01:31PM | 11/09/03
Member Since: 11/08/03
2 lifetime posts
I bought a 35 year old bungalow last year that has a whirlpool tub in the main bath. Using it last year was no problem,but when i turned it on today, mulched leaves kept spitting out of the jets. The tub is enclosed in wood panelling and I'm no PRO in working out the workings of this tub. Please help..after picking up 40 bags of leaves..i'm very sore and need my whirlpool back. Running it 4 times has not yet cleaned out the leaves.

Jim D

11:28PM | 11/09/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
BSHIVJI - hi, I have a whirlpool tub in my master bathroom and a Jacuzzi outside, both of which I've done research and repairs on. First question - are you sure you're seeing mulched leaves? If the bath is indoors with no access (except the drain plumbing) to the outdoors, then I don't see how you'd get leaves in the tub and not see them pouring out of every other faucet in the house. What you may be seeing is a dirt film that's coming off the inside of the whirlpool piping that's under the wood paneling. My wife was using little oil beads in our whirlpool tub in the past, and over time they built up a film so that, when she used the whirlpool portion for the first time in several months, she saw what she thought was some sort of leaf material. Pool and spa places sell various cleaners that you put into the water, circulate on high speed for 20-30 minutes, and drain out. It may work in your case since it appears the stuff's already breaking loose.

Somewhere around the wood paneling/enclosure or in the next room, you should find an access port to get access to your tub's pump unit. It won't be as large as those used on outdoor swimming pools. (I'm in a split-level house, and my tub's pump unit is accessible behind the mirror in the half-bath that sits 1/2-level down and adjacent to the master bath. I located it by running the pump and listening for the noise it makes.) I recommend checking the pump to see if it uses a small holding tank with built-in filter. If so, check the filter basket - remove it, clean it out, and reinstall it.

Otherwise, I'm at a loss as to how leaves would get in there. The whirlpool piping connects only to the tub's outlets and the pump. Water comes in via the faucet and goes out via the drain - the pump and piping do nothing more than circulate the water.

I hope this helps some - regards! Jim D/Heathsville, VA


01:15AM | 11/10/03
Member Since: 11/08/03
2 lifetime posts
Thank you Jim D/Heathsville:
I'm certain that they are leaves as some are not as mulched as others. Would the air from the jets not be coming from outside? I'm wondering if it's vented somehow to the outside as it's not the water that contains the leaves, just the air jets. I'm in a side-split so I'll need some menfolk to come around and take the panelling down from the bathroom downstairs in the basement and see if the pump/filter are located in that vicinity. I believe the tub was only put in in the last 4 years but they've left me no manuals to work with.

Jim D

11:04PM | 11/11/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
BSHIVJI - hi again and thanks for the follow-up info. The air in the jets is normally drawn from the air in the room where the tub is located. There is usually an air inlet adjustment along the top surface of the tub - mine is located near the ON/OFF switch on the top surface of the tub, and it screws in or out. Loosening it allows more air into the hose and creates more bubbles coming out of the jets.

I'm at a loss as to how leaves would get into the system. I know the mulching is probably caused by the pump's impeller - that's the part that spins and forces the water out of the jets in the tub walls. If it was fine last year and now has leaves in it this year, something had to happen to compromise the system.

It's certainly possible your tub is vented from the outside. I don't know if that would be a standard installation technique or not. If so, I don't see how you'd be able to adjust the amount of air the system draws into it. Also, I'd think the size of the vent would be fairly small - the one on my tub is only about 1/2-inch in diameter and it feeds a 1-inch diameter pipe. Have you walked around outside the house while the whirpool is operating to see if you can find an outside vent?

Good luck with this - without being able to look at it in person, I don't think I can offer you much help. Regards! Jim D/Heathsville, VA



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