How to Repair An Inflatable Hot Tub Puncture
By Thomas O'Rourke
An air leak in an inflatable hot tub is a frustrating situation, but this step-by-step guide will teach you how to find the leak and patch it up, to make your outdoor spa functional again.
What To Do If Your Lay-Z Spa Hot Tub Keeps Deflating
Lay-Z Spas are among the most popular inflatable hot tubs in the UK. Made of high-quality materials and comprising state-of-the-art components, these outdoor spas are easy to install and maintain. But what should you do if your Lay-Z Spa hot tub keeps deflating?
According to the manufacturer, a Lay-Z Spa hot tub deflates for two reasons – either the air valve is loose, or the spa is torn or punctured.
If you just installed the hot tub, and it keeps deflating for no clear reason, check if the air valve is leaking by applying soapy water to the valve. If bubbles appear, the valve is loose and you will need to re-fasten it.
To fasten the valve, the first thing is to deflate the spa. Then, with one hand, grab the backside of the air valve from the inner side of the tub and, while holding it tight, turn the wrench clockwise until fastened. Inflate the tub and spray the soapy water on the valve to check if it’s still leaking.
If the hot tub is punctured, repair it with the provided repair patch. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions to perform this uncomplicated job. However, if you already used the patch and have to fix a second or third puncture, you can still repair your Lay-Z Spa – or any other inflatable tub – by following the steps below.
How to Repair An Inflatable Hot Tub Puncture
Step 1 – Identify the puncture
The hardest step in repairing an inflatable hot tub puncture is finding the rupture. A puncture can occur for a variety of reasons, including age, frequent usage, improper maintenance, or the pinch of the outer side with a sharp object.
This means a puncture can appear anywhere and more often than not, it’s a hassle identifying where the air is escaping.
In broad terms, the two most common places where leaks show in an inflatable hot tub are the heating assembly and the pump sealing.
In the heating assembly, leaks may occur near the union fittings because the air valve is loose, or they may result from a faulty air valve. In the former event, the problem is easy to fix by tightening the valve with your hands or with a wrench, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
However, we wouldn’t recommend repairing a faulty valve by yourself. Seek professional advice on whether to repair or replace the part.
Air leaks occur in the pump sealing due to age or usage; in this case, the sealing is easy to repair and it can even be replaced if needed. Again, professional advice can help if you’re unsure.
But a rupture can occur in any other place if it’s caused by a sharp object. And while repairing it is simple, identifying it is more time-consuming.
However, the process is simple. All you need is soapy water made with liquid soap or detergent and water. Pour the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake vigorously, and spray the mixture on the suspected area while the hot tub is inflated.
Soapy water will form bubbles where the air escapes, helping you pinpoint the puncture. At this stage, wipe away the mixture and mark the spot with a pen.
Step 2 – Repair the hot tub
The simplest ways to repair an inflatable hot tub is with silicone or with a hot tub repair kit.
Silicone is often a solution when homeowners don’t have an inflatable hot tub patch at hand. Fixing the tub with silicone is easy and inexpensive as most DIYers already have silicone in their tool-set. Just seal the puncture by applying transparent silicone over it, then let the silicone dry before inflating the hot tub.
We suggest using transparent silicone because is less visible on the inflated tub. Depending on the tub’s material, silicone might or mightn’t adhere and it can pop off while using the spa.
For a longer lasting result, we recommend using an inflatable spa hot tub repair kit such as Blu Line to fix the puncture.
Blu Line contains a tube of vinyl adhesive glue, a clear vinyl patch and an applicator for the adhesive: everything you need to fix the hot tub in a breeze. Of course, there are many similar kits on the market if Blu Line is not available in your area.
Proper cleaning of the surface with a degreaser is key to repairing the puncture with an inflatable hot tub repair kit because vinyl won’t adhere to greasy or oily surfaces. After cleaning, wipe the surface with a dry paper towel to dry it before proceeding.
With clean hands, cut a vinyl patch that covers the puncture and spread adhesive glue over it. Stick the patch to the affected area, press it with your fingertips to ensure a good adhesion, and leave it to dry for at least two hours.
For the best results, we suggest waiting for at least 24 to 36 hours before inflating the hot tub, to ensure that the patch is properly fixed.
Step 3 – Inflate the hot tub
Regardless of the method you use, the only way to tell whether the puncture has been fixed is by inflating the hot tub. At this stage, spray the soapy water over the patch and look for bubbles.
If they appear, air is still leaking. This could happen if the patch didn’t cover the whole puncture or if the glue or silicone didn’t adhere well. To fix this, repeat step two paying a little more attention to the process.
If there are no bubbles but the hot tub keeps deflating, inspect the whole surface again to detect any other punctures. Otherwise, call in a technician to inspect and repair the product. Enjoy your tub!