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Thread: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

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    Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    I'm thinking of buying an inflatable spa for cost reasons but also I don't want it in the summer taking up valuable space on the patio. I like that I can pack it up small and put it away. Even the smaller "portable" tubs seem to range in the 400-500lb weight and that's not going to work for me.

    Question is, does anyone use these in freezing winter temps and do they work?

    A lot of manufacturers say they are 3-season tubs, but I've seen reviewers comment on using them all year. If it's 104F and you keep it heated, I don't see why they can't be used year round. I don't see this being different than any outdoor spa - heat it or lose it.

    Cons that have heard are that the water cools down quickly when cold due to air bubble jets bringing outside air in.

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    Some of the inflatable ones turn off the water heater when the bubble are on. Go figure!
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    That's not going to help keep the water warm is it? I assume that keeps the spa under 15A draw for a 120v circuit.

    I'd like to know if many people actually buy these spas for winter use. Lot's of people love them but the reviews are anecdotal, and it's not always clear what climate they live in.

    I expect Dallas, GA has a considerably milder winter that Toronto

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    Or Detroit, MI where I grew up!!
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    Pretty sure Detroit gets worse winters than TO does. You win!

    I found the Canadian Spa Company has a few inflatables that they advertize for year-round use, so it appears these do exist. I think some people use 3 season spas in winter and get away with it, but I would assume the heating costs are higher than a 4 season tub, due to lower insulation.

    Grand Rapids inflatable spa

    Walmart has them for $628 CAN, which is way less than the price of two replacement covers for a standard spa. Not bad!

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    Bad news...

    From the Notes section of the manual:

    Heating and jet function can not be activated at same time. When heating system is working, pressing (C) will change
    heating mode into jet mode: heating and filtering are shut down, jet system will be activated. If you press (C) again,
    heating and filtering mode will re-start
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    I know, thanks. I assume it's for power consumption/load reasons. I read a guy on amazon made his a franken-pool with a propane camp shower heater to add heating BTU's to these things but I wouldn't necessarily go down that road....necessarily...oh heck sure I would!

    Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    Interesting! Now I might just pull mine out of the box!
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    I wrote to him asking for details/photos. If I get them I will post it here for anyone who may be interested in their own franken-spa.

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    I used my 110v 2 person fiberglass spa that had the heater built into the pump in the winter in CO and it worked just fine. However that was pretty well insulated compared to an inflatable spa. I have an Intex inflatable spa now, everything I read in the comments and reviews seems to indicate they really dont work well in temps below 30 degrees and you wont be able to maintain heat. I'm going to try and use mine as long as I can, I imagine it will get expensive with the heat on constantly in the winter. Once thing I did do when I set it up was put 2" insulating foam board under it so the heat loss to the concrete would be minimized. I'm guessing I'll probably have to pack it up in late Dec until March when the coldest temps hit.
    Inground pool, bit of an L shape with a spa with spillover, 3 pumps for pool, spa and water feature, salt water system, 400K btu heater, Aqualogic controller

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    My kids want one of these really badly. I was concerned about the wintertime. Are they easy to store?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    Quote Originally Posted by Esiebert7625 View Post
    I used my 110v 2 person fiberglass spa that had the heater built into the pump in the winter in CO and it worked just fine. However that was pretty well insulated compared to an inflatable spa. I have an Intex inflatable spa now, everything I read in the comments and reviews seems to indicate they really dont work well in temps below 30 degrees and you wont be able to maintain heat. I'm going to try and use mine as long as I can, I imagine it will get expensive with the heat on constantly in the winter. Once thing I did do when I set it up was put 2" insulating foam board under it so the heat loss to the concrete would be minimized. I'm guessing I'll probably have to pack it up in late Dec until March when the coldest temps hit.
    The spa I decided on (ordered online today-don't have it yet) from Walmart is the grand rapids made by Canadian Spa Co. Free delivery to my house, sweet.

    In my opinion winter is spa time, not summer.

    I looked around a lot but never found an inflatable spa built for winter. I saw that some were advertising insulation more than others but none really stepped up to say, yeah go ahead and use it in winter. But these guys do. It's insulated and they say it costs less than others to operate because of it.

    In-Ground 16'x32' bromine pool., 16.5k GAL

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    My kids want one of these really badly. I was concerned about the wintertime. Are they easy to store?
    Well it's inflatable so I would assume it is. That's certainly part of the interest for me. I will pack it up in my garage every summer and set it up again in the autumn.

    I'll let you know once I receive it next week.

    In-Ground 16'x32' bromine pool., 16.5k GAL

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    The insulation on inflatable spas is mainly the air gap in between the inflatable sides and inflatable cover. I see they say suitable for all 4 seasons but they don't really give a temp range and I imagine that will largely depend on the climate where you live. They do have a thermal blanket that wraps it but its hard to tell how much better that will insulate it. I didnt see any reviews on it from walmart.com so its hard to predict how it will work. There were a few on homedepot.com but they were mixed and didnt refer to climate and temps.

    I agree winter time is great spa time, nothing better than sitting in a spa when its snowing. I'm going to see how it goes with mine and use it as long as possible in the winter. I also built a wooden enclosure around my Intex spa.
    Inground pool, bit of an L shape with a spa with spillover, 3 pumps for pool, spa and water feature, salt water system, 400K btu heater, Aqualogic controller

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    I pondered if it would be reasonable to set it up in the garage. But at this time, the garage isn't heated. At least there wouldn't be snow on it, lol. Last winter was super frigid here, hoping this winter isn't as bad. (-15 degrees for a few days in a row.) thinking something that is a blow up would not fare too well.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    There are lots of good reviews on Walmart.ca if you want to have a look. I'm banking on a Toronto company that says it's suitable for 4 season vs one who explicitly says it isn't. I hope it lives up to the billing.

    I have also read of many people creating a nice space in the garage for the tub but that aint me. My cars go in there in winter.

    In-Ground 16'x32' bromine pool., 16.5k GAL

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    Actually air is an excellent insulator as its molecules are far apart so heat transfer is minimized. So being a blow up tub doesn't necessarily mean it will lose heat that quickly. The sides of the blow up spas contain at least 6 inches of air between them which insulate it, just not sure if the small heater can keep up as I think most of the heat loss will be near the top where the cover is. Insulating underneath the spa will minimize heat loss through the ground.
    Inground pool, bit of an L shape with a spa with spillover, 3 pumps for pool, spa and water feature, salt water system, 400K btu heater, Aqualogic controller

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    It comes with ground insulation too, but that could probably be bettered with builders insulation or similar dense foam.

    On the heater side, I am hoping to get specs on the rumoured franken-spa which employs a camp shower as the primary heat source. Cuts the heating time in half at least.

    In-Ground 16'x32' bromine pool., 16.5k GAL

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    I used foam board insulation like this, i taped together 2 panels side by side and then traced out the circular outline from the small ground blanket they provided and put it under the ground blanket

    R-Tech 3/4 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. R-2.89 Foam Insulating Sheathing-310873 - The Home Depot
    Inground pool, bit of an L shape with a spa with spillover, 3 pumps for pool, spa and water feature, salt water system, 400K btu heater, Aqualogic controller

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    Re: Anyone use an inflatable spa in winter? (freezing temps)

    Here's how I did mine:

    1) Cut-out the foam board insulation:
    20150717_124645-small.jpg

    2) Put ground pad on top:
    20150717_124901-small.jpg

    3) Setup on spa on the ground pad:
    20150717_125731-small.jpg

    4) Built an enclosure around the spa:
    20150719_202615-small.jpg
    Inground pool, bit of an L shape with a spa with spillover, 3 pumps for pool, spa and water feature, salt water system, 400K btu heater, Aqualogic controller

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