The modern tub integrates water-heating technology to extend the bathing experience.

HotSoak system by Aquatic Whirlpools


Lifestyles today move at break-neck speeds: We communicate with each other in pocket-sized high-speed bandwidth. We buy and sell goods in an instant online. We tape multiple TV shows at the same time. We even shower fast, with fixtures delivering water to our bodies like a carwash rinse cycle.

If your clients are looking for a way to escape the world’s worries and woes, it may be time to remind them of the therapeutic benefits of hot water - and a good, long soak in the tub.

Hot water is an essential ingredient of hydrotherapy, according to soaking tub, whirlpool and air bath manufacturer MTI Whirlpools. It opens pores, improves circulation, and soothes tired muscles and joints. Heat not only relaxes the body, it also makes it more receptive to the benefits of air bath or whirlpool technology that your clients see displayed in bathroom showrooms.

Inline heater connected to the standard pump. Photo courtesy of MTI Whirlpool

Tub Reborn

In recent years, the bathtub has been the red-headed stepchild of the master bath. Advancements in valve technology and water delivery had made the shower stall the star, as the tub collected dust from nonuse in our busy world. However, that’s beginning to change.

“There are definitely more types of hydrotherapy baths today than even five years ago,” says Aquatic Whirlpools’ marketing director Tawnya Quiet. “Today, customers can choose from a whirlpool bath, an air bath, a tub that offers a combination of whirlpool and air jets, or a heated bath with no jets. This diversity in luxury bath products may be bringing consumers back to bathing in a tub.”

Adding to the appeal of soaking in today’s modern tub is integrated technology to extend the bathing experience. Inline maintenance heaters use electricity to maintain the heat of the bath water, not to heat cold water.

“The thermostat for these systems is preset by the manufacturer to maintain bath water temperature at 102 degrees F, so that the bather can enjoy his or her bath longer,” says MTI Whirlpools literature.

In whirlpool tubs, the heater works when the water is circulated through the jets. No separate external switch is needed.

Figure A. For soakers and air baths, water is drawn in through an intake such as the one shown, flows through the inline heater and is reintroduced into the bath through an output that has the same appearance and is mounted opposite it. Photos courtesy of MTI Whirlpool

For soakers and air baths, the heating system is activated manually by an on/off switch. The bath water is drawn through an intake (see Figure A), flowed through the inline heater, and is reintroduced to the bath through an output.

To keep symmetry and preserve design aesthetics, the intake and output have the same appearance and are mounted on opposite sides of the tub. Also, there is negligible disturbance to the water; the quiet MTI system uses a 1,500-watt inline heater and a 1/2-horsepower pump.

Another way to extend a soak and prevent bath water heat loss is through MTI’s Radiance heat system, a bathing amenity that applies radiant heat technology to warm the interior surface of the tub.

The ultra-thin radiant system is integrated in the acrylic bath shell structure to provide an even distribution of warmth. Through a low-voltage design, Radiance uses about as much energy as a small light bulb. Heat eliminates the shock of a cold tub for shoulders, neck, back or bottom, and the bather continues to feel soothing warmth throughout his or her bathing experience.

MTI's Radiance heat system

The Green Angle

Besides the ultimate in comfort, homeowners’ consciences can also be soothed by the fact that inline heaters offer a green approach to building and remodeling.

Aquatic believes its HotSoak series is an innovative and unique addition to a modern “green” home: “HotSoak maintains the temperature of water so there is no need to drain and fill during a bath. This being said, one of the ‘green’ benefits of this product is that it conserves water,” Quiet says.

The HotSoak pump is 1/15 horsepower, with a heater rated at 1.5kW, and operates from a single 110V Class A GFCI power outlet. It features a preleveled ABS support base, which reduces the need for wood and plywood frames. It also allows for fast and easy installation.

Further reducing the consumption of wood products, Aquatic products are shipped on recycled wood pallets.

In short, the added bonus of these heaters: The environment, as well as your sanity, is saved.

“I think we will continue to see innovative ways of creating bath products that will address both the physical and mental needs of one’s life,” Quiet concludes. “[The bathroom] is a place where people are looking to escape, unwind and recharge. Today’s active families are using luxury bath products to achieve balance in their lives.”