Hot Tub Jets: An Analysis of the Best Spa Jets

Outside of hot water, hot tub jets are probably the single most important factor when purchasing a hot tub for therapeutic reasons. Jets come in different sizes, shapes, nozzles, and water output (volume).
Simply put, hot tub jets operate via a motor or jet pump that pushes the water through the plumbing, into a manifold, and finally through the jets.
It is important to note that the back of every individual jet fitting has an air port and water port. The air port is smaller diameter hose and the water port is a larger diameter hose. The air/water mixture is what regulates flow throw the nozzle as you can shut off the air and just run water thru the jet nozzle or run air and water at the same time creating more pressure (bubbles) through the nozzle. It important to have the correct air and water mixture to maximize the therapeutic benefits. Too much air and the jets are overly pressurized and itchy and too much water means they don’t feel as powerful. When looking at jets its important to consider that the larger the jet (and nozzle) the higher the volume and less pressure resulting in a better more comfortable massage. Smaller jet openings means higher pressure (itchy) and smaller target area for massage. Also, less is more when it comes to jets. Fewer bigger jets is always better than more smaller jets.
A nice variety of different types jets is always a good idea so that you can experience different types of massage in your hot tub.

Here’s a list of the types of jets that are available in the industry. They come in various nozzle that include single rotating nozzles (spinners), dual rotating nozzles (spinners), directional nozzles (adjust direction of nozzle), shower head nozzle, riffled nozzle, pulse nozzle, multi massage nozzle, and twister nozzle.  Jets can also be proprietary when it comes to the nozzle or design, however, in most cases the industry uses standard jet bodies (what the jet snaps or threads into) which means that you can interchange the different proprietary nozzles between brands.

Large Jets
Whirlpool Jets – These are excellent high volume, therapy jets. The jet diameter is 5”.
Power Jets – These are 5” in diameter and are a high volume jet that are available in almost all nozzle types referenced above.

Medium Jets
Poly Jets – 3.5” in outside diameter. These are still a very therapeutic jet with a decent amount of pressure.

Small Jets
Mini Jets – 3” in outside diameter. In this size, jet types include directional nozzles, rifled nozzles, multi-massage nozzles, roto n twin roto nozzles.

X-Small Jets
Cluster Jets – Very small in size. They are typically 2” in outside diameter and have very small air and water lines making them a higher pressure jet. In this size, jet types include directional nozzles, rifled nozzles, multi-massage nozzles, twin roto nozzles.

Also consider a hot tub with higher horsepower pumps and larger frame size (56 frame) to ensure there’s enough power for the jets.
Plumbing also matters. Too much plumbing (hoses, manifolds, gate valves, and 90 degree angles) means that there are longer distances for the water to run and more head pressure (hydrostatic pressure).

It is also important to note that jets can be screwed in (threaded) or snapped in. Threaded jets seem to be what the industry is moving towards as they are less subject to wear and tear from poor water chemistry although the threads are made of plastic and they can eventually deteriorate and crumble making them difficult to screw back in over time. Snap in jets were all of the craze for the last 15 years because of their simplicity however they have been known to deteriorate quickly from poor water chemistry and pop out on their own.

For more information you can visit our brands pages, buyers guides, or simply fill out our “Free Local Hot Tub Quotes” form to get competitive prices on hot tubs and swim spas in your local area.

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