Getting and keeping your bath at the perfect temperature is an art, not a science. That is, unless you have an inline heater installed in your jetted bathtub.
Most jacuzzi bathtubs come have the option to add an inline heater. Even if you don’t choose the upgrade at the time of purchase, you can install the outlet and then add the heater at a later time. Jacuzzi heaters are self-contained systems that don’t require separate storage tanks.
Read on to find out more about jacuzzi bathtub heaters and whether you should upgrade.
What Is a Jacuzzi Bathtub?
Jacuzzi is the name of a company founded in 1915 by seven Italian brothers. The company added the whirlpool jetted tub to its product line in the 1940s. Since then, jacuzzi has come to refer to any jetted bathtub or hot tub, not just those manufactured by the Jacuzzi company.
A jacuzzi bathtub usually refers to a jetted tub placed indoors that fits 1-2 people. A jacuzzi “hot tub” or “spa” refers to a jetted tub placed outside that fits 3-12 people. Jacuzzi’s have jets that push water through them to massage the bather. There are also jetted tubs that use air jets to provide a less vigorous, overall massage. (Read about the pros and cons of air tubs on bathtubber.com.)
In this article, we are discussing heaters for jacuzzi bathtubs–the type of jetted tubs usually found indoors that fit 1-2 people. These bathtubs can be made by a variety of companies, including Jacuzzi, Whirlpool and others.
Should You Get a Jacuzzi Bathtub Heater?
Most jetted tubs are larger than a standard bathtub size and so require more hot water to fill than a regular bath. Even if you have a large hot water heater, it may not do enough to keep your jetted tub at a comfortable temperature.
Also, many people who take a jetted bath enjoy a pretty hot temperature–102-104 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, our circulation increases and our muscles relax as the jets massage them. (To learn much more about hot bath benefits and why a jacuzzi bath can be great for your health, read 20 Hot Bath Benefits for Body Mind and Soul on bathtubber.com.)
The reason even a large hot water tank might not keep your tub at the ideal temperature is that when the jets circulate the water, it will cool much more quickly than the water in a regular, non-jetted bath. In fact, the water can often drop below your ideal temperature in as few as two minutes. The rate at which the water temperature falls also is impacted by the room temperature.
So let’s say you have a 70-gallon hot water tank and you also have a 70 gallon jetted bathtub. “Perfect!” you’d think. But this, unfortunately, is not correct. If you are sharing hot water with others in your home, it may not be enough. You don’t want to deprive anyone from doing laundry or taking a hot shower just because you decided to soak in the tub.
What’s the solution?
An inline or T-shaped jacuzzi bathtub heater.
Types of Jacuzzi Bathtub Heaters
Jacuzzi bathtub heaters can be purchased as an upgrade when you buy your bathtub, or in most cases, you’ll have the option to add it at a later date. Just be sure to ask the manufacturer to add a heater-ready fitting when you buy so that it’s simple to add the heater later.
There are two basic types, and which one you need will depend on the configuration of your bathtub’s pump and plumbing. Also, know whether you need 110 volts (which is most common for a jetted tubs in the US) or 220 volts (more common in Europe).
Inline heaters are installed in the plumbing line, upstream or downstream from the pump. You usually need 7 inches of straight plumbing line for this type of attachment. They use suction to recirculate the water. No separate water tank is required, so it is a self-contained heating system.
Some companies offer heaters that allow you to set your ideal temperature and then the system will maintain that temperature for the duration of your soak.
Unlike the inline heater, the T-shaped heater attaches directly to the pressure side of the pump. Usually, this type of heater will fit on 1.5 inch plumbing. Some companies provide fittings so that it can be used on ¾ inch or 1-inch plumbing lines as well. These are not nearly as popular as inline bathtub heaters.
Popular Jacuzzi Heater Brands
There are many companies that make jetted bathtub heaters that can work with a wide variety of jetted bathtubs. These heaters often offer additional benefits, such as safety features and the ability to set your ideal temperature, and prices range from about $125-$200.
SpaGuts Bathtub Heaters
SpaGuts makes bathtub heaters with a universal fitting for all types of brands. They offer a variety of inline and T-shaped heaters, so you’ll need to look carefully at your pump and plumbing line to decide which will best fit your bathtub. These heaters can be set to maintain the bath water at your preferred temperature, and once that temperature is reached the heater automatically turns off.
See the SpaGuts Inline Bath Heater Kit on Amazon.
And here is the SpaGuts T-Style Bath Heater Kit on Amazon.
These are the bath heaters that I recommend for anyone who is retrofitting a jetted bathtub with a heater. They are universal, easy to install and work great.
Jacuzzi Heated Soak System
The Jacuzzi company introduced its Heated Soak system in 2017. According to the company:
“The Heated Soak system is comprised of a quiet pump that gently circulates warm water through two mini jets and a compact suction fitting. The pump generates heat that transfers to the water, thus maintaining the bath’s temperature. All Heated Soak bathtubs feature electronic controls as standard equipment.”
You can purchase the Heated Soak through the Jacuzzi company.
American Standard EZ-Install™ Heater
This line of jacuzzi bathtub heaters is designed to be retrofitted and easily installed on any jetted bathtub. It also includes a high-temperature shut-off feature for safety. According to installation instructions, “This safety circuit will not ‘false trip’ from hot tap water. It will only turn the heater off if the thermostat fails.” (Source)
Here is the inline EZ-Install Heater on Amazon.
Hydro-Quip Certified Real Heat Heater
These jacuzzi bathtub heaters are highly energy efficient. The company says:
“There are alternative technologies that claim to extract heat from the circulation pump or generate heat from turbulence in the water. The benefits of these technologies are minimal at best. The high efficiency rating, safety and performance of CRH™ bath heaters is unmatched by any alternative heating mechanisms.”
Features include an automatic smart thermostat and an intelligent high limit for safety.
So Do Jacuzzi Bathtubs Have Heaters?
These days almost all jacuzzi bathtubs offer a heated element with the bathtub at the time of purchase as an upgrade. You can also retrofit a new or old jacuzzi bathtub with a heater at any time. There are several options, and the one that will fit your tub depends upon your plumbing and voltage requirements.
By adding a heater to your jetted tub, you can enjoy a longer soak at a constant temperature that you prefer. With a jacuzzi bathtub heater, you can say goodbye forever to running out of hot water before your tub is full, and to a bath that quickly cools.