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Can whirlpool tub be converted to regular tub?

October 10, 2012
We just bought a house with this whirlpool tub in it. In order to use the jets, it has to (obviously) be filled enough that they are submerged. However, the tub is large and the water heater doesn't make enough hot water so by the time the tub is filled above the jets, it's lukewarm. It's not important to me to have a whirlpool, and I'd actually prefer not so i can use bath oils and fancy stuff. Is there a way to seal the jets and water intake hole completely? (and of course we'd disconnect the motor). Replacing the tub or water heater is not an option right now. Any ideas?
Comments (147)
  • PRO
    TaLord & Finders Interiors

    Oh! I wish Houzz had a "love it" icon to click! I'm so happy the solution worked for you too! Happy soaking!

  • allmotorr

    I have started to tackle this problem. I designed covers to be laser cut from http://www.ponoko.com using inkscape. Still need to decide how I want to deal with the inlet portion.

  • yh44

    I am a single female who finds this project a little daunting. For all you business savvy individuals, I'm sure you could start a little business selling precut caps for such a project. :-)

    allimotorr...please keep me posted on your progress. I'm not familiar with inkscape.

  • allmotorr

    inkscape is a free graphics program. You design your stuff in inkscape and then upload the designs to the laser cutting place. I should be receiving my pieces next week, I will take pictures.

  • yh44

    Cal - can you please send me the link for the jet caps. My email address is pberezansky@royaloilandgas.com. Many thanks!

  • yh44

    allmotorr - thank you for the information. I will await pictures and an update. My email address is pberezansky@royaloilandgas.com. Many thanks!

  • PRO
    TaLord & Finders Interiors

    yh44: I agree! It was "over my head" too. You'd need a handyman who is able to think outside the box! Not nessarily a plumber. Armed with information and the vision, a handyman can do this for you. The materials aren't expensive, but the tools and skills to create something new are key!

  • frankvandall

    You need to remember that not often will you find two tubs alike. Because of the way our jets were placed in the tub and the size of the ring around the jet, our caps are glued to the ring, not covering them. The idea for the end caps is all from TaLord and Finders, but you still have to think your way through each issue individually. Incidentally, the intake is covered completely with a 3" end cap. We took the original cover off.

  • allmotorr

    Yes, my inserts are laser cut for my particular tub. I had to take my existing pieces out and measure and design the new covers that way. I have no idea the model number of my tub. As for the inlet, I imagine I will do the PVC endcap as described earlier.

  • femesole
    calkary48 I would love to see your solution. Thank you.
  • catherine_coleman72

    calkary48 please send me the link, I miss taking a tub bath!

  • Yuliya Vasudev
    Calkary48 Please send me the link as well.
  • Maria Elena

    Please send me the link Calkary48 to Maria.inostroza@me.com

  • tbhjulie

    Calkary48 I am interested in your caps. How do I contact you?

  • estabingod
    I'm going to buy that rubber stuff on tv and see if it works
  • yh44

    estebingod - can you give me more information on the rubber products you saw on tv? My email address is pberezansky@royaloilandgas.com. Many thanks.

  • estabingod
    it's the information with the guy who cuts the boat and have and then tapes it back together with a rubber Tate and they also have like a rubber cock and some liquid rubber that dries solid
  • estabingod
    I know that sounds really funny but I am speaking and the phone is typing for me so yes some words are spelled incorrectly sorry about that... I am at work
  • nancybenjaminmk

    Calkary48 we would also like your info. Moved into our house and attempted to clean jetted tub. Still 'debris' coming out of jets - seriously so gross! I can't use the tub without thinking of what is in the water!

  • calkary48

    Please forward to all who have asked for help with plugging whirlpool jetted tubs.

    My solution to these tubs is simple but may be expensive depending on your local machine shop. I took my jetted tub jet outlet and intake measurements, measure from the outside of the jets where they attach to the tub. Take pictures of the tub jets and then take them to the machine shop and they will make them out of aluminum stock to fit over the outside of the inlet and outlets. I then spray painted them with an appliance epoxy white and used silicone calk to seal them in place. I have used this technique twice and never had them fail.

  • J Rodriguez

    We haven't used our jetted tub for baths in years, just use the shower, and we still get this horrible mildew smell a month after cleaning the jets. I love the idea of covering the jets. My question is, what happens to all of the mold, mildew & bacteria that are inside the pipes when you seal the jets? Will they continue to grow? Obviously, bleach, soap, and commercial cleaners have not worked thus far, so I don't trust any of them to sanitize the tub before we seal it. Can the mold/bacteria spread once it is sealed? Can the mold penetrate the tub & get to the walls?

  • PRO
    TaLord & Finders Interiors

    My contractor/father says: "Using ordinary tools, one would simply mark them accurately clear around. Then support each one between two chocks (boards, bricks. A friend). Use an ordinary hack saw to cut only an inch deep, rotate the end cap, and cut again. Do not assume you can cut clear through accurately. You can't. When the cap is free, place a full sheet of sandpaper on the workbench and run the cut end over it until it is flush.

    Fine sandpaper can be used to remove any undesirable brands or markings in the top. Follow this by even finer 320 and then 600 paper. Polish to perfection with automotive plastic polish.

    Not a fast process, but no special tools or skill needed. Just a one by one process. I suggest mounting them with Goop adhesive. Some suggested using silicone, but results are unknown.

    (One person said they cut them off with their radial arm saw. Quick but dangerous.)

    Good luck."

  • laschwen

    Thanks. I figured it might be daunting....

  • nycinct

    calkary48 I would like to know more about your solution


  • Missy Van Horn

    Yes my motor to run the jets quit working. I love my tub but I have a rare skin disorder.. After reading this I'm wondering if I do or if I just get all the bacteria from my tub?? Thank you I will be plugging that off vs buy a new motor.

  • Sharon Jeeves

    I would love to know how to cover jets in whirlpool bathtub. Thank you

  • PRO
    TaLord & Finders Interiors

    Hi Sharon, I first posted my solution on March 16, 2016. There are a few more comments after my first post offering additional tips and answering questions. Hope it helps you too!

  • Mike Private

    Hey Cal I would be interested if you could send me the link cheers. Those look great TaLord! Looking for the exact same :)

  • Mike Private

    I ended up using mailing tube caps and they work great!!

  • Gerald Ash

    calkary48 I'm interested in any info you could provide on your aluminum cap solution. Thanks in advance.

  • sputnik99

    I bought an old home with a non working jacuzzi tub which I had only used for showering until now. After reading this thread I used sawed off 3" PVC end caps and glued them over the jets with Amazing Goop Marine. I later spread the goop around the caps to ensure that the jets were fully sealed.

    btw, before I covered the jets with the PVC end caps I used waterproof tape to cover the nozzles and silicone over the housing.

  • PRO
    TaLord & Finders Interiors

    Looks great! Happy soaking!

  • lolainlasvegas

    I have been wanting to cover up our tub with window seat. Is it safe to just leave the tub and pipes as they are. Do we need to do anything?

  • PRO
    TaLord & Finders Interiors

    Yes. You are safe. Many jacuzzi tubs are on a dedicated circuit. If your tub is on a dedicated circuit breaker I would make sure the breaker is switched off in your electrical box.

  • lolainlasvegas

    Thank you so much. I'm really glad to hear that I am not alone in thinking this tub is just a dust collecting waste of space. A cushioned window seat would be a nice spot for dogs and humans. Next owners can decide whether or not they want the tub. We have tub in guest bath anyway.

  • Kath
    Run with bleach water periodically to kill any mold, mildew etc. .
  • Laura Villar


  • laschwen

    I use my tub 99% of the time for bathing. Can't stand the shower in my house. Low water pressure. After 3 years in the house the motor died. I am coming up on 17 years here now. Those I have asked about replacing that have offered to either rip out tile (no) to get to it or rip out the wall behind it that is shared with the master bedroom since it was placed further than anyone can reach through a vent. (No)
    The latest idea is to check in the crawl space to see if there is access from underneath but the plumber says I need an appliance repair person. I would rather just cover the outlets but I do not see it happening before I sell the house. I may have to get a repair person in after all.

  • Suzanne o

    So has anyone started making these caps .....i would sure buy

  • Susan Brown


  • allmotorr

    Here is what mine ended up looking like:

    My friend 3D printed the intake cover I designed, but any color could be used. It has a grove with where this rubber o-ring sits: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Unique-Bargains-Red-Silicone-O-Rings-Oil-Seal-Gaskets-Washers-105mm-x-2-5mm/137340376

    The jet caps where laser cut acrylic from https://www.ponoko.com.  Original seals where used.

    To be 100% sure there is no water leakage, expanding foam was used to seal the tubes behind the jet covers and intake cover.

  • leslieap10

    I'm just gagging imagining what's sitting in the hoses.

  • PRO
    Castle Coatings

    Hi everyone, I just read all the posts on this whole thread and did not see the solution that I have provided for a few of my clients who are interested in removing the Jets from their Whirlpool or Jacuzzi Tub. I am a Professional Bathtub & Tile Refinisher. I spray an Industrial Aerospace Heavy Duty Epoxy that comes in over 50 colors (most clients choose white.) The Best way to get rid of those Jets is to cut them out and seal the holes, then refinish the entire tub as you can see in this photo I posted. I seal the holes with a Metal/Fiberglass/Bondo combination, sand it smooth, then refinish it. The entire project takes me about 6-8 hours, I charge $1200. (This is less than half the cost of replacing the tub.) and then is ready to use 48 hours after I finish. It comes out PERFECT. If you are in San Diego or Orange County and need this done, contact me. My name is David and my company is Castle Coatings. I don't have a big presence on Houzz, but a HUGE one on Yelp. My website is CastleCoatings.biz and my direct line is (760) 688-6309 if you have any questions or would like to book the project! Blessings, David


    I ended up doing Jasond7123's idea. After a lot of reading up on this before actually doing it, this seemed the easiest and best way for me. I used the door knob blockers. They came in an almond color which was great! my tub is almost an almond color. When i began taking the jets out, i found that there were 3 screws that held the head of the jet in. Which was great because i had originally thought i would have to cut the out or sand them down. The knob blocker actually fit right on my jets so no cutting! The intake was actually easily taken off and covered as well. I had bought the PVC caps a couple of years ago and had not prepared myself for what i thought would be a daunting task. This ended up taking less than 30mins. Thank you Jasond7123!

  • HU-924753956

    Calkery48, can you send me your link to the Jacuzzi jet cover solution? Thank you! marjideko@gmail.com

  • HU-981148961

    calkary48 Can you send me the link to your jet cover solution?

  • wendito123
    Has anyone used the service Castle Coatings is suggesting?
  • felizlady
    Aren't those whirlpool jets currently being discussed relating to germs or bacteria or something else negative? They aren't really accessible to clean, and anything growing or accumulating inside those lines may only be cleared, and maybe only partially, by jetting them occasionally.
    If I owned such a tub, I would disconnect the motor and fill the jets with something permanent and insoluble.
  • Key Whi

    Wendito, I tried Castle Coatings idea. My wife didn't want the jet poking out. I just finished it. I used too much bondo mix and didn't take the time to get it super smooth but it looks nice. I used Rustoleom to refinish it.

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