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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Lusby Maryland
    Posts
    1

    Default Jetted/hydrotherapy tubs

    Hello all,
    I am a We to the home inspector trade. I just did a job where the home
    Had a jetted tub. I did not test the jets. Is that required by the ASHi standards.
    I haven't been able to find a clear answer. I thaught that they did not have to be. A realtor called me and asked if it I tested it and she said her usual inspector
    Does test them. Any Information is appreciated. Thanks

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Jetted/hydrotherapy tubs

    I am assuming that you are talking about the standard whirlpool tub that is located in a bathroom.
    Why would you NOT test it? There are a lot more reasons that is important to test them, than reasons why you should not.

    1. The basic DOES IT OPERATE? is the most important. Since it could be quite costly if it didn't operate, it's kind of important for your client to know it works.
    2. Does it leak? Again, can be very costly if it leaks when its run.
    3. Does it have proper GFCI protection? Is there access?

    One other thing to consider. If every other inspector in your area IS testing jetted tubs, and you are not, you could find yourself in a bind someday for not following the Standard of Care for your area.

    By the way, I don't know an inspector that does not test them.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    472

    Default Re: Jetted/hydrotherapy tubs

    Ryan:

    As Jack said you must fill and run the unit to see if it operates and if it leaks. It must have GFCI protection.

    You must also insure that the pump/motor equipment is bonded as per:

    NEC 680.74 Bonding

    All metal piping systems and all grounded metal parts in contact with the circulating water shall be bonded together using a solid copper bonding jumper, insulated, covered, or bare, not smaller than 8 AWG. The bonding jumper shall be connected to the terminal on the circulating pump motor that is intended for this purpose. The bonding jumper shall not be required to be connected to a double insulated circulating pump motor. The 8 AWG or larger solid copper bonding jumper shall be required for equipotential bonding in the area of the hydromassage bathtub and shall not be required to be extended or attached to any remote panelboard, service equipment, or any electrode. The 8 AWG or larger solid copper bonding jumper shall be long enough to terminate on a replacement non-double-insulated pump motor and shall be terminated to the equipment grounding conductor of the branch circuit of the motor when a double-insulated circulating pump motor is used.

    Additionally, check the manufacturer's installation instructions regarding support of the tub and insure that it complies.

    Finally, you cannot do most of this if there is improper or no access to the underside of the tub where the equipment is located as per IRC P2720.1 Access panel.
    A door or panel of sufficient size shall be installed to provide access to the pump for repair and/or replacement.

    and NEC 680.73. Accessibility. Hydromassage bathtub electrical equipment shall be accessible without damaging the building structure or building finish.

    This cannot be achieved by providing access through the front of the tub via a siliconed-in-place faux marble section, tiled skirt, paneled skirt, etc.

    Forget about what the ASHI standards say or what your Realtor's pet inspectors usually do or do not do. Do it right or don't do it all.

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: Jetted/hydrotherapy tubs

    One other thing: if the HM feature of the tub has not been used / flushed recently, a lot of black gunk is going to be mixed in with the water.

    1) If the client is standing there, I always give them a heads up that this may happen.

    2) I've learned from experience that it's just simpler to make sure all the gunk is rinsed down the drain.. otherwise you will have to deal with the occasional freaked out seller/agent.

    One other other thing: access will often be through what appears to be a heating register / grill, behind tile Velcroed in place, etc.

    Often it takes a bit of searching to find it. IMO, it's best to report that "I did not find it" rather than "It does not exist".

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    472

    Default Re: Jetted/hydrotherapy tubs

    I've learned from experience that it's just simpler to make sure all the gunk is rinsed down the drain.. otherwise you will have to deal with the occasional freaked out seller/agent.
    In my world that is for the seller - it is his/her tub. I also don't do windows or floors, change dirty air filters, wash dishes, mow yards, etc. To Hades with the agent.

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 09-01-2012 at 10:21 AM. Reason: typo
    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: Jetted/hydrotherapy tubs

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Jetted/hydrotherapy tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    I've read that article and will say that 680.74 has always been a misunderstood and constantly misapplied code section. Many believe that like pools and spas there a requirement for equipotential bonding of any metal parts in the vicinity of the tub. There is no requirement to bond metal parts or metal piping systems that are not in contact with the water circulation system. Even that article got it wrong (read the first correct comment at the bottom). This proposal for the 2014 NEC which has been accepted and should clear up the confusion.
    Robert,

    One reason it is misunderstood is that hydromassage bathtubs did not have bonding specified when they were first added to the code, thus many people used the closest section they could find at the time to apply to bonding hydromassage bathtubs - and that was 680.D Spas and Hot Tubs. That changed with the 1999 NEC when 680-73 was added and specifically addressed the bonding of hydromassage bathtubs.
    - From the 1999 NEC:
    - - G. Hydromassage Bathtubs
    - - - 680-73. Bonding
    - - - - All metal piping systems, metal parts of electrical equipment, and pump motors associated with the hydromassage tub shall be bonded together using a copper bonding jumper, insulated, covered, or bare, not smaller than No. 8 solid.
    - - - - Metal parts of listed equipment incorporating an approved system of double insulation and providing a means for grounding internal nonaccessible, noncurrent-carrying metal parts shall not be bonded.

    Of course, by then, everyone had already "learned" "how to bond hydromassage bathtubs" ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Jetted/hydrotherapy tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    One other thing: if the HM feature of the tub has not been used / flushed recently, a lot of black gunk is going to be mixed in with the water.

    1) If the client is standing there, I always give them a heads up that this may happen.

    2) I've learned from experience that it's just simpler to make sure all the gunk is rinsed down the drain.. otherwise you will have to deal with the occasional freaked out seller/agent.

    One other other thing: access will often be through what appears to be a heating register / grill, behind tile Velcroed in place, etc.

    Often it takes a bit of searching to find it. IMO, it's best to report that "I did not find it" rather than "It does not exist".
    For some buyers the spa tub is part of the apeal of the home or the master bath, if accessible (not used for storage or a cat litter box holder) I test them.
    As with Michael I've found many people do not use the jets in these tubs and for me green gunk pumps out when I run it. I do make sure the mess I've made is cleaned up.

    Expert Mobile & Manufactured Home Inspections O.C. & San Diego Co.


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