BainUltra review

bishop8August 13, 2011

I was going to add to another thread where I had posted some comments on our pending BainUltra installation, but can't seem to find it. Anyway, now that it's up-and-running, I thought I would put my thoughts out in case this helps anyone in the purchasing phase. We purchased a BainUltra Elegancia 6636.

- Nice quality tub. A dealer once mentioned that they effectively sandwich the air tubes between two acrylic shells so the tubes don't dangle, whereas other manufactuers do not. Looking at it, it's a very solid shell and I can see what he meant. Makes for easier installation.

- Great service. When removing the protective film, I noticed a small (1-2mm) chip on the outside rim (quite frankly, my installer could've caused it, I don't know). I wrote an email on late Friday night asking for an acrylic patch kit so I could just fill it in myself. By Sunday night, a CSR wrote back arranging a service call by an acrylic technician to fix it for me. Wow!

- Note -- When I got the tub, the controller wasn't installed. I guess this is for some people who want to install it on the wall instead of the tub deck itself. It caused my plumber some concern cutting into the deck (I absolved him of the liability), but for those still to order maybe you can ask the dealer for them to pre-mount the controls and save yourself a bit of work. Just make sure you know where you want it to go!

- Experience was cool, with caveats. Kids, wife and I certainly enjoyed the tub (not at the same time). Kids thought it was the coolest experience, and certainly beat our previous old 5' standard tub.

-- We got the LEDs which I accept is overpriced, but in terms of total experience it added that extra 'cool' dimension with the lights out. I still think it's worth it.

-- We got the 66" length. In retrospect, I wish we got the 72" (I'm 5'10", wife 5'8"). You *can* do two (easier when you're both facing the same direction), but it's a bit cramped and the extra length would've been nice. My only solace is that with kids it's more likely that the bathing will be solo, and we use less water with a smaller tub.

-- Bubble jets are on the side. I think it would've been better if the jets were on the floor, so it doesn't feel like the action is all on the periphery.

-- I read this before, but didn't pay too much mind to it until now. The bubbles really do make the tub cool down fast, to the point where it actually feels like it's injecting cold water into the tub after 15min. I should take a look in the forums to see if there are any solutions, like adding a heater to the air pump or something. I barely notice the heated backrest, even at full.

This is definitely a quality product and I don't regret getting the tub, but I did previously look at the Toto Clayton (which was half the price and had floor-mounted jets) and I wonder what I would do now if I had to do it over again.

Good luck with your purchase!

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bishop8, nice and helpful review. Not helpful for me tho since my BU tub is going on 4 years old :) I'm sure it will help someone.

When the plumber was installing our tub, he called me into the bathroom and told me to get in the tub and sit down (awkward!) He wanted to be sure he placed the controller exactly where I wanted it. So now, when my arms are resting on top of the tub, my left hand is resting on the controller :)

My tub is a life saver! I have Fibro Myalgia and back problems. A HOT hydro-massage makes all the difference in the world and helps me get to sleep. It also reduces blood pressure:)

We have the chromatherapy too. I don't know if the colors can actually do what they claim, but they make me happy so it was worth the the extra cost. The grandchildren love them!

Yes, the air jets do cool down the water. I checked into adding an in line heater but was told it couldn't be done. I think the "tubs for 2" have heaters. I don't understand why the single tubs can't use one. Did you put insulation under your tub? One thing BU told me (I don't do it) is to run the jets a couple minutes before you start the water. I've done the following: Put less water in than I ultimately want and then slowly add hot water during my bath. Or, when it's gotten too cool, let some water out and add more hot. This is usually only a problem for me during the winter months. The ambient room temp is related to how quickly the water temp cools. We keep our house pretty cool during the winter. Did you know the temperature of the heated backrest is determined by the speed of the jets? With the jets on 100%, my back is uncomfortably warm (hot!) after about 10 minutes. Not too long ago my husband noticed my back right after I got out of the tub and was really concerned how red it was.

Do you know about the "secret" menu? It's not mentioned in the owner's manual. One of the things you can change is the increase in air/bubble intensity as you increase the percentage. Hope I said that right :o I don't remember how to access the menu, but I've got it written down in the manual. If you'd like to know more about it, LMK. I'll try to remember to check back here. I haven't read the forum in quite some time. I know I was a bit disappointed at first in how small the air flow increments were. So I think it was their ts that told me about this secret menu. Neither he or I can figure out why BU made it "secret" (lol)

One more thing and you might want to confirm this with ts...I was concerned about the UNfiltered air intake taking in dust. I asked ts if it would be ok to cover the intake with a piece of women's hosiery. He said yes just as long as there was a good air supply. So I put a knee high stocking over the end of the intake and just move it around to a clean spot time to time. I don't know if those air borne particle would be getting in the motor or my bath water :o Neither of which are desirable!

What are you cleaning your tub with? You have to be careful with acrylic. Cleaners that say they're safe for fiberglass aren't necessarily safe for acrylic. I'm having a dickens of a time finding something different than what I've been using. Since I've had the tub I've been using Gel Gloss. I get it at Lowes. It's a "Fiberglass, Acrylic, & Cultured Marble One-Step Polish & Rejuvenator". Yes, it CLEANS. It's great and makes the tub sparkle but it's more labor intense than something like Scrubbing Bubbles (which btw you can NOT use on acrylic). BU said just be sure whatever you use says "non abrasive" and "safe for acrylic". I've yet to find anything that fits that bill except for the Gel Gloss. They offered a couple of names of cleaners but neither said "non abrasive" or "safe for acrylic".

Enjoy your tub!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 1:59AM
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I found it! I googled "Bain Ultra" "hidden" and found myself (g) I remember now that the difference between 5% and 100% was minimal and I really wanted a lower setting than what the lowest 5% was offering. Anyway, the directions are in this thread dated Jan 3. Oh, I just thought of something, you won't have the same controller I have so the directions might not work. If they don't you can always call BU ts and ask about the "HIDDEN" features...and then there's the possibility they're not hidden any longer. Well maybe someone can use the information :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Bain Ultra's Hidden Menu

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 2:16AM
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Monica, you are brilliant -- thanks for the handy tips! Unfortunately, I've only used the tub when at least one kid was in with me pouring water on my head, so I can't attest to the reduced blood pressure yet. :) However, I will try some of your suggestions over the coming days and see if it helps.

Strange, because it says that it comes with a 700W heater, but it feels like cold air blowing in even after 15min in the tub. Makes me wonder if it's a separate electrical hookup from the motor, and the electrician maybe missed it.

Coincidentally, the acrylic repairman was over today, and my wife asked about cleaning. He apparently gave her a care sheet, so we'll study that when it requires a cleaning!

Hope I enjoy the tub as much as you 4yrs in. Cheers!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:05AM
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>>Monica, you are brilliantI love it when people say that! ;) (lol)
I have this bad habit of never considering that a product can CHANGE over time! Maybe your tub does have an in-line heater. I just know that my Thalassa doesn't. Would be nice tho. Maybe they've figured out a way for mine to accept one. I'll call BU. You might want to call them about your heated backrest. I timed mine last night and it was about 11 minutes before had to sit up and give my back a break from the heat. That was with the blower on 100%
Please let me know what the acrylic care sheet says about cleaning products.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 2:11AM
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I have had nothing but problems with my Bain Ultra jet tub. My tub would turn on randomly throughout the night, so I would be in bed and hear air rushing from the tub in the middle of the night. Within a year of installation the lights on the keypad stopped functioning. Called their customer service department and they will not honor their warranty. Apparently their electronics and keypads are poorly constructed. The Bain employee I spoke to suggested I replace the tub altogether.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:55AM
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