You may consider adding a bathtub with whirlpool features to enhance your master or guest bathroom. Here are a few things you need to know before buying a whirlpool tub.
1. Size and Weight
Some models are designed to fit within an existing bathtub space so that you can easily remove your current tub and replace it. This may be a good idea for some, but since most bathtubs are too small for the average adult to relax in, it may not be worth the investment. When it comes to a whirlpool, keep in mind that the larger the tub, the more relaxing the experience will be.
If you are remodeling or building a new home, ask yourself these questions about the size:
- Who will be using the whirlpool? Will it be for someone who has back problems or other physical limitations? If the jets are not positioned in the right locations, then the effectiveness of the tub is compromised.
- How many will be enjoying the tub? This is a wonderful way for couples to spend a romantic evening.
- How large are those who will use the tub? If it is too small, it won't be comfortable. Over time, your expensive whirlpool tub might become just another tub used for practical bathing.
- Will the floor be able to support the weight of the tub? There are cast iron, acrylic and fiberglass models that all have various features and strengths. The cast iron tub will be the heaviest, but when you add water to any tub, its weight increases significantly.
2. Safety Features
Safety considerations include operation as well as application. A whirlpool tub should include a non-slip floor, built-in grab bars and some form of easy and safe access.
Your tub should also have an internal low-water sensor. This is designed to turn off the motor when there is an insufficient amount of water in the whirlpool. Without this included feature, you could accidentally burn up the motor by running it dry.
3. Operating Style
Whirlpool baths come in one of two operating styles:
- Air-Jet Bathtub - A system of tiny pin-holes that push powerful puffs of air into the water. These are easier to clean and maintain.
- Water-Jet Bathtub - Pushes recirculating water out into the tub, providing a more therapeutic, pulsating water massage.
4. Heating System
If you choose to heat your whirlpool with your existing in-home heating system, make sure it can handle the amount of water needed to fill the whirlpool. With an external system, the water in the tub will get cool quickly due to the circulating jets, so you will need to frequently refill the tub with hot water. A 50-gallon quick recovery system should be sufficient.
The other option is a self-heating system. A self-heating whirlpool comes with its own internal heating system that circulates the tub water and reheats when necessary. This is a good energy-saving option and the best way to keep your water temperature consistent.