Made by Splash & Relax under the Lay-Z-Spa umbrella, the Grand Rapids inflatable home hot tub is another sleek and sophisticated model that we are eager to review. We wanted to put this people-pleasing hot tub to the test, to see how it aligns with our categories. Is the Grand Rapids one of the best inflatable hot tubs for your house? Or is it just another in a long line of plastic paradise pools?
What Comes with the Grand Rapids Inflatable Hot Tub?
When the Grand Rapids hot tub first arrives in your home, it will come in a box, with the liners vacuum sealed for ease of transportation. Take everything out of the packaging and you should be left with all the essentials. The Grand Rapids starter pack includes the following.
An Inner Liner
The inner liner for this hot tub is fully inflatable. It comes in a light grey colour which is ideal for disguising dirt. This part is blown up before use and will be the part that contains the water. It has tough, durable seams and indentations all around the top edge so that you can rest your neck comfortably.
An Outer Liner
The inflatable outer liner is a darker grey colour that is sure to look suave in any back garden. Any inflatable hot tub that you buy will come in outer and inner liner form. The Grand Rapids Plug and Play inflatable hot tub is no different. The cool grey colour means it is ideal both indoors and outdoors, so you can set it up wherever you need it.
The Inflatable Lid
This hot tub comes with a fully inflatable lid, which can be placed over the hot tub when it is not in use. The lid is usually used for ensuring that dirt or debris don’t get into the pool. However, if you are storing it away for the winter, we would advise you to use the hot tub cover, instead.
Hot Tub Cover
This is usually a leather-esque material that is waterproof, allowing you to safely stow away your hot tub for the winter months. The cover fastens by way of four clips, located on the sides of the pool. When stowing away, there isn’t any need to deflate your Grand Rapids 4 person hot tub, although you might want to ensure it is fully inflated again, before you get in it in Spring.
The air pump that comes with the Grand Rapids inflatable hot tub connects to the side of the pool itself. The pump is aligned with the pipes on the side of the hot tub, which is then fastened together. The pump will push air through using about 1.9 kw of power, so you can keep running it all day and night if you want to, without too much added cost.
Digital Control Panel
The digital controls for your Grand Rapids inflatable hot tub for four people are located on the air pump. The electronics are double insulated to ensure that they never come in contact with the water. You are able to set the time and temperature, and even set a timer, through the digital control panel.
The Grand Rapids spa comes with an instruction booklet so that you don’t get lost during set up. They say that it can be set up in 15 minutes and reviewers don’t disagree. It does take slightly longer if you choose to read the instructions, though.
Your Grand Rapids hot tub will feature a rigid contour beam base. This means that the hot tub takes up more room than an I-beam construction of a similar size – but it also means that it is twice as durable.
That’s right! Your Grand Rapids has an insulated blanket that you can use as a lid to store heat insider your hot tub, even when not in use. This conserves energy, saves you money, and comes in handy for other uses while your hot tub is being stowed away for winter.
A Quick Overview
We know it’s not easy to shop around for a good hot tub. Most of you have been reading till your eyes turned red already, so let’s cut out the middle-man and get straight to the point.
Here are the good and bad points of this model, at-a-glance.
Pros of the Grand Rapids Hot Tub:
- It comfortably fits a full family of four with plenty of room left over
- The build quality is insanely good, the structure is one of the most stable on the market
- It can be used indoors or outdoors, all year around
- It comes with 15 minute setup for your convenience
- It heats to maximum temperature in about 12 hours, set it up, leave it overnight, and in the morning it will be ready.
- In-built seating area, added thermal blanket and inflatable lid for heat retention
- Doubly insulated pump and electronic compartment for extra peace of mind
- Comfortable top temp of 40 degrees centigrade
Cons of the Grand Rapids Hot Tub:
- It is exceptionally heavy when filled, making it best for outdoor use
- It takes a full 12 hours to heat to the top temperature
- The instruction booklet takes longer to read than the actual setup does
- It is fairly deep so isn’t very child friendly. Some users have bought additional seating to boost them up above water level.
When you are about to setup your Grand Rapids hot tub, you should do so with the instruction book to hand. Make sure that you have enough space and that you have someone who can help you move it, as it is quite heavy, before you decide on its final positioning.
Once you know where your inflatable hot tub is going to stay, you can start to blow it up. You can use a foot or electric pump to do this, or you can do it the old fashioned way. Once it is fully inflated, you can start to fill it up. We advise that you fill it with a hose, since otherwise this model will take a long time to fill. It ought to be full in around two hours, providing that you have good water pressure. It may well take less time than that, but we like to err on the side of caution. Keep an eye on it while it fills.
Never turn the heater on until your hot tub has filled with water. To switch the heater on before water covers it risks the heater blowing out. Don’t take the chance.
Once filled, we suggest leaving your hot tub at home overnight to heat to the maximum temperature. If you need it to be cooler, then adjust the settings on the digital control panel, located on top of the air pump. If you have to leave it for any reason, be sure to cover it with the insulated blanket and the inflatable lid. This will keep things warm and toasty for when you next want to use it.
The Grand Rapids inflatable home hot tub for four people comes with some awesome features. From the temperature to the constant stream of massaging bubbles, there are some perks to this inflatable home hot tub that you might not know about yet. We listed some of the standout features for you, below.
Standout Features of the Grand Rapids:
- Suitable for 4 people – which is big enough to hold a family of four plus a smaller child
- The pump blowing plenty of water to create a fantastic, massaging, bubbling hot tub
- The 39 degree centigrade temperature – not too hot, nor too cold.
- The thermal cover that helps keep the heat in is great for those trying to save cash.
- The fact that it takes 1.9kw of electricity to run means it is an economical purchase, too.
- It’s durable, sturdy, and doesn’t tend to leak. Some commentors reported they have had excellent customer services when items were misplaced.
- It has that awesome 15 minute setup time.
- The instruction set lets you refer to it if you get lost – although setup is simple.
- It has double-insulated electronics to make sure you don’t have any blow outs due to water seepage.
Who are Splash & Relax – Facts Behind the Firm
Splash and relax are a purveyors of hot tubs, just like the Grand Rapids. They supply multiple hot tubs for the home, inflatable, wooden, and otherwise. Obviously, we favour the inflatable model for reasons of portability. If you move home, your Grand Rapids hot tub can come with you. This means you don’t lose your investment the same way as you might if you got a built-in model.
Splash and Relax are known for great customer service for their many products. They are good collaborators, using associate marketing to get their name connected with other brands. Lay-Z-Spa are one example of this but there are many others.
Grand Rapids Buyer’s Advice
Below, we have listed all the considerations you should make about your home hot tub, before you buy an inflatable model. This particular hot tub has been dissected into the following categories, but if you visit our other reviews you should be able to compare these to find the best hot tub for you.
Dimensions and Water Volume
The Grand Rapids home hot tub comes with 125 jets of air-streaming goodness to make your hot tub massage-worthy. On top of this, it holds a whopping 760 litres of water, which weighs an equally impressive amount. The insulation blanket is six inches thick and should keep heat in. The lead is 7 metres long, so you will only need an extension cable if you are in the middle of your garden!
The package will weigh 35kg when it arrives, before you set it all up, so be sure you have someone with you to be safe. It will take up about 180cm by 97cm, which is about two meters by one meter. Since you need to have enough space around it for good airflow, you really ought to have it in a space 4m x 4m or larger for safe operation. Also, if running indoors, be sure you keep it in a well ventilated room.
Colour of the Grand Rapids Hot Tub
The Grand Rapids inflatable home hot tub is dark grey on the outside. This makes for a classy look and a fine finish, especially if it is placed in your garden. Where other hot tubs are jarring on the eye, this one ties in with your garden and matches your paving stones. To finish it, they made the inner lining of this inflatable hot tub a lighter grey colour. This lighter version matches the outside perfectly but isn’t so light that dust or dirt in the pool will stand out.
Is it for Indoor or Outdoor use?
The Grand Rapids Inflatable Hot Tub is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. That 7 metre long extension cable means you can plug it in far enough away from the water that the socket is never in any real danger. It should stretch out into the garden, but we recommend an extension cable that is waterproof and preferably surge-proof, just to be on the safe side.
The digital control panel for the Grand Rapids hot tub is situated on top of the air pump. There is a setting for temperature, a setting for how many air streams (out of 125) that you want to use, and there is a timer so that you can heat the hot tub ready for finishing work. Since the pump is removed from the pool itself, the electronics are considered safe. To be extra sure of your family’s safety, however, they Grand Rapids hot tub team have gone ahead and double insulated that control panel. This makes it fairly well waterproofed – but we still wouldn’t suggest getting it wet.
How To Inflate It?
You can use your air pump to inflate the Grand Rapids 4 person hot tub. It should fully inflate within 15 minutes, and all you need to do is connect it and let it run. To be sure not to turn your heater on until the pool is filled with water, however. Otherwise you may risk blowing it out.
It heats to 39 degrees centigrade and at a rate of between 1.5 and 2 degrees and hour. Reviewers noted that setting it up on the day it arrives, then leaving it overnight, is long enough for it to be warmed through and suitable for use. That being said: it all depends how warm you like your hot tub, doesn’t it?
Most users will set the temperature to around 36 or 37 degrees centigrade. This is usually more than enough to heat you up. Some tubs go as high as 40 degrees, but if you feel that 40 is a little too toasty, you can control the temperature in the electronic panel.
How Many People Can fit in the Grand Rapids?
The Grand Rapids is marketed as an inflatable hot tub that fits 4 people, but again, some users report having five people in their hot tub, with room to spare. We take this as meaning that it is fit for four point five people… that’s four adults or any number of children.
On the note of children, we suggest you do not leave them to use the hot tub unsupervised. This is a deep pool with lots of electronic parts that might get messed up.
There is an optional step which you can purchase to help you get in and out, as well as optional in-tub seating because it is a bit on the deep side. Other than that, the Grand Rapids inflatable hot tub will never get hotter than the 39 degrees centigrade that it goes up to. It will cut off rather than go higher than this temperature but is capable of maintaining it for prolonged periods of time.
We also adore the double insulation on the electronic compartment. It is doubly thick so that you are doubly safe. There is strikingly little chance of you getting hit by lightning in your Grand Rapids inflatable hot tub for the house.
Our final note on safety is just a reminder that you shouldn’t leave children alone around deep water. Since this hot tub is on the deep side, we suggest only having your kids near it while they are fully supervised. You should also keep it covered when not in use.
Warranty and Guarantees
You will receive 6 months warranty on the vinyl parts and 1 year’s warranty on the pump. You should be able to register for extended guarantees on the Splash and Relax website, should you want to extend it farther.
Keep in mind that warranties and guarantees on your home hot tub will only cover you against wear and tear. If you are doing things that endanger the wellbeing of your home hot tub, you can expect that your warranty won’t be withheld.
The Grand Rapids from Splash and Relax is actually a highly durable tub. This is one of the areas in which it excels, providing a steadier base than most other models at a similar price point. Why? They use a contour beam structure for the base instead of the traditional I-Beam construction. This makes for a longer lasting hot tub that is rigid and steady, no matter what.
A side note on durability just to add that the electronics have that special double encasement. This keeps everything safe from water damage – but means it all lasts a bit longer, too. When you have a Grand Rapids hot tub there is little chance of a spanner getting in the works!
Cleaning Instructions for your Grand Rapids Hot Tub
When you setup your Grand Rapids home hot tub, you will be given filter cartridges that can be removed. These slide into the air pump and water is pushed through them to catch dirt and debris. You should rinse your filter every time you use your hot tub. You might not ever need to do a complete water change, but on the off-chance that you spill something in it, you can siphon the water out using a hose, then refill in the same way. Luckily, the Grand Rapids hot tub is light grey on the inside, so it does disguise much of the grime.
For additional cleaning, we recommend a floating chemical dispersal system such as the Chem Connect that is offered alongside other Lay-Z-Spa products. You will also need the chemicals to fill it with. You can even use a mop or brush to clean grime off the inner pool lining if the hot tub is filled with water, too.
FAQs about the Grand Rapids 4 Person Inflatable Hot Tub
In this section we covered some of the questions we are most often asked regarding the Grand Rapids hot tub. If you have any questions about the Grand Rapids, four person home hot tub, you should check this section, first.
Q) How long between arrival of my new hot tub, and my ability to use it?
A) When you opt for a Grand Rapids inflatable hot tub, it comes with a rapid inflation system that means it is ready to fill with water in about 15 minutes flat. Next, lead a hose into the hot tub and start filling it. It takes 200 gallons of water to fill, so if you are in an area with low water pressure, be ready for a bit of a wait.
When the inflatable hot tub has been filled with water, you can then engage the heater. Set the temperature you would like to bathe at, then cover the hot tub with the thermal skirting and the hot tub lid. It will heat at a rate of 1.5-2 degrees per hour. If left overnight, it will be warm enough to bathe in the following day.
To answer the question then, it takes 15 minutes to fully inflate the Grand Rapids hot tub. It then takes about an hour to fill it, and a further 12 hours to heat it to a comfortable temperature. Despite the seemingly lengthy wait time, 2 degrees an hour of heat is one of the fastest we have reviewed so far.
Q) Can my flooring handle the weight of 200 gallons of water?
A) Possibly. We suggest you place your inflatable hot tub on a concrete or otherwise solid floor. If indoors, keep it on the ground floor or ensure you have a reinforced floor that can take the weight. To give you an idea of the weight of 760 litres/200 gallons of water, that’s approximately 1675 lbs or 760 kg.
Q) Is an inflatable home hot tub worth the investment?
A) IT absolutely is. They don’t cost much to run, can last for years, and can even come with you when you move home. Unlike a built-in model, an inflatable one is fully portable. It’s a sound investment of your money, and actually costs a lot less than a plastic or wooden model, too. The versatility factor shouldn’t be ignored. You can have it inside, outside, have your friends’ round for a splash or keep it family only. Whatever you do in it, it’s sure to be a cracking good time.
Things About this Hot Tub Other Customers Loved
Some of the best things other reviewers liked about the Grand Rapids inflatable hot tub are as follows…
By comparison to some of the other inflatable hot tubs on the market, it heats up fast, fills up fast, and inflates pretty quickly, too.
Since it has those air filters that just need to be washed after you use it, the Grand Rapids home hot tub is easy to keep clean. You may need to top it up every so often, just to keep the water level high. But you shouldn’t need to do all-out water changes very often.
The fact that the temperature goes all the way up to 39 degrees centigrade is really useful. This is a little on the warm side for some people but it’s better to have too much heat over too little.
Consumers love how it fits more than the stated number of people in, and with room to spare. Those with a family of five were reporting that everyone could fit in.
Users say that the grey colour scheme fits in with the garden, looks classic and elegant, and stays clean.
The Operating Temperatures
Some reviewers are ecstatic that they could use the grand rapids hot tub through cold winters.
With that Contour beam construction, users were startled by how strong the build was. The fabric of the liners is also tough and long-lasting. This is the kind of inflatable hot tub for home use that you have for years to come.
The Customer Service
People absolute rave about the customer service. One client reported a leak at the seams of the pool and arranged to bring it in for repair. When he got there, he was given a whole new hot tub instead, so that he didn’t need to wait around.
The Grand Rapids inflatable hot tub can be setup in minutes, easily, with only a glance at the instructions. It fills easily, is simple to heat, and the control panel is a dawdle even for the most computer illiterate among us.
Things About this Hot Tub Other Customers Disliked
Equally, there were a few factors that left a little to be desired. Here are a few things the clients didn’t like so much…
One consumer reported parts were missing from the box when it arrived. After consulting customer service, the parts were rushed to him on same day delivery.
The filters need to be cleaned with every use. If you don’t, they clog up and you end up with a hot tub that doesn’t work. A quick rinse under the tap is all it takes to keep your tub – and you – happy.
Our Verdict on the Grand Rapids Inflatable Hot Tub
The Grand Rapids inflatable hot tub is a hard wearing product that makes for a sound investment. It is more affordable than built-in models of the same calibre, is equally as enticing, and comes with the same amount of warranty. Best of all is the portability factor. If you are visiting family for a few weeks, you can literally pack it up and take it with you.
Our verdict is that this is yet another fantastic hot tub to add to your range of options. If it isn’t for you, don’t forget to check out our other reviews… we’re pretty sure we have a hot tub for your home that suits everyone.