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Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

Posted by Auroras_Envy (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 22, 12 at 11:43

Hello everyone,

I know this subject has been posted before, but I'm really have problems with our Kohler jetted tub.

Backstory: We bought a semi-new home. The previous owners built it in 2006. We bought it in early 2011. I don't know how much they used the tub in the 5 years they were here, but when our home inspector showed me all the black crud coming out of the tub, I knew I had to clean it!

I've tried:
http://www.amazon.com/Ahh-Some-Jetted-Bath-Bio-Cleaner/dp/B0030L05GA
Ahh-some cleaner, which I found on several forums around the internet - a lot of people SWEAR by it. I've filled up the tub, used it as directed, and drained probably 10+ times by now.

I've tried bleach.

I even had professional whirlpool cleaners come in.

I had my doubts when the whirlpool cleaners came in - I thought they were going to physically use snakes/pipe cleaners to manually scrub out the jet pipes. Well, they did several rounds of some chemicals. But I had my doubts.

This was about 6 months ago. I never bothered to use the tub because I knew it wouldn't be clean. Low and behold last night when I tried, it still wasn't clean. I'd say I've got about 65-75% of the gunk out from when I first started, but even when I run the tub with no cleaners at all in it I can still see all the crap swirling in the water. Disgusting.

I've reached a breaking point where I'm about to give up that I'll ever be able to use the tub. I am at the point where I doubt any chemical cleaner is going to do it, whether it is bleach, Ahh-some, vinegar, Cascade, etc. etc.

I guess my question is - has anyone ever "snaked" their jet pipes? Like physically put something into the jet pipes to scrub it out? Is this possible?

I'd appreciate any suggestions, or if anyone has been to the point where I'm at where I've probably wasted a thousand gallons of water trying to clean this stupid thing out.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

When you had it professionally cleaned you should have tried it immediately. That way you could have had them come back and remedy the problem.

Your pipes are just soft plastic. If you snake them you will probably punch a hole in the pipe. Punch a hole in the pipe and you may have to pull the tub in order to fix it. The access panel usually only gets you easy access to the pump.

You said you used bleach. I still think this is your best option. How much did you use and how long did you allow the water to sit? Did you periodically turn on the jets to flush through the water?

Regular bleach is recommended to clean water pipes in RV's. The water does have to sit in the lines for a recommended amount of time. Then rinsed.


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!!

Kohler does have a jet tub cleaning page. Have you tried their recommendation?

Add 2 teaspoons of a low-foaming, powder automatic dishwashing detergent and 20 ounces of household bleach (5% to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to the water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler - Flushing Your Whirlpool


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

Yeah, I wish I had tried it so that they either would have come back or given me my money back. I was just so fed up with it at that point that I stopped caring, which was why my husband had the cleaners come in the first place.

I have been using the Ahh-some cleaner, and the past 3 times I've also used bleach. I read a lot of posts at various forums where people thought things looked clean with just the bleach, but then tried the Ahh-some and were amazed at how much crap came out still. About 20 ounces each time, I saw that amount recommend somewhere. I put it in as the tub is filling, and then I run the jets for about 15-20 mins before draining.

If I scraped all the "gunk" off the sides of the tub and mashed it all into a measuring cup, we're talking like 1/4 cup maybe. Enough so that when I fill the tub with nothing it in to color the gunk, I can still see it swirling around in the tub.

Kohler's website says to use the dishwasher soap/bleach method.

I'm having my husband pick up some dishwasher soap & more bleach, as well as cheesecloth to keep the small particles from being sucked back up into the filter.

I'll keep in mind that the pipes are plastic - I didn't realize that, and I wouldn't want to punch a hole in any of them!

I guess I'm just frustrated. If cleaning it out 10+ times, with "professionals" trying their hand at it, is it even possible to clean it out at this point? At what point do I just give up?...


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

When you use the bleach I would run your jets for a few minutes and let it sit. Go back every 15 minutes for the first hour. Let it sit a couple hours and run your jets again. Do this every fifteen minutes for another hour and let it sit again. You don't have to run the jets for more than a couple minutes. What you are trying to achieve is to let the bleach soak and slowly remove the crud. You keep using the old solution. When you finally drain, I would put clean water up to the top of the jets and run through. If you do have small children in the house make sure and protect them from accidental drowning.

On the Kohler site, I thought the idea of the dishwasher detergent with the bleach sounded like a good idea. Though I would think the liquid dishwasher detergent would disperse better through the water.

The movement of the water, with the long soaks, should help remove the crud from the lines. When we soak coolers, that have been used to contain bloody salmon, we let them sit overnight. The RV sits for at least a couple hours before the lines are flushed.


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!.

Another option might be to try the cleaners that they make for front load washers. Tide makes one. It does state for a washer, with issues, that you have to use it for three consecutive weeks. Afterwards you need to use once a month. (You probably need to do this protocol with whatever method works.) Have never tried them so don't know if they would really create a lot of suds in a jetted tub. Maybe someone in the laundry site could comment on whether they thought they would create too many suds.

Just a FYI they do make ozonators for jetted tubs. My neighbor has one on her tub. I had one on our hot tub/spa. They do work. But I don't know if they can be retrofitted to an existing whirlpool tub.

Here is a link that might be useful: Luxury Spas Facts About Ozone Sterilization


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

I managed to do 4-5 "sessions" this weekend with a variety of mixtures of Ahh-some, bleach, and Cascade. The Cascade foamed a little bit, but nothing catastrophic!

I'll keep the soaking suggestion in mind when I have time to do it again. It definitely takes a time commitment between scrubbing the tub, filling it, letting it run, draining it, and scrubbing it again! The photo is of the tub in question - it's a corner one, so it takes a lot of water just to cover the jets.


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

The place I get my pedicure runs bleach water through their jets for 10 minutes. I don't know how much bleach they use. My husband did all the repairs on our plumbing and I never saw a clean water pipe. They always had a residue of soft mushy stuff, even the pipes we drank from. I don't know if that can be stopped. I would just worry about germs and use a bleach mixture. You might visit a place that sells tubs like that and talk to them.


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

If all that fails and you decide the only thing left is to replace the tub, I'd suggest an air jetted tub. I think all the major tub brands have one, but Bain Ultra was the first. Nothing but air goes thru those lines. Our remodel is almost 5 years old. I use the jets 99% of the time :)
Monica


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

I have to tell you that when we built our house in 1998 our builder convinced me to put in another whirlpool tub you know for "resale". I did NOT want one becasue we had one in our other house and yes there was that black crud that would float around in the tub when you wanted to use it. It was gross. I vowed I'd never have another one but then got talked into it by being promised that things had changed and that my old tub probably had sagging lines and that water had pooled in the sag and mildewed. Ok so the new house on the very first use had the black crud floating in the water.

Needless to say, I was NOT going to sit in mildew so some years went by and we never used the tub and then my husband just capped the jets so that I could at least take a bath. More years go by and one day we just ripped the awful thing out. I put in a soaker tub reminiscent of a claw foot but modern looking and on a pedestal instead of feet. I could not be happier. I do not miss the old tub and I love how much more room is in the bathroom. I hate that we were talked into another whirlpool tub by our builder. What a waste of money.

BTW, some people think that the newer type air jet tubs will be free of mildew but from what people tell me it's the same and the air makes the water cold. Not an enjoyable experience. I had considered this so I'm glad I dodged yet another bullet. I have to say when it comes to bathtubs, less is more. Go back to the future and get an old style of tub made with new materials as soon as budget allows, You won't be sorry! Mine is a Victoria + Albert brand the York model. It's a little narrower than I thought it would be so check out the MTI Linda tub if you want a little more room at the base of the tub. Price was what decided our choice or else there would be an MTI Linda tub in our bathroom! Good luck!


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

I have to tell you that when we built our house in 1998 our builder convinced me to put in another whirlpool tub you know for "resale". I did NOT want one becasue we had one in our other house and yes there was that black crud that would float around in the tub when you wanted to use it. It was gross. I vowed I'd never have another one but then got talked into it by being promised that things had changed and that my old tub probably had sagging lines and that water had pooled in the sag and mildewed. Ok so the new house on the very first use had the black crud floating in the water.

Needless to say, I was NOT going to sit in mildew so some years went by and we never used the tub and then my husband just capped the jets so that I could at least take a bath. More years go by and one day we just ripped the awful thing out. I put in a soaker tub reminiscent of a claw foot but modern looking and on a pedestal instead of feet. I could not be happier. I do not miss the old tub and I love how much more room is in the bathroom. I hate that we were talked into another whirlpool tub by our builder. What a waste of money.

BTW, some people think that the newer type air jet tubs will be free of mildew but from what people tell me it's the same and the air makes the water cold. Not an enjoyable experience. I had considered this so I'm glad I dodged yet another bullet. I have to say when it comes to bathtubs, less is more. Go back to the future and get an old style of tub made with new materials as soon as budget allows, You won't be sorry! Mine is a Victoria + Albert brand the York model. It's a little narrower than I thought it would be so check out the MTI Linda tub if you want a little more room at the base of the tub. Price was what decided our choice or else there would be an MTI Linda tub in our bathroom! Good luck!


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

Hummm, I wonder what I'm doing right. I've had a Bain Ultra Air tub for almost 5 years. Use it 95%+ of the time. I've never had any black or any other color gunk come out the holes.
Yes, the air does tend to cool down the water faster than a water jetted tub, but there tips and tricks to help with that. I'm completely happy with my Bain Ultra air tub :)

I think one mistake people with air tubs make is not using the dryer if they don't use jets. You can't do that. Water gets in those little wholes even if you don't use the jets so you still have to use the dryer. That's probably the problem, which is user error.


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

Do NOT use liquid dish washing soap. It will suds you to death! My mom did it. They mean to use soap meant for dishwashers. Not the same thing!


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

I have the Kohler air bubble tubs in my girls bathrooms and they are terrible!!! I have little black mold dots covering each of the holes all the way around the tub. I do have them use the air cycles... It should come with a pipe cleaner for cleaning.


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

Might try going to the swimming pool supply store. Tell them you have greasy black algae.
Pretend its a swimming pool. Chemical it up.. let it run.


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

I have a Jacuzzi jetted tub in our master bath and I love it and use it all the time. There is no gunk or ick in the jets because they self drain when the jets are turned off and no water sits in them. About once a month, I fill the tub to cover the jets, add about a cup of plain old bleach, then turn them on and let them run for about 5 minutes. Besides cleaning the tub itself every week and wiping it out when I use it, that's all I ever do to it.


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

My SIL gave her kids oatmeal baths in her whirlpool tub when then had skin problems Bad idea folks.


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RE: Jetted Tub Cleaning - I'm at my end point!

I went to a plumbing show room to pick out new faucets and ask about the whirlpool jets growing algae. She said it will do it if you don't use it. If you use it often it will keep the jets flushed out and that stuff will not grow. She did not tell me how to fix that.


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