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Water Jetting Explained

What is Water Jetting?
Water jetting is performed by sucking the water inside the bathtub through a pump and tubes and delivering that water under pressure back into the tub through jets positioned on the walls of the tub.
  1. What kind of jets are offered? There are maxi jets and micro jets. Maxi jets are very common on outdoor hot tubs, but are less common in a regular bathtubs as these can be quite obtrusive. Jets can also be supplied with individual speed adjustment and/or direction control, other jets offer neither, just fixed speed and direction.
  2. What are the benefits of the different jets? Maxi jets, if recessed and positioned correctly, can offer excellent massage action. As these jets require more water throughput, there tends to be less of them in a bathtub, thereby restricting their versatility to effectively massage different body areas. Direction control on water jets is a very important feature. This allows the bather to point the water flow directly at specific problem body points while remaining in a relaxed reclining position. Individual speed control is also a desirable feature and a definite requirement if the jetting system does not offer other methods of speed control. Sometimes a bather will simply want a soft massage, other times, a very powerful jetting action. Speed control for the most part can accommodate these. Turning the speed to very low on some jets also creates more power from the other jets turned to full flow. Jets with neither speed or direction control are not so great for enjoyable bathing.
  3. Is the position of the jets important? This is a definite YES. Water jetting can offer extremely beneficial and enjoyable massage. Back jets, including lower lumbar and foot jets that will flow directly onto the soles of the feet can feel exceptional. Jets on the tub sides can tend be of less importance and sometimes ineffective.
  4. Is jet power important? This is an emphatic YES. One of the major attributes of water jetting is the ability to relieve tired feet and/or a sore, aching back. Many water jetted tubs simply have water jetting to no specific target or purpose. Zone jetting, while only available on certain tub styles is the latest innovation for very effective, high power jetting action. The pressure of the water jets can be more than doubled by switching it all to either the back of the foot area.
  5. Will the water jets heat or cool the water? The jetting will have no effect on the water temperature inside the tub.
  6. Is a heater on a water jetted tub essential? A heater is definitely not an essential feature on a water jetted bathtub. If you are planning to soak for 15 minutes or so, depending on your bathtub size and bathroom temperature, water heat loss should be minimal. An inline water heater will certainly maintain and even slightly increase the temperature in your bathtub if you are considering longer soaks. Water heaters on tubs are designed to work only while jetting. If you are considering a tub mainly for therapy, a water heater is a good option.
  7. Will a water heater heat the water if starting from cold? Unlike outdoor hot tubs, heaters on bathtubs are purely designed to maintain or slightly increase the existing water temperature in the bathtub. Over a longer period of jetting, a bather will notice a slight, few degrees increase in the water temperature.
  8. Are water jets therapeutic? Most certainly, well designed water jetted tubs offer exceptional therapy. All types of massage have been used for thousands of years to relieve pain and stress and a good water jetted bathtub can definitely assist with aches, pains and stress. Adding a heater will also assist in the therapy as it keeps the water at a higher temperature.
  9. How powerful should the pump be? This will depend on the size of your bathtub and the amount of jets and the jetted system being used. It is not uncommon to see tubs fitted with pumps from 0.75hp up to 1.5hp. Higher than that may mean upping the amps or voltage on the electrical supply which can often prove expensive or impractical. A 1.25hp pump can comfortably accommodate 10 jets or so. If fitted with zone control, this size pump will produce exceptional massage results.
  10. How noisy is the pump? Today's water pumps are generally incredibly quiet. Regardless of the power produced in the jets, you should hear very little sound at all from a water pump on a bathtub.
  11. Is ozone sanitizing essential on water jetting? Ozone sanitizing is a good feature to have on a water jetted system. While most top quality water jetted tubs will drain very effectively, some moisture retention is unavoidable. The ozone system, which only activates when the tub is jetting, will prevent bacteria build up. However, regular maintenance suggested below is a necessity for fully effective hygiene.
  12. Is it OK to use bath salts or bubble bath with a water jetted system? There are no issues with using bath salts, just make sure they are fully dissolved before entering the bath. Bubble bath is also fine, but be careful when adding bubble bath as the action with the jets can create a small mountain of soapy bubbles.
  13. Is a water jetted system safe to use? UL listed water jetted bathtubs must meet certain build and safety specifications. Having a UL listed pump is not the same. Water jetted systems are very safe if correctly assembled to UL codes under UL guidelines and inspection. In the unlikely event an electrical issue, the required and specified ground fault circuit interrupter will terminate the electrical supply.
  14. How hygienic is a water jetted system? This depends on how the tub is maintained. When you consider that water jetted tubs simply re-circulate the water in your bathtub under pressure, it's easy to understand that the soap film, body oils etc. that are in your bathing water will flow through these tubes. While ozone is effective at killing bacteria in the water lines, it only operates when the jetting operates. The tubing used is very smooth and is not an easy place for bacterial build up to occur, but it is inevitable that some moisture (not standing water) will inevitably remain on the surface of the tubing. This moisture will contain some of the soap and body oils described. To remove these, it is very important to maintain a good hygiene regimen with your tub.
We suggest the following preventative maintenance be carried out each month or two.
  • Fill you tub with warm water to 2" above the top jet.
  • Add two cups of household bleach.
  • Activate all the jets on in the fully open position.
  • Allow the jets to run for 15 minutes.
  • Switch off the jets and allow the water to sit for 15 minutes.
  • Empty the tub.
  • Re-fill with fresh water, again 2" above the top jet.
  • Run the jets for 15 minutes.
  • Empty the tub and the job is finished. If the tub is not in constant use, it is still very important to continue the maintenance as described herein.

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