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Walk In Tub vs Traditional Tub

A walk in tub is going to work a little different than your traditional bathtub. Remember that a walk in tub has a door panel on one side that opens and closes. Hence, the bather has to be inside the tub before you can let the water run. So the bather will glide into the tub without having to lift their legs over a 15" to 20" edge.


The bather using a walk in tub will┬ástroll into a basin that is much deeper than a normal tub. The reason for this is to permit the upper body to get a nice soaking. So after the entering the tub, the bather will sit on a comfortable seat that is about 17″ high and 21″ wide. The tub door will then be closed and sealed or locked. You cannot run the water into the tub until this is done.

Filling the tub can take several minutes. It just depends on how deep it is. Since you’re filling the tub with warm or hot water, it’s very important that it have what is called a thermostatic control valve. This way there will be no possibility of running scalding hot water. In most walk in tubs, the default temperature setting will hold steady at about 105 degrees and you’ll be able to adjust it a little bit up or down. That’s probably one of the reasons these tubs are sometimes referred to as safety tubs or safety bathtubs.


Another thing you want to ensure is that your tub’s faucet has a pretty wide mouth or water filler. You want that tub to fill as fast as possible. There are some walk in tubs that have cute little water fillers that resemble gentle waterfalls. Only problem is that it can take 15 minutes to fill up the darn tub. Who wants to sit there waiting for that long?! So discuss fill up time and faucet design with the tub seller before you buy it.

Walk In Tub Issue: Water Usage

In addition to those two design elements, there’s one final thing to keep in mind. A standard deep walk in bathtub can hold a lot more water than a traditional bathtub. If your hot water heater has a 42 gallon capacity, but your walk in tub needs 63 gallons to fill it, that’s not good. So make sure that your hot water heater is up to the task. It may need to be upgraded or you may need to purchase a special heating attachment from the manufacturer.

Once the walk in tub is filled, the bather will have access to a handheld sprayer to run water over their head and shoulders. If the tub has air or water jets, they can be turned on to create a soothing whirlpool bathing environment. Of course, these tubs can be outfitted with all kinds of neat luxurious amenities.

When the bather is done, simply open the drain and allow the water to run out. By the way, while you’re asking the walk in tub seller about the length of time it takes to fill the tub, inquire about drain time as well. Anyway, when the walk in tub is empty, the door panel can be opened and the bather can walk out or be assisted by a caregiver.