We’ve bought our fair share of inflatables over the years, and with quite a collection gathering, we wondered if we could use them as floats in a larger pool, or maybe even use them as a raft. After some trial and error, I’ve got an answer for you.
Yes, inflatable pools can float if they have been inflated properly. However, there will be a weight limit to the floating inflatable pool. Add too much weight into the inflatable pool, and it will sink. If done correctly, they can be used as rafts or floats in larger pools or lakes.
The size and amount of air your inflatable pool can hold will determine how much weight it can hold before sinking. Once water starts to get in over the sides of the pool, it will must likely sink quickly. Here’s how much your pool can hold, and how to avoid sinking.
Can You Use An Inflatable Pool As A Raft?
Yes, you can use an inflatable pool as a raft with some quick and easy modifications. Depending on the durability of your inflatable pool material, you may want to wrap the underside with a tarp to protect the pool from getting rips or tears in the material while on the water.
Steps to convert an inflatable pool into a raft:
Lay the tarp out in an open area
Inflate the pool and place on top of the tarp
Pull the sides of the tarp up over the side of the pool
Run a rope through the grommets on the tarp
Tighten and tie off the rope, holding the tarp into place
When Will The Inflatable Pool Sink
The inflatable pool will sink if it has been overloaded with too much weight, or the pool has been punctured, allowing air to escape, or water to enter. Trying to fit too many people in the pool is a sure way to make it sink.
It will seem fine at first, as long as the top of the pool is above water. But as soon as you start rocking, and water slowly starts getting in over the sides, the pool will slowly sink more and more into the water.
You want to make sure you have a 6 to 12 inches of clearance between the top of the pool and the water line. Over time inflatables will start to deflate slightly, but this usually takes hours or days.
How Much Weight An Inflatable Pool Will Hold Before Sinking
The answer to this question can vary wildly depending on the size of the pool and how much air it holds. So lets just cover a few basics so you can decide for yourself how much weight your pool will hold.
In general, flotation equals the weight of the water being displaced by an object. With one gallon of water being about 8.5 lbs, an empty gallon jug would take 8.5 pounds of pressure to submerge it. This is because it is displacing about that amount of water.
To relate this to an inflatable pool is going to be difficult because of how many different sized pools there are.
Keep in mind that a floating inflatable pool resting on top of the water is actually not displacing any water. It won’t displace any water until someone climbs into it. The weight of the person needs to be less than the water being displaced by them in the pool. Here are some estimates I’ve come up with.