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Residential whirlpool bath units are in common use today in bathrooms nationwide. Some health hazards can result from the use of a whirlpool bath unit. Following is information about common risks associated with the use of a whirlpool bath.

Most whirlpool bath units are not kept properly cleaned and maintained. When a whirlpool bath is drained after use, a measurable amount of water is trapped within the circulation system that can propagate infectious diseases. Skin abrasions are a common bacteria entry site. Use of warm water during the enjoyment of a whirlpool bath will dilate the pores of the skin and increase the chance for infection.

Once a month — or more often for tubs that get a lot of use — you should remove any accumulation of bath residue (from body oils, dirt, soaps, shampoos, lotions) from the whirlpool system. First, fill the bath with hot water (up to 140° F) and add 4 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of a low-foaming disinfectant (such as powdered dishwasher detergent). Some manufacturers suggest adding 1/2 cup of household bleach. Turn off the air induction and run the water jets for 10 to 15 minutes. Then drain the bath and refill with cold water only. Run the whirlpool for 10 to 15 minutes and then drain again. There are also commercial cleaning products made specifically to do this job.

Whirlpool bath units also have also caused concern over suction at returns and extended exposure to high temperature water. Extreme caution is advised when children, elderly, people with long hair or people under the influence of drugs/alcohol are using the appliance. Risks include hair being caught in the return (suction) location causing drowning, drowsiness from overexposure causing drowning, and un-supervised young children subject to drowning.

Advantage Inspection Service offers Arizona home inspections for homes throughout the Phoenix metro area.

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