110 vs 220 Hot Tub
We're here to separate fact from fiction surrounding the 110V vs. 220V hot tub debate.
Your chosen voltage will depend upon whether you live in a colder climate, your preference for added power, and more.
Continue reading as we cover the heating, electrical wiring and cost differences.
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The main difference between these two types of hot tubs is power.
Many modern acrylic hot tubs call for 220V 50-amp electrical connections, which won't come standard in your home or backyard. This means that you will need to hire a licensed electrician to install a 220V outlet to get your hot tub up and running.
However, many hot tub manufacturers have 110V hot tubs in their lineups these days, which only require a standard 15-amp 110V connection. These hot tubs are called "plug-and-play" hot tubs, as you can plug them into any standard outlet and get them going quickly.
It all comes down to which hot tub electrical requirements you prefer.
So, why wouldn't I just go with the easier 110V hot tub that doesn't require an electrician? Is there really a difference between these two types of hot tubs? We'll answer these questions next!
110V Hot Tubs
Trying to shop for a hot tub as a first-time buyer can be extremely overwhelming.
You want to take advantage of warm water hydrotherapy, though you don't want to spend an arm and a leg on something you're not completely certain about.
This is where 110V hot tubs excel.
On average, 110V hot tubs are more affordable in terms of the initial and installation costs.
Plus, you can set them up in a matter of minutes and begin enjoying them right away. Essentially, all you have to do is plug them in, fill them up, and dip in for a soak.
You don't have to pay for an electrician to come and rewire your outdoor outlet. While there are certainly many budget-friendly 110V models with minimalist designs that lack the bells and whistles of their 220V counterparts, more and more hot tub manufacturers are beginning to design their 110V hot tubs with luxury in mind.
You'll find features like hydrotherapy jets, digital control systems, and even LED lighting. Another one of the major benefits of 110V hot tubs is portability. If you haven't found your forever home yet or you plan on moving in the near future, a lightweight and portable plug-n-play spa can be your best bet.
The one downside to plug-n-play spa models is the lack of power they offer, which translates to less impressive pumps and jet systems.
220V Hot Tubs
Massaging jets are often the main priority of soon-to-be hot tub owners.
A major benefit of modern 220-volt hot tubs is the targeted hydrotherapy, whether that be powerful jets arranged strategically along a full-body lounger, or traditional neck jets found at the tops of bucket seats.
While 110V plug-and-play hot tubs feature hydrotherapy jets, 220-volt hot tubs have greater power sources, allowing them to deliver stronger and deeper massages that target major pain points. Plus, you'll have a wider variety of 220v models to choose from. There will be more features, designs, and jet arrangements, allowing you to customize your at-home spa experience.
With greater voltage, a 220-volt spa can power additional hot tub amenities such as manufacturer-installed Wi-Fi, LED lighting, and more.
The initial cost of a 220-volt hot tub might be higher, as you'll pay more for the model, the installation of the dedicated 50-amp electrical hookup, and the hot tub wiring. However, the extra upfront costs might be worth it if you're planning on owning your hot tub for a long time.
220-volt hot tubs are typically more energy efficient, as they use 4KW heaters and multi-pump systems compared to 110-volt hot tub models, which usually only use a single 1KW heater and a 2HP pump.
Essentially, a heater in a hard wired 220V hot tub won't have to put in as much work to heat the water to the optimal temperature and maintain that temperature over long periods. As a result, one of the additional benefits of 220-volt spa models is that you don't receive painfully high energy bills at the end of the month. If you live in a place with extreme winter weather, your heater won't have to run nearly as long as it would if you had a 110V hot tub. You can get the water hot within less time, and heat your hot tub faster.
When comparing 110 vs. 220 hot tub cost to run, the 220-volt hot tub comes out on top.
Final Thoughts - Which of These Hot Tubs Is Better?
Both 110V and 220V hot tubs offer many of the same benefits, including fully-insulated designs and massage jets. However, if a low upfront cost and portability aren't priorities, and you want faster heating time, stronger massage jets, and more power, we recommend going with a 220V spa instead of a plug-and-play spa.
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About The Author
Bobby Gifford // Staff Writer
Bobby Gifford has over 17 years of experience with hot tubs and swimming pools. He has owned one pool and several hot tub brands over the years and has a wide scope of knowledge including buying information, maintenance and industry trends.