Armchair Builder

Whirlpool Tub Installation Planning

Whirlpool Tub Installation Tips

One of the top items requested in new homes are whirlpool tubs.  There’s nothing like the massaging jets to soothe your sore muscles or aching back after a long, hard workout.  So if you are thinking of installing a whirlpool tub in your home, there are some important planning items to consider.  Let’s take a look at them from a builder’s perspective.

Delivery

In most cases, whirlpool tubs come as one large unit.  Sure, there may be a part or two that can be disassembled, but the big portion of the product is the tub itself.  This can pose a problem when trying to get the unit into your home.  For an existing or new home, be sure to check the route from the exterior door to the future spot of the tub to make sure it will turn all corners and fit through every door along the route.  For a new two story home, you may want to have the tub set into place prior to installing the exterior doors.  This will give you a little extra width on the opening to help protect both the whirlpool tub and the new door jambs.

Prepping the Framing

Every whirlpool tub has different dimensions and specifications.  Be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions carefully and share them with your rough carpenter.  The walls and support for the tub will need to be adjusted to fit the specific model you purchase.  Also, be sure to check with your architect to make sure the existing floor framing will support the tub, water, and occupants.  The weight of the tub when filled with water and occupant can place a heavy point load on the existing floor frame.  Keep in mind, a large corner tub can weigh over a ton when in use.

Hot Water Supply

What’s worse than not having a whirlpool tub?  Answer:  Having a whirlpool tub that never gets hot.  If you have a water heater with a tank, be sure the capacity will properly heat the tub.  You will need to talk to your plumber so they can do the calculations for you. There are plenty of good plumbers in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and most other places that are familiar with this type of installation. Items to consider include tank volume, recovery time, and length of pipe run from the tank to the tub location.  You may also want to consider a tub that has a heating element to keep the water warm.

Whirlpool Motor Access Panel

The motor for the tub will need to be accessed for maintenance and replacement.  So be sure to include a whirlpool motor access panel when planning the installation.  Here is a new video Armchair Builder just published to help you meet code and avoid future hassles.

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