Air Jetting Explained
What is Air Jetting?
Air jetting is probably the simplest form of soothing and relaxing jetting on the market.
Air is blown through a hair drier style blower through tubes that enter your bathtub via jets positioned in either the floor or walls of the tub.
What kind of jets are offered?
There are pin hole jets, flat face jets and button jets. Pin hole and flat face jets can be blocked if sat upon, thereby eliminating their very purpose.
Button jets with side slots sit above the tub surface and even if sat on, the air will still be released through the slots on the side of the button. Button jets also push air in all directions, not just straight up.
Do button jets interfere with the enjoyment if they push against my legs etc. during bathing?
The answer to this is NO. When a body is immersed in a liquid, it experiences an upward buoyant force, this causes it to float a little. The buttons will be hardly noticeable.
Is the position of the jets important?
This is a definite YES. If the jets are on the side walls or edges of a tub, they will have less effect. When the bubbles enter the water through the sidewall, they float upwards, not straight out.
This can cause the bubbles to miss the body completely. Jets on the floor of the tub ensure that the entire immersed part of the body will benefit from the caress of the bubbles.
It's also important that the jets are positioned where they can best contact the legs, thighs, calves etc. Jets can feel very soothing on these sensitive areas.
Will the air jets heat or cool the water?
The effects of the bubbles on water temperature depends greatly on the position of the blower. If using a remote blower that travels for yards through an exposed pipe or hose, this will make the bubbles cooler. Even more so if the blower is located in an unheated cellar or attic. If the blower forms part of the tub, either under a pedestal or inside the tub cavity wall, the air jets will actually enter the water at a higher temperature than the water itself. As the blower works, it will naturally increase the temperature of the air inside the bubbles.
Even though the bubbles will be at a higher temperature than the bathtub water, they will still feel slightly cooler when they travel over your skin, this is just the nature of the air jetting sensation. Warmed jets like this will have little effect on the water temperature during a normal soak. However, too many jets and air coming from a remote blower can certainly decrease the water temperature.
To increase the bubble temperature before a soak, it's a good idea to activate your blower a minute or two before you enter the bathtub. Air jets will not maintain or increase water temperature.
Are air bubbles therapeutic?
If the air is reaching your skin, it will stimulate the contact area. In many cases, this can assist with blood circulation. No matter how strong the blower, there is no real massaging effect with air bubbles.
How powerful should the blower be?
This will depend on the size of the bathtub, but generally, a 0.5hp blower will be ample. Too powerful a blower can lead to the bubbles being overly active and actually cause splashing over the tub deck and onto the floor. The best way to prevent this is to use a variable speed control blower. This will offer a range of action from very soft to quite robust.
How noisy is the blower?
This depends on the blower manufacturer, the blower position and the power of the blower. A lower bubble speed will require less effort from the blower and therefore less noise. If using a remote blower, you can have it placed somewhere far enough away to not be heard in the bathroom, but there are other considerations that make remote blowers less attractive.
How hygienic is an air bubble system?
Air jet systems are generally very clean and easy to maintain. Most modern air jets include backflow prevention at the jet itself. This almost entirely prevents moisture from entering the air lines. At the end of each soak, it's still a good idea to activate the blower for 10 seconds after the tub empties. This will dry and remove any moisture that may have become trapped in the air lines. Some blowers are supplied with an automatic purge cycle, but these can be inconvenient as they normally activate 20 or 30 minutes after a soak when the bather is simply trying to rest, relax or sleep.
Is ozone sanitizing required on air jetting?
If using air jets with no backflow prevention at the jet, ozone can certainly assist with bacteria build up prevention. If there is backflow prevention at the jets, ozone offers no real benefit.
Is it OK to use bath salts or bubble bath in an air jetted tub?
There is no problem at all using bath salts or bubble bath in an air jetted system. Be careful though when adding bubble bath, the air action can create a lot of soapy bubbles that could spill over.
Is an air blower system safe to use?
UL listed jetted bathtubs must meet certain build and safety specifications. Having a UL listed blower is not the same. If using a remote blower, two forms of backflow prevention are required to prevent water flowing back from the jets into the blower. This is the same requirement for an integrated bathtub blower. Two UL approved backflow prevention valves are required between the jets and the blower. Combined with backflow prevention on the jets themselves, this offers an excellent safety system.
In the highly unlikely event that moisture should reach the blower, the required and specified ground fault circuit interrupter will terminate the electrical supply.
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