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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.)
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.
Because the recommendation was to allow the Marine Goop to dry for 72 hours, I went on to the next project, 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.
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.)
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:
- Door/wall shields: https://bit.ly/2WDsIZc
- Marine Goop sealant: https://bit.ly/2FRVTkJ
- Kwik Seal caulk: https://bit.ly/2UduQdr
- Dremel tool: https://bit.ly/2HYxddv
- Dremel accessory kit: https://bit.ly/2Uf5qMt
The Video Footage
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!