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Installation Tips for Jetted Whirlpool Tubs and Air Massage Tubs

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

An air massage tub in front of window
Air Massage Tub

Installing a jetted whirlpool tub or air massage tub can transform your bathroom into a luxurious and relaxing spa-like retreat. These advanced tubs provide a soothing experience by combining the power of water jets or air bubbles with a comfortable bathing environment. While the prospect of having such a feature in your home is exciting, the installation process can be complex. Check all the points below to ensure a successful setup of your jetted whirlpool tub or air massage tub.

Plan and Measure Carefully: Before purchasing your tub, take accurate measurements of your bathroom space to ensure the chosen tub will fit comfortably. Consider factors such as the tub's dimensions, doorways, and any obstacles that might hinder the installation process. Planning ahead can help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure a seamless installation.

Check Plumbing and Electrical Installation Requirements:

  • Ensure that your bathroom's plumbing system can handle the increased water flow and drainage requirements of the tub. Consult a plumber, if necessary, to assess the existing plumbing and make any necessary adjustments for the supply lines and the drain. Possibly plan on the installation of a Roman tub spout to accommodate a larger and faster water fill for your tub.

  • Similarly, consult an electrician to ensure your bathroom's electrical system can handle the tub's power requirements and install any necessary outlets or circuits. Check ahead of time on whether you will need two dedicated circuits for your tub. Jetted whirlpool tubs with heaters always require two dedicated circuits because of the initial start-up current for the pump. On the other hand, air massage tubs usually do not require two dedicated circuits, but it is always wise to check the manufacturer's recommendations ahead of time. The location of the electrical receptacles have to match the location of the pump, blower or control systems on both type tubs.

Choose the Right Location: Selecting the ideal location for your tub is crucial. Choose a spot that allows for easy access to plumbing and electrical connections while ensuring the tub is centrally placed for optimal relaxation. Keep in mind that jetted tubs can be quite heavy when filled with water, so consider the structural integrity of the floor as well.

Follow Manufacturer's Guidelines: Every jetted whirlpool tub and air massage tub come with specific installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. These guidelines are tailored to the tub's design and functionality, so it's important to follow them diligently. Failure to adhere to these instructions might lead to a malfunction or damage to the tub, and it might void the warranty.

  • Purchasing the tub with the correct drain end is critical. If a right-hand drain is installed on the left end of the tub enclosure, the controls will end up on the back side of the tub against the wall which does not allow access if needed. The same is true if a left-hand drain is installed on the right end of the tub enclosure.

Proper Ventilation: Adequate room ventilation is crucial to prevent moisture buildup and potential mold growth in your bathroom. If you do not have one, consider an installation of an exhaust fan to help dissipate steam and moisture generated during bath sessions. The proper ventilation in the bathroom is important.

Consider Access Panels: Installation of access panels around the jetted whirlpool tub or the air massage tub can make future maintenance and repairs much easier and are also a warranty requirement for most manufacturers. These panels provide convenient access to the tub's plumbing and electrical components, allowing for quicker fixes and adjustments when needed. It may change the aesthetics of your tub enclosure but access is critical when and if you may need to replace a pump or blower.

And if the tub is to be closed in with tile, a tiled access panel can be made by the tile setter that is removable.

A jetted tub with access panel in bathroom
Jetted tub access panel
A jetted tub with an access panel in bathroom
Jetted tub access panel

Access can be planned through adjacent rooms, hallways or closets with an air vent grille to cover the hole. And an air vent can also provide ventilation for the pump or blower. It is not always necessary, but it certainly can help.

An air vent grille in wall
Air vent grille

Final Installation Points:

  • If the tub is to be set in a mortar mix or concrete sand mix for support, a poly sheet should be laid over the mix before setting the tub so that any future necessary removal will be easy.

  • When installing the tub, be cautious with putting any weight on the deck edges to avoid cracking the thin acrylic edges.

  • Make sure that the tub weight will not be resting on the underside of the deck. The full tub weight must sit on the subfloor.

  • At times, the back and side of the tub deck have to be supported by a 1" X 2" stringer which will keep the deck from moving and will avoid noise from movement.

A sketch to show the wood stringer location
Sketch showing wood stringer location
  • One final safety measure to take in case of a water leak is a simple battery powered water alarm placed on the floor under the tub. Of course, the battery should be checked and changed yearly. If not, you will be faced with an intermittent noise coming from the alarm trying to tell you to change the battery and it truly is annoying. Ha! Ha!

Seal and Insulate: To ensure a watertight installation and prevent leaks, use high-quality sealants and insulation materials. Proper sealing around the tub and the adjacent walls prevents water from seeping into areas where it shouldn't be, minimizing the risk of damage over time.

Professional Help: While some DIY enthusiasts may be comfortable with certain aspects of installation, it's often best to consult professionals for the plumbing and electrical work. A licensed plumber and electrician can ensure that all connections are properly installed, reducing the risk of accidents or issues in the future.


Installing a jetted whirlpool tub or air massage tub can add a touch of luxury and relaxation to your home. By carefully planning, following manufacturer guidelines, and enlisting the help of professionals where needed, you can ensure a successful installation that provides years of soothing baths and enjoyment. Remember that a well-executed installation not only enhances your bathing experience but also adds value to your home.

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