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Mike R.
Mike R., Plumber
Category: Pool and Spa
Satisfied Customers: 2863
Experience:  i have been doing plumbing work for 20 years with alot of experience in service work
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You replied to my last question: The box is likely the

Customer Question

Mike,You replied to my last question:The box is likely the return for the air handler unrelated to the tub. The motor is not in there. It is certainly under the tub, behind the access panel. The motor comes already mounted on the tub. Do you think you will try what I had suggested earlier? I think it would clarify a lot for you if you open the panel and have a look. You will see the motor etc. If what I suggested fixes the issue altogether then a good cleaning will solve everything after that.The attached diagram shows the blower motor right where I thought it was, behind the tub, which is why I had it placed in the closet in small bedroom. How does that correlate with your response? Do you think my problem is the blower? If so, can a plumber access this from the front panel as shown? Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pool and Spa
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It appears from diagram that only access is to under the tub, not to the blower mower. Your opinion?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The manual states, "Install an access panel to allow the blower motor to be serviced." Not sure what this means, but it seems that what it is saying is to install a panel that will allow access to the blower. Regardless, it appears that the box would need to be cracked open to get to the access panel, which I hope he installed. If not, then there would just be sheetrock between the blower motor and the tub. Does this make sense? Tx.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.

Did you try to remove the panel on the front? The motor is at the end, opposite the drain but still under the tub. I do still believe my assessment to be accurate, although I am not perfect, nor do I know everything. I do know a bunch and I am still sure that the access is on the front. This access may not be large enough to remove the motor from the mount but surely would allow access to do what I have recommended. Will you confirm whether the panel in fact does or does not come off?

Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.

Also, the manual is very likely for a few models of similar tubs. The one that you have looks like it has a skirt on the front and the manual that states that an access is necessary has a drop in tub pictured. The tub pictured would have an open front that would be tiled after installation so an access would have to be installed. The access would not be a large box like you have. The access would simply be a removable panel on the wall to access the motor. If the front panel comes off, there would not necessarily be any other access as the removable cover would serve as the access. Thank you for the continued questions for me to respond to also. I really like to help and I do appreciate the repeated service I get to offer. I hope I can continue to help many, many times over.

Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.

I haven't heard from you. Was the information I provided helpful?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am acquiring additional information, and will get back to you. Thanks.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.

Very good. Were you able to remove the front panel of the tub?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not yet; a Kohler rep told me that it was likely decorative and the access panel was behind the tub, but on reflection I think she is wrong because if that was the case there would be no access to the tub if it was bound by three walls and the panel on the long side of the tub was merely decorative. Further, I believe I can pull it off, but wry of breaking it or not being able to put it back on. Now, if the problem is other than the blower pump, perhaps it will be accessible by opening the panel. I am not sure where the installed electrical socket is, but the blower motor can probably not be access from by opening the front panel due to the blower motor being extended into the closet, which presents a problem since the box is sealed. A Kohler rep actually told me today that Kohler no longer has blower motor parts for that model (although Home Depot and other stores still sell the model!). I called one and told they could order a model from distribution center in one day. However, I am not 100% sure I have the right model, since the text for the model number I gave you earlier has a heater and mine does not, although they look identical. So I need to search my house for the paper work; the only other identifying method is the blower model, which has the model of the tube on it. I called one of the dealers recommended by Kohler, and he stated that he could come out a diagnose the problem for $150 and then order any parts needed, and bill me for the remaining time to fix the tub (he estimated the cost at no more than $150 because he said the total labor time should not exceed one hour, but I have concerns about how to access the motor sealed in the box if that is the problem, and how the motor could be sealed again after replacement. Hopefully just a circuit breaker problem or something less involved, but not too confident based on past experience with home contractors that they can properly diagnosis the problem or try and sell me for repairs I do not need. I could put in a whole new bath or whirlpool that has a heater which would be nice, but I imagine the fees for that would be quite high?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.

Well, as far as the panel on the front of the tub, it would either be held on by clips or felcro. It surely looks like a model that would be that type but I cannot be totally sure. If the panel does come off then you would be able to look on the inside of the panel and find the model number and surely find that the only issue is what I described a few questions ago. The outlet is under the tub along with the motor and blower and certainly not in the box that is sealed. The panel would also allow full access to everything. You are correct that finding the right person for the job could be quite difficult. The drain is at one end of the tub and the motor at the other end. Is the sealed box at the drain end or the motor end of the tub?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The sealed box is opposite the drain end. It is behind the wall in the attached photo above. When I called my friend who installed it, he said that we put it there to avoid having the motor noise right below/near where my head would be when taking a bath. I cannot be positive the electrical outlet is in the box, but from all accounts that is where the blower motor is housed. So are you saying that just the outlet is certainly not in the box or are you including the blower motor in your statement also? As an aside, I frequently hear creaking in the wall area adjacent to the bath, but do not think it is in the direction of the front of the front of the drain, so I would not think the creaking is from the water pipes. Could he have done something to the pipes to cause the noise or just he house "settling" I know I was a upset when I found that he had welded the hot and cold water pipe into one to fit the handle assembly which just has cold water when you start raising it toward the top and only dispenses hot water when the handle reaches toward 12:00. The reason I don't like that (I see it in some hotels) is because you cannot just turn on a little hot water to warm the tub, you need to turn handle straight up (clockwise from 6 to 12 to get hot water, but then it comes out full force). Mostly my fault becomes purchased the wrong equipment; I should have purchased a separate hot and cold handle. But changing that know would be very difficult and expensive. Thanks.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.

There is just no reason for the box. The blower and motor are already mounted on the tub. The oulet would have to be very close to that because the chord is not very long. I have no idea why building a box like that would be beneficial in any way. The only thing I can think is if the installer removed the motor and blower and piped the piping to extend further than what it was. This is simply silly to do though and would certainly void the manufacturer warranty let alone be a lot of work for no good reason at all. You could cut an access panel into that box and see what is in it. It may be time to remove it. Whatever the reasoning behind installing the box, if it has anything to do with the tub then it is simply ridiculous. Installing a box like that would not reduce motor noise. The motor is mounted to the tub and would still have to be mounted to something. That short of a distance would not reduce any vibration.

Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.


Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.

I haven't heard from you. Was the information helpful?

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