Buying your first hot tub is like learning a new language. There’s a lot of industry jargon that you need to get up to speed with to make an informed decision. For example, who knew that there are hot tubs that require different amperages? If you’re trying to make the 110V vs 220V hot tub choice, we’ve got an article that will break things down into much more understandable terms.
110 Volt Hot Tubs Are Also Known as Plug and Play
To make things easier and move away from the electrical terminology, it’s better to think of 110 volt hot tubs as plug and play models. The reason for this is that they can be plugged into a GFCI protected electrical outlet.
220 Volt Hot Tubs Are Also Known as Hardwired
The 220 volt hot tubs are also known as hardwired because they require a special type of electrical receptacle that needs to be connected to your home’s breaker box by a licensed and insured electrician. They also require a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) circuit breaker to be installed between the hot tub and the electrical outlet. The plug on the end of the power cable of a 220 volt hardwired hot tub looks similar to what you find on a washing machine or an electric stove.
Plug And Play Hot Tubs Generally Have a Lower Retail Price
If you compared the sticker price of a plug and play hot tub with that of a hardwired hot tub, you’d generally find that the plug and play hot tub is cheaper. A lot of this has to do with the mechanical components contained within each type of hot tub. Hardwired hot tubs can power stronger water heaters and more water pumps than a comparable plug and play model. These components will typically result in a higher retail price.
Hardwired Hot Tubs Cost Less to Operate
Because hardwired hot tubs usually have more powerful water heaters and more water pumps than plug and play models, they tend to run for shorter periods. It can take a plug and play hot tub three times as long to bring cold water up to bathing temperatures compared to a hardwired model. Having multiple water pumps also allows a hardwired hot tub to filter its contents much faster than a plug and play model. This will mean that the owner of a hardwired hot tub will spend less on electricity over time.
Hardwired Hot Tubs Can Run the Heater and Pumps Simultaneously
The extra power that hardwired hot tubs have access to means that the water pump can run at top speed at the same time the water heater is operating. Plug and play models don’t have this ability. Because they have reduced access to power, the water heater cannot run when the water pumps are operating at high speed. This means, with a plug and play hot tub, you have a choice between maintaining water temperature or getting the full massage experience. In warm weather or for short amounts of time, this may not matter much. However, if you’re running a plug and play hot tub in cold weather for longer periods this can make a big difference.
You should now have a better understanding of the differences between 110 volt (plug and play) hot tubs and 220 volt (hardwired) hot tubs. For more information to help you with your buying decisions, download a free buyer’s guide today.