published Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Phillips: Don’t take a bath buying walk-in tub

by Ellen Phillips

I hadn’t planned on making last week’s column a two-parter, but I saw some great hints to look for when searching for a walk-in tub.

I plan to one day purchase this type and will save today’s column for that event.

• Check for a tub that’s 100 percent leak proof and mold-resistant. Moreover, a “Made in America” tag is your best bet, along with a full metal frame construction.

• Check to see the manufacturer has certified installers in your area and those who’ve been in business for a long time.

This is a major purchase, so you don’t want to associate with a too-short-term or fly-by-night operation. And certainly, if a problem should arise, we want a local place for complaint.

Along this same line, always ask for a list of local referrals/testimonials before making any major purchase.

Be sure the installation is included in the overall price, and pay attention to features and convenience options so you get what you want or don’t get what’s not necessary for your comfort and medical condition.

• Speaking of no leak, ask for a lifetime guarantee. My source also suggests you demand a lifetime warranty on the actual tub.

• What’s the use of a walk-in tub if you can’t reach the controls? When one is as short as I, this becomes a factor. Sit in the tub to ensure it’s comfortable and everything is easily reachable.

• Only check tubs that are listed by Underwriters Laboratories Inc., an independent product safety organization or ETL (the fastest growing product certification mark in North America). In addition, be sure the tub is certified by the National Association of Home Builders Research center.

A postscript to July 2nd’s column: a vigilant reader and an enrolled agent told me that enrolled agents, licensed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, can represent a client before all administrative levels — examination, collection and appeals of the Internal Revenue Service.

(In addition, “Printapons” seem to be readers’ choice for Internet coupons.)

about Ellen Phillips...

Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears on Saturdays in the Business section of the paper. An expanded version is at under Local Business.

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