • Hey Sherrie! I don’t think the sun would deteriorate the material that quickly, especially underwater. Regarding the Garage, it’s a good idea – but keep an eye on managing the moisture. Warm and humid air = mold, without proper air circulation that is. Basically, make sure the garage is ventilated and not closed off completely.

  11. I found my Coleman leaks around the jet. Should I just surround the area with a glue or can it be removed and repaired?

  12. I bought an mspa last April it’s been used about 20-30 times we pumped it up last week and filled it with water. It takes 2 days to heat properly once heated it went down. It sounds like its leaking around the pump area some where we cant get to too see properly. How do you find a local expert in hot tub repairs

    • Hey Gareth! Does it leak water? Is the pump connected just fine? It may very well just be leaking from the connections between the hot tub and the pump.

  13. I live near Blackwood gwent

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