Inflatable General Use & Care Instructions
Congratulations! You now own the best-built cold-air inflatable available. By following these instructions, you will learn how to quickly and safely install your custom shape inflatable. You will also learn how to keep it clean and in good condition providing you with years of fun and service.
We recommend that you do practice inflation before you arrive at your first real event to ensure smooth operation. Please read all instructions carefully before use. If there are any questions, call IDG at (619) 596-6100 for additional assistance.
Choosing the Site:
Check out the intended site (rooftop, or ground surface) in advance to make sure there are enough places to tie down, and that you have access to electrical power, etc… check for power lines, tree branches, telephone poles, or anything that will interfere with the inflation process. At a minimum, be sure the display area for your inflatable is at least as square as the inflatables’ tallest dimension (ideally you should allow even more room than that). Cover all sharp edges that could damage or puncture the inflatable (old carpet works best).
When on the ground, look for solid, stable tie-down points. If you’re in the middle of an empty parking lot with nothing to tie down to, we suggest using sandbags or large weighted barrels. Never tie to anything you can move yourself, it will not be strong enough to hold the inflatable.
When on rooftops, never tie to flimsy or frail structures such as electrical conduits. If it is necessary to install anchor points in the building, make sure to contact the building owner or the roofing company beforehand.
Be careful not to tie to anything with sharp edges that could cut your tether lines. If the tie points have rough or jagged edges, be sure to protect the rope from fraying, wearing, or being cut by covering sharp edges at the tie-down points with carpet scraps.
Setting Up Your Inflatable
Locate a power source within reach of the extension cord provided. Mark the circuit breaker so that it will not be turned off accidentally. If your inflatable was purchased with a lighting system, make sure the circuit will not be overloaded when it is turned on. Make sure any electrical connection points are above water level to prevent shorting out the electrical system.
Place the tarp in the desired location. Unpack the inflatable from its storage bag. Place the base in the center of the ground tarp. Determine the best viewing position of the inflatable (the front of the inflatable is usually opposite of the blower vent on an inflatable equipped with internal blowers, and the opposite of the inflation tube and blower on an inflatable with external blowers.)
Tying Down Your Inflatable
The key to smooth inflation is estimating, before inflation, the length of the rope necessary to secure the inflatable when it is filled. If the ropes are too long, the inflatable will flop around as it tries to stand up and may even be damaged if it is windy. If the ropes are too short, they will keep the inflatable from inflating fully. All of the rope is pre-cut for you in short and long lengths. The short lengths are used for the base and any other lower section D-rings, and the longer ropes will be needed for the upper D-rings.
Each inflatable has a unique shape, size, number of rows of D-rings, and the number of D-rings. A general rule is, you can’t have too many ropes on the inflatable, but you can have too few. Tie a rope to every reinforced D-ring and tie the other end of the rope to something secure. Use them all! The ropes should be tied tightly and firmly to give the inflatable a firm foundation, especially the base ropes.
If you are setting up where you can put stakes in the ground, you can position your tie-down points exactly where you want them. However, when on the roof or in a parking lot, you may not have an ideal number of tie-down points located where you want them. Attach as many ropes to as many reinforced D-rings as possible. For example, you should have some tie-down or anchor points close in for the baselines, and some tie-down or anchor points further out for your upper lines.
Note: A single tie point can be used to secure more than one tether line. Sometimes it is necessary to extend tether lines to another level on the building or even to the ground level where they may be attached to trees or ground posts, etc.
You are now ready to tie down your inflatable. It is best to start at the bottom of the inflatable and work your way up. We recommend that you use a Bowline Knot to attach the ropes to the D-rings, and an adjustable trucker’s knot to secure the ropes to the tie-down points, however, any knot will do.
- Tie a short rope to each base D-ring at the very bottom of the inflatable (next to the floor) and attach the other end of the rope to a sturdy tie down point. The “base line” ropes are very important and they should be tied tightly since they “anchor” the inflatable. They should extend straight out from the base of the inflatable. Once these lines are tied they do not need to be readjusted.
- Most custom shape inflatables have only upper and lower D-rings to tie to. Use your short ropes on the lower D-rings and your longer ropes on the upper D-rings. If there are D-rings in the middle, use more short ropes. All of your tie down lines, with the exception of the base lines, should be tied at a 45º angle providing the most stability. The upper lines will require adjustments as the balloon inflates.
- Next, locate the top of the inflatable and make sure the deflation panel is closed, if applicable (not all inflatables will have a Velcro deflation panel). If installed, each deflation panel has a ripcord attached to it on the inside of the inflatable. The cord hangs down from the top of the inflatable to the bottom of the envelope and should exit through a small Velcro flap, which makes it accessible from outside the inflatable. As a safety precaution, you may wish to tie the deflation line securely to something stationary. This way, if the inflatable moves very far or breaks away in a high wind, it will deflate itself.
If you have a banner, place the banner on the inflatable at this time using the Velcro and/or clips provided. It is best to work from the center of the banner outward toward the corners.
Inflating Your Custom Shape Inflatable
Check all ropes to ensure they are not tangled and that they are tied securely to the inflatable and to solid tied points. Make sure the zipper is closed. Do not inflate the inflatable unless ropes are tied securely to all reinforced D-rings and solid tie points. You are now ready to inflate. If your inflatable has an internal blower, you need only to plug it into the extension cord. If your inflatable has an external blower, attach the inflation tube at the bottom center of the blower opening. Plug the blower into the extension cord or power outlet and turn it on. Do not attempt to inflate in high winds.
TAKEDOWN THE INFLATABLE IN WINDS UP TO 15 MPH.
It is required to anchor down all base loops and any high d-rings to secure the unit safely. When inflating on concrete please use 50 lb sandbags per anchor location.
Walk around the inflatable several times as it inflates, adjusting and checking for tangled lines. If the inflatable is loosely secured or the upper lines are too long, the inflatable may flop around or fall over during inflation. Tighten and adjust all tether ropes evenly until the inflatable stands upright and is not crushed down on its base. This may require several trips around the inflatable, adjusting ropes until you are more familiar with estimating the proper lengths.
IMPORTANT! MILDEW WARNING
Dear Inflatable Owner,
Please make a note of this important maintenance tip concerning your cold-air inflatable product from Inflatable Design Group.
Do not pack up your cold-air Inflatable wet or damp!
This has been a common error of many of our owners in the past. Three problems can occur:
- In a new inflatable, before the colors have had a chance to settle and lock into the fabric, packing up the inflatable could cause the colors to run onto other fabric. This seldom occurs, but it can happen.
- Mildew will certainly grow on the fabric when it is packed up wet and left for any period of time. Once mildew has gotten on a fabric, almost nothing can be done about it.
- Moisture can damage the coating of the fabric over the long-run. Bleeding or mildew is not covered under warranty because fabric may bleed or mildew if it is stored, folded, or packed up when wet. This includes leaving the inflatable deflated when wet. We buy the best fabric available, yet many fabrics will bleed when stored or left wet. Since this is beyond our control, it is not covered under warranty.
The best way to dry an inflatable thoroughly is to totally inflate it for a long time on a dry day. You may also need to temporarily stretch the inflatable out somewhere… a garage, basement, or wherever this is still much better than packing it up wet.
Deflating Your Custom Shape Inflatable
Do not release any tie-down ropes before deflating the inflatable.
If applicable, always turn off the lights allowing them to cool and then remove the lighting system from the inflatable prior to deflation. Failure to cool the lights before deflating the inflatable can result in damage to the inflatable.
Unplug the blower and open the zipper to remove the lighting system. Then, if applicable, pull the deflation panel cord(s) firmly until it stops to ensure that you have completely opened the Velcro sealed rip panel. The inflatable will quickly lose its air. Disconnect the blower inflation tube. Gather the inflatable as it deflates and pile it onto the center of the tarp to keep it clean.
Do not attempt deflation in unusually high winds!
Always be safety conscious first!
Inflatable Design Group, Inc. (IDG) custom inflatables are warranted for (2) two years from the date of purchase against material defects and workmanship. Interactive inflatables (obstacle courses, slides, games, jumps, etc.) are warranted for (1) one year from the date of purchase against material defects and workmanship.
The date of purchase is defined as the shipping date. IDG will perform warranty replacement and/or repair, at the discretion of IDG, in a reasonable amount of time at no charge to the original owner. Warranty includes labor and parts only. Shipping costs for warranty work needed during the first 90 days of the warranty period will be the responsibility of IDG. Shipping costs for warranty work after the first 90-day warranty period will be the responsibility of the owner.
IDG must be notified immediately of any perceived defect that may be covered under this warranty. Failure to do so will void this warranty. IDG will issue a written Return Goods Authorization (RGA) All terms and conditions precedent for the repair and/or warranty work will be detailed and agreed to prior to IDG’s receipt of the inflatable for the repair and/or warranty work. No inflatable will be repaired under warranty without an authorized RGA. To obtain an RGA authorization, please call (619)596-6100.
Failure of fabric, webbing, stitching, blower parts, fabric parts, graphics, lighting systems, and normal wear and tear are covered under this warranty. All other causes of damage including, but not limited to, damage due to extreme weather, unusual use, abuse, use other than recommended use, vandalism, theft, misuse (not following recommended use, and care instructions) are not covered under this warranty. This warranty is not transferable; it extends only to the original owner.
This warranty does not cover banners and does not cover any item attached to the inflatable by anyone other than Inflatable Design Group. Any alterations made to the electrical system, blower, inflatable, or lighting system without written consent from IDG, will void this warranty.
Inflatable Design Group’s warranty policy states that in order for Inflatable Design Group to satisfy its warranty, an IDG employee must first inspect the product unless otherwise noted in writing by an IDG officer. Any work completed by a non-approved entity void all warranties.
This warranty does not cover shipping costs for repair or replacement after the first 90 days. This warranty does not include or cover loss of revenue, or any other consequential losses or damages, due to failure of inflatable or parts of the inflatable.
IMPORTANT: Please follow all recommendations as set forth in the “General Use and Care Instructions.” Failure to adhere to instructions and warnings provided with this product will invalidate this warranty.