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Understanding Plug and Play Hot Tubs

While it’s true that Plug and Play hot tubs are quick and easy to install, there are some definite downsides between these models and standard hot tubs. Before you make a costly buying decision, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these types of hot tubs.

Plug and Play Hot Tub Benefits:

ü  Affordability

·       If you’re committed to adding a hot tub to your backyard but don’t have a lot to invest, a Plug and Play hot tub is an affordable option. Many of these models are very simplistic and don’t come with all the bells and whistles that standard hot tubs have. This is what makes them more affordable than alternate options.

ü No electrician required

·       When you buy a standard hot tub, you will need a certified electrician to hard wire the hot tub due to it being 220 volts. This will ensure proper electrical installation for safety and to meet local and state codes. Depending on how much load your home can handle, you may have to add additional electrical service; this is more common in older homes.

·       Plug and Play hot tubs are only 110 volts. That means it will cost less upfront because you can simply plug the hot tub into an existing outlet. How easy is that? Most Plug and Play models come with a 15′ cord that has a GFCI protector built into it. You will want to find out if the Plug and Play hot tub you are purchasing has a 15 amp or 20-amp cord. A 15-amp outlet is a typical outlet you would find anywhere in your home. A 20-amp outlet has one of the holes/prongs sideways which are less common and may have to be installed to run the tub.

Plug and Play Trade-Offs:

ü Something More to Offer

·       Plug N Play hot tubs are more affordable because most of them don’t offer all the features that standard hot tubs do. For instance, you won’t find molded seats, programmable filtration cycles, powerful jets, water features, LED lights or headrest pillows. Most people consider this a disadvantage. But if you’re looking for a very basic hot tub and don’t have a bath to soak in, this is great at an affordable price.

ü Many and Mini jets

·       Another drawback of a Plug and Play hot tubs are the limitations of the power supply. Because these units draw off of a 110v instead of a 220v, they can’t perform the same way. That means the performance levels are seriously affected in two ways.

·       First, Plug and Play hot tubs don’t have the powerful jets that standard hot tubs do because the smaller pump can’t support it. In most instances, these tubs also have fewer jets to allow for more flow from each one.

ü  Pump/Heater

·       Another thing that will affect the hot tub’s performance is the size of the heater. This smaller heater has to run longer and harder than a full-sized heater and pump to keep the water warm. Putting a 98 degree body into this tub is similar to putting ice cubes in a glass of your favorite drink. Your body will warm up, but the heater will be running full power without the jets being able to be turned on. Now, when the jets are turned on, the heater will not be able to operate as it does not have enough power to run the two simultaneously.


Since Plug and Play hot tubs operate with a smaller heater, it will take longer to not only initially heat up the water but maintain the temperature so you can enjoy it. A standard hot tub can heat to about 104 degrees in just 6 to 8 hours, but it can take up to three times that long to heat the water in a Plug and Play. Once a Plug and Play hot tub reaches temperature, they are constantly working to maintain that desired temperature…especially in colder climates.

When using a Plug N’ Play hot tub, you will have to decide between running the jets and heating the water. The 110v simply can’t do both, that means you will have to make a choice. When you’re running the jets on high, the heater won’t have enough amps to heat the water and it shuts off. Without the ability to have the jets soothe your aching muscles and joints while holding an ideal temperature…these inconveniences should be a no brainer when making your decision on purchasing at Plug N’ Play tub.

Should You Buy a Plug and Play Hot Tub?

The decision about whether to buy one depends on your needs. Plug and Play hot tubs offer the convenience and short-term affordability many homeowners want and need with today’s economic climate. But when adding a magical new spot to your back yard, make sure you look at all the options available to you and make sure you know what the costs will be both short and long term. 

When you’re ready to find the perfect hot tub or if you have any questions just let us know! We’ve got the best pricing, selection and customer service around!

When you’re ready to find the perfect Hot Tub, visit:


Marina Pool, Spa and Patio at 7777 West Jewell Avenue, Lakewood.


Understanding Plug and Play Hot Tubs
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