Whirlpool Tubs come in many different types to meet your needs.
Size and features are your main considerations but we will also cover costs, install and servicing considerations that you should think about before you make your purchase.
Even in the past few years there have been a number of improvements to the way whirlpool tubs work. Up until about 1990 if you asked for anything other then a standard soaking tub the designer would point you to water circulating whirlpool action.
Water Jet Whirlpools are still very popular but there are a couple drawbacks to this design. First is that water circulates through the plumbing system and jets. This can cause clogs depending on what type of soaps and products you use in your tub. For the most part if you are thinking about getting a water circulating tub you should stay away from any products and just use plain water.
Another problem with water jet whirlpools is that they can hold bacteria within areas you can not easily clean. This means you should run the tub with a bleach solution or as recommended by the manufacturer to clean not only the tub but the internal parts.
Air Jet tubs have been on the market about 10 years now and give you a very similar experience to the standard water jet type whirlpool. This type of tub will allow you to add products such as bath oils but remember you do not want products that will create a lot of suds.
Effervescence Technology is a mixture of Air and Water jetting. This type of product has all the drawbacks and benefits of each type. Because water and air is mixed the jets provided a more gentle effect. However remember cleaning is necessary on a regular basis.
Inline Heaters are available for water based systems to keep the tub warm over an extended period. Heaters are great because you will not need to drain and add warm water while in the tub. The only drawback with inline heaters is servicing them.
You should make sure you have easy access to your heater and pumps. Some Whirlpools come with a front access plate that can be removed in your bathroom. However many systems mount the pump and heater at the end of the tub which makes access somewhat tricky. When you install your Whirlpool it would be reasonable if necessary to add an access panel in the adjacent room so you will not need to cut through your drywall to make repairs.
Optional Jet Locations are available on many standard sizes of tubs. This can provide additional jetting in the floor or wall to provide the massage therapy you need.
Tub sizes are available that will match your current tub for a drop-in replacement or you can build a number of different free standing or corner tub designs to match your new bathroom layout.
Installing your tub can be a difficult process. Unlike retrofit tubs that do not have the whirlpool option you can not easily negotiate a large whirlpool in small hallways. Since the tub is an expensive item that will often be purchased either when the home is built or when you are doing a complete remodel of your bathroom you may find it easier to remove your door and part of a non load bearing wall to install the tub.
Although it may sound like more hassle to remove part of a wall it really is not that difficult if you take your time and protect your floor well. You can expect to take a half a day replacing the wall after you get your tub in.
The YouRepair Store Carries a full line of Whirlpool Tubs and Accessories.
Availability is usually only a few days with free shipping.