13AMP (Plug and play) vs 32 AMP hot tubs
We’re talking about power ⚡
Before you order your hot tub. And before you get your power installed, you will need to know whether you want a 13 or a 32amp hot tub.
AMPs relate to the power required for your hot tub to perform. 13AMP (plug and play) is the power that most of your household items run off of. A 32AMP requires more power and you usually need a specific electrical supply installed by an electrician.
But you’re (probably) not an electrician. The power it needs doesn’t really concern you, beyond what you have to pass along to the electrician.
What you really want to know is what does this power difference mean for you. How will it affect your hot tub experience.
So, lets get into the difference to help you decide which one is best for you.
What is a plug & play hot tub?
You’ll often see 13 AMP hot tubs referred to as plug and play hot tubs. This means that you can plug them in to a standard socket, fill them up switch them on and they are ready to go. We don’t really love this name, as it gives the impression that you can just run an extension cable out to the hot tub and you are good to go. But water and electrics don’t really mix and we don’t recommend you do this.
One of the advantages of a 13AMP hot tub, according to most people, is that it’s easier to install. However, regardless of whether we install a 13AMP or 32AMP hot tub, we always recommend that a specific armoured cable is run out of the mains to power it. It is then hard-wired in by an electrician for safe use.
If you are unsure please speak to an electrician.
13AMP vs 32AMP hot tub: which is more powerful?
The simplest way to put it is that a 13AMP hot tub is less powerful than a 32AMP hot tub.
13 amp has less power available to it than a 32AMP hot tub. In a like for like model (same size and water volume) the 32AMP will be more powerful.
This is usually down the the number of pumps the hot tub is able to run. 13amp hot tubs usually only have enough power for one pump, whereas 32amps have enough power for two or more pumps. The pumps will push more water through the jets, and the hydrotherapy benefits will be better.
Although, this is not entirely accurate in real life. The size and design of hot tubs ensures that the difference in power is less pronounced. 13 AMP hot tubs usually, (or should) have less jets than a 32AMP. This means that while there is more power in a 32AMP, and more pumps, it is being split among more jets. It will still be more powerful. And for really great hydrotherapy benefits we would still recommend a 32amp model.
13AMP vs 32AMP: can you use the heater with both?
One of the main limitations of the 13AMP hot tubs is that the heater cannot run when the therapy pump is on. This means that when the jets are on the hot tub will stop heating.
This is important because around 60% of the heat in a hot tub is lost through the surface of the water ie. when the cover is off and you are using the hot tub. However, this shouldn’t be a problem unless you are in the hot tub for an extended period of time (2-3 hours). It take a long time for the water to cool down if a hot tub is well insulated.
But it is worth knowing. The 32AMP hot tub has the power to run both the pumps and the heater.
Which hot tub is better for me?
You’ll need to decide what is best for you. But if you ask our advice, we will almost always advise that you get a 32AMP hot tub.
If it’s feasible to get a 32AMP cable run out to where you want your hot tub then we would recommend you do that. It will give you more options and it will allow you to get a hot tub with more power.
A 13amp will still have more power than something like an inflatable hot tub. But in terms of power and limitations it’s not as good an option as the 32 amp models.
Before you order your hot tub and arrange an electrical supply, you need to know whether you are going to get a 13 or 32AMP hot tub.
It’s really a personal choice, but if you are looking for a hot tub that has the power to operate fully, and that give you a powerful hot tub then we would recommend going for a 32AMP hot tub.