Q. I'm a big fan of your column and need a little help. My wife and I are thinking about remodeling our bathroom and want to include a whirlpool. But, we're looking for a more gentle massage, and every tub I've checked out includes a strong pump that really moves the water around. Do they make a milder whirlpool tub, and, if so, what should I be looking for?
A. Standard whirlpool tubs do include strong pump systems that mix the flow of water with air to produce a vigorous massage. But when you slow down the flow of water, the air jets usually stop working.
It sounds like you're looking for all the bubbles without the strong water flow. If that is the case, I have some good news for you. In recent years, a new bathtub technology called "effervescence hydrotherapy" has become very popular.
Effervescence tubs are designed to generate tiny bubbles throughout the entire tub with minimum water movement. Basically, it can feel like you're taking a bath in a big glass of sparkling water. The small bubbles naturally travel around your body on the way up to produce a warm, soothing and mild tingling experience.
Also, you may find yourself spending more time in the tub since it is a soaking experience as opposed to a physical massage, so inline water heaters are usually included.
Bottom line: Effervescence tubs can give your body a nice washing without feeling like you just went through the spin cycle!
• Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and hosts TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org. Always consult local contractors and codes.
Scripps Howard News Service