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Whirlpool Tub Buying Guide

Learn about jetted tub features and what to look for when choosing a new tub

If you're considering purchasing a whirlpool tub, you've probably already been convinced of their awesomeness. But that awesomeness can be distracting, even blinding: these tubs are a big investment, requiring a lot of planning (especially when replacing an old tub). Throw in a potentially challenging installation, and you've got a lot to think about beyond candle selection! We have a few things you should keep in mind before buying.

BTW...speaking of candles, some of our whirlpool tubs even feature built-in chromatherapy! Utilizing brilliant, efficient LED lights, this optional feature can simulate the soft, golden glow of a candle's flame, or help get all your chakras in balance!


Choosing The Tub

Clawfoot whirlpool bathtub with champagne massageYearning for that classic look? Our clawfoot tubs featuring champagne massage can bring an elegant old-world feel to your bathroom, complete with all the modern amenities.

Whirlpool tubs typically feature either water jets or air jets. The former take water from the tub, run it through a pump, and push it out at high pressure for a deep, powerful massage. Air jets push pressurized air into the tub, yielding a gentler, more soothing experience. Which do you prefer? Luckily, some tubs come with both!

  • Are the jets where you need them? Jet placement can vary drastically between models. If a particular tub looks great, but won't directly address your problem areas, keep looking: comfort should always trump aesthetics.
  • Water in a tub can lose heat surprisingly fast, especially when the tub is equipped with air jets. In-line water heaters are offered for precisely this problem.
  • Many of the tubs we offer include an option for built-in grab bars: a prudent feature for anyone, these are especially helpful for the elderly and physically-challenged, who can reap the whirlpool's benefits without worrying about how to get in or out (assuming, of course, that ADA-compliant grab bars have also been installed next to the tub).

Whatever features you want, whatever color, whatever anything, it all has to fit in the space that's available. Keep in mind any unique design features, odd shapes, and system components (like pumps) that may also need to be accommodated in the same space, or an accessible spot nearby. Should you fail to take space limitations into account, you could find yourself needing to tear out walls and having to pay a lot more money.

And it may seem obvious, but... will the tub fit through the door? Unless you're building a new bathroom, this is a huge point that - believe it or not - can be overlooked.

The Water Supply

If it looks like the tub you want is going to fit, you have another thing to think about: can your water heater provide enough water to fill it up (without annoying the rest of the household)? Typically, a tub is filled up to somewhere around the 65% mark. With a 60 gallon tub (on the medium-small side), this works out to 39 gallons. Once the tub is filled, the water heater will need to "recover", which could mean no hot water for anyone else for some time. If this sounds like a potential problem, you might consider installing a tankless water heater just for the tub - this will keep the house heater available for everything else, and provide you with a nice, hot bath any time.

Installation of the Tub

  • Set the tub in a mud base for a solid, supported bottom that won't flex. Make sure that the perimeter of the tub is properly supported and caulked, as well.
  • Be sure that your electrical panel has adequate space for the proper-sized circuit.
  • Use a Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) outlet on an isolated circuit.
  • Install an access panel or removable skirt to provide easy access to the pump, controls, and drain.

A lot of things go into properly installing a new tub. It's recommended that you hire professional help, because you're always better off safe than sorry. Tubs hold a lot of water, get very heavy, and with whirlpool units, pumps and electrical components introduce an even greater level of risk.

Your city may require a permit (if not for the tub install itself, then at least for the electrical modifications) - find out ahead of time to save yourself a lot of hassle later on.

If you have a model or two in mind, get the specifications from the manufacturer's website or through your dealer. Present these to your plumber or contractor - they can inform you if there will be any issues with installation, let you know what other things you may need to purchase, and may even be able to give you a ballpark figure for installation costs.

Care & Cleaning of Jetted/Whirlpool Tubs

Abrasive cleaners should never be used, as they can easily damage any tub's finish. Most of the whirlpool tubs we offer are made of acrylic, for which there are specialized cleaners. For day-to-day or weekly cleaning, try using only dish soap, water, and a sponge or soft nylon scrubber.

  • For water deposits, try a diluted vinegar solution.
  • For stubborn stains, work gently at the stain using a soft nylon scrubber and a paste of baking soda and water.
  • It's always best to test any cleaning product - including vinegar or baking soda - on an inconspicuous spot before cleaning, just in case your tub doesn't like it.
  • Try to clean often, as this will reduce the chances of hard-to-remove stains forming.
  • To clean the whirlpool jets, fill the tub just enough for them to be fully submerged, add some dish soap, and run the pump for seven or more minutes before draining and rinsing completely.

Ready to shop for a new whirlpool/jetted tub?

Please note: Tubs are generally shipped by freight companies and not via common carriers (such as UPS/FedEx/etc.) Tubs may not be returned.


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