Jetted tub vent cover options

bsmith1March 30, 2013

I tried to search, and perhaps I'm using the wrong terms, but I haven't found any threads on this question. The pic is the house I'm in the process of purchasing. We had a great inspector, but were informed that the vent/grate cover on the tub surround is necessary for venting the motor of the jetted tub.

My question is, does this a/c vent thing have to be the item that covers this area and provides ventilation? I could purchase a slightly fancier grate/vent cover, I suppose, but what other (relatively inexpensive) options are there?

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Interesting. My whirlpool tub doesn't have a vent and I think this is the first time I have seen one, I have dealt with incredibly knowledgeable and helpful inspectors and inspectors who don't know much more that CYA, CYA, CYA. The inspector on the sale of my dad's house last year was one of the worst (Not a surprise after he drove up in a red Hummer and wearing a silk Hawaiian shirt). If he didn't know about something or didn't want to look further, he flagged it as a problem. His report made a very well cared for house with very little to address sound like maybe they should reconsider the offer.

Anyway, I think I would check to see if the seller has the installation and operation instructions for the tub or find out who the manufacturer is and verify that you need open ventilation in the first place. It could be that the builder didn't leave an access panel and the hole was made to service the motor. The person servicing the motor probably didn't so wall repair and the vent cover was the cheapest and fastest way to cover the hole.

If you do need ventilation, you can look into a more decorative grate, but if it were me, I would look at the same treatment along the entire side of the tub. Look on Houzz for decorative radiator treatments to get ideas of what might be possible and find something that fits with the decor you prefer.

Either way, you should have an access panel for servicing the motor. My builder didn't put one in so our solution was to cut the grout and remove an entire side of cultured marble, then replace it. Not the easiest, but it is possible. We hope to do better with the new tub.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:27PM
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I really don't know much but..........
I have a jetted tub NOT heated so I guess that's why I DON'T need a vent.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 9:18PM
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I agree with lascatx. I'd try to find out if your tub really needs ventilation.

The jetted tub that was in our house when we bought it had a cover like the one in your picture. It was an access panel and also provided ventilation, but I'm not sure the ventilation was necessary. It just seems like the easiest and probably cheapest solution for the builder for an access panel.

When we replaced the tub, I read through all the specifications for the new tub and could not find any requirement for ventilation so we went with solid access panels in the remodel.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:26PM
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I'm betting the opening & the vent cover were the solution for the access panel. You really should have an access panel for servicing/repairing the motor & various parts around your jetted tub. That was likely the least expensive way to go. Do you know the make & model of the tub? If you can find that out, you can look up whether it needs a vent. You may be able to get the make and model #s off the motor--just remove the vent cover & take a look.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:14PM
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Our Bain Ultra tub requires a 4x6 inch or larger air intake vent in addition to an access panel for the turbine. We bought a theatre-style step light and harvested its louvered grate. It is smaller and sleeker than any AC vent I could find. The tub surround is covered with 13x19 inch tiles, one of which was caulked rather than grouted to provide access if it's ever needed.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 1:27PM
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Air intake for air jet tub

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 2:04PM
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Vents for air flow can be anywhere. Even in another room. On occasion I've even put an air vent high on the wall and used the stud cavity for flow down under the tub deck.

Access panels do need to be near the motor to allow service, do I'll hide them. Usually in the form of a raised panel for a wood surround, or hidden in the tile design of a tiled surround.

For this tub apron, any of the three raised panels can be individually removed, or the entire front can be removed. No tools required.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Coolbeans and Mongoct, those look great... completely unobtrusive but accessible.

Our situation was complicated somewhat by the curved shape of our tub surround and we brainstormed ideas extensively with our Amish cabinetmaker. We decided to make our façade out of 5 individual panels, separated by a vertical trim/frame piece. The 2 outer panels slide out easily to access the tub's motors. You can see the edge of the left panel in this picture which was taken before he reinforced them to eliminate the initial warping as the wood acclimated. Now that this has been resolved, it looks like one continuous piece of cherry.

He built louvered panels for the ends of our tub step to provide ventilation. They are stained to match and can't be seen from the room.

This post was edited by treasuretheday on Wed, Apr 24, 13 at 21:33

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:30PM
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