This debate has emerged from the popularity of 'plug & play' or 13 amp hot tubs, as consumers look to narrow down their options based on the power supply required for a specific hot tub.
But what does it all mean? In this article we will explain the differences between 13 amp and 32 amp hot tubs, how running costs may or may not be affected and how you should approach this as a buyer, as well as some frequently asked questions.
What is a 13 amp Hot Tub?
A 13 amp hot tub (also known as a plug & play hot tub) only requires power from a standard 3 pin plug. These hot tubs barely existed 20 years ago but with consumers looking for savings on electrical installations for hot tubs, they have become very popular. They also tend to be a popular upgrade from an inflatable hot tub as they can use the same electrical supply and as explained further down tend to lead to lighter electric bills!
What is a 32 amp Hot Tub?
A 32 amp hot tub requires a 32 amp electrical supply and therefore CANNOT be powered using a standard 3 pin plug. We will explain why they require more power below.
What is The Difference Between 13 amp and 32 amp Hot Tubs?
The 13 amp plug & play hot tubs can be plugged directly into an outdoor RCD protected socket and as most households already have these in place there is no expense required for an electrician.
A 32 amp hot tub will require its own dedicated feed and needs to be installed by a fully qualified electrician with certification in order to meet building regulations.
13 amp hot tubs will have either a single two-speed pump or one jet pump and a smaller circulation pump. Although the performance is modest, features such as diverter valves will allow the power to be directed to a chosen seat to provide a more powerful massage.
32 amp hot tubs are fitted with two or more pumps, with some models having as many as five pumps to provide a more powerful massage experience without compromise.
On a 13 amp hot tub, the heater CANNOT run concurrently with the jet pump. This means that when the jets are on, the heater will automatically turn off. On a mild or warm day this won't tend to have an impact but on a cold day, if the heater does not run alongside the pumps, the hot tub could cool quite quickly when in use. For a well insulated 13 amp hot tub this won't be a huge issue but for hot tubbers who like a long soak, it is worth knowing and considering.
On most 32 amp hot tubs you can run the pumps and heater together.
A 13 amp hot tub will also be capped at a 2kw heater, whereas all Wellis 32 amp hot tubs are fitted with 3kw heaters as standard.
13 amp hot tubs generally have fewer jets due to the limited pump power. The 32 amp hot tubs will have more jets.
The power provided by the pumps will be divided between the number of jets fitted, however Wellis hot tubs are fitted with diverters, air valves and individual isolators which allow you to direct power to specific seats, intensify the experience and personalise your favourite seat.
A 13 amp hot tub tends to be cheaper to run than a 32 amp hot tub for the reasons above. A 13 amp hot tub has fewer pumps, fewer jets and a more basic control system so if running costs are paramount, you should find savings when purchasing a 13 amp spa.
The Cost of Installing the Electrical Supply
The cost of adding an outdoor 13 amp socket can be significantly lower than installing a 32 amp feed with an isolator. This will be an important consideration for hot tub owners.
A rough estimate to install an outdoor socket would be between £150-£450. Dreamspas offer a certified service to install a 32 amp supply for £495.00, subject to survey. You must ensure that you consult a qualified electrician when looking to install an electrical supply for a hot tub. Dreamspas are happy to provide electrical specifications, should you wish to use your own qualified electrician.
13 amp hot tubs will have fewer components than the larger 32 amp models which ultimately means the purchase price of the hot tub will be lower.
Here is a table showing the key differences between a 13 amp and 32 amp hot tub:
Hot Tub Running Costs (13 Amp vs. 32 Amp)
How much does a 13 amp hot tub cost to run?
Many factors come into play when comparing hot tub running costs. It is not possible to simply say that all 13 amp hot tubs cost £X to run per week as the quality of insulation and specification varies across the market. Wellis Hot Tubs are all designed to be energy efficient with low running costs. An example running cost of a 13 amp hot tub from Wellis Hot Tub would be the Wellis MyLine Jupiter which has an estimated average electricity cost of £10.00 per week. (again depending on many factors this would be changed)
How much does a 32 amp hot tub cost to run?
Same as the above, we cannot give a set running cost for all 32 amp hot tubs as these hot tubs vary so much in quality. An example 32 amp hot tub from Wellis is the CityLine Malaga which has an estimated running cost of £12.00 per week (Again many factors will be effecting this). As you will see, the difference in running cost between a 13 amp and 32 amp model is minimal for a brand like Wellis due to the high quality insulation and components used across our range of spas.
Both 13 amp and 32 amp hot tubs have advantages, 13 amp models are easier to install and connect, whilst the 32 amp ensures better performance and comfort.
For help or advice on deciding on the right hot tub for you, contact us on 0333 344 8370 or email us email@example.com
Our website is at www.dreamspas.co.uk