How To Blow Up An Inflatable Pool: Tips And Tricks


The first time I blew up our new inflatable pool, I did it all by manually blowing. Let’s just say I never wanted to do that again. Here are the quick and easy methods I’ve discovered to blow up an inflatable pool with as little effort as possible.

The easiest way to blow up an inflatable pool is by using an electric air pump. Other simple options include using a shop-vac, air compressor, a hair dryer with a water bottle, manual hand or foot pumps, a large bag, or manually blowing up the inflatable pool yourself.

Some of these methods are easier than others, and each have their own steps. Trust me on this, save your time, and your breath, by using some of these tricks like I’ve done.

how to blow up an inflatable pool

Easiest Way To Blow Up An Inflatable Pool

The absolute easiest way to blow up an inflatable pool is to use an electric air pump. I use the one I had already for blowing up inflatable mattress’s when we have guests stay the night. It’s pretty small, but does the trick. I can inflate a 10′ by 5′ inflatable pool in just a few minutes.

Here’s the one I have and recommend, the Coleman QuickPumpOpens in a new tab. (link to Amazon). For around 30 bucks, I think this little pump is well worth it. I’ve had it for about 6 years, it’s been reliable, and it’s nice and small, making it easy to store.

Really, any electric air pump will work, I just haven’t found a cheaper option made with better quality parts yet.

Here’s a picture of the one I have so you can see what you’d be getting.

electric air pump for inflatable pool

Most electric air pumps, including this one, have multiple attachments that fit over the nozzle. There will be an attachment for any inflatable pool nozzle type there is. I was able to fill all of the pools on this 12 Best Inflatable Pools By Category list with one of the attachments that come with the air pump.

Steps to blow up an inflatable pool with an electric air pump:

  • Plug the electric air pump into any standard home outlet (120V)
  • Use an extension cord if necessary
  • Using the correct attachment, hook the air pump up to the inflatable pool air inlet valve
  • Turn on the electric air pump
  • Fill all air chambers of the inflatable pool (if there are multiple)
  • Cap off the air inlets on the pool

The inflatable pools I’ve tested have all held air for a decent amount of time. You may need to do a quick recharge of air every couple days or so from what I’ve experienced.

How To Blow Up An Inflatable Pool Without A Pump

To blow up an inflatable pool without a pump, you either need to use an air compressor, a shop-vac, a blow dryer with water bottle, use the large bag method, or you’ll need to inflate manually by blowing into the air inlet on the inflatable pool yourself.

If you don’t have any kind of pump, electric, hand, or foot pump, your next best bet is to use an air compressor, a shop-vac, or a leaf blower. If you don’t have either of those, the hair dryer with water bottle or large bag method will work.

Lets go through each of these approaches and the steps to blow up an inflatable pool using them.

How To Blow Up An Inflatable Pool With An Air Compressor

To blow up an inflatable pool using an air compressor, you’ll need the correct nozzle attachment for the compressor to fit the air inlet on the pool. Most compressors come with some attachments, but you need one that will open the air inlet valve enough to fill the inflatable pool.

If you don’t already own a compressor, I wouldn’t buy one just for inflating a pool. The electric pump would be a much cheaper option. But if you already have a compressor, you may only need the proper attachments. Check out this Air Blow Gun Attachment SetOpens in a new tab. on Amazon to give you an idea of the attachments that will work.

Steps To Fill An Inflatable Pool With An Air Compressor:

  • Locate the air inlet valve on the pool and open it.
  • Connect the air compressor hose to the air inlet valve using the correct attachment.
  • The attachment should not be blocked by the air filler valve seal.
  • Some air inlet valves will have a piece of plastic that prevents air from escaping, and could block air from entering as well.
  • Turn on the compressor and start inflating the pool.
  • When the pool is filled with air, turn off the compressor, and disconnect from the air inlet valve on the pool.
  • Do not over-inflate the pool, as soon as the inflatable feels tight, turn off the compressor.
  • Cap the air inlet valve on the pool to prevent air from escaping.

I’ve had good luck using this method with even the smallest compressors. Here’s a pic of my tiny pancake compressor I used, it’s easily portable and can blow up an inflatable pool in just a few minutes.

air compressor for inflatable pool

Inflate A Pool With A Shop-Vac

To blow up an inflatable pool with a shop vac, simply set the shop vac on blow and push the the shop vac hose up to the air inlet valve on the inflatable pool. You could try creating a nozzle out of a plastic squeeze bottle or water bottle, but I’ve found it’s not necessary.

You’ll need to hold the shop vac hose firmly to the air inlet valve on the inflatable pool for this to work. Create a good seal so all the air goes into the inflatable to speed up the inflating process.

I spent more time setting up the shop vac that I did actually inflating the pool, and I’m happy with the results.

Here’s a quick video to show this method in action.

Hair Dryer And Water Bottle To Blow Up An Inflatable

This is a fun trick, but does require some altering to the hair dryer. Cut off the top of a plastic bottle and tape it to the end of a hair dryer. Duct tape will work, and make sure to use the small nozzle side of the water bottle. The idea here is to funnel all the air from the blow dryer through the nozzle (part you drink from) of a water bottle and into the inflatable.

Make sure you set the hair dryer to cold mode, the heat mode could damage the inflatable pool material.

Once the hair dryer is fitted with the water bottle attachment, press it up against the air inlet valve on the inflatable and turn on the hair dryer. This works very well, I was actually surprised when I tried this out.

Here’s a quick video to show this hair dryer process, and how well it works.

Use A Leaf Blower To Blow Up An Inflatable Pool

This leaf blower method is very similar to the shop vac method. Hold the leaf blower up to the air inlet valve on the inflatable pool and turn it on. I haven’t tried this method out myself, but I did find a cool video showing how well this works so I wanted to add this section here for those of you who might only have a leaf blower to work with.

Inflate A Pool With A Bicycle Pump, Hand Pump, Or Foot Pump

This main benefit of using a manual pump like a hand pump, bicycle pump, or foot pump, is that you don’t need electricity and you can blow up an inflatable pool just about anywhere. I recommend this Double Quick Hand PumpOpens in a new tab. (link to Amazon), but even a bicycle pump with the right attachment will work.

That hand pump comes with the correct attachments for inflatables already hooked onto the hose. It makes the job real easy, and it will pump air in on both up and down strokes, speeding up the inflating process.

If you have a bicycle pump, you’ll need to get an attachment that can fit the inflatable pool air inlet valve. I’ve tried this with the attachment to inflate basketballs or footballs with, and it took way to long. It will work if that’s all you’ve got, but I recommend finding another attachment.

Check out this Bike Tire Valve Attachment KitOpens in a new tab. on Amazon to get a good idea of the attachments that work best.

Blow Up An Inflatable With A Large Bag

This is the last method I would use to blow up an inflatable pool, but it does work, and I’ve tried it out to make sure it works. You’ll need a large plastic trash bag, the larger the better. Here are the steps.

  • Start by opening the air inlet valve on the inflatable pool
  • Fill the bag full of air
  • Use your hand to make the opening of the bag as small as the inlet valve on the inflatable pool
  • Press the opening you make up to the valve on the pool
  • Push all the air out of the bag and into the pool
  • When the pool is filled, cap off the air fill valve on the inflatable pool.

Here’s a quick video to show you how this works, in case my instructions were a bit confusing.

I’m sure you’ll be able to find a way to blow up your inflatable pool using one of the methods I explained above. Anything is better than blowing up a large inflatable manually by blowing into it if you ask me. I hope some of these tips and tricks were able to help you out.

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Robert Sampson

I'm Robert Sampson and I live in Colorado where I spend a lot of time in the backyard with my family either grilling, playing games and sports, or working on a project to make our backyard a better place to be.

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