Q:

How do you install a Whirlpool bathtub?

A:

Quick Answer

The easiest way to install a Whirlpool tub is to select a unit the same size as the existing bathtub. Choosing a tub that differs in size requires moving the drain to match the new tub and sometimes requires enlarging the alcove in which the tub sits. These units are heavy, and some require a bed of wet mortar that conforms to the tub and dries to provide support while others sit directly on the floor.

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Full Answer

Consult the new tub's installation kit and determine the location of the centerlines for any new drains or antiscald faucets it requires. Mark these on the floor and walls and install the plumbing to accommodate the tub. If the plumbing in the home consists of galvanized pipe, it is acceptable for use as long as the flow is not restricted; however, it requires appropriate valves or connectors to prevent corrosion where it connects to the copper fittings of the new fixtures. Replace galvanized pipe with another material if it cannot provide sufficient water flow.

The Whirlpool tub combines electricity and water. Install ground fault interrupter outlets to supply power if they are not already in place. Most tubs require a dedicated 15-amp circuit to provide sufficient power for the unit.

If your floor is uneven, the bathtub is not able to drain properly, causing the jets to eventually lose functionality. Make the floor level and ensure it holds up to 150 pounds per square foot. When installing framework, add supports for the entire length of the tub's bottom and rim. Create an access panel that is 18 by 18 inches to allow you access to the pump or motor for any future maintenance, as well as to provide ventilation.

Follow the manufacturer's directions or the terminal compartment diagram for connecting the wiring. If you don't follow directions, you risk voiding the warranty. Ensure the bathtub is grounded, in case of electrical shock. Consider hiring an electrician to follow proper procedures. Once connected, clean all debris from the tub and fill it to check for leaks. Seal the area properly, and if you plan to tile, ensure that the floor is able to support the extra weight of the tile.

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