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Old 07-25-2009, 02:51 PM   #1
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Not Just RVs

http://www.americanstandard-us.com/p...l.aspx?id=1742

This is my latest project. I've torn out the old tile surround down to the studs. I removed the old cast iron tub (about 400lbs) and am preparing the space for the new whirlpool tub in the link above. Being diligent, I decided I needed to answer some questions before I buy the tub and bring it home. In the link there is an installation manual. Note that I got to the manual by specifically selecting my model number 2425L/V - RHO:
1. Which end of the tub requires an access panel? In one place in the manual it looks like the apron already has a opening in it for my model, in other places, I'm not so sure. Note that in the Cadet 6 x 42, the answer to that question is very clear. Not mine.
2. I'm going to add the optional inline heater, where will it be located?
The latter becomes important because I have to run 2 new dedicated 15 amp, GFCI protected circuits for the pump and heater. It sure would be nice to run them inside the correct wall the first time.
3. How to I install the supports? This particular model had an attached apron. The hole that I'm putting it into is 60 3/4" - a tight fit for this tub. The instructions say "position the tub and then reach underneath and draw a line". Hmm.... The best that I can hope for is to position the tub and be able to reach over the top, through the studs and hope that I'm drawing a line in the correct spot - which is probably OK for the ends but will be a bear for the back. Leaning over 32 inces, maintaining plumb on the tub and reaching underneath to draw the line - yeah, sure. Figure 1 on page 9 is what has to happen but location is shown as the Typical Recessed Application.

My point here is simply this. My RV manual suck. The reason is that they are made so generic, covering so many types that they lack the specific data that I need. Here is a very parallel situation not related to RVs that also sucks. OK, there are diagrams of each of the many types of tubs covered. There are even specs for each tub. There is only one set of instructions, however. It is no wonder that things get done incorrectly. I have the luxury of taking my time and figuring the installation out throgh trial and error. Imagine if I had contracted with someone? I can just see myself in a year with a cracked tub, with the manufacuturer saying that failed because of incorrect installation and the contractor saying "I followed the instructions."

Realistically, I understand that they cannot have a whole separate manual for every product. Like the RVs however, having the correct information is a very important factor in whether uninterrupted use is possible.

Is there any product that has anywhere close to an accurate set of manuals or installation guides?
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasfm11 View Post
http://www.americanstandard-us.com/p...l.aspx?id=1742

This is my latest project. I've torn out the old tile surround down to the studs. I removed the old cast iron tub (about 400lbs) and am preparing the space for the new whirlpool tub in the link above. Being diligent, I decided I needed to answer some questions before I buy the tub and bring it home. In the link there is an installation manual. Note that I got to the manual by specifically selecting my model number 2425L/V - RHO:
1. Which end of the tub requires an access panel? In one place in the manual it looks like the apron already has a opening in it for my model, in other places, I'm not so sure. Note that in the Cadet 6 x 42, the answer to that question is very clear. Not mine.
2. I'm going to add the optional inline heater, where will it be located?
The latter becomes important because I have to run 2 new dedicated 15 amp, GFCI protected circuits for the pump and heater. It sure would be nice to run them inside the correct wall the first time.
3. How to I install the supports? This particular model had an attached apron. The hole that I'm putting it into is 60 3/4" - a tight fit for this tub. The instructions say "position the tub and then reach underneath and draw a line". Hmm.... The best that I can hope for is to position the tub and be able to reach over the top, through the studs and hope that I'm drawing a line in the correct spot - which is probably OK for the ends but will be a bear for the back. Leaning over 32 inces, maintaining plumb on the tub and reaching underneath to draw the line - yeah, sure. Figure 1 on page 9 is what has to happen but location is shown as the Typical Recessed Application.

My point here is simply this. My RV manual suck. The reason is that they are made so generic, covering so many types that they lack the specific data that I need. Here is a very parallel situation not related to RVs that also sucks. OK, there are diagrams of each of the many types of tubs covered. There are even specs for each tub. There is only one set of instructions, however. It is no wonder that things get done incorrectly. I have the luxury of taking my time and figuring the installation out throgh trial and error. Imagine if I had contracted with someone? I can just see myself in a year with a cracked tub, with the manufacuturer saying that failed because of incorrect installation and the contractor saying "I followed the instructions."

Realistically, I understand that they cannot have a whole separate manual for every product. Like the RVs however, having the correct information is a very important factor in whether uninterrupted use is possible.

Is there any product that has anywhere close to an accurate set of manuals or installation guides?
It looks like these instructions and this job is above your level of experience and expertise. Either consult with a plumber of ask him to do the installation for you
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:18 PM   #3
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I feel your pain Charles, I really do. I went through the same thing last spring when attempting to install Genisis Air Filtration System(Dometic). The instruction manual clearly stated this product was for installation at the time of air conditioner installation. Dometic customer service really came through for me, they said the instructions were clearly wrong and would be re-written. Meantime, the design engineer for the Genisis walked me through the correct procedure on the phone, even requesting me to call with results of the installation. Part of their apology for my troubles was to reimburse me for the entire cost of the Genisis System.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:25 AM   #4
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Ray, that is great customer service from Genisis. You experienced something that I seldom do - they actually admitted that they were wrong. They went the extra mile and compensated you for the problems and the extra grief that you went through. I wish that more companies were like that.

Because of a number of factors, my work in the bathroom remodel was delayed. I still work full time and my weekends are often taken up with family and other commitments. My beef with the whirlpool tub instructions is more about the inconvenience that American Standard put me through than my inability to do the job. What I had to do was buy the tub, bring it home and unpack it. That left me with the packing and the tub itself taking up my 3rd bedroom while I physically examined it. It didn't take long, with the tub in my hands, to figure out where the pump was and where the heater went. For the heater, I wouldn't have expected it to remain on all of the time - but it does. There is no explanation of how it doesn't always use electricity in the instructions, something that I think that everyone buying one should want to know.

Perhaps this installation is above my experience and expertise. Like many other things that I've done, it won't be when I'm finished. My point of the post was to provide a specific example, of a specific situation where correct, clear documentation and instructions would be a benefit to me and would have allowed me to do site preparation in advance of having to have the tub sitting around while I figured out something that I easily could have read about. There is no doubt that the $950 that the plumber wanted for labor to do the job would have saved me the aggravation that I've gone through. OTOH, there is every possibility that the plumber may not have installed this particular type/model of tub before either. That means that he would have to figure it out, too - on my nickel.

BTW, the plumber that gave me the bid on the project had to be called because the A/C guys that I paid to change out the rusted "A" coil in my air conditioning system didn't bother to clear the primary condensation line outlet from the accumulated rust. It plugged up. The condensate flowed over into the secondary pan where it flowed out the pipe - that they had knocked loose and onto my bedroom ceiling - part of which collapsed. I repaired the broken secondary line and have put the drywall back into the ceiling. The A/C firm returned, charged me $125 to clean the primary line and they did it by blowing gas into it. What they succeeded in doing was blowing the rusty clog into my main drain line where it backed up my 2nd bathroom, requiring the plumber. All of them told me that this was my fault and that I had to pay for it. I take exception to the notion that hiring a professional is the "solution" to most of the problems I have. When I figure things out on my own, I seldom have more resulting problems that cost me even more money. I don't expect this whirlpool tub to be any different.

I also have several major examples of professionals working on my RV that didn't fix problems which I later resolved. In each case, I was far over my head when I started. I attribute my success not to my great expertise and experience but to my determination and knowing that I'm the one that has to live with the results.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:20 PM   #5
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On the heater maybe you can wire in a switch so it is not on all the time.I think if it is on with no water it would burn out.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:07 PM   #6
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On the heater maybe you can wire in a switch so it is not on all the time.I think if it is on with no water it would burn out.
BOB
I completely agree with you Bob. In fact, before I got tub, I was expecting to have to wire in two switches. I was surprised that the instructions that I obtained in advance didn't even mention switches. We had a whirlpool in our old house and it had a timer switch on the wall. To be fair, technology has gotten better and I assume that they have a way of sensing that there is no water flow and not turning on the heater as a result. I plan to test that as a part of my final installation. I can add swtiches if I have to. There instructions have several pages of warning (no doubt courtesy of their legal team). You would think that would want to provide some reassurance that their heater wasn't on all the time.

I don't want to dwell on this point too much, however. It wasn't the whirlpool tub instructions by themselves that prompted my post, it was the fact that almost everything seems to have the same poor level of documentation these days. American Standard is a premier company in the plumbing industry. I would have expected better. When I called American Standard for clarification, the answers that I got, including the one to why the heater is on all of the time were not much better via phone that what the instructions provided. If you were to look back through my posts, I took Roadmaster to task for the same type of thing over my toad baseplate installation instructions. I went the extra step of even re-writing those instructions for them and sending them my version. I'm certain that it went into the trash can. BTW, I worked my way through that as I'm working my way through this whirlpool installation. We've towed our Vue with the baseplate that I installed without problems. It isn't that I'm not going to get it figured out, it is simply that I don't think that it has to be this hard and inconvienent. I can say the same thing about our RV documentation.
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