woman wearing white bathing suit in hottub

Outdoor Portable Hot Tub Ultimate Guide For The Best Winter Fun 2022: Everything You Need To Know In Selecting, Using And Maintenance

What Is A Portable Hottub And Where Is It Used?

A portable hottub is actually the same thing as a usual hottub with one difference: it can be installed anywhere – in your garden or even house. It consists of a portable blowup swimming pool and the massage or a bubble-generating unit. Before we plunge into reviewing and comparing the best hottubs, let’s find out what are the peculiarities of portable models.

  • In-Ground

Such tubs are usually built adjacent to swimming pools and require a lot of work. They are very expensive but can be customized as the user wants. Besides, such tubs are costly in maintenance and operation. Alternatively, people install a concrete hot tub.

  • Molded Hottubs

Such hottubs are good for hydrotherapy when you cannot afford an ultra-expensive SPA module. Although they are not as lightweight as inflated variants, they are quite durable and not very expensive. Such tubs are easy to mode to some certain spot and install. Molded hot tubs are not very aesthetic, but they tend to last long and provide all basic functions for a fraction of cost.

  • Inflated Hottubs

An outdoor portable hottub works like a blowup swimming pool: it can be placed wherever you need, and perform pretty much the same things: massage, warming, aeration, SPA. Such models are cheaper, more lightweight. It might lack some things like music, drink holder, or vibration, but generally, this is a great alternative to stationary units.

  • Swim & Exercise Spa

This is one of the most expensive options. Such tubs are usually built into a deck or a special room with a lot of space. SPA hottubs are bulky and need some foundation to be placed on. Due to their large sizes, they can be used for exercise and SPA procedures. Swim hottubs are not only more expensive by themselves – but they also require a lot of electric energy to keep up the temperature and perform all of their functions.

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How To Make A Perfect Purchase?

How to buy portable hottub that will totally live up to your expectations? There are a few aspects to take into consideration.

  • Size & Capacity

How many people are you going to accommodate in your hottub? While small models can place 3-4 people, larger ones are enough for a company of 6 people. Want to throw a hottub party? Then consider a model with sizing up.

  • Auto Timer Function Availability

If you don’t want to be distracted by setting up a proper temperature, switching the unit on and off, order a hottub with a timer. It will switch the unit off automatically after a certain period of time, or as soon as certain water temperature is reached. This is a great function for sustaining water temperature and saving electricity.

  • Speed Of Heating & Energy Usage

As a rule, the speed of heating depends on the power of a hottub. The more expensive and advanced model you buy, the higher it is. Compare the input and output power in units to find the most cost-efficient one. Note that it may take 12-24 hours for your hottub to heat water to the desired level.

  • Set Up Simplicity

The vast majority of blowup hottubs are very easy in installation and set up: you just put the insulation layer on the floor, then place the unit and inflate it adding water afterward. It can be done by any user following instructions. When it comes to molded portable hottubs, things are way more difficult: the unit should either fit in the doors or be installed somewhere outside near the source of electricity and water. That makes things a bit more complicated, not mentioning a heavy weight of ceramic and plastic constructions.

How To Set Up An Inflatable Hot Tub?

Say, you’ve bought an Intex 4 person portable hottub: in your hands, you have a large bunch of something that should be turned into a swimming pool. What to start with? Let’s figure it out step by step.

  1. Read the manual. That will save you hours of manual labor and frustration, or maybe the entire hottub. Check the list of spare parts and pieces carefully, look in the box and find them. Make sure that every little detail is included – if not, contact the manufacturer and ask to send it to you.  If you don’t have a manual, most likely, you can find it in Google or manufacturer’s website. Some models come with DVDs explaining the installation process (YouTube is full of instructions, too).
  2. Select the spot for installation. This should be a flat, even surface without any sharp objects that can damage the walls of your blowup hottub or cause inconvenience. That should be a place with access to electricity and water (both indoors or in your backyard/porch). Avoid using an extension cable because it creates the risk of fire. If you are unsure you can organize optimal water supply, call an electrician.
  3. Mind the hottub’s filled weight. If you want to install a hottub outdoors, or in a deck, make sure that it’s strong enough to support the weight of the hottub with users and water altogether (even a small portable 2 person hottub can weigh more than 2,000 pounds). In case of any doubts, contact a specialist. It’s recommended to put a hottub on the ground floor so that it wouldn’t cause structural damage.
  4. Electric safety is a priority. Make sure that a hottub isn’t located near sockets because water spills can cause a short circuit.
  5. Think of a windbreak. If you place your hottub outside, think about how to protect your company against the wind. It might be installed near bushes, a hedge, or a wall. A windbreak will reduce the rate at which water cools down, which will also save you money.
  6. Inflate the tub then move it to its place. Choose an open space to inflate the unit without any obstructions, then carry it to its spot. This way, you will have enough space to attach all connectors and pipes without any inconvenience. Although an inflated hottub isn’t heavy, you will need help: someone should carry the motor unit.
    When you inflate the hottub, don’t overdo. First, it might put strain on seams and either weaken them or rip. Many inexperienced users make this mistake and end up blaming manufacturers for “low-quality materials�?. Secondly, if the walls get too rigid, they can distort under the pressure of water inside.
    Do not overfill the hottub – it can also cause problems with water temperature, massage system, and leaking.
  7. Add the chemicals for keeping water clean. It can be any chemical floater or sanitizer you prefer (bromine and chlorine are the top choice for users). Keep water sanitized – it will not only prolong its life but eliminate the need to replace it frequently and re-heat.
  8. Plug in the heating unit. Now when the hottub is installed, and the water is inside, you can switch the hottub on and wait until the water heats up. It can take from 12 to 24 hours – everything depends on the power of a heating unit.

If you follow all portable hot tub steps for installation correctly, the unit should work continuously without leaking and problems with electricity.

How And How Often Should I Disinfect And Chlorine Water?

Ideally, you should add a sanitizer or a disinfecting agent every time you add fresh water to the tub. While a hot tub is being used, you should check the sanitizer levels and add some when it gets low (special testers will help you with that). This should be a part of your weekly hot tub maintenance.

Can You Use A Portable Hot Tub Inside?

Theoretically, any portable hottub can be installed indoors. But keep in mind that you will need to find a source of water to fill in the pool. It’s not recommended to place a hot tub on upper floors – it can have a negative impact on the house structure and even cause cracks and deformations.
Besides, when a tub is placed indoors, the user should always mind the electric safety and keep the unit away from open sockets and wires.

Will It Survive If Stored Outdoors In A Northern Winter?

It depends on the model of a unit. While molded hot tubs made of ceramics or composite materials can last long and easily survive through low temperatures, the same cannot be said about blowup models. If you have a temperature under 20 °F during winter and don’t plan to use your inflated hot tub outside, it’s better to store it indoors. The PVP walls can freeze all through and get easily damaged because of any shock.

How Loud Is The Pump?

It also depends on the model of a hottub. As a rule, the noise level is up to 50 dB. Molded models with pump hidden inside can operate more silently than their inflated counterparts.

Can It Be Used In Near Freezing Outdoor Temperatures?

Theoretically, any hot tub can be used during winter time and with freezing temperatures. However, exterior cold can impact the temperature of the water. If the heating system is too weak, it won’t be enough to sustain an optimal temperature level. Therefore, using a cheap blowup hot tub with a primitive heating unit can be a bad idea.

How Long Does It Take To Set Up?

If you have experience with hot tub installation and follow the instruction step by step, the setup process might take about two hours. During this time, you will prepare the spot, inflate the pool, and organize all connections.

When Is It Best To Change Your Hot Tub Water?

In fact, water can be changed once in 3-4 months for as long as you keep it sanitized and clean. Chemicals will eliminate bacteria and refresh the water. If you sense a bad smell, or the water looks dirty, it’s definitely time to change it and check out the filter – it might be the time to change or clean it.
How to reuse and clean portable hot tub filters? You can place them in water with bleach and anti-scum chemicals. Leave for a few hours and clean them manually using a brush. Make sure that dirt, scum, and rust are removed totally.

How To Setup My Inflatable Hot Tub?

The detailed instruction is provided in the previous section – it will guide you through the process step by step.

How Often Do I Need To Change The Filters?

Actually, it depends on the type of filter and water softness. As a rule, routine cleaning can be done once a week, and thorough cleaning – once in three months. Cleaning of the filter includes the removal of dirt and debris, body oils, bacteria, and other residues.

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