|Jacuzzi and Whirlpool Bathtubs
A whirlpool bath can provide a welcome massage
for sore muscles, refreshing stimulation
for the skin, and soothing hydrotherapy for
arthritis and other joint discomforts. Originally
developed for health care in hospitals and
beauty care in spas, these units have been
available for home use for years. Sometimes
you will hear whirlpool baths referred to
as jacuzzis because of the original inventor
A whirlpool bath is much like an ordinary
bath tub with a series of water jets arranged
around the inside of the tub. The jets direct
streams of recirculated water to different
parts of the body and create a swirling current
that gently rubs as it flows over your skin.
Some jets also combine air with the jet stream
to create a gently pulsing force against
your body. A spa bath differs from a whirlpool
in not pumping water through the bath but
in blowing air alone through holes or jets
in the bottom and sides of the bath. When
immersed in the bubbling water, you receive
a massage all over. Many baths combine both
water jets and air bubblers.
The most important feature of any whirlpool
bath is the jets. The number and placement
of the jets dictate where they act. Check
that you can focus them where on your back,
arms, legs, and feet you need it. Jets that
combine water with air provide a more invigorating
massage. Some units draw air into the water
flow with an aeration device while other
jetted baths force air into the water stream
for a more invigorating effect.
The other important features
- Size and Shape: Most whirlpool tubs are about
the size and shape of ordinary bathtubs,
but some units can be as large and as varied
in shape as hot tubs. Consider an extra deep
model if you prefer almost total immersion.
- Heating: To keep the recirculating water
in the bath at the right temperature, look
for an in-line heater with temperature control.
Without the heater, you have to adjust the
water temperature when you fill the tub and
make constant adjustments as the water cools.
- Pump: The power and the noise of the pump
can have a major effect on your experience.
More powerful pumps will produce a more forceful
massage; a loud pump will destroy the mood.
- Controls: Look for digital controls to set
the desired water temperature and at least
two, if not three, speeds for the pump. Consider
a (floating) remote control.
- Warranty: The components prone to failure
are the inline heaters and water pumps. Look
for up to ten years protection.