For some there is no option, a 13amp hot tub is all they can get due to current electrics. Is it worth paying the extra and upgrading the electrics to a 32amp supply, what are the advantages?
13amp Plug n Play Hot Tubs
Firstly 13amp hot tubs are also known as plug n plays, technically they can be plugged into a suitable 13amp socket and away you go (although we always advise hardwiring even for 13amps). They have become increasingly popular over the last 10 years by providing consumers with an affordable home luxury. They are usually at the lower end of the price scale which makes them the perfect upgrade from an inflatable. The Thames and the Trident are great examples of 13amp hot tubs which are great entry-level tubs.
However there are some drawbacks, firstly you can only run your heater or your jets, this will be fine during the warmer months when the water temperature won’t drop significantly, however during the colder months you may find it frustrating, secondly, they will only ever have one pump which means that it can only supply a certain amount of water pressure to a certain amount of jets due, some manufacturers have large numbers of jets on a 13 amp however this will just weaken the level of massage. Due to having only one main pump which will be used for jets and circulation, you will often find that 13amp tubs are slightly noisier, this could be an issue if your hot tub is likely to be located near your neighbours. They may complain when the pump starts in the middle of the night.
Nevertheless, they are still able to provide a great hydrotherapy experience, with varying jets, adjustable pressure, lights, and even music, 13amps can be cheaper to run during the summer when the water temperature doesn’t drop however during the winter it will need to work harder to regain heat after use. Ultimately they are simply cheaper to buy and a great replacement for an inflatable hot tub.
32amp Hot Tubs
So why would you spend more and buy a 32amp? The answer is simple POWER, with more power comes more features, larger pumps, larger heaters, more jets. You can increase the number of jets without decreasing the pressure and your jets can run at the same time as your heater, so you don’t have to choose between heat and massage. The hydrotherapy features change, increased jet variety, more intense pressure, and focused acupressure point jet positioning.
Electrics – Whether you are installing a plug n play or a 32amp you will need an electrician to come and install the outside power supply. On average an outdoor socket for a plug and play will cost between £200 and £500 and a 32amp will cost around £300 – £600.
Ultimately it depends on why you are looking for a hot tub, if it is because of the hydrotherapy benefits then we would recommend a 32amp which will allow you to purchase a powerful tub that offers deep water massage whilst maintaining constant heat which is also a key part of hydrotherapy. A well-made 32amp will start at around £6k. However, if price and the initial outlay of electrics are an issue then there are some fantastic 13amp hot tubs that provide a great all-around experience for all.