I keep seeing these walk in bathtubs advertised on tv commercials. They
have a side that opens like a door. THey are intended for the elderly.
The concept makes sense, because I am aware of how difficult it is for
elders with health issues. However, I find it hard to understand how
they can seal those "doors" on the tubs, to be water tight. And even if
they do have a good seal, how long do they last?
Like the door seal on a refrigerator, car door, etc, they all seem to
fail fairly fast. But for a bathtub, there is a lot of pressure against
that seal. I'm not sure of the water capacity, but even 25 gallons
weighs about 208 lbs (one gallon is 8.34 lbs). That's a lot of weight
against a gasket/seal. And I would think they hold more than 25
Of course if the gasket fails, that's a lot of water to flow on the
floor and will cause a lot of damage.
1st off...you and I are too old to worry about such things. We should leave it to the engineers.
At my last job I maintained a Whirlpool with a door...they have a locking mechanism that compresses the gasket. The door also wedges into a groove that is smaller than the exterior tub dimensions.
On Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 4:23:02 AM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
IDK anything about the reliability of the door seals. But I wouldn't
worry about the pressure against the seal being some difficult design
problem. Those kinds of design typically don't rely on the seal material
to hold the pressure back. It would be logical to use the weight of the
water to your advantage by having the seal between the door and the area
of the door opening the door presses against. The more pressure, the
tighter it pushes against the seal. I haven't looked at one, but I
would think it's probably the design they would have. Over time the
seal might start to leak and need replacing, but I don't see some
difficult design issue or catastrophic problem. If it leaks, it's
going to start slowly, not a big flood.
On 3/21/2015 5:22 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Have you ever seen one? They are well made and I doubt they would have
a high failure rate and the chances are, never a catastrophic failure.
OTOH, I think they are a poor idea anyway. You have to get in before
you start filling and they you have to wait until it drains before you
can get out. We got rid of the tub altogether and made a large shower
and ut a shower seat in there.
The tubs are about $7,000 and up.
Plus they advertise "same day installation" --- that is a laugh, as 99.9% of
the installation will require plumbing to be moved, electrical to be
installed and the walls retiled and possibly the floor redone because the
new tub is taller and looks to be shorter in length than most old tubs they
replace. These guys are not just tub sellers they are renovation sellers.
That must add a ton of costs to the job.
You got a good point there. And they probably only install the tub.
The homeowner then needs to hire a plumber, carpenter, tile installer,
etc. I dont think there is any need for an electrician though. (For the
tub). I dont believe they use electricity.
I also never thought about the need for the person having to get into
the tub BEFORE filling it, and cant get out until it's drained. But
that does make perfect sense. And that also means that if an elderly
person became ill while in the tub, they would not be able to get out
till the tub was drained, or else would have to crawl over the top,
(which defeats the whole purpose).
On 3/21/2015 12:53 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Some do. The ones I looked at to see what kind of door system they had,
also were jetted and offered in-line water heaters to maintain the
I added the in-line heater to our standard American-Standard jetted tub.
Quite nice for long soaks in the tub.
On Sat, 21 Mar 2015 11:53:21 -0600, email@example.com wrote:
Maybe they do it all.
One advertisement says they'll throw in free a heated seat, so that's
electric. I take baths all the time, in a regular bathtub, and I've
never noticed that the tub bottom was cold. Of course I've put water in
As to jets, I personally wouldn't want that. I want peace and quiet.
I'd thought of the first part already, but not this part.
That's good exercise. It will make him appreciate all the times he can
just open the door.
Seems to me it would be a lot easier and cheaper to just put a
handheld spray in a shower, put a shower chair in there and just
handle it that way, presuming the old folk can step over a 4" shower
This would not saisfy me, since for me, the goal is to put one's body
under the water. However the walk-in tubs don't do much of that
either, I think, since people are sitting up and the water only comes,
it seems to me. up to one's ribcage, or nipples. And you can't slouch
down and get it up to your neck or the top of your head.
My memory is fading, but I think my mother at 88 could still do that.
She was losing weight without trying then.
The back up plan though is to make a shower bench, long enough to have
half of it inside the tub and half outside. The person sits on the
outside and slowly slides to the inside. Lifting each leg while
sitting, so that falling is not likely. With a comfortable back at
least for the part in the tub.
I don't think they sell such things so I should a) patent it and get
rich; b) start making one of them so I'lll have one when I need one.
I'm still naive enough to think I'll never get so weak I need one.
And what I'd rather make for myself is some sort of crane, so I can sit
in the tub, on the bottom, like I do now, and crank something that will
stand me up, using gears so it won't require a lot of strength on my
part. Maybe like those hoists that helipcopiters use when rescuing
people. Once I'm up, I can walk out of the tub myself.
Same here. For me, taking a bath is not only to get clean, but to soak
in hot water and relax. A lot cheaper and healthy form of relaxation
than drinking alcohol. I also like to soak for softening callouses on my
feet so I can scrape them off afterwards.
Standing in a shower is something I dont even consider as an option.
You cant relax while standing, and I do not enjoy bathing at all, if I
have to stand. A few times a year I may take a shower just because I
have an appointment in a half hour and just want to freshen up. But that
is rare. I could go without a shower, but not a bathtub. Yea, I know one
can install a shower chair in a shower, but that is still not relaxing.
Not to mention that I like to take a bath in winter when I have been
outside, and am cold. To shower, I would have to set the house (or
bathroom) temperature to about 80deg. before showering. But if I get
into a tub of hot water, the house can be 60deg, and I'm fine.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.