DIY Hot Tub Jets are so important. The bubbles. The massage. The whole “hot tub” experience in my opinion comes from the jets. This is one part of the whole building of the hot tub that you want to get right. This blog and my YouTube Channel focus on the building of DIY Hot Tubs and plunge pools so hopefully you will find this article useful.
In this article, I will explore some of the options you have for your DIY Hot Tub Jets and hopefully clear up some of the confusion and answer some questions that I get asked on a regular basis.
Do I need Jets in my tub?
This really comes down to personal preference. For me, I think the jets are really parts of the whole experience. If you don’t have jets, then you really have a soaking tub rather than a hot tub – again, in my humble opinion of course.
Also, if you are going to go to the trouble and expense of building a hot tub – surely you want it to be as good as possible? I’ll let you decide on this one.
However, if you don’t opt for jets, you are still going to need some hot water returns for the tub to send the hot water from the heater back into the hot tub. Swimming pool returns are not jets – just so we are clear on this.
Are the jets the same as a plastic shell hot tub?
The jets that we use in our DIY Hot Tubs that are block, concrete or ICF built are a little different from the jets you get in the plastic shell tubs. They may look the same, but the internal parts will be different.
This is really to do with the system that we use on these builds which is Gunite Jet Bodies. I have a full article and explanation of these here.
If you are building a stock tank hot tub or an IBTL tub, then the jets that you use will be the same as on a plastic shell how tub. Again, this relates to how the jet bodies screw into the holes in the tub.
How do DIY Hot Tub Jets Work?
Hot Tub jets work by combining air and water and then delivering this mixture into the hot tub. Depending on the type of jet, directional, roto, twin roto, massage etc, the mixture of air and water comes out slightly different.
Some hot tub jets also allow you to control the flow by turning the face of the jet. This reduces the amount of air and water in the jet so you can control the flow and intensity of the jets.
Are they Interchangeable?
As I have mentioned above, there are different types of jets available. However, you are only able to interchange jets from the same manufacture and the same jet “series”. For example, I use Waterway Poly Storm jets on my builds.
These are not interchangeable with Power Storm or Poly Jets for example, despite looking very similar and coming from the same manufacturer – they do not have the same fittings. It also goes without saying that you cannot interchange models from other manufacturers, they are very specific to the type of housings that you have on your tub.
How Many Jets Can I have in my Tub?
The number of jets that you can have in your DIY Hot Tub really comes down to the pump and the flow rates. What is a little different for concrete, block or ICF built hot tubs is that you tend to have a smaller number of more powerful jets. Plastic shell tubs often market themselves on having 100s of jets. This is not the case on our DIY Tubs.
For example, all of my designs in my store are built around 14 or 16 jets – why is this? Well, in short, it is about the flow rates. If you take a regular hot tub jet pump, something around the 3HP mark, it will output around 200 gallons per minute at full power.
Without going into too much detail here, every bend, twist, fitting and distance from the control room to the hot tub reduce this number as TDH or Total Dynamic Head increases.
Each of the jets that I use in my build require a flow rate of 10GPM to operate. This means that if I have 14 or 16 in the build, then I need 140-160 GPM from the pump. Whilst of course an accurate calculation of TDH can be done, by allowing a little extra room in terms of flow, I know that with a 3-4HP pump there will be enough flow in most normal cases.
Therefore, if you are looking to increase the number of jets, then you need to add a second pump to the system. Just increasing the pump size is not the best way to do this and this would only allow a couple of extra jets. If you are looking for around 30 for example, then you need to have a two pump system.
What arrangements of Hot Tub jets can I have in my tub?
The arrangements of jets in your DIY Hot Tub is totally up to you. There is no real rules to where they can go or what type of “clusters” you can create.
You have to be mindful of the physical size of the Gunite bodies and the jets themselves so you cant have them too close together.
However, if you are looking to make “seat arrangements” of jets and have different experiences in each of the seating positions, then this is totally possible.
What models of DIY Hot Tub Jets are Available?
As I have mentioned previously in this article, the models that I use on my DIY Hot Tub builds are the polystorm jets from Waterway. These are available in many options however, getting stock and supply of these is always a challenge.
I stock the following models – directional, roto, twin roto and massage. These are available in grey, white and chrome finish. Normally, in a build I mix and match and unless the client has a specific requirement, I would supply a mixture of what I had in stock – the same color of course!
For me, DIY Hot Tub Jets form an essential part of the whole hot tub experience. It is the jets in my opinion that turn a “bath” into a “hot tub”.
The number and type of jets as we have seen is totally up to you but you need to be mindful of the amount of flow needed to power the jets. The models and options are somewhat limited comparted to the plastic shell counterparts, but they tend to be larger so therefore you need less of them.
Hope you found this article useful. Please do get in touch if you have any questions on DIY Hot Tub jets – you can use the form below.
Can I Help You?
If I can help you in any way I would love to hear from you. You can get in touch using the form below.
Thanks - Andi
Hi, Andi here. I own Buildahottub.com and also write all of the articles and info pages on the site. Some years back now, I built my own hot tub but struggled to find the information I needed. So, once my tub was complete, I started this website to help others in their own pursuit of hot tub and plunge pools DIY building information.
Today, I've helped over 1000 DIY customers just like you all over the world build hot tubs and pools. Have a good look around the site, there are lots of resources here. Please do get in touch if I can help you. - Cheers, Andi