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Pros and Cons of Jacuzzi Bathtubs
Jacuzzi-style bathtubs, also referred to as whirlpools, are a must-have in any luxury bathroom remodel, but many people only factor in the additional price. They are often incorrectly assumed to offer many benefits while requiring no additional thought or maintenance than a standard tub.
If the massaging jets in warm water are too much to resist, make sure to look at all of the pros and cons.
Promotes relaxation and reduces stress
Requires additional cleaning and maintenance
Could add to home value in a luxury bathroom setting
Expensive and requires professional installation
Health benefits for certain ailments
May increase utility cost
Pros of Jacuzzi Bathtubs
Jacuzzi-style bathtubs do have some positive health trade-offs. The combination of warm water, weightlessness, and massaging from the jets can significantly reduce both mental and physical stress.
In particular, people suffering from skeletal ailments, such as tendinitis and arthritis benefit from increased blood circulation and muscle relaxation from the heat and see reduced inflammation. The warmth also helps to reduce stress and prepare the body for sleep. This provides a more restful evening and generally helps improve overall mood and health.
Recent studies have begun to show that blood sugar may be positively affected by their use.
In a New England Journal of Medicine study, subjects with type 2 diabetes spent half an hour submerged to the shoulder in the tub six days a week. By the end of three weeks, the researchers found an average drop of blood glucose levels from 189 mg/dl to 159 mg/dl.
This is explained by the hot temperatures stimulating some of the effects of physical exercise, which has been proven to be an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes.
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Cons of Jacuzzi Bathtubs
After the initial purchase, there may be a slight uptake in utility use as well. Jacuzzi-style tubs are often larger and take more water to fill. If the tub comes with a built-in heater, this, along with the jets, could bump utility costs up by $40 a month, depending on the frequency of use.
Rigorous Cleaning Process
The suggested cleaning process starts with ensuring there is no air induction with the jets. From there, the bath should be filled with warm water up to two inches above the highest jets. Water from a recent bath may be used as well. Add two teaspoons of low-foaming powder, automatic dishwashing detergent, and 20 oz of bleach to the water. Then run the jets for five to ten minutes before turning off the system and draining the water.
With some air-type jet tubs, you can clean them by running the jets after each use. However, running the jets without water in many other types can cause serious damage, so err on the side of caution if you are unsure.
The Romance Angle
Jacuzzi-style tubs are often thought to be luxurious and romantic. While this is definitely an opinion-based factor, there are a few points forgotten while daydreaming of candles and roses—the most important being the jets.
While they benefit your health, the massaging jets can be a mood killer as they tend to run loud. Additionally, while using the jets, it is best to avoid bubbles as they can grow out of hand with all the turbulence in the water. Any other foreign objects, like rose petals and oils, can potentially put the system at risk as well. In this circumstance, it might be best to invest in just a large garden tub.
The cost is the most obvious drawback, starting at about $1,500 for a quality tub. The prices do fall in a greater range, however, with basic models starting at around $250 and topping $4,000 outside of custom designs.
Additionally, most manufacturers do not recommend installation by the purchaser unless they are trained professionals. For remodeling projects, it is suggested that ten percent of the budget be set aside for the licensed general contractor, electrician, or plumber.
It is also arguable if installing a jacuzzi-style tub is actually an investment in the resale value of the home. It is not always a selling point for buyers, so if the bath is the only part of the room receiving the update, it likely will not do much for the value.
Jacuzzi-style bathtubs require maintenance well beyond a standard tub. Major manufacturers suggest a full cleaning at least once a month, though most suggest twice. Even if the tub has drained, water may sit in the pipes, nozzles, and jets, so it is important to clean these to prevent algae, mold, and bacteria from building up.
Also, while there is generally a period that the system is covered under warranty, parts may eventually require replacement at additional cost.
Should You Get a Jacuzzi Bathtub?
In short, when it comes time to decide, the most significant determining factor is cost and, therefore, how often it will be used.
If the tub is used frequently to take advantage of all of its benefits while still being properly maintained, then a jacuzzi-style bathtub can be well worth the investment. However, if the jets system is not utilized, it may be worth looking into a more standard bath. Other options are often available with options like a garden tub.