Can I Put An Inflatable Hot Tub On My Deck?

Are you looking to put an inflatable hot tub on your deck? Are you worried about a possible disaster that a deck and inflatable hot tub could come crashing down?

This serious concern should be discussed in this article to see if you can actually put an inflatable hot tub on your deck.

Can I Put An Inflatable Hot Tub On My Deck? You will need to determine if your deck can support 100 pounds of weight per square foot to support the weight of an inflatable hot tub. Reinforcing the deck might be needed to prevent instability and structural damage to the frame of your deck. 

Let’s get into this topic, but remember that we can’t recommend putting a hot tub on a deck we’ve never seen. There are other options and details we should consider to make your hot tub dreams come true.

An inflatable hot tub is easier on the wallet, but not necessarily for your deck. Portable or in-ground hot tubs are definitely heavier, but your deck has to be structurally capable of supporting a cheaper, inflatable option.

How Low Does My Deck Need To Be Off The Ground?

Keep in mind that an inflatable hot tub can still weigh up to 3,800 pounds or more when filled with water and 2-3 people. A deck needs to be low to the ground to support all that weight.

A recommended amount of distance from the ground is about 2 feet and not much more. If your deck is 2 feet above the ground, it should be able to support 100 pounds of weight per square foot. At this point, the option of putting an inflatable hot tub is looking good.

A deck higher than 2 feet off the ground is going to need reinforcement. Consult with a professional to make sure that you can go ahead with this idea that we want to fully support, but can’t without that second opinion and careful measurement.

Should I Reinforce My Deck For An Inflatable Hot Tub?

It would help to make sure that your deck is strong enough and if it’s higher than 2 feet off the ground. An inflatable hot tub is at least 1,500 pounds lighter than a small portable or permanent hot tub. Reinforcing the deck would be smart for future aspirations of leveling up your hot tub game.

Stay safe and reinforce a taller deck today to support your plans of adding more flare and fun to your deck full of people, possibly a grill, furniture and a hot tub. Once you decide upgrade to from inflatable to portable (many people do), then your deck will be set up already to handle it.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Inflatable Hot Tubs?

Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Easily movable
  • Less energy to operate
  • Less maintenance 

Cons

  • Not as durable
  • Shorter lifespan
  • Fits fewer people
  • Can puncture or deflate

Why Choose An Inflatable Hot Tub?

The cost savings alone make it appealing. Not needing much work to set one up is also inviting. A well-made inflatable hot tub could last about 5-10 years with some care. It weights much less than a permanent hot tub and allows for you to change the location from time to time.

If you are adamant about putting the inflatable hot tub in that perfect corner of your deck, it just might be possible when the heavier and more expensive options will not be. Keep in mind that permanent hot tubs increase your property value and last much longer.

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How Much Weight Is An Inflatable Hot Tub Going To Put On My Deck?

We are assuming that you’ve taken it out of its packaging and already inflated it. You may notice how light it is and this builds your assertion that it will be no problem on your deck. Here comes the water and the people!

About 300 gallons of water will weigh around 2,500 pounds added to the negligible weight of an empty inflatable hot tub. These beauties are built to hold 4-6 people easily, but how much do these people weigh?

Let’s go with an average of 170 pounds and we end up with 6 people weighing a total of 1,020 pounds. You’ve got an estimate of 3,520 pounds on your deck without any other form of furniture, grill or entertainment.

You would need to divide this weight by the square footage of your deck to see how much pressure you are putting on the deck itself. If you’ve exceeded 100 pounds of pressure per square foot, this is a problem. If you’re under 100 pounds of pressure per square foot, you need to double check with the structural integrity of the deck and you’re all set to do this.

Inflatable Hot Tub Estimates With Max Limit of People & Water

  • Small: 3,000 lbs.
  • Medium: 3,700 lbs.
  • Large: 5,500 lbs.

What Can Happen To The Wood On My Deck With A Hot Tub?

The wood itself could be damaged or harmed with the weight and the hot tub water. The wood needs to be pressure-treated,  stained and sealed. If you skip these steps, you will encounter some damage to the look and possibly the integrity of the wood.

It’s strongly recommended to not drain all the water out of the hot tub directly onto the deck. Avoid long-term damage by not pouring out hot water on the deck in large quantities. A few splashes here and there will be fine.

What Are Some Precautions When Putting An Inflatable Hot Tub On A Deck?

Look out for the following issues that may occur when you place an inflatable hot tub on a deck.

  • Trapped moisture
  • Release of chemicals
  • Added weight
  • Wood Rot

Moisture

It’s hard to notice what is happening under your inflatable hot tub if you neglect checking it. It’s a difficult area to keep dry, but excess moisture is going to get trapped. This may lead to the moisture seeping into the wood of your deck over time and cause it to decay.

Chemicals

Chlorine and mixed solutions that we apply to the water helps us and the tub itself to remain bacteria and germ free. Salt is added to most hot tubs and it can crystalize as well with the chemicals in the tub. If they continuously spill out, your deck could be stained or the crystals could enter into the wood as well, breaking down its proteins.

Weight

We continue to go back to the elephant in the room. Do not put elephants or the weight of an elephant into your inflatable hot tub! The issue of your deck holding the water and people inside the lighter and cheaper hot tub versions that are inflatable comes into question every time. Reinforcing the deck is the solution if your deck is higher than 2 feet off the ground.

Wood Rot

It’s best to be as preventative as possible with staining and sealing the wood on your deck. Pressure-treat the wood and keep it as dry as possible to prevent wood rot. Protecting your deck and covering your hot tub will keep wood rot under control.

How Do I Reinforce My Deck For A Hot Tub?

The suggestions below are here to assist and support you with your decision to put an inflatable hot tub your deck that is higher than 2 feet off the ground.

  • Call a contractor or deck builder.
  • Get a quote.
  • Do-It-Yourself.
  • Add support posts under the spot where you wish to put your hot tub.
  • Place the posts at least 25-35 inches apart. 
  • The posts should be placed in concrete 1-3 feet under the ground. 
  • Use concrete blocks instead to pouring concrete to save money.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where Else Can I Put An Inflatable Hot Tub?

If you purchase an inflatable hot tub for your deck, you can have the option of moving it around. If you need more space on the deck or you have up to 6 people that want to sit in the hot tub, consider putting the inflatable hot tub on the grass. You can also choose a concrete pad or the patio foundation. The final suggestion would be on gravel or stone, but be careful not to puncture the tub.

How Much Weight Do Most Decks Hold?

The weight on a deck is usually distributed and must be calculated per square foot. An average number for a well-made deck is about 50 pounds per square foot. This is not enough support for a medium to large size inflatable hot tub that sits on a deck higher than 2 feet off the ground.

Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Use A Lot Of Electricity?

Inflatable hot tubs tend to use 1.5kWh of power when running the heater to keep the water temperature warm or comfortably hot. In the US, the cost of electricity is about 13 cents per kWh on average. Heating the tub will cost about 20 cents an hour under this estimate.

 

We wish you the best of luck and the warmest of soaks in your new hot tub. Please take all the precautions mentioned in this article to make sure you have the maximum amount of fun and minimize your worries while you enjoy your hot tub.