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What is Pipeless Pedicure Equipment?

By Erica Stratton
Updated May 21, 2024
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A pipeless pedicure refers to a specific type of spa equipment that gives the customer a foot bath. Instead of the water being piped in and out, the water is fully replaced between each use. Pipeless pedicure bowls and foot baths were developed in response to more stringent health guidelines for spas.

Many salons offer foot baths as part of a pedicure. The customer immerses their feet in a shallow bowl where water jets massage the feet for a relaxing and pleasurable sensation. Oil or salts can also be added to the water to soothe and condition the skin.

When a foot bath is over, skin oils, dead skin cells, and hair are left in the bowl. This makes the water unsanitary, so the bowl must be cleaned and sanitized between each use. The pipes that carry water from the pedicure bowl, as well as from the water jets, also need to be cleaned periodically. This can be a messy and time-consuming process for salons. Many manufacturers of pipeless pedicure equipment claim that some salons do not perform this task properly, leading to unsanitary conditions.

Instead, a pipeless pedicure may only have a single pipe, which allows fresh water to flow into the bowl. The water jets move the water within the closed bowl, instead of pumping more in. The bowl is then removed for cleaning and sanitizing, a much easier task than cleaning out pipes. In some models, the water jet mechanisms are also easily removed for cleaning.

Another touted benefit of pipless pedicure equipment is a quieter operation, as the absence of pumps and blowers decreases noise. This allows for a more soothing spa experience. However, the amount of noise any type of equipment will make varies by the manufacturer's guidelines.

In high-end salons, there is often a pipless pedicure chair. The chair in which the customer sits is padded and cushioned and has a stand on which the pedicure bowl can be placed. After the pedicure is finished, the bowl is removed for cleaning. Many salon chairs also can massage the customer, or provide heated seats to soothe the legs, shoulders, and back while the pedicure is being performed.

Another kind of pipeless pedicure is just a simple bowl. It is a freestanding basin which can be filled at a sink, then placed on the floor for a pedicure. A customer can also immerse their hands in the bowl for a manicure. These bowls may or may not not have jets. Some of these types of portable spa equipment have been marketed for private use.

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Discussion Comments
By kaviyang — On Apr 22, 2013

Pipeless means the jet systems do not have a pipe inside, so it could be cleaned easily and kept sanitary.

For traditional jet systems, there is a pump and long pipe to keep the water flowing, so the pipe keeps water inside and is difficult to clean. They may be unsanitary.

By Mykol — On May 11, 2012

We have more than one kind of equipment at the salon where I work. I have a feeling that most of our equipment will eventually be pipeless.

Another big advantage to a pipeless pedicure spa is they are not as noisy. Because you don't have the plumbing, they run smoother and quieter.

When most people go to a spa or salon, they want to be able to relax. The atmosphere is just as important as the equipment.

It can be hard to relax if you are listening to equipment run all the time. One of the first things I noticed about the pipeless pedicure equipment is how much less noise they made.

By SarahSon — On May 11, 2012

@John57 - It really depends on what features you want to offer your customers, and how much money you have to spend.

I recently spent about $2000 on a pipeless pedicure chair. There were several things I liked about this chair, and my customers just love it.

I like it because it is portable and there is no plumbing to worry about. It is also easier to keep clean and that is very important to me. My customers like it because the chair is a massage chair that reclines and is heated.

There is also an adjustable foot rest that comes in handy for both of us. This may sound like a lot of money up front, but I expect this to last a long time.

Since both myself and my clients are happy with it, I feel like it was a good investment.

By John57 — On May 11, 2012

I have always wanted to have my own manicure and pedicure salon once I get out of school and have a few years of experience.

I think the pipeless pedicure equipment would be the way to go. They are much easier to keep clean and sanitary.

This can be a really big issue, and using something that works better and is easier to clean at the same time would be the best route to go.

I have not priced how much something like this would cost. Since I would be starting out small and I would be the only one there, I would not need to buy a lot of equipment.

Does anybody who has their own salon know how much you would expect to pay for some high quality pipeless pedicure equipment?

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