09:50PM | 07/13/05
Member Since: 07/13/05
2 lifetime posts
I just bought a house that has a whirlpool bath in it. We didn't get a manual and the first time we used it all kinds of black stuff came out. We ran bleach in it a couple of times and the black stuff went away. We next discovered that the tub leaked. Could you tell me if I need to keep the water from getting in the air intake? Also, can I close the air intake? It seems that the leeking started when we closed the air intake. We don't know anything about this device, please help.

Thank you

Jim from Denver

Jim D

12:21AM | 07/14/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
CASSIEJIM - hi, the black stuff was probably old soap scum that had built up on the inside of the piping. There are whirlpool cleaners on the market that you can use - add it to the water, circulate it for a few minutes, and then drain. If you know you'll be using the whirlpool feature, you'll want to avoid things like bath oil beads and such because it'll just recreate the problem unless you do a regular cleaning of the tub with the cleaner.

You didn't indicate where the water leak seems to be coming from - the front or rear of the tub, etc. For a fast education on them, you may want to go look at the tubs for sale in the big box stores. You can see how the piping runs and get an idea of how the controls should operate.

I had a whirlpool tub and a Jacuzzi at the last rental home I was in that I fixed for the landlord. It took some time to figure out the finer points to get things going. I would say your air intake should be on the top surface of the tub so water shouldn't be getting into it. The air intake controls how much air is mixed with the water coming out of the jets - closing the intake cuts back on the air (less bubbles) and opening it lets more air in (more bubbles). You shouldn't turn the pump on until the tub water level is at least up to and covering the highest jet in the tub.

Is the leak appear to be huge or small? Do you notice the water level in the tub going down at all? If so, does it go down slow or fast? Have you located the method to gain access under the tub to get to the pump and piping? You may be able to remove the tub skirting from the front side of the tub in the bathroom, or you may only have access through a portal cut through the wall from the adjoining room. Normally, the pump will be located at the rear of the tub - that may help you locate the access port. In the rental house which was a split level, the access port to the tub's pump was behind the wall mirror in the half-bathroom on the lower the access port may not be obvious.

Please post back with some more details about the leak and whether or not you were able to gain access to the pump and piping...hopefully we can help you out. Again, you can get a basic education on whirlpool tubs just by taking the time to examine those display models. The tub I had was about 11 years old and wasn't sold in my area at all...but 30 minutes at the store and talking with the sales associate gave me lots of good info! Good luck! Jim D/West Point, VA


06:49AM | 07/20/05
Member Since: 07/13/05
2 lifetime posts
To LonnythePumber

Thank you for your help. I got access to the front of the tub from the closet. The leak kept coming from under the right side of the tub while looking toward the backside of the tub. The leak amounted to a cup to two cups of water. After several experiments, it seems that the leak is associated with the motor running while the air vent is closed. So I will just have to be careful not to shut the air vent nor let the water level get that high. I still don't know where the motor is. It must be in the area in the back of the tub where I would have to lift off slabs of plastic marble. I can't imagine servicing this unit or removing it.

Jim D

11:49PM | 07/20/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
CASSIEJIM - hi and thanks for the update! I hope you didn't have to cut a large hole through the wall. At least, it's something that's easily covered/patched when it's in a closet.

As before, I think you'd always want at least some air to get in to provide the bubbly massage effect - why else have a whirlpool tub? There hopefully is some way to gain access to the pump that's located at/near the rear of the tub...pump impellers can wear out/break. That was the first problem I encountered with the one I fixed for my landlord. The impeller is typically plastic and eventually it'll break free from the pump's driveshaft...even though you'll hear the pump working, you'll see no water circulating.

I'm not sure what your "slabs of plastic marble" are...maybe the pump is behind them. As you have time, though, it wouldn't hurt to keep looking around the tub and the walls it sits against to see if you can locate a portal to gain access to the pump. Maybe the seller or the seller's agent can be contacted and asked for that information. My mother-in-law has a whirlpool tub as well and the fiberglas skirting is held in place with a screw at each end - but the screws are hard to reach because they're barely visible behind some trim. So, you may have to look very closely!

Anyway - enjoy your whirlpool tub - regards! Jim D/West Point, VA
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