Let’s face it. Not all of us can afford a traditional hot tub. This changed around when Plug and Play hot tubs, called “Plug N Play Hot Tubs” came into the picture. These are a lot more affordable than the standard hot tubs. So should you go for a Plug N Play? Well, we’re not gonna tell you outright. Where’s the fun in that! What we will do is show you the benefits of a plug and play hot tubs and you can make the decision yourself.
So, what is a Plug and Play Hot Tub?
The major difference between a Plug and play hot tub and others is that it runs on 110 V. Most regular variants require a 220 V electrical outlet, so you should call an electrician to set it up. Especially if your house is really old!
The 110 V Plug and Play Hot Tubs require only a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter(GFCI). It can be plugged into a regular 15-20 amp electrical outlet. Most of the Plug and Play units come with a 15 amp cord with a GFCI protector in-built. Before you purchase one, find out if your Plug N Play has a 15 amp or 20 amp cord.
A 15 amp outlet is one that you will find anywhere in your home. You will just have to simply plug in the hot tub into an existing outlet. Cool, eh? A regular 220 V hot tub requires the help of a professional certified electrician to set it up because they need to hardwire the hot tub to meet the safety standards. The 110 V hot tubs don’t need to be hardwired. Even if it is a 20 amp, the outlet is common too. It has one of those sideways holes or prongs. Just give the electrician a day off and do it yourself – it is that easy!
Easy, to use, easy to set up and easy on your wallet. Read on to find more about these tubs.
The 110 V hot tubs still require a GFCI breaker. The breaker can be 15 amp and more (up to 20 amp). You should not plug anything else in the same outlet. The length of the cord to the outlet is 15’. If the cable doesn’t reach, do not use an extension cord.
Plug and Play types are much smaller, lighter and easier to carry around than regular hot tubs. So if you want to take a hot tub for a vacation or if you’re moving houses, a Plug N play is much easier to transport.
The trade-offs of Plug and Play model
As you may expect, there are some trade-offs with the Plug and Play model. It may not be as efficient or high performing as the 220 V models. They won’t come with all the features of a regular model. No moulded seats or headrest pillows to cosy on or programmable filtration cycles to keep it clean and maintain its effectiveness. This is one of the major drawbacks – they cannot draw enough power to run a full-sized heater and jet pump. Plug N Plays only have a 1HP pump and 1kW heater – both around 1/4 the size of a 220V hot tub.
Plug and Play units won’t have those powerful jets – those Oh so soothing and relaxing jets of regular models because the smaller pump cannot support it. The number of jets is also much lower.
Plug and Plays have a smaller heater. What does this mean for you? It has to work much harder to heat the water properly to the desired temperature.
Other limited features
No LED lights, no mood lighting options, no mesmerizing little waterfall, no built-in audio system – many no’s in most models indeed! But if you are not so much into the frills and just require a hot tub for your backyard or patio, a cottage home, or to take to your next vacation spot, Plug N Play can be pretty great!
How long does it take for a Plug and Play to heat up?
There are several factors determining how long it takes for a hot tub to heat. The predominant factors include the ambient temperature of the water and air, the usage of a well-insulated cover and the size of the tub.
Some 110 V hot tubs depend almost entirely on the process of keeping the cover on and heating up and keeping the jets running. This circulates the water evenly and thereby the heat as well. While a standard hot tub heats to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in 8 to 12 hours, it can take twice, sometimes, thrice as much time to heat water in a Plug and Play type. Once the desired water temperature is reached, however, these tubs do a good job maintaining the temperature.
You cannot turn on the jets and the heater at the same time too. This means that the water temperature may drop if you stay in your hot tub for a little longer than usual with the jets running. When the heater is turned on, and you try to increase the pump speed from low to high, the heater will turn off. This may not be a concern when the weather is warm, but if it is a chilly day, you may find the temperature of the spa water drop a few degrees in no time at all. Brrr!
Even if you are not currently using the jets, over time, the tub will still lose temperature and there’s not much you can do about it. This happens because the heater will not be able to keep up with the heat loss when the covers of the hot tub are off.
220 V spas are much more efficient because it’s pump uses the same amount of watts as the 110 V for twice the time. In the former, you can also run the heater and jets at the same time. So the hot tub heats up much quicker and you don’t have to wait around for ages.
Budget and costs
There are no additional installation costs involved. Adding a 220V, 50-amp line required by standard hot tubs can cost you anywhere from $500 to $1000!
Plug and Play hot tubs are great to use in summers and winters too. If you’re using them in winters, you should consider the following factors.
- Brush the excessive snow off the lid, or it may cause damage.
- You may have to top up the water more often because of excessive evaporation in winters.
- Keep the hot tub running around the clock. If ice builds up in the pump and water lines, it may cause damage.
Now that you know the basics of what a Plug and Play hot tub is, you may be tempted to buy one. We’ll help with that too, don’t you worry! With tons of experience in testing and enjoying many Plug and Play hot tubs in the market, you are in safe hands to find out what the best ones are for you and your home. Just read on to find out!
- LifeSmart 4 Person Plug And Play Hot Tub Spa
- Essential Hot tubs Adelaide 30-Jet Hot Tub
- Hudson Bay 6-Person Plug and Play Hot Tub
- AquaRest 5-Person 29-Jet Plug And Play Hot Tub
- Home and Garden 30-Jet Plug And Play Hot Tub
LifeSmart 4 Person Plug And Play Hot Tub Spa
This Plug and Play hot tub from LifeSmart is a 13-jet spa with a capacity to hold 4 people comfortably. It features a waterfall feature, underwater LED light system, and a capacity of 195 gallons. Durability and jet performance are two factors which makes this one of the best Play N Play models.
One of the interesting features of this tub is the foam insulated construction. This along with thermal locking cover will retain the heat and also save energy thereby reducing your electric bill. The tub features a highly indestructible RockSolid Shell and a Deluxe Balboa Digital thermometer is provided to adjust the water temperature, lighting and the jets easily and within reach.
You will also enjoy the deep bucket seats. This is a fantastic addition to your backyard.
Essential Hot tubs Adelaide 30-Jet Hot Tub
This is a Plug and Play hot tub that can house 5 to 6 in it. It features a cosy Lounger along with 2 Captain’s chairs. Both these provide such a soothing massage to bubble your stress away. Features like 3 headrests, adjustable jets and LED-lit water columns make it a desirable unit.
What is better than soaking up in a hot tub? Glad you asked! Sipping on a cold beverage as you lounge inside on a hot sunny day. This tub comes with a convenient built-in ice bucket and tray. Make full use of it! It has a capacity of 300 gallons.
Adjustable LED Flow controls give you the ability to adjust the pressure easily. Also included with the tub is a high-quality, insulated heavy-duty tapered cover with locking clips. You can close the spa when not in use with this cover.
Whether you choose to soak in the Lounger or one of two Captain’s Chairs, you will get the full spa experience!
Hudson Bay 6-Person Plug and Play Hot Tub
This tub is ideal for outdoor use and can fit around 6 users at a time. This Plug and Play unit features 19 jets and 7 colours LED mood lighting. It takes around 12 hours to heat the water to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Given that is a Plug and Play, the jets are quite strong and powerful. It doesn’t cool off very soon either- as long as you don’t stay in way too long!
AquaRest 5-Person 29-Jet Plug And Play Hot Tub
Considering the features offered, this tub is a real steal! It is equipped with 29 stainless steel hydrotherapy jets and ozone. It comes with ASTM-certified locking safety cover for safety, efficiency and storage. The water EZ Kleen filtration system and Ozone purification system is reliable and efficient. The latter cleans up 75% of chemicals. Both keep your spa water fresh, clean and usable.
It also uses up less energy because of the full-foam insulation. It is designed with tough, impact-resistant polyethylene that makes it long-lasting and durable. The jets come in from both sides and give more therapeutic value and soothes aching muscles and joints.
There is a multi-colour LED backlit cascading waterfall along with 9 colourful light settings that create a beautiful look and ambience. Roto moulded uni-body shells are virtually indestructible and give sturdiness and durability to your spa.
Home and Garden 5-Person 30-jet Plug And Play Hot Tub
This Hot tub has a convenient and contoured detail that can fit 5 people cosily. 30 stainless steel jets give a completely relaxing and rejuvenating hot tub spa experience. Unlike other Plug and Play hot tubs in the market, you can use saltwater in this tub without worry of damage.
The other attractive features include a waterfall, LED lighting and Ozonator to keep the spa water clean, fresh and hygienic.
Easy to use, operate, be transported to immediate luxury and comfort the minute you step in!
We hope this article answered all your questions and doubts regarding Plug and Play Hot tubs. There are pros and cons attached to it and whether to go for this model or conventional hot tubs depends entirely on your requirements. Without a doubt, the Plug and Play spas are affordable and convenient to use and take it around. Add a magic new spot to your backyard or patio with one of the choices above and enjoy. Treat yourself to years of fun, relaxation and comforts!