Jetted to Soaker Tub Conversion

One of the big struggles I had with my house was the non-working jetted tub in my bathroom that I inherited when I purchased my new house. In the first photo, the “before” photo was the picture I took the day I looked at the house. This began my research for a jetted tub to soaker tub conversion.

Jetted Tub Before
Original photo when I bought my house

The Unpleasant Discovery

For many reasons, it is important to me to work with the tub as it is if at all possible. Is there a way to convert a jetted tub to a soaker tub? I love the large tub but not the jets and the uncleanliness of them. I had stopped using the tub when I noticed unpleasant odors a few hours after each use. Originally, I thought it was the drain but upon researching I learned how water goes into those jets and stays stagnant. Each time I used the tub, old water was coming back in there. Ewwww, I just shudder at the thoughts! Not to mention I’d occasionally find a small piece of black trash in the tub which I’d chalked down to that it must have come from the old water pipes.

Figuring out which way to go with this was not an easy decision, and in my typical over-analyzing fashion, I researched every option. The option that was ideal (jet covers) just is not available. After countless hours and numerous days of researching, I found this question by a patron of the houzz.com website. Going through the 78 comments, there were a couple of solutions but the easy one seems to be the door shield project.

The Supplies

I foundd 5 Door Knob and Wall Shields (3 1/4 inches) from Home Depot. Then I purchased 1 Marine Goop Sealant tube from Walmart and I was ready to do this.

Supplies
Door shields and Marine Goop

It seemed crazy to put the door shields inside a tub but when I purchased them and took them out of the package, the hard plastic was convincing. “What do I have to lose??”

The Process Begins

My tub has 4 jets and then the intake.  I remove all foam backing tape from all 5 shields so that they are flat and clean surfaces. Next, I clean the tub and all jets and allow them to completely dry. I take the Goop and apply it liberally to four of the shields.  (Please be sure to ventilate as much as possible and/or wear a mask as the Goop is quite strong.) Then I adhere each shield to a jet. I use masking tape in an “X” formation over each jet to be sure it doesn’t slide or move around while drying.

Adhesive Process
The adhesive is in the process of curing

(Please note, the “before” picture was one I took the day I purchased my house. The cabinetry and the faucet and hardware were converted from the old brass/gold to brushed nickel so it may appear slightly different in some of the older vs. newer photos.)

The Trickiest Part

For the intake, this is a bit tricky. The size is too large so I use a Dremel to cut the excess off and then sand the edges. It does not have to be perfectly cut, just as long as it fits under the intake cap and is large enough to cover the opening.

Intake Cap
Process of trimming down the intake cap

So now I cut the notches out for the screw holes on the intake, using the Dremel. I took a little off at a time until it fit in the opening snugly.

Intake Cap with Notches
The trimming of the cap is complete

Then, it fit perfectly over the opening. (Please note, this is clean, but that’s some sort of adhesive on it. It was bleached multiple times.)

Intake Cap Fitted
This was bleached multiple times and is just discolored.

Next, I purchase some Kwik Seal Ultra Premium Siliconized Sealant for Kitchen Bath and Plumbing applications at Walmart. See my post here how I learned the hard way about getting good caulk.

Dap Kwik Seal Ultra
Don’t skimp on caulk…ever. Get the good stuff.

Because the recommendation was to allow the Marine Goop to dry for 72 hours, I went on to the next project, the intake cover.

Intake Cover
Lots of holes to fill in the intake cover

Since the cover is full of holes, I decide to cover the holes with silicone sealant. First, I take the cover and squeeze sealant into each hole. Then I use my finger to make sure each one is full of the silicone and smooth. I make sure not to get any sealant in the holes where the screws go. I let this dry 24 hours and then I turn it over and do the outside the same way.

Finishing It Up

After 72 hours go by, I caulk around each door shield, as well as around the notches I cut for the screw holes of the intake cap. After 24 hours for that to completely dry, I screw on the intake cap and caulk around that.

Jetted Tub Intake Cover Finished
The intake cover is caulked and reattached
And the Result Is…

I’ve been using this tub for over a month with not one single issue noted. Not one whiff of an odor or one spec of any trash anywhere in the tub. SUCCESS!!! (You’ll notice I replaced all the hardware to brushed nickel in the after photos, but I promise it’s the same tub.)

Soaker Tub
The conversion is complete from jetted to soaker tub!

Door shields are around $1.69 each, Goop is around $9.52 and the silicone is around $6.32. Total cost for converting my non-working whirlpool jetted tub to a soaker tub totals out to $24.29 (not including tax). Here are the links where you can find each one:

The Video Footage

Final Thoughts

Sometimes you have to be bold and make a decision to try something you are unsure of trying. This one works, so I wanted to share it in more detail. I’m so grateful to jasond7123 on the Houzz website for pointing me in the right direction. Hopefully, this blog post serves you well with your jetted to soaker tub conversion!

0 thoughts on “Jetted to Soaker Tub Conversion

  1. LPW

    Thanks for your tip about the KWIK SEAL. We have a different kind of bath, a BAIN ULTRA from the Canadian company. It has tiny jet holes all over the bottom area. My husband measured the holes and bought tiny “Push-In Plugs”, size 1/8″, from a company in Chico, CA, called NON-FERROUS FASTENER INC. They are hard white plastic and fitted perfectly into the little holes. He used the Kwik-Seal in each hole, pushed in the plug, used more Kwik-Seal, then cleaned and smoothed the outside. Repeated for each hole. Allowed to dry. Disconnected the electricity to the jets.
    Now I can enjoy this beautiful bath without worrying about a lengthy cleaning process and wasted water each time.

  2. Erin

    Can you tell me exactly what kind of Dremel tools you used and how you sanded? My house is two years old (for me) with a non-working jet tub I have yet to use. I want to do this, but need to get the right tools first! Thank you for posting this. It makes me hopeful I can at least try this…

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi Erin! Sure! I used this kit: https://amzn.to/37unrcf
      Specifically, I used the black blade in the upper left corner where those three round blades are. For sanding, I used the 4th one from the left that’s located in the center left section of this kit. You can probably purchase these separately but I’ve found I’ve reached for this kit often for other projects as well. It was well worth the investment. Hope that helps 🙂

  3. Mel

    This does sound like a great solution. When you said, “If I had to do over again, I’d do it again but with hesitation this time 🙂”. Can you elaborate on that…?
    Thank you so much.

  4. Vickie Bowen

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have a 20 yr old jacuzzi tub virtually never used. The jets fell out 10 yrs ago & we just capped the holes & never fixed. (We don’t take baths) We are now getting ready to sell our house & need a permanent fix for the jacuzzi problem. We didn’t want to go through the expense of fixing the jacuzzi. I am so glad I came across your post! It’s a great solution. Thank you for posting!!!

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi Vickie! Thank you for your sweet note! I’m so glad the video helped you with a solution and I wish you a quick house sale, too. Hope you LOVE your new place. Thank you again for taking the time to write. Please let me know how it works for you. 🙂

  5. Lhumphreys

    What a great idea! Thank you for taking the time to post all of the steps. What did you do with the yellowed plastic dial that’s in the first photo. We’re you able to remove it?

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi! Hmm I’m not sure why that looks so yellowed in the photo other than maybe all those mirrors around it reflect awkwardly? But I didn’t do anything with it. It’s still there. and untouched.

      Please let me know if you decide to try it. I’d love to hear how it works for you 🙂

  6. Joan

    I am ready to do this project and trying to decide which way would be best. I am 72 years old and can hardly wait to have my deep tub back. I have had this Jet tub for 23 years with no problems. Used it once weekly. My motor went out and I decided to change it over. As for the “yuk” factor, I never had one. I read the instructions in the manual the day I bought this new home and followed the plan to keep it sanitary. The plan was: Monthly, Fill tub 2 inches above highest jet with warm water. Add 2 Tablespoons TSP and 4 oz Bleach. Run Jets 10 Minutes. Drain Tub, Fill again as before and run 10 more minutes. Clean all jet parts and Clean and rinse tub. The Tub specialist just left and had me under the skirt to see how snow white my PVC drainage pipes were and said he had never seen a unit this clean in over 30 years with that much use. He suggested I buy a new motor as he does not feel it is possible to plug the jets and intake, but It is expensive and mostly I just enjoy the deep tub that is simple and requires no maintenance. My question to you is how is the caulking holding up on your jets in 2019? Thank you so much for your time. I am so anxious to thoroughly look at your website. I’ve enjoyed many years of crafting and see that you are very good at it, too. Joannie.

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi Joannie! I’m so glad you found me and took the time to write! When I purchased my home, I inherited this non-working tub. I tried to find out what was wrong with it when I had a contractor here and he said it was completely unwired. That made me concerned as to why they would unwire it so I’m assuming they discovered a big problem for them to have gone to all of that trouble to remove the wiring. That’s when I decided that plugging the jets was my best option.

      The caulking is holding up excellent! The main thing on this, is choose a good quality caulk and products in order to do this and make it last. I’m really happy I took this chance to try it. If I had to do over again, I’d do it again but without hesitation this time 🙂 Please keep me posted if you can. Rhonda

  7. Agnoka

    This is wonderful, and I am in the midst of planning my attack, using your instructions. Thank you! One question tho: how did you get your old tub so sparkling white?! Mine has water stains that I can’t scrub out. What’s your secret?

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi!
      Thank you so much for your kind words. Unfortunately I can’t take credit for that. I was fortunate to have purchased this house with a tub in really good condition. When cleaning, it varies what I use – most of the time it’s Scrubbing Bubbles. Please let me know how it turned out if you decided to do it. Thanks so much! Rhonda

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi!
      No, I didn’t remove anything at all in order to complete this project other than the vent portion so that I could cap that inside, caulk the vent holes and put it right back on. It was a very simple project. Please let me know how it works for you if you decide to try it. Thanks! Rhonda

  8. June

    Hi,
    I really need to fill my jacuzzi tub jets and use it as a regular tub. Is this solution still working. Do you know anyone who provide service on this? This is a very difficult project for me to complete by myself.

    Thanks!

  9. L Dillard

    This may sound like a stupid question but here goes…how did you get the door shields flush to the tub without removing the jet coverings. The jets on our tub protrude out that I don’t think I could get them flush. Did your remove the outer covering to the jets or where yours not that far out? Just curious as we haven’t used our tub since we moved in three years ago. I am a total germaphobe. Thanks in advance for any tips.

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi! No, I didn’t remove them and they did protrude just a bit. I just cleaned everything really well and let it dry for a few hours. I put the shield over the top of them and then filled the small gap with caulk. You could carefully open one of the shield’s packaging and see what size gap there would be when attached to be sure this would work. I COMPLETELY understand about not using the tub – I am the same way. I’d much rather have a standard tub/shower combo in there because of the easy cleaning and it’s so practical. Good luck and please let me know if you get it worked out. I’d love to hear that you have use of your tub again or not 🙂

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      You are incredibly welcome! Please let me know how it turns out for you if you get a chance. I’m still very pleased with mine and everything is holding up perfectly after all this time. I’m excited that you’re going to do it too! 🙂

  10. Patti Stelley

    Hello, I converted my bathtub as well. It is a Kohler 6 piece and the intake. I completed this almost a year ago. It is still holding up just fine. I was skepticle at first. My tub still worked but could never get it cleaned. I tried everything! My daughters said the oh yuk worked the best so I tried it for 3 days in a row 2 times each day – even called the company and they said to try laundry soap followed by bleach then the oh yuk again. But still could not bath and use the Jett’s without the junk coming out. I am way into to being healthy and this did not work for me. I let the tub dry out for 2 weeks, unplugged it – then sealed those up!

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi Patti!
      I’m so glad to hear that you did the conversion and are happy with it. Even the thoughts of those harboring bacteria was enough but when I actually observed visible debris, that was all I needed to make a big change. I don’t regret it for one second. Thank you for sharing your experience 🙂

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi Erin! I’m sorry I’m just now reading this. I’ve been trying to redirect my blog to my domain and I think I may not know what I’m doing because your comment came on the old site that I don’t check often. It’s still holding up perfectly. On the beginning, I was very nervous about doing it because I really didn’t have many alternatives. Turns out, it ended up being absolutely perfect! Hope that helps and please let me know if you decide to try it. I’m working on getting these sites merged so hopefully I’ll know when comments come in in the future 🙂

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Hi Christy! I’m sorry I’m just now reading this. I’ve been trying to redirect my blog to my domain and I think I may not know what I’m doing because your comment came on the old site that I don’t check often. I didn’t do anything to fill the intake port other than the notched piece and then I put the cap back on but filled all holes in it with caulk so water wouldn’t go in and keep moisture between the cap and the holes. It’s still holding up perfectly. Hope that helps and please let me know if you decide to try it. I’m working on getting these sites merged so hopefully I’ll know when comments come in in the future 🙂

  11. Ed Frankle

    Thank you for this article. I also have a non-functioning jetted tub, and found it would cost thousands to fix it. Your ideas sound great, and I am going to try them. I do have one question. Since you filled in all the holes on the intake cover, and sealed around it, which is it necessary to fill in the intake port? Yours was a fairly simple notched circle, mine is in the shape of a pie cut in 6 pieces. If I fill in all the intake holes and seal the cover, won’t that be sufficient? What is the worst that can happen?

    1. The Cozy Loft by Rhonda Post author

      Ed – You are so welcome! It might have been overkill to fill the port. Logically, it makes sense that the caulked holes would be sufficient. So far, mine is still holding strong. I’m so glad I tried it. If you don’t fill the port and it does seem to need it, you can easily unscrew it and fill it later on but I’m thinking you wouldn’t need to add that extra step. Please let me know how it goes for you 🙂

Leave a Reply