If you’ve been looking at hot tubs for long enough they tend to start blending together. For this reason, it’s only natural to look for simple statistics to differentiate between them. When deciding which hot tub has the best massage, for example, many people tend to look at the number of jets or jet pumps that each hot tub has.
This can be a mistake as the hot tub with the most jets doesn’t necessarily provide the best massage experience. In fact, adding too many jets to a hot tub can actually worsen its overall massage quality. Today, we will examine the impact that jet number has on the quality of your hot tub’s massage, and look at a few other factors that also affect your bathing experience.
Do More Hot Tub Jets Lead To A Better Massage?
A hot tub’s jets are probably the most critical component of its hydrotherapy experience. That said, the number of jets is only one part of the equation. When looking at the quality of a hot tub’s massage jets there are actually 3 factors you should be considering.
1) The Number Of Jets
While you definitely want to make sure that your hot tub has plenty of jets, if you have too many it can actually begin to negatively affect the power of the hot tub’s massage.
How does jet number affect the power of the hot tub massage? It all comes down to the water supply. Since there is a finite amount of water coming from the jet pumps, every jet you add to the system reduces the amount of water that is available for the others. Too few jets and each jets will be uncomfortably strong, too many and there won’t be enough power to properly massage your muscles.
So what is the right number of jets then? The answer depends on the number of massage pumps the hot tub has. Generally speaking, you want there to be around 20-30 jets for every massage pump.
Another thing to consider is the number of jets each seat in the hot tub has. A 2-3 person hot tub with 30 jets, for example, can outperform a larger 8 person hot tub with 45-50 simply because there are more jets in each seat.
2) The Placement Of The Jets
Simply put, if a jet doesn’t hit you in the right spot then it’s not really doing you much good. How can you tell if a hot tub’s jets will hit you in the right spot? Look for a hot tub with jets that follow the natural curves of your body (wider at the shoulders, narrower down the back) rather than ones laid out in straight lines or geometric shapes like diamonds or stars. These other arrangements can look impressive, but don’t provide you with any real therapeutic benefit.
3) The Size Of The Jets
Another important thing to consider is the size of the jets. The larger the muscle group a jet is targeting, the larger it should be. Jets targeting smaller muscles like your neck, wrists, and lower legs should be smaller to ensure that they accurately target the muscle. Jets targeting larger muscles in your back should be larger to ensure that they properly stimulate the whole muscle.
What Else Should You Be Looking For?
When it comes to a hot tub’s hydrotherapy experience, the jets are only one component. Here’s a couple of other things that you should be looking for.
Everyone is different. It is therefore crucial that you’re able to customize your hot tub hydrotherapy experience. At a minimum, you should be able to vary the power of the massage in the hot tub. Hot tubs built with hydrotherapy in mind will also typically allow you to go further; offering seats in various sizes and depths as well as several different jet types that can be easily removed and swapped out so that you can put your favourite jets in your favourite seat!
Powerful Massage Pumps
When it comes to hydrotherapy, it all starts with the pumps. Simply put, if the pumps aren’t strong enough, the jets won’t have enough power to provide a proper massage.
When determining the power of a massage pump, it is important to look at its flow rate, rather than solely looking at its horsepower rating. This is because horsepower is a measurement of how much power the pump produces, rather than how much water it moves. This is an important distinction as two pumps with identical horsepower ratings can have very different flow rates. For example, Hydropool’s 4 HP AquaFlo pumps generate a massage current of 180gpm (gallons per minute) while most other 4HP pumps can only get to around 140gpm. This can make a huge difference in the overall power and quality of the massage.
Balanced Plumbing Design
While often overlooked, the design of the plumbing also makes a big difference in the quality of a hot tub’s massage; both in terms of power and balance. Basically, the longer the distance the water has to travel from the pumps to the jets, the less power the jets will have.
Not only does inefficient plumbing lower the power of your hot tub’s hydrotherapy system, it can also lead to varying power between jets with ones closer to the pumps having more power than ones that are further away.
When looking at hot tubs, take a moment to look inside the cabinet. If you see a ton of 90-degree elbows and needlessly long plumbing runs, you can be pretty sure that that hot tub will not provide a top quality hydrotherapy experience.
So How Many Jets Should A Hot Tub Have?
As you can see by now, more jets does not always mean a better massage. There is also no “ideal” number of jets that a hot tub should have. What’s more important is the number of “jets per seat” and the number of “jets per pump” that the hot tub has. Look for hot tubs that have 20-30 jets for every massage pump and at least 5-6 jets per seat on average. Jet size, placement and the power of the hot tub pumps are also crucial components of any hot tub hydrotherapy system and should be considered just as much as the number of jets the hot tub has.