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How do walk-in bathtubs work?

How do walk in bathtubs work - featured

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering exactly how a walk-in bathtub works, we’ve put together a definitive guide for you

For those with mobility issues, whether age-related or because of a disability or injury, a walk-in bathtub can make bathing a more comfortable experience. Instead of stepping over and into a traditional bathtub, a walk-in bath allows users to do just that. Many walk-in baths also provide therapeutic and relaxing benefits. But how exactly do they work?

If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t end up with water everywhere, given that most models have a side door that you open to gain access, you’re not the only one. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about how walk-in bathtubs work.

First, it’s important to note that there are various different walk-in bathtubs to choose from. Each has its own set of benefits and features. There are full-length bathtubs, which look similar to a traditional bath, but may be a bit deeper. Then, there are sit-up bathtubs, which are ideal for wheelchair users. Depending on the model, some bathtubs may have a small step, but this is still considerably lower than reaching your leg over and into a standard bathtub.

The one thing that all walk-in bathtubs have in common is a safety-lock door. But how does it work, and how does it stop water from seeping out?

READ NEXT: Best walk-in bathtubs

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How does the water stay in?

It might help to compare the mechanics of a watertight safety-lock door in a walk-in bathtub to a front loading washing machine. Both are similar in that they won’t allow the water to run until the door has been closed properly.

How do walk-in bathtubs work?

So, the safety-lock door must be closed before the bath fills and remain closed while emptying. This means that those using a walk-in bath must sit in the bath and securely shut the door before they start running the water.

Many of us are accustomed to popping the plug in a traditional bath, running the water and leaving the room while the water gets to a suitable level before we get in. Obviously this isn’t possible with a walk-in bathtub. Users will also have to sit and wait until the water has completely drained away before they can open the door and get out.

Several models come with fast-emptying valves that can significantly speed up the process. However, many homes may not be equipped to deal with this, meaning the water will drain at a similar speed to a traditional bath. This issue is definitely something to consider when investing in a walk-in model.

It’s worth noting that the time it takes to fill up a walk-in bathtub can vary due to water pressure in each individual home. The water temperature is also safely controlled by a thermostatic valve that mixes hot and cold water as it fills up.

READ NEXT: How much does a walk-in bathtub cost?

How long does it typically take to drain a walk-in bathtub?

The time it takes for the water in a walk-in bath to drain away can vary between two and 15 minutes, depending on your home’s drainage system. Because of this, it’s necessary to work out which walk-in bathtub is best for you and your needs.

No matter which way you look at it, installing a walk-in bathtub is a significant investment. Therefore it’s of paramount importance to ensure that your drainage system can cope with the volume of water you’ll use in a large bath. This is also certainly something to consider when looking at the different models or consulting a contractor.

How do walk-in bathtubs work?

If you’re wondering what the best walk-in bathtub might be for you and your needs, we’ve done all the hard work and picked out some of the best walk-in baths currently on the market.

If you require a walk-in bathtub because of a disability, old age or an ongoing medical condition, it may be worth looking into a Disabled Facilities Grant. This grant could cover the expense of upgrading your bathroom to make it more suitable for you and your needs.

Check out our step-by-step guide for applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant, which also has some great resources for those who may not be eligible.

READ NEXT: Walk-in bathtub grants – explained

What other features do walk-in bathtubs have?

As well as various safety features such as non-slip flooring, grab rails and easy-to-use taps, some walk-in bathtubs include jets that help with pain relief and relaxation. The high-pressure jets combined with the warm water can help improve circulation and alleviate muscle tension as well as aches and pains.

If these sound like features that could benefit you or a loved one, look for hydrotherapy, aero-therapy or combination therapy walk-in baths. You can find these models at various online and in-store retailers to learn the exact specifications and determine which features and style best suit you and your specific needs.

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