A whirlpool tub incorporates a system of multiple jets of water. This special type of tub can add an extra bit of luxury to your bathroom and life. Decide what size tub you want and will fit in your space, and how much alteration your bathroom will need. Check if any building permits are needed.
Step 1 - Turn off Water
Turn off the water supply valves to your tub.
Step 2 - Disconnect Tub
Disconnect the water, waste, and overflow pipes.
Step 3 - Check ‘P’ Trap
The ‘P’ trap is a part of the drainpipe from the bath that forms the shape of a horizontal ‘P’ with the loop downwards. The loop holds water and prevents smells and gases coming from the main drainage system.
A plastic ‘P’ in good condition can be reused. Replace a metal one with a plastic one.
Step 4 - Remove the Tub
Cover the floor with a heavy drop cloth. Mark the area of old tile that needs to be cut out using a level and plumb line. You will be creating a lot of dust, so wear a face mask.
Cut through the drywall within the area you just marked. If the wall insulation is damp, remove and replace it. Clean out all the debris, and lift out the tub. You can use a sledgehammer to carefully break up a porcelain tub to make it easier to move.
Step 5 – Locate the Plumbing
Lay out the plumbing for your whirlpool bath in accordance with the instructions. The tub spout and faucet should be at least 8 inches above the overflow level of the tub. Install a backer for the faucet as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are lucky, you will not need to cut holes for water pipes.
Step 6 - Solder the Copper Pipes
Assemble the copper pieces and solder them, but don’t solder the tub spout until the tub is installed.
Step 7 - Locate the Tub
Mark the proposed position of the tub. Confirm that the position will provide the floor support the tub requires.
Step 8 - Install the Whirlpool
Install the drainpipe into the ‘P’ trap. Do not let the whirlpool rest on it. Set the drain inside the tub in plumber’s putty.
Spread mortar under the whirlpool and let the tub settle firmly into it. Use the level to ensure the tub is level all round. The mortar will support the tub and the weight of the people in it. Until the mortar has dried, don’t let anybody into the tub.
Step 9 - Install the Electrical Supply
The whirlpool will need its own circuit from the breaker board. That should be fitted by a qualified electrician who will also wire up the tub.
Once the mortar has dried, you can make the final connections and test the plumbing joints to ensure there are no leaks. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing the tub. Once the tub is fully installed, you can finish off any repairs that might need doing in the drywall and tiling.