A common question we’re asked by consumers is ‘what’s the difference between a 13 amp and a 32 amp hot tub?’
At a glance, it’s hard to tell the difference between them, especially if you consider yourself completely new to amps, kilowatts and anything else electrical!
All 13 amp hot tubs purchased from Scunthorpe Hot Tubs can be set up to run on either a 13 amp supply or a 32 amp supply, giving you the ability to choose and not be fixed to one type. But, what is the difference between the two?
In this blog, we’ve rounded up the key differences between 13 amp and 32 amp hot tubs (aimed at the complete beginner!).
What is a 13 amp Hot Tub?
13 amp spas are frequently referred to as ‘plug & play’ spas. They’ve grown in popularity in recent years as consumers are preferring a hot tub that does not require a complex electrical setup.
A 13 amp hot tub is called ‘plug and play’ because all it needs is power from a basic three-pin plug. These hot tubs are increasingly popular with consumers trying to save on electrical installations for hot tubs. They also tend to be a convenient upgrade from an inflatable hot tub as you can use the same electrical supply.
What is a 32 amp hot tub?
A 32 amp hot tub is a hot tub that is configured for a 32 amp electrical supply. It cannot be powered with a standard three-pin plug found in the home. Why would you choose a hot tub with a more complicated supply? There can be benefits to it, mostly around the power of the pumps and being able to run the heater and pumps at the same time.
What is the difference between a 13 amp and 32 amp hot tub?
There are a few key differences between 32 amp hot tubs and their 13 amp counterparts, primarily the ‘plug and play’ element and the power supply, how the pump function affects the heater, and installation cost.
13 amp spas are 'Plug and Play'
Installing and moving a 13 amp spa can be as simple as ‘plug and play,’ making it much more straightforward for most consumers. Unlike with a 32 amp spa, with a 13 amp spa, there are no permanently fixed electrics to worry about. You can simply unplug the spa, drain it, and move it to a new spot or new home without having to get a certified electrician to detach the electrics properly.
Although these spas are ‘plug and play,’ do not be tempted to plug in a 13 amp hot tub through a basic extension cable running from indoor sockets, as extension cables that aren’t secured by steel wire armour and RCDs can be incredibly hazardous – particularly where water is present.
The power supply is different
The second and primary difference between the two sorts of hot tubs is the power supply required.
As explained earlier, 13 amp models run on your basic three-pin plug, whereas 32 amp hot tubs require a 32 amp electrical supply to be set up.
This means that if you want to go for a 32 amp hot tub, you’ll need a certified electrician to set up an electrical supply and run an armoured cable to your 32 amp hot tub to satisfy building regulations. Of course, this will raise the installation cost by a couple of hundred pounds.
Choose Storm to get 2 pumps on a 13 amp setup
All our 13 amp hot tubs can be set up to run as 13 amp or 32 amp, so the number of pumps and jets will remain the same whichever setup you choose with us.
However, this may not be the case across the industry and hot tubs that come in only a 32 amp setup will be different.
In the past, 13 amp hot tubs used to be limited to a single two-speed jet pump or a lone jet pump alongside a circulation pump. Due to the additional amps that a 32 amp hot tub had access to, they would typically have at least two jet pumps – meaning they could supply the jets with more power, resulting in a more intense massage. This used to be mean that a 32 amp spa would usually be the more powerful choice.
However, our Storm Range has changed the hot tub industry with its pioneering Stormforce 9™ Pumps, for the first time offering you the option of two pumps on a 13 amp hot tub. This offers a massive 4hp, matching the high specification of a 32 amp hot tub, while only requiring a 13 amp supply. The Stormforce Pumps let you have a circulation pump for efficiency and 2 x 2hp pumps for outstanding power distributed over more jets.
13 amp spas will only run the pump or heater at any one time
One of the main functional differences between the 13 amp setup and the 32 amp setup is that a 13 amp hot tub doesn’t have adequate power to run its heater and jets simultaneously.
On a mild or warm day, this isn’t a big deal, on a cold day though, if the heater does not run together with the pumps, the hot tub could drop temperature rather quickly when in use. Since hot tubs lose around 60% of their heat through the surface of the water, they can cool off rather rapidly without the aid of their heater.
Naturally, insulation helps a lot here, so if you’d prefer a 13 amp configuration, be sure to opt for a model that’s insulated well such as those in our award-winning R10 range, and you won’t notice this difference as much.
Cost of setting up the 32 amp electrical supply
A 32 amp hot tub requires a 32 amp supply with an isolator switch. If you do not currently have one of these in your garden, you’ll need to have one installed to have a 32 amp spa.
A 13 amp spa can run through a basic waterproof RCD-protected three-pronged outdoor socket, shaving a couple of hundred pounds off the upfront expense of the hot tub.
It typically costs around £150-£450 to have a socket set up for a 13 amp spa and up to £750 to have a 32 amp feed installed.
Should I choose a 13 amp or 32 amp supply?
There’s no doubt that a 13 amp hot tub from a leading supplier such as Scunthorpe Hot Tubs is a huge step up from an inflatable hot tub or an inexpensive import. It will not only give you a much better massage than an inflatable hot tub but also cost less to run, as it will be far better insulated.
All 13 amp hot tubs purchased from Scunthorpe Hot Tubs can be set up to run on either a 13 amp supply or a 32 amp supply, giving you the ability to choose and not be fixed to one type.
If you want your spa to run both the pumps and heaters at the same time, then a 32 amp design may be the right way to go.
However, a 13 amp hot tub from a reputable manufacturer is an excellent choice for somebody trying to find a quality hot tub without the complications of the 32amp electrical supply, and installing a 13-amp hot tub will cost a few hundred pounds less than a higher amperage version.
Whether the 13 amp or a 32 amp configuration is the right option for you, make sure to get yours from a highly regarded dealer such as Scunthorpe Hot Tubs to make sure you’re getting a quality spa set up by certified engineers.
Electrical Supply Isn’t Everything
There is a lot more to a hot tub than its electrical supply! Do not let this blog take over your decision-making process. Yes, it needs to be an aspect, and we hope this blog helps you understand it a bit much better.
When you are buying a hot tub, we believe it’s also important that you check out the health benefits, the level of insulation, the reputation of the manufacturer, the hot tub features, client testimonials, and any awards or recognitions from UK-based organisations.
If you wish to discover which spa is right for you and your family, contact us or visit our superstore – the UK’s largest hot tub display just off the M180 in Scunthorpe.
Ready to make your selection? Scunthorpe Hot Tubs have been leading the industry for over 8 years and have over 80 hot tubs to choose from. Why not browse our full range of hot tubs now and see if the perfect hot tub might be just a click or two away.
Prefer to speak to someone? Give us a call on 01724 502687 or visit our showroom and we can help you choose the best spa for you.
Showroom Address: Unit 5, Scunthorpe Eastgate Park, Queensway Industrial Estate, Scunthorpe DN16 1AE
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