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Thread: Jacuzzi Tubs

  1. #1
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    Question Jacuzzi Tubs

    Do any of you tag a jacuzzi tub for not being accessable? I inspected two houses today by the same builder that had jacuzzi tubs in them, but neither one of them had an access panel. In one of the houses the master shower drain was recessed below the tile about 1 inch. They did not slope the tile towards the drain, they just have grout around the drain openning.

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  2. #2
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    I note that they were not accessible and therefore none of the components below the tub could be looked at and recommend that they provide access for future.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Yep. The local AHJ's around here don't require access, so it is like beating your head against the wall, but I still call it out on almost every home with a hydro-therapy tub. I understand there is a change in the new NEC with more strict verbiage.

    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    ...Do any of you tag a jacuzzi tub for not being accessable?...
    Always. Lately it seems about 1/2 have no access.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Absolutely - it is a requirement.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    The line is always get from builders is that putting in the access panel would ruin the appearance of the tile work on the surround outside the tub. Then they try to show you where you would take a utility knife to score the grout and remove the panel (if it actually exists).


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    The line is always get from builders is that putting in the access panel would ruin the appearance of the tile work on the surround outside the tub. Then they try to show you where you would take a utility knife to score the grout and remove the panel (if it actually exists).

    Yeah, but ... that's not allowed either.

    From the 2008 NEC (but it's been in there for years). (underlining is mine)
    680.73 Accessibility.
    Hydromassage bathtub electrical equipment shall be accessible without damaging the building structure or building finish.

    In other words, there must be an access panel, and it must be able to be removed without causing *any* damage to *anything*.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Yeah, but ... that's not allowed either.

    From the 2008 NEC (but it's been in there for years). (underlining is mine)
    680.73 Accessibility.
    Hydromassage bathtub electrical equipment shall be accessible without damaging the building structure or building finish.

    In other words, there must be an access panel, and it must be able to be removed without causing *any* damage to *anything*.
    Yup, but it sure gets overlooked a lot by the AHJs in my area.
    Write it up.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Jerry, it was my understanding that there has been some verbiage change or definition of some of the words in the NEC that makes in more plain to provide "ready access" or something to that effect.
    Have you noticed any changes to that effect?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Jim,

    That NEC section I posted is from the 2008, nothing about 'ready accessible' (which I think you mean "readily accessible"), just revisions to the wording throughout the years to eliminate any confusion as to what the code means and wants, and this clearing up of the wording and intent goes back to the 1992 NEC, if I recall correctly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Word to your mama as Ice used to say

    Don't call it a Jacuzzi also if its not a Jacuzzi.

    Its a hydrotherapy tub. Not even a Whirlpool tub.

    rick


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    IRC 2721.2

    Whirlpool tub access must allow pump removal [min. 12 x 12in. ], 18 by18 in. if pump >2ft. from access opening.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Billy,

    The wording and section have changed for the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - SECTION P2720
    - - WHIRLPOOL BATHTUBS
    - - - P2720.1 Access to pump. Access shall be provided to circulation pumps in accordance with the fixture manufacturer’s installation instructions. Where the manufacturer’s instructions do not specify the location and minimum size of field fabricated access openings, a 12-inch by 12-inch (304 mm by 304 mm) minimum size opening shall be installed to provide access to the circulation pump. Where pumps are located more than 2 feet (609 mm) from the access opening, an 18-inch by 18-inch (457 mm by 457 mm) minimum size opening shall be installed. A door or panel shall be permitted to close the opening. In all cases, the access opening shall be unobstructed and be of the size necessary to permit the removal and replacement of the circulation pump.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Billy,

    The wording and section have changed for the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - SECTION P2720
    - - WHIRLPOOL BATHTUBS
    - - - P2720.1 Access to pump. Access shall be provided to circulation pumps in accordance with the fixture manufacturer’s installation instructions. Where the manufacturer’s instructions do not specify the location and minimum size of field fabricated access openings,
    Thanks,

    Most I see do not have the access panel.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    The majority of the ones I see have panels, usually in an adjacent closet or from the crawl. Occasionally, I see them in the tilework but it is a bit of an eye sore so I can see why the tile guys object. Not that that makes it okay to leave it out.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Word to your mama as Ice used to say

    Don't call it a Jacuzzi also if its not a Jacuzzi.

    Its a hydrotherapy tub. Not even a Whirlpool tub.

    rick
    I was surprised to note that the IRC calls them "Whirlpool" Bathtubs.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Thanks for all the info. I was pretty sure that they needed to be accessable.

    Dylan Whitehead

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Does anyone have any suggestions on the fact that the shower drain is actually 1 inch below the tile? It seems that the water will soak through the grout and make its way to the closet area or at least the drywall.

    Dylan Whitehead

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Dylan,

    There should be a shower pan liner installed, that would (if installed properly) prevent water from leaking outside the shower.

    However, the 1" recess from the tile to the the shower drain is a trip and fall hazard.

    My guess is that the shower floor, for whatever reasons, has been re-tiled over, and the drain was not raised when doing so (because it is quite difficult to raise a shower drain).

    If the shower pan liner is properly installed, the shower pan liner will be sloped 1/4" per foot and not be laid flat on the sub-floor below it. If only that were done ...

    Then, even though the shower floor tile was not sloped (as it should be), the water would still run down the shower pan liner and into the weep holes into the shower drain.

    *IF* ... If only the stuff you cannot see were done properly.

    Heck, even a shower pan liner installed flat (not sloped as required), the water should still not leak out of the shower - that is what the liner is for ... water will get through the grout (grout is not water proof), and water will get through the thin set/mud set the tile is laid on, and, *if not shower pan liner is installed*, the water would then leak out. Install a shower pan liner (think swimming pool liner) and no water leaks out.

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

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Thanks Jerry. This is on a new home going for the final inspection. I wasn't sure exactly how to phrase the problem with the drain being recessed. All other inspections on this house was done by somebody that is no longer with us, so I don't what was done prior to laying the tile.

    Dylan Whitehead

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    I wasn't sure exactly how to phrase the problem with the drain being recessed.
    Dylan,

    I always called them "toe breakers" (verbally and in my report). Seemed to be the right phraseology to me.

    I would describe it, address the sharp edge of the tile (the tile edge was probably sharp) as a potential for cuts and other injuries, then address the depth of the recessed shower drain as being improperly installed (something is, just what is improperly installed is not know), then address the "toe breaker" aspect of the recess (a 1" recess is a lot) and that it also leads to "slip and fall" accidents.

    Those three words "slip and fall" are what attorneys use, and everyone seems to instantly recognize the problem when you include those three words ... "slip and fall" ... , regardless of what else you say, that seems to get the attention of most people.

    Builders are inherently adverse to wanting to be sued, and to know (you just told them) that a "slip and fall" condition exists, that opens up a can of worms for them with that in the report if they do not address it in some manner - even if only to give it lip service with some a$$ine response. Whatever their response is (in writing) is what will hang them in the future.

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

  22. #22
    Ana Nevada's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jacuzzi Tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Word to your mama as Ice used to say

    Don't call it a Jacuzzi also if its not a Jacuzzi.

    Its a hydrotherapy tub. Not even a Whirlpool tub.

    rick
    But you can use Jacuzzi tubs for hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy and Jacuzzi hot tubs seem to go hand and hand these days. This type of tub has made the ancient concept of water massage extremely popular. If you believe in the power of reflexology, and rest your hands and feet up against the jets that are part of the makeup and design of Jacuzzi hot tubs, you will find that you feel better all over. If you want to enjoy better physical and mental health, you should consider the advantages of indulging in Jacuzzi hot tubs.

    Last edited by Ana Nevada; 12-20-2010 at 09:30 PM.

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