What is the difference between a 13 amp and a 32 amp?

The difference is the power and, crucially, how they are powered. 

A 13 amp runs off a regular three pin plug, and these tubs are commonly known as plug and play, due to the nature of plugging them in and being ready for action. They’re still a step up from an inflatable tub, meaning you get the bonus points of an actual structure, but with the ease of installment. 

32 amp hot tubs need a 32 amp supply, so it makes sense that they need additional power support than your standard three pin plug can provide. They are all-round more powerful and get wired into your mains power supply. A lot more work, but with plenty of benefits to make it worth your while.

Initial cost 

As we alluded to, there is a price difference between the 13 amp and the 32 amp, not only from point of purchase, but also from the install stage, too. A 13 amp is much easier to install, needing only a plug and you’re ready to bubble. A 32 amp needs to be wired into a power supply, meaning extra work and money spent on the installation stage of the process. 

Heaters

Keep in mind that with a 13 amp, the heaters and the jets can’t run at the same time as there isn’t enough power to go to them both. This means that if you want your jets on, your heater will not be in action. Having said this, a lot of hot tubs come with great insulating capabilities, so it is unlikely that you’ll lose a lot of heat in that time, anyway. 

32 amp heaters have more power, and more gusto. They can heat as well as pump those jets, so you can be warm and bubbly in the process.

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Jets 

32 amp tubs have multiple jets and the power to get them going. This means you get more hydrotherapy benefits and a lovely massage while in the water. 13 amp tubs do have jets but not as many, as the tub doesn’t have the power to have them all on at once.

Noise 

The pump in a 13 amp has multiple purposes, and it can get a little noisy. Hot tubs make a humming kind of noise, but the overworked pump can be a distraction and a nuisance. If you’re looking for a quiet model then a 32 amp might be a smoother choice.

Aspect13 Amp Hot Tub32 Amp Hot Tub
Power SupplyRegular three pin plug (plug and play)Requires 32 amp supply, wired into mains
Initial CostLower initial cost, easier installationHigher initial cost, more installation work
HeatersHeater and jets can’t run simultaneouslyHeater and jets can run simultaneously
JetsFewer jets, limited power for hydrotherapyMore jets, greater hydrotherapy benefits
NoisePump noise can be noticeableQuieter operation

Which hot tub is right for me?

Which hot tub is right for you will depend on a few things, such as your budget, circumstances, and whether you’re looking for a fixed or moveable tub. 

If you’re looking for something less expensive and a little more flexible, then a 13 amp might be a closer match. However, if you want your hot tub to be here for a long time as well as a good time, and are perhaps looking at a larger model, then it is worth investing in the extra set up for a 32 amp hot tub. 

Which hot tub is more economical?

Neither is more economical, per say, but consider the hot tub usage and which option makes most financial sense to you. While a 32 amp may be more expensive initially, there are plenty of benefits which make it a sound investment in the long run. Equally, a 13 amp is more than adequate for some customers, particularly those looking at inflatable models, but wanting a little more finesse. 

There you have it, and you should be well on your way to feeling like Goldilocks when you pick out your new hot tub.