Before you read these instructions on how to set up an inflatable hot tub, I wanted to let you know that these instructions are general instructions. You should consult your owner’s manual to see how to setup your portable hot tub for the first time because each product is different and has different setup/installation procedures. What I will say is that these instructions are applicable to the more popular inflatable hot tubs such as the Intex inflatable hot tub and the Coleman inflatable hot tub. The Intex Pure Spa installation instructions and the Coleman Lay Z Spa set up instructions have nuances that are product specific, though. So we still recommend that you skim over their owner’s manual for at least your first setup.

We’ve setup many blow up hot tubs. There was a learning curve in the beginning. But through trial and error, we have improved our setup process to be as efficient as possible. We want to share this process with you so that you can shorten your own learning curve and set up your own portable spa as smoothly as possible.

Hot tub Setup Guide

inflatable hot tub with seats

1. Decide where you want to set up your inflatable spa.

Picking out the right area to set up your blow up spa is important so do it right the first time. Trust me, it isn’t fun to have to drain and relocate your inflatable tub after it has already been set up, so think it out ahead of time. Pick out a piece of ground that is large enough to comfortably contain your jacuzzi. Leave yourself an additional foot on each side of the walls, and an additional 3-feet for the pump unit. For example, if your tub is a typical 73-inch diameter, we suggest you pick out a piece of land that is at least (73 + 12 + 12 = 97) 97×97 inches with an additional 36×36-inch area in the corner that the pump will be located. You want the ground to be free of rocks and debris that could tear or puncture the material. The land should be flat and level so that water weight is evenly distributed. It is ok to set up your spa on a deck as long as the deck is rated for the weight. Another thing you will have to consider is proximity to a plug. It takes a lot of electricity to power an inflatable jacuzzi. You don’t want to have to rely on an extension cord if you don’t have to because using an extension cord that isn’t rated high enough can result in voltage drop and damage your electrical components.

2. Prepare the area.

Remove any loose debris and sharp objects that could damage or put additional stress on your tub. If your spa comes with a ground mat or you purchased one on your own, lay it down with the pips facing down. Spread out your deflated tub cistern on top of the mat with the air valves aiming towards the area that you are going to keep the pump.

3. Set up the pump.

If you purchased a Bestway or a Coleman Lazy Spa, the pump unit comes preassembled, so there shouldn’t be any need to put anything together. But if you purchased a portable jacuzzi that requires the pump to be assembled, put it together and plug it into a suitable 110-volt outlet.

4. Inflate your tub.

Connect the inflation tube to the pump’s air outlet and then connect the other side to the tub’s inflation valve. Turn on your pump. If your pump has a reset button, press it to reset your pump. If your pump has a voltage test feature, run the test to make sure your pump is hooked up correctly to the necessary electrical source. When the air tubes are properly hooked up and the pump is running correctly, you can inflate your portable hot tub by pressing the button with bubbles on it. The same duct is used to power the bubble massage air jets as to inflate the cistern. To inflate the tub reservoir, you are just rerouting air that would normally go into the bubble massage air ducts into the inflation valve. Once your blow up jacuzzi is fully inflated, press the button again to stop the flow of air. Detach the air hose from the tub and make sure that the tub’s inflation valve is closed tightly.

5. Inflate the lid.

Unfold the lid reservoir and spread it inside the lid’s cover so that it’s own inflation valve is accessible. The inflation tube should still be attached to the pump. Connect the loose side to the lid reservoir and inflate it the same way you inflated the tub. Press the bubble button to start airflow, and press it again to stop it. Be careful not to over inflate the lid. The lid is usually made out of thinner material so it is more vulnerable to bursting. When the lid is done inflating detach the inflation tube from the lid and the pump. You do not need the inflation tube anymore once the lid is inflated so you can pack it away.

6. Connect the pump to tub.

The pump valves will attach directly to the tub valves without any hoses between them. When the portable jacuzzi is inflated the valves should align directly. There are three valves that you will need to attach. The largest valve is the air valve that you used to inflate the tub and lid. Attach the air valve to the corresponding air valve on the tub. This is the valve that the air will travel through to power the bubble massage air jets. The other two valves are the water intake and outlet valves. The pump will draw water in through the intake valve, clean it, heat it, and send it back through the outlet valve back into the tub. Connect all three valves tightly.

7. Attach the filter.

On the inside of the tub, make sure that the drain cover is firmly attached so water doesn’t leak out of your tub. If the water intake and outlet valves have covers, remove them. Your tub will come with a filter which screws onto the water intake valve. This is the valve closest to the floor of the tub. Insert the filter into the filter housing and screw it on to the pump’s intake valve.

8. Fill with water.

You should clean your blow up spa before you fill it with water, making sure to rinse out any dust or debris that could contaminate the water. Once it is rinsed out, fill your spa with water from a garden hose, making sure that you stop filling it once the water has passed the minimum height, but hasn’t passed the maximum height yet. You can always drain water by opening the drain valve at the bottom of the tub if you overfill it.

9. Heat the water.

There are two buttons on the pump unit that you should press. One button activates the water filtration system, and the other activates the water heater. You should turn both of these on. Use the temperature arrows to set the desired water temperature. The water filtration system must be turned on before the pump can start heating the water. Keep the lid closed while the pump is heating the water. This will help heat the water more quickly.

10. Add chemicals.

When you first set up your blow up jacuzzi, it is smart to shock your water to kill all organic compounds that could lead to the growth of biofilm and algae. You should also adjust the pH of your water to get in within the desired range. Consult the instructions on the specific chemicals you will be using for each of these activities. Once the pH is correct and your water has been shocked, add granulated chlorine. After the water has been treated with the proper chemicals, setup is complete. At this time you should seal the lid and wait for your tub to heat up. The best blow up hot tub is able to increase its water temperature by 3-4 degrees F in cold ambient air temperatures. If it is warm out, you can expect your tub to be ready by the next day, though.