What is the difference between a 13 amp plug and play hot tub to a 20amp, 32amp and 40 amp Hot Tub?

In this article we will cover off the difference between the various amperages that are quoted in the hot tub industry and what it actually means and the terminology used like plug and play hot tubs etc..

Amperage, what does this mean?

When we talk about amperage this is the amount of electricity an electrical appliance will draw from your electrical household supply – Essentially this is strength or power expressed as amperes.

Voltage, what does this mean?

Voltage is the force or pressure of electricity and in the uk the majority of electrical supply is either 230 or 240 volts.

Wattage, what does this mean?

Wattage is the amount of power an electrical appliance will consume to run and power as above is expressed in terms of Watts – We also need to understand that there are 1000 watts to 1 kw.

13 amp Hot Tub (“plug and play hot tub”)

A 13 amp plug and play hot tub will only ever have 1 x 2kw heater, may be a separate circulation pump and or a two-speed pump that will double up as the massage pump and or a circulation pump on low speed if a separate circulation pump is not fitted.

The reason for this amount of equipment is because it can only draw a maximum ever of 13 amps when running. As explained above a 13-amp spa will have a 2kw heater and will draw around 8 -9 amps when its on – How to work this out, divide your KW rating by your voltage and multiply by 1000, this will give you the maximum amps drawn.
So, when you place your massage pump into full speed it will turn off the heater, not allowing your hot tub to draw more than 13 amps.

Recently there has been a lot of discussion around this and essentially that a 32-amp hot tub is better because the heater can stay on – This is not the case, it will just cost you more money to run, any hot tub no matter how well insulated will cool down when the lid is off and you are bathing in the spa. Your hot tub will cool down slightly slower with the heater on, however whether the heater is on or not, recommended bathing time is 30 – 40 mins.
Most plug and play hot tubs (13amp hot tub) can actually be configured to have the heater on when the massage pump is on full speed – However the 13amp hot tub ceases to be a 13-amp hot tub and becomes a 16 amp spa – Requiring a 16 amp supply.

Size of Massage pump and number of jets is important to understand – Most importantly more jets does not mean that a hot tub is better than one with less jets – Its all about size of wet end of the massage pump and number of jets – A well manufactured and designed spa will have enough massage jets to give an overall good massage at the correct pressure – If a spa is sized incorrectly with too many jets and pump then the pressure behind the massage can be considerable less and ineffective.

20 amp Hot Tub

Following the same logic as above – A 20amp spa can have a separate circulation pump and also an air blower – However when both the blower and high-speed massage pump is engaged the heater will be switched off.

32 and 40 amp Hot Tubs

The main difference between these spas is they can have more than one massage pump – This enables the hot tub to have more jets with the same amount of pressure per seat, per area than a 13 amp plug and play hot tub.

So, you can have one pump for 3 areas of a hot tub and another pump for another 3 areas let’s say – whereas a 13 amp spa offers the same pressure over the whole spa. This does not mean that they are better than a 13-amp spa – It just means they are more controllable and offer more jets at the same pressure – 40 amp hot tubs will essentially allow the spa builder to have up to 4 – 5 massage pumps.

Costs will increase, generally the larger the hot tub in physical size and the amperage increase the more expensive – This does not however make them any better or in Quality.

For more Information on plug and Play Hot Tubs Check Links Below:

Reef Spa futuna

Reef Spa water fountain