Hot Tub Jet Guide

Nick Clamp Posted by Nick Clamp in Buying on 1st October 2020

A quality hot tub jet system will provide you with a soothing head-to-toe massage solution to ease your daily aches and pains. In this article we provide a complete guide to selecting the right number and type of jets for your hot tub purchase.

How do hot tub jets work?

Photo © Jacuzzi

Hot tub jets convert the waterflow from the hot tub pumps and plumbing system into a massaging action. Hot tub jets have three main connections that are the water in, air in and an air mixture outlet. Internal valves also play a key role pushing water through to and out of the jet. The internal valves have varying sizes with corresponding responsibilities linked to the jets.

Smaller jets are called air venturi valves and provide an air passage to supply to the jets. Larger valves are responsible for moving the water to the provide various therapeutic massage capabilities from the jets. The rear of the jet is the diffuser that holds the jet into the hot tub.

Each brand of hot tubs has their own specific jet design and are not interchangeable with other brands as this is distinctive to the manufacturer.

The pump system installed within the hot tub shell plays an essential role in effectiveness of hot tub jets. This drives the water through the jets and so, as part of your hot tub jet research, you should also aim to discover how many hydrotherapy pumps are incorporated into your prospective hot tub purchase. This will allow you to assess if they can then facilitate advanced jet hydrotherapy and air flow provision effectively.

While conducting your research you may come across some designs that incorporate air blowers. These are plumbed to many air jets around the hot tub. When these are switched on, the air system produces the typical jacuzzi bubbling water effect.

Once these blowers are operational, they provide you and other incumbents of your hot tub with the benefit of a light tissue massage, rather than a more forceful targeted hydrotherapy massage.

Combining a mixture of air and water provides the traditional hot tub bubbles but to gain the full force of hot tub hydrotherapy you should seek out a top quality model from a respected WhatSpa? Approved supplier that has the correct level of jets and corresponding hydrotherapy pumps.

What are the different types of jets available?

There are many different types of hot tub jet available, however the most popular jets are rotary, moving and directional.

Rotary jets

Rotary jets move the water around in a circular motion massage a wider area. Traditionally installed in the back of a hot tub’s lounge seat they relieve tension in the neck and back by targeting the muscles of these two body areas. The moving massage jets in a hot tub, meanwhile, which are generally installed two or three in a row, provide a deep back massage, the elongated oval jet creates this effective massage by pulsating the water back and forth.

Moving jets

Moving massage jets direct water up and down as well as horizontally to provide you with a relaxing moving massage experience. This type of jet utilises the power of the water through the plumbing to provide a powerful stream of water.

Directional jets

These are the most common type of hot tub jet providing targeted hydrotherapy massage. This type of jet can be adjusted to direct a powerful flow of water where you most need it. Lower spec hot tubs typically feature directional hot tubs with limited movement so be sure to check how much movement there is before purchase. Directional jets are ideal for enhancing blood circulation as well as easing muscular tension.

Combine jets for maximum effect

Ideally, your hot tub should provide you with a combination of jet types to not only provide you with choice of functionality, but also various hydrotherapeutic benefits linked to regular hot tub use. On initial inspection this task of identifying jet types may be difficult as there are so many different hot tub jets on the market and identifying them for yourself without professional guidance from a trusted WhatSpa? Approved dealer.

Footwell massage

An increasing number of footwell areas in top quality hot tubs include jets that reproduce this health-improving reflexology-type pressure, while also creating the added benefit of reducing pain and soreness in feet and ankles along with stimulating the many pressure points of your feet to ‘super charge’ your organs and areas of your body that have been neglected.

How many jets do I need in my hot tub?

Photo © Artesian Spas

At this stage of your hot tub jets research it is important to understand that there is a common misconception that more jets provide greater power. There are other important factors to consider.

Many leading hot tub brands now have a dedicated jet and hydrotherapy systems. With suitable jet counts, the leading hot tub brand manufacturers have conceived their own unique jet therapy systems that they have integrated within their hot tub designs that utilise the basic principle of warm water and air being pumped through hot tub jets. Transforming hot tubs into a versatile massage capability from your neck down to your toes to  cover all muscle groups, which can put many spa therapists to shame.

That is why it is not always the best strategy to simply aim for the highest number of jets for a hot tub purchase. There are other important factors to consider.

If a high jet counts does not deliver superior performance in all hydrotherapy seats then you will never gain the enjoyment that you would from a hot tub brand that provides the correct balance between jets, seating and the necessary number of hydrotherapy pumps.

At all times in your hot tub jets research look for quality options with a suitable jets and pumps ratio. Too many jets without adequate pump provision may limit the hydrotherapy power, while too few could leave some muscles groups lacking attention. As you delve deeper into your hot tub jet research you will discover that most of the top quality hot tub manufacturers work on a ratio of approximately 20 to 30 jets per pump.

Most of the top quality hot tub manufacturers work on a ratio of approximately 20 to 30 jets per pump.

If your intention is to gain advanced hydrotherapy form a high hot tub jet count, you should be seeking out quality hot tub designs with the corresponding number of pumps to ensure the correct amount of balance to your jets for maximum hydrotherapy satisfaction.

How do you control hot tub jets?

Photo © Villeroy & Boch

To be able to utilise hot tub jets effectively you should seek out a design that provides easy control capability. You should be able to select your respective jet requirement from a user-friendly control panel that should ideally be positioned within easy reach of the seating.

During the past decade control panels have undergone a major development phase and many are now providing cutting-edge functionality.

Some of the latest models now incorporate waterproof remote controls, as well as extra topside control panel functionality that provides additional functions by scrolling through the screen menus. Hot tubs and jet systems can also be controlled remotely via smartphone apps.

Why do hot tubs have more than one pump?

Photo © Jacuzzi

Hot tubs in the higher price brackets generally have significantly larger jet and pump counts. Generally, you should expect to pay a much higher price for greater levels of premium hydrotherapy jets and hydrotherapy pumps functionality.

By having high numbers of hydrotherapy jets you should require the matching power from additional pumps to provide corresponding top levels of hydrotherapy. Without suffering poor performance from too many jets being supplied with power from just a single pump or two pumps.

Whereas higher-price models have three, four, and even five pumps, the hot tubs in the sub-£6,000 price bracket are generally manufactured with just a single pump.  Theses hot tubs are mainly praised for their comfortable or spacious seating, along with user-friendly ‘plug and play’ qualities.

Many of the sub-£6,000 hot tubs come with optional hand-held massage jets to reach muscle groups that can’t be targeted by conventional jets. Most of these hot tubs have lower jet counts, but this then ensures they can still effectively pack a punch  from the single or double pump system when it comes to hydrotherapy health and wellness benefits.

One of the new 2020 WhatSpa? Best Buy Award-winners in the sub-£6,000 price bracket has a massive 70 jet. Whilst another model in the £6,000 to £7,999 price range has been produced with 106 jets. These high numbers are exceptional for these price ranges but most of the other Best Buys from these two price groups have jet counts below 40 to ensure that the pump power is not overstretched.

In the £8,000 to £9,999 as well as the £10,000 to £14,999 price range jet counts for the Best Buy Award-winners are generally over 40.  If you have the financial capability to extend your purchase to one of the Best Buy Award-winners from the £15,000 Plus category then you will be able to obtain a design with cutting-edge hydrotherapy and a higher Hydrotherapy Jet and Hydrotherapy Pump counts.

Most of the £15,000 Plus Best Buy hot tubs have over 50 Hydrotherapy Jets and some have over 70 Hydrotherapy Jets with the corresponding higher pump system counts to maintain constant high performance for all the jets incorporated within their designs. One of the Best Buys in this category is famed for its ‘unsurpassed’ delivery of hydrotherapeutic massage, while another has five Hydrotherapy Pumps and 67 Hydrotherapy Jets to allow every seat incumbent to control their own massage experience.

Hot tub models from the sub-£6,000 Best Buy price bracket can run on 13 Amps. All of those in the £8,000 to £9,999 as well as the £10,000 to £14,999 price range run on more than 20 Amps. the majority of hot tubs in the £15,000 Plus price section require electricity supplies of 32 Amps or above due to them incorporating higher numbers of pumps.

Nick Clamp

About the author

Nick Clamp

I am the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSpa? Media Group and my job is to keep you informed about the very latest hot tubs on the UK market... the best job in the world! When I'm not being deluged with press releases and hot tub brochures I enjoy keeping fit and participating in endurance events including triathlons and distance running.

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