Whilst some hot tubs don’t use bubble jets, and it’s safe to say that most people associate these products with the therapeutic qualities of a powerful massage experience. But why do most hot tubs include this fancy hydrotherapy feature?
Originally hot tubs were designed as a tool to relieve tension in patients suffering from muscle and joint issues, with the combination of hot water and powerful streams of air working together to apply soothing pressure to the affected muscle groups.
This treatment, now known as hydrotherapy, was so effective that many people wanted to enjoy it at their own leisure, and so the hot tub industry was born! But what’s the exact science behind modern hot tub with jets?
Types of Hot Tub Jets
In the simplest of terms, hot tub jets work by converting the water flow within a spa’s pump and plumbing into a powerful stream by either mixing the water with air (bubble jets) or pressurising the water (hydro jets) to create a massage function that’s been proven to offer great relief to aching muscles and joints.
Whilst this is the basic principle of the hot tub jet, there are many different types of jets available in modern hot tubs, with the most popular being rotary jets, moving jets and directional jets.
Rotary jets provide a targeted massage by slowly turning to produce a constant stream of water and are usually found in the walls and seating areas of hot tubs to target the back and neck.
Moving jets gradually move up and down to massage a range of areas simultaneously, whilst directional jets can be adjusted manually to create a personalised massage function that’s great for targeted hydrotherapy and pain relief.
How Bubble Jets Work
Bubble jets, as the name suggests, make use of several air jets in a singular nozzle to produce millions of tiny bubbles designed to gently stimulate the body, providing a light tissue massage that gradually soothes aches and pains.
- Not ideal for high-pressure targeted massages
- Harder to clean, repair and replace
- Noisier than a water jet
- The added air will cool the water quicker
How Many Jets?
There are a few factors to consider when deciding on the number of massage jets your ideal hot tub will feature, ranging from how powerful you’d like your massage to be to how much you’re willing to spend on your running costs!
If your hot tub features over 100 hot tub jets, though only makes use of 1 or 2 pumps, you’ll find that the power output across the massage system will be spread pretty thin, resulting in a weak water flow.
On the other hand, if your hot tub uses additional pumps to power high numbers of hot tub jets adequately, you’ll quickly notice an increase in both running costs and operational noise!
You should also consider that for every jet added to your massage system; more plumbing will be required, increasing the risk of leaks and making repairs a little more tricky to carry out.
What are the Most Powerful Hot Tub Jets?
Bubble and water jets are designed to produce different effects, so it’s not really a case of which is better; it’s more about your desired use.
Water jets produce a high-power stream of heated water that’s much easier to direct towards specific areas of the body. These hot tub jets are ideal for hydrotherapy uses and targeted massages.
Bubble jet systems are much gentler, less direct, and less demanding on your pump’s power supply, so these configurations are great for longer sessions and more casual hot tubbers.
As with most things, we reckon a varied approach is best; combining a few water jets with a larger number of bubblers will often produce a superior massaging experience to a system that only uses one or the other!
Hot Tub Jets Not Working?
If your pump is on and making noise, but no water is being pumped around the system, chances are you’re experiencing an airlock!
This can usually be fixed by switching your pump from low to high speed a few times, though if this doesn’t work, you may need to turn everything off and manually bleed the air from the pump unit!
Dirty hot tub filters will reduce the water flow in your system, which in turn will cause a noticeable lack of power in each jet!
Make sure to regularly check and clean your spa filters, replacing them as soon as they become damaged or worn.
Blocked drain cover
If your drain or debris screen is blocked, your pump will struggle to push enough water through the plumbing to power each jet adequately.
Locate the drain on your model (usually next to the filter inlet) and remove the casing to clear any debris that may have built up.
The minerals in hard water, highly alkaline water and body oils can cause scale to build up in the fixtures of your spa, blocking the water flow.
Regularly draining and cleaning your inflatable hot tub will help to prevent this. However, if you do notice considerable scale building up, you may want to use a hot tub descaling product to clean each individual jet and the other fixtures inside your hot tub.
Why are blow-up spas with hydro jets so expensive?
Each hydro jet fixture is simply more expensive to manufacture than a standard air jet. This manufacturing cost is then passed onto the hot tub itself!
Is a hot tub better with more jets?
Not necessarily! If you’re looking for a targeted hydrotherapy hot tub, then a small number of hydro jets will be better than a large number of air jets. Conversely, if you’re after a family-sized spa to relax in for hours at a time, you may prefer a large number of air jets.
Do jets cool the water in a hot tub?
As bubble jets use air to produce their bubbling effect, they gradually cause the water inside your hot tub to cool. Hydro jets, on the other hand, rely only on heated water to work and shouldn’t cause any drops in temperature!
So that’s the ins and outs of the modern hot tub jet! It turns out these clever devices come in two main varieties, with several styles of operation, but both are proven to provide excellent therapeutic relief to tired muscles!
Air jets are more common, as they’re cheaper to produce and provide great coverage in a larger hot tub, though they can be pretty noisy and cause the water in your hot tub to cool down!
Water jets are generally more expensive, though they provide a pressurised stream of heated water that’s great for targeted pain relief. A combination of the two is usually best, but remember to keep on top of your maintenance to get the most out of your system!