By Christopher Walker. Whirlpool tub manufacturers Jacuzzi, Kohler, and Lasco are the defendants in a class-action lawsuit that charges their tubs persistently spew residue from their jets, denying the tub owners the bathing experience they paid for.
The suit, filed by Waco, Texas, attorney John Malesovas, claims the design of the tubs allows used bath water to sit in the jet tubes after the rest of the water has been drained. This sitting water supports the growth of bacteria, which contaminates the new bath water when the tub is used again.
A study by Texas A & M microbiologist Dr. Rita Moyes found bacteria levels in whirlpool baths to be 5,000 times higher than in tap water. "Each time you use the tub, you are circulating skin cells, bacteria, fecal matter, soap scum, everything through those pipes along with water," Moyes told Ben Crenshaw of nbc4 News in Washington, D.C.
Jacuzzi president Phil Weeks, defending his product, told REMODELING sister publication THE JOURNAL OF LIGHT CONSTRUCTION that Moyes' study has not been "accepted by any scientific body that we know of."
A press release from Kohler quotes University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba as saying, "There is no documented evidence of the company's whirlpool bathtubs having posed a health hazard to consumers." It goes on to suggest that no problems occur with the product as long as its published maintenance instructions, which include a bimonthly flush of the system, are followed.