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Retrofitting a whirlpool tub w/ air switch - electrician / plumber advice requested

Grumpy Vet

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My wife used to love to take a bath and run the jets in her tub. About a year ago the switch went out to turn the jets on. I looked everywhere to replace the switch - with no luck. It is an older tub. I was quoted $400 to fix it and thought that was a bit nuts.

I'm sure for Christmas she would love if I could get this thing fixed for her.

Right now the pump works, but in order to turn it on, you have to fill the tub, walk down the hall into the guest room, unscrew (we have little kids) an access panel and flip a "light switch" - put the panel back on and walk back to the bath. When done - go through it all in reverse order.

I looked into a 20AMP 110V X10 switch, but I'm nervous about messing w/ the electricity and best I can tell, I'm looking at about $120 to "rig something".


This morning I found an airline switch online. I was wondering if someone can tell me why something like this would not work. I can replace the old low voltage electrical switch w/ this airline switch. The airline switch has a plug in end to it...so I'd have to figure out how to replace the "light switch" that turns the pump on / off into a scenario that this thing would plug into.

Maybe disconnect pump wires from light switch and remove switch. Install normal outlet in junction box, plug air switch into outlet and then splice a 3 prong plug onto pump wire and plug that into air switch.

Downstairs the circuit is GFCI protected - I assume that is still the case if I did above.

Assuming this would work, anybody know of a place locally I could buy one of these kits?



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If you're not confident in your household electrical skills, it might be a bad idea to mess with the electrical properties of your hot tub. It could quickly turn into a tub of watery electrical death for someone you love. Not trying to be funny, that's just the reality. That few hundred $$$ may seem like a lot, but in retrospect if something goes wrong b/c of a rigging job to save a little dough, that price seems quite small.

I know it's the extreme, but it's in the realm of possibility when talking about shotty electrical work and water.

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