Hot Tubs – 13Amp vs 32Amp ??
One of the most common questions we get asked is – which is better – a 13amp hot tub or a 32 amp hot tub?
Well – it depends – so lets dive into the differences and help you decide what is the best opton for you.
13 Amp Hot Tubs
This type of hot tub is the most common type of new hot tub available today. They are also known as “Plug and Play” Hot tubs meaning they can simply be plugged into a normal 13amp, 3 pin domestic socket found in every household in the UK.
A Plug and play hot tubs is a great option as they simply plug and play but there are a few things to note before buying one.
Single Pump – Most plug and play hot tubs will have a single pump which operates at 2 speeds – low and high. This is absolutely fine for most people and they provide a fantastic experience for the user.
Heater – plug and play hot tubs will typically have a 2KW heater which is perfectly fine for a tub in the 2m x 2m size capacity. From cold, a 2kw heater will take about 12 to 16 hours to heat the water to 40 degrees and the inbuilt thermostat will hold the temperature at the desired temperature , clicking the heater on and off to keep the temperaure constant.
The important thing to remember here is this – a 13amp / plug and play hot tub CANNOT heat and pump at high speed at the same time when plugged into a normal 13amp socket. – its either on high speed with heater off or low speed with heater on. Most tubs will lose about 1 degree per hour when in use with the cover off so this is fine for most users.
However, all of our 13amp hot tubs CAN heat and pump at high speed AT THE SAME TIME – if the tub is wired to a higher capacity electrical feed – see below for more information.
if you decide to go for a 13 Amp Hot tub, you will need an external waterproof socket installing near to where your tub is to be located. This needs to be installed by a qualified electrician.
A typical price for this is approx. £50 but is dependent upon the length of cable run from your fuse board to where the tub is located, available capacity on your fuseboard and power availaibility.
Extension leads should NEVER EVER be used to power a hot tub.
32 Amp Hot Tubs
This type of hot tub typically consists of the same basic elements – pumps and heaters but usually just more and bigger capacities. Bigger tubs will usually have 2 to 3 pumps which pump water to different areas of the tub and can be turned on and off independently of each other where required. Air Blowers can also be an option – which take in air from the outside and blow it through micro jets in the tub to create a fantastic experience!
A Larger heater is usually installed 3KW or above and this will heat the water faster from cold than a 13amp tub but once up to temperature, the difference is negligible except for the main difference – a 32amp tub can keep the heater on whilst the pumps are running assuming the hot tub has been setup to run this way.
A 32amp Hot tub needs a high power feed to be taken from your fuse board to the location where the hot tub is to be sited. Typically, a 6MM steel wired armoured (SWA) cable is used and the circuit protected at the fuse board by a RCD breaker. The Box shown should be located near to the tub and a tail cable is taken from the socket shown into the hot tub and wired directly to the main circuit board in the tub.
Again, this should be carried out by a qualified electrician and you should budget £200 to £350 depending upon cable run length and board capacity in your house.
You should never ever attempt to run a 32 amp tub from a 13amp socket.
Seaside Hot Tubs 13 Amp Tubs
Earlier in the article we mentioned that our 13 amp tubs can be setup to heat and pump at the same time. They absolutely can be setup this way BUT need the improved 32AMP cabling setup to support the power requirements of the heater and pump combined.
We hope this article clears up the differences and advantages and disadvantages of each type of hot tub. Typically, 32amp tubs are more expensive than 13amp tubs ( more pumps etc) and obviously more pumps = more expese if they go wrong. Running costs are broadly very similar between the tubs so there is no real difference there at all.
We hope this article has helped – if you need any help or guidance, please contact Ben on 07525 326 044 for a chat.