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How to locate air leaks in an Inflatable Spa

Posted by Peter Nay on


There is nothing as painful as preparing to soak in and have a good time and realizing your inflatable spa leaks. At that moment, the problem would be how to find the leak. If the hole is too big, it can be easily spotted merely by looking around, but so many times, such leaks are mostly undetectable and, if not fixed on time, can cause the leak to grow wider and become harder to repair.

Thankfully locating and fixing leaks in an inflatable spa is not difficult and even easier to repair. Many inflatable spa brands have a leak repair kit that comes with the spa system to assist you in situations like this. So, where do you start from when faced with such leakage problems?

To fix a leak in your inflatable spa, you would not necessarily need any particular types of equipment or professional technicians, only a few essential items like a spray bottle, water, soap, vinyl pool patch, and paper towels. In this article, we would outline two different methods of locating leaks in an inflatable spa.

Common causes of leaks in an inflatable spa

The four significant reasons an inflatable spa may develop leaking faults are,

  • Age
  • Lack of Proper Maintenance
  • Sharp objects
  • Frequent use

Age: Nothing lasts forever. Suppose your inflatable spa is old and has been used for a long time, leaks' tendency increases.

Lack of Maintenance: Proper maintenance is a sure way of making your inflatable spa last longer. Follow the manufacturer's instruction manual on how best to manage and maintain your spa. If your inflatable spa is well-managed, the risk of leaks happening gets drastically reduced.

Sharp Objects: Pay strict attention to objects entering or surrounding your inflatable spa. Like any other inflatable product, items with sharp edges can rupture them.

Frequent Use: Constant use of the inflatable spa can cause leaks, especially if it is old and not well-maintained.

How to locate air leak in an inflatable spa

There are two methods of finding a leak in an inflatable spa; with these methods, you don't need the help of any technician. The two ways are listed below with a step by step guide:

Method one: finding an air leak with a spray bottle

Sometimes you may have an idea of where an air leak is coming from, or it may be visible. To check for air leakage in an inflatable spa with this method, you would need five items, namely,

  • A Spray Bottle
  • Vinyl Pool Patch
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Paper Towel
  1. Firstly, use the water and soap to make a bubbly soap-based solution, fill the spray bottle with the mixture and shake very well.
  2. Locate the area you think the leak is coming from and spray it with the soap and water mix. If you notice bubbles, then that is where the leak is coming from.
  3. Try to mark-out the leak area already found; you can use a non-permanent marker.
  4. Remove the trapped air from the leak.
  5. Apply a patch to the leaking section.
  6. Make use of the paper towel to wipe and dry the affected area so that the patch can work properly.

How to use the vinyl patch

Most times, manufactures of the vinyl patch have their different instructions on how to use the patch. Below is the most common way of applying the patch to a leak in an inflatable spa.

  • After you have found the leak, add adhesive to the inflatable spa's front and back before applying the patch.
  • The patch should be left alone for 2 to 3 hours without soaking with water.
  • When dry, spray the problem area and check for bubbles. If there are no visible bubbles, the air leak has been correctly fixed, but you would have to repeat the process if there are bubbles.

Method two: finding leaks using water-level

Often, a leak may be too small to be seen with the naked eyes; this method is a simple and easy way to find tiny leaks in an inflatable spa, firstly,

  • Fill the inflatable spa with clean water.
  • Mark the current water level in the spa.
  • Leave the inflatable spa unused for one to two hours.
  • Go back and check the present water level and see it has reduced.
  • If the water level has dropped, look around to see where the water drained out from. The water spilled quantity will help show if the leak is a small rip or an actual hole.
  • Empty the inflatable spa and make use of the spray bottle method in method one to fix the leak

You can also add a liquid dark food coloring to the water; the food coloring will move towards the leak and give a perfect view of where the leak is coming from.

What if the leak is not a puncture?

Two other areas an inflatable spa can have a leak problem asides the exterior and interior is the

  • Pump Sealing, and
  • Heating assembly, these types of leak faults are pretty common in inflatable spas due to their all-in-one systems.

The pump sealing slowly deteriorates over time due to frequent use, but it is still a simple do-it-yourself fix for a skilled user. Catching the leakage problem early on is the key to added functionality because if left unchecked for an extended period, the pump can become unusable.

In this case, the pump may have to get replaced, which is most times expensive. So the pump system of an inflatable spa must be handled with caution and properly maintained.

The heating assembly damage, like the pump sealing, is caused by age and improper maintenance. Leaks from the heating assembly are mostly not so bad, and depending on severity, can be fixed by oneself or a technician may be hired. Because inflatable spa brands differ, gaining access to the area within the heating assembly that is leaking may be limited.

Valves and Union fittings are two typical sections that have leakage faults within the heating assembly. You can call a technician to determine if it can be fixed or the valve would have to be replaced for valves issues. 

For fitting problems, usually, the problem is that they are not screwed on tight enough, and that is why it leaks; you can quickly tighten it with a wrench, but it must be done carefully so as not to damage the heater.

When to call a professional spa technician? 

If you are not entirely sure of what you are doing or understand an inflatable spa's workings, kindly call a technician. It is that simple, since tampering and tinkering with an inflatable spa’s parts without knowledge of their function can lead to more extreme damage and cost way more than what it would have cost you to make the initial repairs.

Since inflatable spas are mostly low priced, you should consider if repairing in the first place would be a smart choice.

Most Inflatable spa brands give direction manuals, hole patching kits, and maintenance tips; you should also try to contact the customer support division of the manufacturer if you have further queries. The surest way to avoid shelling out extra cash for repairs is to properly use and manage your inflatable spa.

Wrapping up

If not well taken care of, inflatable spas will sooner than later spring a leak, which is also true for any inflatable product. If you notice an air leak in your inflatable spa, you should find and fix it as soon as possible before it becomes more severe.

In most cases, the issues are simple do-it-yourself processes, but if you are not skilled enough to handle the repair, please hire a professional spa technician.