Whirlpool Baths became popular during Roman Empire, and as may be expected, there are a number of different varieties of whirlpool baths; each offering its very own distinctive qualities and benefits. It is first critical to note the difference between a whirlpool and what is known as an air tub. While a whirlpool will supply powerful jets of water, air baths instead utilise tiny air bubbles to provide a gentle soothing effect. Thus, a whirlpool offers a more robust massaging mechanism. This is one of the reasons that they are often used in medical facilities and rehabilitation clinics.
Types of Whirlpool Baths
The first type of whirlpool is known as a drop-in tub. As the name hints, the users can literally "drop in" to the water. These are generally positioned on an elevated platform while offering the capacity to accommodate two or more people. They come in a variety of shapes, styles and colours. Such units can be used in the bathroom although they are frequently preferred in larger areas such as conservatories or next to a pool.
The second variety is an alcove or "apron" model. This tub is suited for one person and can be fit into an existing bathroom. Offering a more diminutive size, alcove tubs appear much like their traditional counterparts with the exception that most contain a side apron that extends down to the floor.
The term "water jet" is often used in conjunction with whirlpool tubs and yet few consumers understand how these units operate. Heated water is pumped through apertures of different sizes directly back into the tub. As this water is under pressure, it will provide an excellent means to relax and unwind while vigorously massaging the muscles.
Note that this is different than the principle behind air jets; water jets are generally found in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They can be customised to suit individual needs. There are also instances when the pressure can be controlled by the user to achieve the optimum effects. It is finally important to remember that bath salts, oils and aromatic substances should not be used with water jets, as these materials can corrode internal surfaces.
Proper Care and Maintenance
As with any complex piece of machinery, the proper care of whirlpool baths is essential to guarantee their efficiency and longevity. When in constant use, it is recommended that both the surfaces and the jets themselves be cleaned once every two weeks.
The tub should be emptied and all visible surfaces need to be wiped down with a soft cloth. This is important in helping to prevent the buildup of mildew and bacteria. Furthermore, hard water stains can accumulate if this is not regularly performed. Non-abrasive cleaners should be used to avoid damaging the surfaces being washed.
A second important maintenance task revolves around jet maintenance. First, ensure that all apertures are closed tightly (to avoid air entering into the plumbing). Fill the tub with hot water until it is higher than the uppermost jet. Add the appropriate cleaning product to this water (recommended by the manufacturer) and allow the unit to fully circulate for fifteen minutes. Finally, empty the tub and refill it with cold water. Run the system for another ten minutes to rinse the interior plumbing and jets; some cleanser could still remain.
It is critical to remember to take care of the water jets and all internal plumbing. Improper maintenance can greatly hinder their function and in some cases, even cause the entire bath to stop working. Furthermore, infrequent cleaning may void an existing warranty.
The Need for an Experienced and Qualified Plumber
Installing whirlpool baths can be a complicated project for several reasons. First, their size could be difficult to manipulate (as is often the case with drop-in tubs). Plumbers will understand how to tackle even the most daunting of dimensions while guaranteeing that the unit fits snugly into the desired area. Also, plumbers will understand how to best support the structure. We should never forget that when the tub is full, it can weigh into the hundreds of kilograms (or more).
Valves, pipes, gaskets, filters and pumps also need to be correctly installed. If even one of these is out of place or the wrong size gasket is used, massive leaks can occur. This is the result of the pressurised water circulating within. Such leaks can prove to be a costly situation if the bath has already been installed and water is not discovered until much later. When a professional plumber is not used, these (and other) situations are not likely to be covered under an existing warranty.
As opposed to normal waterworks, a whirlpool employs substantial amounts of electricity to power jets and other mechanisms. Not only can these be dangerous to install without the proper knowledge, but any incorrect wiring can coincide with the chances of serious injury or even death for those who will use the tub.
Along with a fascinating history, the modern whirlpool offers a number of benefits to the owner. Appreciating these tips and tricks will enable one to choose the most appropriate model and enjoy years of therapeutic relaxation.