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Hot Tub Electrical Types: 220 volt hot tubs and 110 volt hot tubs

Hot Tubs and Spas Info Center > Technical Guide > Electrical

When shopping around for a new hot tub, you will notice there are two different electrical types for hot tubs; 110 volt hot tubs and 220 volt hot tubs. Before you purchase a hot tub, it's important to decide which type of voltage you will want since the kind of voltage your spa uses can factor into its overall cost, installation time, hot tub heating time, and its feature performance. Many of the larger portable hot tubs available in the market today use 220 volts because they need the higher power in order to heat up at a reasonable rate. However, newer models only need to be 110 volt hot tubs in order to operate, so they are virtually ready to use once they are plugged in.

Since majority of households in the United States use 110 volts power, the 110 volt hot tubs are now immediately compatible with the electricity setup of the majority of households. 110 volt hot tubs are more flexible because they can be set up anywhere near a 110 volt outlet in your house, which opens up more possibilities on where to place the hot tub 110v. Nowadays, the hot tub 110v does not limit size, features, and heating power just because they have a lesser voltage. A lot of the hot tub 110v models and designs offer practically the exact same benefits and features as the 220 volt hot tubs. Plus, most 110 volt hot tubs are designed for easy setup and they tend to be a lot less expensive than most 220 volt hot tubs. A lot of people prefer this option since depending on your current electrical set-up; you might have to end up paying more money for permits, inspections and electrician costs.

The down side to the 110 volt hot tubs is if you use your spa for more than an hour or two when the temperature drops below 32 degrees, the temperature will slowly begin to drop. It is definitely possible to get the temperature up to the standard hot tub temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, but eventually it can't handle the cold temperature outside and then the water temperature will decrease as well. Typically it drops 2 degrees each hour the cover is not on the hot tub, therefore the water will drop to about body temperature after 3 hours of usage. Plus, if the jets are on high, this cool off might happen more quickly since the jets bring more air into the hot tub water. This will only be an issue if you use the hot tub 110v for extended amounts of time.

The 220 volt hot tubs can keep water warmer in extremely cold temperatures. This more rapid flow of voltage is used in appliances and other large machines that need a larger push of energy to operate. 220 volt outlets are usually available in areas such as your kitchen; however, they aren't as commonly seen in outdoor outlets. If you don't have one installed for your new outdoor hot tub, then you will need to inquire your local permit office and find out what the requirements and permit costs are to get one installed. Every county follows a different policy about what requires a permit, but typically any new electrical line requires a new permit and may also need an inspector to check the work after the new outlet is in place to make sure everything is installed correctly.

It's important to note that the 220 volt hot tubs will not save you money on your energy bills like you might assume, but it is able to keep your hot tub water hot in excessively cold climates, even in below freezing temperatures. But once again, it will most likely cost more money and time to install if you don't already have a 220 volt outlet available in your house.

So the choice of 110 volt hot tubs or 220 volt hot tubs will be completely up to you. If you live somewhere with harsher climates, then maybe it will be worth it for you to purchase one of the 220 volt hot tubs. However, it climate isn't a big factor where you are located, then perhaps a hot tub 110v is more your style.