It’s no question that owning an inflatable hot tub is a luxurious way to relax and de-stress after a long day. But once you’ve had one, the next question on everyone’s mind is usually, “Should I leave my hot tub on all the time?”
Should I Leave My Inflatable Hot Tub On All The Time?
Leaving your inflatable hot tub on all the time can be a bit of a touchy subject. Some people think it’s necessary in order to keep the water warm and the jets going, while others believe it’s better to just turn it on when you want to use it.
So, what’s the correct answer?
We would definitely advise you to leave your spa on, but let’s take a closer look at both options and see what’s best for you!
Why You Should Leave Your Hot Tub Turned On
It might seem a little odd to some, given that we’re so used to switching off our electronics and tech when we’re not using them, but inflatable hot tubs are primarily designed to be left running permanently for several interesting reasons.
Is it cheaper to leave the hot tub on all the time?.
The main reason to leave inflatable hot tubs running for the long term is that it’s simply more economical to do so. It costs considerably more to repeatedly heat your hot tub up every time you use it than it does to just maintain the water temperature by keeping the heater running in your tub.
By choosing a set temperature and making use of your hot tub’s cover to trap the heat, you’ll find that your energy consumption is pretty conservative. This results in noticeably less expensive energy bills than you’d have if you regularly reheated the tub, and who doesn’t like saving money?
Parts may seize up
As with any device that relies on moving parts to do its job, your inflatable hot tub needs to regularly cycle through its systems to prevent any components from seizing up. Just like a human needs to use their muscles for fear of losing them, your tub will benefit from its filtration system, massage system and circulation pump getting a regular workout!
Ensuring that these mechanical parts see regular use is as simple as leaving your hot tub running at a lower temperature overnight. Many modern inflatable hot tubs will have a dedicated setting, but even if yours doesn’t, you can just set the temperature on the digital display and activate the air jets at least once a day.
It may freeze during the winter.
The inflatable hot tub’s oldest enemy is the frost of the winter months. We cover using an inflatable hot tub through frost and snow here.
Not only does the lower ambient air temperature make heating your hot tub more difficult during this time of year, but the risk of frozen water damaging the pipes and pump becomes a constant menace. Without proper insulation, the cold weather can cause serious damage if there’s a lot of wind.
Hot tub owners can avoid these issues by sticking to a routine of leaving the hot tubs running at a low temperature and using a cover or layer with an airtight seal to retain the heat.
Stagnant water = bacteria
Stagnant water is an open invitation for nasty bacteria and viruses to propagate in your inflatable hot tub. Bacteria love a damp environment, so naturally, hot tubs are their ideal home, but if your system is running regularly, then they won’t have the chance to breed before being whizzed through the filtration system and broken down by the hot water.
Allowing your inflatable hot tub water to become stagnant will also mean you’ll need to either drain and clean the whole system or spend money on performing a chlorine shock treatment on your hot tub.
Both of these processes are time-consuming and costly, so we think you’ll agree that they’re best avoided!
You won’t get as much use out of it.
It may seem like a point that’s easy to overlook, but if you need to go through the whole process of engaging the hot tub pump and waiting for the temperature to rise every time you want to take a quick dip in the hot tub, chances are you won’t get as much use out of your inflatable hot tub.
Inflatable hot tubs should run on a permanent basis. Keeping the water at a constant warm temperature will mean less energy is needed to reach its maximum temperature, and you can enjoy and have plenty of fun in your hot tub whenever the mood grabs you!
Does Leaving A Hot Tub On Stop It From Lasting As Long?
The short answer is no. In fact, there are actually several benefits to running your hot tub regularly that can extend its life beyond that of a hot tub that sits idle for months at a time.
The most apparent issue with unused inflatable hot tubs is bacteria, grime, and the amount of mould build-up. For example, the longer your hot tub sits idle, the more chance these nasty substances will form in the pump and hot tub surface area along with debris, and the more costly and difficult they’ll be to remove when you want to take a dip again.
Another issue would be with the electrics; if these systems haven’t been used in quite some time, they’re likely to experience faults or damage. This can mean you’ll need to shell out on replacement parts or at least have a technician look at the wiring to make sure the hot tub is safe to use.
Much like the electrics, the mechanical parts of inflatable hot tubs will suffer if they’ve been sitting idle. In this case, you may need to fix unnecessary problems or spend extra money on replacing parts, especially if the frozen water has had a chance to form within the pump, pipes and filter. All in all, it pays to run your inflatable hot tub regularly!
Should You Turn Hot Tub Off When Not In Use?
Of course, there will always be a few times when you’ll need to switch off your hot tub rather than leaving the spa on all the time, mainly to perform necessary maintenance and cleaning or to prevent the risk of hazards forming if you won’t be home for a while.
Draining and cleaning
Your inflatable hot tub will still need to be regularly cleaned and maintained even if you leave it running and keep it topped up with chemicals. Most inflatable hot tubs should be drained and cleaned once every 3-4 months, as this allows you to introduce some fresh water into the system and offers the opportunity to give the airjets and interior a good scrub.
Once you’ve switched the hot tub off and drained the water, you’ll be able to inspect each jet and individual component for any signs of damage. Should everything look rosy, you can then give your hot tub a proper clean with a manufacturer-approved cleaning agent to remove any dirt, oil and grime.
If you are going on holiday
Suppose you’re planning a nice trip and don’t have anyone who can regularly check on your inflatable hot tub. In that case, it’s a good idea to switch the system off to save money on your electricity bill and avoid risking any electrical faults.
During warmer months, algae growth will be your major problem, so add a little extra chlorine shock, run the jets for 30 minutes, and then switch everything off once the chemicals have spread.
During the winter, it’s frozen water that’s the issue. You could keep the system on and drop the thermostat by 10 degrees, but it’s safer to winterise the hot tub by draining the water, drying the interior and loosening the PVC fittings on either side of the heater pack.
If you will not be using it during the winter
As briefly covered above, if you’re not planning on using your spa in colder weather, it’s a good idea to drain and winterise the whole inflatable spa to save on your electric bill and avoid any damage caused by frozen water in the pipes.
Using your inflatable spas are relatively simple, just:
- Disconnect the power.
- Drain the entire hot tub.
- Clean and dry both the interior and each jet nozzle.
- Loosen the fittings on either side of the heater pack.
Alternatively, you can add antifreeze to the water and leave the power on, but this method is unnecessarily costly, so we reckon your best avoiding it!
What To Do If You Decide To Switch Off Your Hot Tub
Hot tub users that know they won’t be using their portable spa for at least a month or two might want to switch off the entire unit to save energy. If this is the case, the procedure will be similar to winterising your hot tub.
Step one – drain the hot tub.
Switch off the power and attach a hose or pump to the hot tub’s drain plug to release all of the water. Once you’ve removed as much water as possible, remove the drain plug and close the hole with the provided cap.
Step two – clean and dry the hot tub
There will likely be a little standing water left after draining, so use a wet vac or absorbent towels to remove this, then clean the interior and each individual jet with an appropriate cleaner. You should also remove the filters and give them a good scrub too!
Step three – remove the power supply.
Once your inflatable hot tub is clean and dry, you can remove the power supply to make sure that there is no electricity running to your hot tub. Remember to switch everything off and dry your hands before handling the power supply.
Step four – store your hot tub.
If you’re storing your hot tub outside whilst it’s not in use, it’s a good idea to cover it with a secured hot tub cover that can protect the shell from UV rays and help to prevent any wildlife from falling into the empty tub.
If you intend to move your hot tub from its usual home during storage, make sure you get somebody to help! Hot tubs are still heavy pieces of kit even without the water, so you can do yourself some damage if you try to shift it alone! This is our best guide for packing away a Lazy Spa. Other inflatables will be similar.
When to Change the Water if it’s Permanently On?
If your hot tub use is pretty regular, meaning you take a dip every day, the general recommendation for hot tub water changes is once every 3-4 months.
You might think that adding a bunch of chlorine can extend the life of your water, but the more you add, the slower it will dissolve until the water becomes supersaturated, taking on a cloudy appearance with visible patches of grit.
The longer your water goes without being changed, the more difficult it will become to maintain healthy water chemistry, as supersaturation and a buildup of organic contaminants from your skin prevent the chemicals from doing their job! If you are interested in chemicals, then this page looks into the best hot tub chlorine.
What temperature should I leave my hot tub on overnight?
If you’re planning on using your hot tub on a daily basis, it’s more energy efficient to keep it running overnight. If your hot tub has a freeze protection unit, you should ensure it’s powered or simply run the heater at a low temperature.
Make sure to attach a secure cover to prevent heat loss further, as once the temperature drops at night, your previously hot water can cool rapidly. A hot tub ground mat can also help keep things toasty and allow the temperature to rise when you re-heat your hot tub to be super quick!
What’s the most economical way to run a hot tub?
There are several top tips to reduce the running cost of your hot tub, with the main one being leaving the heater on at a low temperature overnight.
Combining this with an insulated cover and ground mat will help to reduce heat loss further and speed up heating times when you want to take a dip.
It takes more energy to heat cold water up every day than it does to maintain a consistent water temperature, so leaving the heater running can actually save money in the long run.
What temperature should I keep my hot tub at when not in use?
A good rule of thumb is to keep the water temperature around 5 degrees lower during storage than when using your hot tub. Sticking to this creates a good balance between maintaining a consistent temperature and using more energy than necessary when the hot tub is not in use.
So, should you leave your hot tub on all the time? The answer is yes – it’s more cost-effective to do so. Leaving your tub idle can cause the components to seize up, bacteria can multiply in the stagnant water, and it may freeze in colder temperatures.
There may be times when switching off hot tubs is necessary, such as when it needs to be cleaned or if you intend not to use it for long periods, but in general, it’s best to leave it on all the time and just reduce the temperature slightly.
Enjoying your hot tub to the full year-round has never been easier! For more guides and useful tips, see our main hot tub maintenance page where we discuss everything related to maintaining hot tubs.