• Todd Engle

Whirlpool / Jetted Tubs


Whirlpool/jetted bathtub fixtures must be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The bathtub may be filled with water and tested during the rough-in plumbing inspection.

The pump must be located above the tub trap weir so that the pump drains each time that the tub is drained. The tub, pump and the piping should all be sloped to drain water completely after every use. Standing water will cause bacterial growth.

4.18.1 Whirlpool/Jetted Tub Access

The pump must be accessible to make repairs or maintenance. One should have access to the mounting bolts, pipe unions and electrical connections in order to physically remove the pump, all without damaging the tub or surrounding finished walls or ceiling. A 12x12-inch minimum sized opening should be installed to provide access to the circulation pump. If the pump is located more than 2 feet from the access opening, an 18x18-inch minimum sized opening should be installed.

4.18.2 Recommended Whirlpool/Jetted Tub Inspection Procedure

  • Fully open the hot and cold water faucets and fill the whirlpool tub with water at least 1 to 3 inches above the whirlpool jets.

  • Do not operate the pump until all jets are submerged.

  • Direct the jets downward before activating the pump.

  • Inspect the amount of bubbling with the controls.

  • The suction inlets typically have very small openings, less than 1/8-inch in diameter, to prevent catching hair and pulling someone’s head under water. This has happened in the past and some suction inlets have been recalled.

  • If dirty water comes out of the jets, the circulation system is probably dirty and the tub is not sanitary, and the inspector should recommend a professional cleaning.

  • There should not be any odor emanating from the tub.

  • All whirlpool tubs should have a dedicated electric circuit protected by a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter).

  • Inspect and measure the area of the access panel. Complements of www.nachi.org


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