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Bathtub Plumbing 101

Bathtubs are (ideally) something that people use on a daily basis for a variety of purposes: to wake up and get ready, to wash kids after a long day of playing, to clean the family dog, or to simply relax in a flurry of bubble bath soap. Just as there are a number of uses for bathtubs, there are also a range of options that homeowners can choose from. People must not only understand the basics of bathtub plumbing, they also need to consider each model and how to take care of them.

The traditional tub

This is probably the model that we're all familiar with: a tub that sits in between two walls, often complete with a shower head. The main focus here is to get the water to run through faucets to fill the tub, while having a drain to send the water back out once it's been used. You'll need an allowance for the overflow, a control to open and close the drain and pipes that deliver hot and cold lines to the faucet.

These models are going to be the easiest to take care of since they're the most common. You can use simple cleaning tools to regularly cleanse the tub, and it will be good to wipe it down after use to prevent mold and mildew from accumulating. If something is stuck in the drain or water isn't flowing correctly, there are a few DIY solutions you can pursue, but for major issues, consulting a professional plumber is always a good idea.

Hot tubs

Under the hot tub category of bathtubs, whirlpool and air tubs are becoming more popular in luxurious bathroom setups. People are increasingly making their bathrooms more like a retreat, so it makes sense that hot tubs are on the rise. These tubs are largely different from traditional models as they shoot water and air bubbles at strategic locations. This gives the relaxing sensation of a massage and stirs the water to provide a great experience.

This setup is significantly more complex as it requires filters, hoses, pumps and other equipment used to circulate and energize the water. Needless to say, this may be one job that you don't want to approach alone.

Jacuzzis also need more care than traditional tubs. Users have to make sure that the jets and drain are all clear and working appropriately. Avoid bubble baths and oil-based soaps, as these could cause residue buildups in the plumbing. It's important to know how to care for and clean this type of tub to ensure it's operating effectively.

Clawfoot tubs

For those looking for a more vintage feel, clawfoot tubs are ideal. These relics are coming back in style.

But, there are a lot of considerations that homeowners need to make if they want this model for their bathroom setup. Clawfoot tubs take up a significant amount of room since they tend to stand alone, away from the walls with no adjacent support structure. The piping is also exposed, requiring additional floorspace to run these lines. Homeowners should take special care when positioning their clawfoot tub and lines as pipes could freeze if they're too close to the exterior of the home. It's important to ensure that there's enough room for the model and to take preventative measures that help keep it functional.

Bathtub models each have their own unique needs, and homeowners should know the basics when caring for these fixtures. While there are a number of plumbing projects that you can do yourself, when you need help installing a tub or ensuring it's working properly, call an expert plumber for consultation.



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