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Whirlpool Baths

The Whirlpool Bath is probably the favorite bathroom appliance for those who wish to add a touch of luxury to their refurbished bathroom.
Whirlpool Baths

The whirlpool concept is not new; in fact the use of moving water to invigorate or relax the body is as ancient as the Romans. But in more recent times it was the Jacuzzi brothers who developed the domestic whirlpool bath back in the mid 1950s. Today domestic ‘hydrotherapy’ baths go by many descriptions. The most common are: whirlpool baths, jetted baths, hydro pool, hydro spa and air spa baths. Some appliances combine whirlpool with air spa and even chromatherapy (which uses changing coloured lights, under water) to give a relaxing effect. Some products also include ozone generators to enhance the experience. All, however, are baths which use the vigorous pumping of water and air through special nozzles to massage the body.
Systems are available which are as simple or as sophisticated as the budget will allow. Baths are available in reinforced acrylic or enamelled steel. Most manufacturers now supply whirlpool baths which have self draining pipe work and some have disinfection systems which can be used to thoroughly clean the hidden pipes.


What to look out for/ things to ask about

Guarantee: What length of warranty does the manufacturer give?

Features: If hand grips are provided with the bath; are they included in the price?


Frequently asked questions

Q
Do I need any special water supply for a whirlpool bath?

A
No. Whirlpool baths use a standard hot and cold water supply found in all households. However some manufacturers quote a minimum water supply pressure, perhaps 1 to 3 bar minimum. In such cases an external booster pump may be required to increase the existing household water pressure.

Q
Are whirlpools noisy?

A
No, not really. If they are installed correctly according to manufacturer’s instructions they should work quietly and efficiently. However there will always be the sound of the pump and of the swirling/rushing/gushing turbulent water.

Q
Are whirlpools safe for children or elderly people to use?

A
Children should always be supervised when using a whirlpool bath but all systems will be fitted with safety cut out and timing devices. Some whirlpool systems are fitted with a timed cut out which only allow the user a short period of vigorous massage – this may be particularly suitable for the elderly.

Q
Do whirlpools baths need specialist fitting?

A
A whirlpool bath should be installed by a competent and qualified plumber and electrician.

Q
Are whirlpool baths just for fun or do they have a serious health benefits?

A
Well you can have fun in them! They are definitely relaxing and they certainly do help you wind down at the end of the day. But they are also designed to give some definite improvements in health. They can help aching joints with the massage effect of the whirlpool jets. They can also help the lymph system, the blood circulation system, arthritis and other ailments. Hydrotherapy is used in hospitals and care homes to help patients.

Q
I want a whirlpool but my bathroom is tiny. I doubt that I would be able to get a whirlpool system in there. Any ideas?

A
Many British bathrooms are small but manufacturers have been clever to design and build whirlpool systems which can fit in smaller spaces. For instance if you have room for a standard 1700mm x 700mm bath then you have room for a whirlpool.

Q
I am pregnant and I have been told not to use the whirlpool. This can’t be right, can it?

A
Well yes - it is correct that pregnant ladies should not use a whirlpool bath. The vigorous action of the jetted water and the heating effect on the body is not recommended. Likewise elderly people or people with a heart condition or high blood pressure should avoid using them.

Q
I’d love to stay in a whirlpool all day but I have been told this would be dangerous!. Is this right?

A
New users of a whirlpool should avoid long periods of hydro massage until their body has become accustomed to the therapeutic effects. Timing devices on some whirlpool baths are very useful.

Q
How should I clean a whirlpool bath?

A
Whether the bath is manufactured from acrylic or enamelled steel the surface should be cleaned using warm soapy water and should be rinsed and dried after use. If a disinfection system is available it should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q
How long does it take to install a whirlpool bath?

A
Provided that the site is cleared of all the previous installations and the services are fixed according to instructions a whirlpool bath should be installed within a day.

Q
Does a whirlpool need any special drains?

A
No. However, drain positioning is important so that the outlet to the bath is close to the drain system.