said by Ken:
I've heard a lot of negative things over the years about using a jetted tub as a regular shower. I have no first hand experience, but from what I understand each shower puts a small amount of steam and warm water into the jets and the pipes where it grows mold because those pipes never get flushed out on a regular basis.
Jetted tubs come in two varieties that I'm aware of: The ones with pumps and the ones with blowers. Either way, you have to follow a cleaning regimen regularly to keep mold and mildew at bay, but my comments are limited to my experience with an air-jetted tub.
The tub we have, has a purge cycle that runs every 24 hours to blow any residual water out. Every once in a while the power goes out and I forget to reset the purge function, and then I wonder what kind of gunk is going to come blowing out when I turn it back on. If you had a shower, you might be concerned about steam and dirt but IF the air holes are high enough so they don't fill with shower water that's on its way to the drain, I wouldn't predict big problems as long as you clean and disinfect regularly.
For the air-jetted tub, the cleaning process involves filling the tub above the holes with water, using vinegar OR bleach (not both at the same time, I hope that's clear) and then running the blower in short cycles to let the solution flow in and blow out repeatedly. You'll know if you're not cleaning enough when you are in the bathroom while it's purging, and it stinks.
BainUltra actually sells bath oils, so they encourage using them. I do not encourage using them, as long as I'm cleaning the bath, the towels and the floor, but bubble bath is no problem at all - you can get huge bubble masses and kids love it.
The downside of the air-jetted tubs is the blower noise and the fact that hot air carries nowhere near enough BTUs to keep the water hot. Also if you like that feeling of the water jet hitting your back or legs, the air jet is not going to do it for you.
I would recommend a hand shower and slide bar for ease of cleaning and rinsing people and the tub.
I have no idea if anybody makes any air-jetted tub that would replace a standard tub.
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