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Whirlpool Baths: Bigger isn’t always better

On the HouseJames & Morris CareyGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

We recently surveyed our radio program audience regarding their whirlpool tubs, and we made an interesting discovery that we think will surprise you as much as it did us. The question was, “How often do you use your whirlpool bathtub?” The answer across the board was, “It depends on whether it is a standard size tub or an oversized one.” Folks who own larger tubs simply don’t use them as much as they thought they would when they made their purchase. The reason: “Large tubs take too long to fill and are difficult to clean.” This is exactly the opposite of the answer we got from folks who have standard-size whirlpool-bathtubs. “We love our tubs,” they said. “They fill quickly, provide a warm, refreshing massage and they empty quickly and are easy to clean.” We couldn’t believe our ears. It was our impression that most Americans thought that bigger was better. Well, some that took part in our survey did think that way at one time – but not any more. Bottom line: If you want the best bang for your whirlpool-bathtub-buck make sure to carefully study the standard-size market. Ten out of 10 owners of standard-size tubs surveyed said they use their units almost daily. Also, while you’re shopping you might want to look into the latest in bathing comfort technology: “air baths.” An air bath differs from a whirlpool in that it is gentler. A whirlpool bath uses pumped water and often the assistance of air pressure to produce vigorous water circulation and an invigorating massage. There are many folks who don’t like it quite so rough, but who prefer their massage quiet and gentle. If your preference is the latter, the air bath is for you. With an air bath there is a line of small holes located at the base of the tub where the floor meets the walls. During use, air is gently pumped through the holes creating a quiet, gentle message. Some whirlpool tub manufacturers have added a feature that automatically cleans the jets and hidden whirlpool pipes. The new technology prevents bacteria buildup (a problem associated with older models when they are not properly cleaned). Also, don’t forget that it is important to look into a unit with an in-line heater. There is nothing worse than a cold whirlpool bath. In-line heaters work extremely well and make each experience a memorable one by automatically keeping the water at the temperature you want. Keep in mind that the more power required by the in-line heater – 220v as opposed to 110v – the faster and better it will work. The salesperson will tell you whatever you want to hear. That’s the salesperson’s job. If you want to hear that the price for the heater is inexpensive then the salesperson will tell you that the less expensive 110v heater works just as well as the 220v. That’s like saying a 200-horsepower car engine works as well as a 400-horsepower engine. Truth is it does – at 25 mph on a flat, straight road. When it comes to keeping your tub water hot, more electrical power means the attached heater will work quicker and better – period. Finally, when looking at whirlpool tubs be careful about what style can mean when it comes to using the tub. For safety, it is suggested that you sit on the edge of the tub and swing your legs over one at a time, then gently let yourself down into the tub. But with some high-style tubs the faucet may be placed in a position that makes that kind of entry and exit difficult. For example: some tubs have pre-drilled faucet holes in the center of one of the long sides. Try swinging your legs over the edge of a tub, and you’ll see what we mean.


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