All Collections
Jacuzzi® Hot Tub
Plug and play hot tub reviews
Plug and play hot tub reviews
Written by Kimberly Giraldo
Updated over a week ago

Plug and play hot tubs are a popular option for people shopping for spas. Within this category of spa, there are several brands, models, features and options. If you are considering a hot tub and wonder what a plug and play hot tub is and what to look for when shopping for a plug and play hot tub, you’ve arrived at the right place.

This article will review what a plug and play hot tub is, what features to look for, and pros and cons of this type of hot tub. The article will also cover some examples of highly rated plug and play hot tubs that you might consider for your own backyard.

What is a plug and play hot tub?

A plug and play hot tub is exactly what it sounds like. It is a portable hot tub unit that is designed to plug directly into a standard GFCI outlet which will power the spa. In general, plug and play hot tubs are 120v. This type of hot tub is popular due to the fact that it should not require any labor or special electrical wiring.

Since in North America, a 110/120v is a standard wall outlet, a plug and play hot tub requires little installation. You can quite literally plug it into a standard household power source and it will soon be ready to enjoy.

Most standard hot tubs require a 240v electrical hookup. This requires the assistance of a professional electrician to install new wiring. These hot tubs may also be referred to as hard-wired hot tubs.

Even though plug and play hot tubs do not require the assistance of an electrician for special wiring, you might consider having an electrical inspection done before having the plug and play hot tub installed. This will ensure compatibility of the unit — and safety too.

What are some of the main features of a plug and play hot tub?

Most standard plug and play hot tubs are similar to hard-wired portable hot tubs in that they are self-contained units that are considered portable.

Plug and play hot tubs are equipped with pumps and jets. Plug and play hot tubs operate off a small heater. This means that it will take longer to heat the water than a standard portable hot tub.

Generally a plug and play comes equipped with a 15-foot cord. It’s important to find out whether the model you are interested in has a 15-amp or a 20-amp cord. The difference is slight but essential.

“A 15-amp circuit is usually served by a 14-gauge wire and protected by a 15-amp circuit breaker or fuse. 20-amp receptacles have a horizontal slot branching off one of the vertical slots,” according to The Home Depot.

It is also a good idea to use an outlet with a dedicated breaker. This can mitigate the risk of potential electrical problems.

What are the pros of a plug and play hot tub?

Simple Set Up — Once your plug and play hot tub is home, you can simply plug it in, fill it up with water and heat it up. It will soon be ready to enjoy.

Inexpensive — Plug and play hot tubs are a good entry-level step into the hot tub market. They are less expensive than luxury portable hot tub models from premium brands. They also do not require any installation or hard-wiring costs.

Portable — While 220v hot tubs are also referred to as portable, they require the assistance of a professional to install or move the hot tub. A pro of a plug and play hot tub is that they are much more easily transported without the help of professional movers. So if you decide to relocate your plug and play spa to a different area of your backyard or if you move, transporting this type of spa should require little hassle.

Renter Friendly — Because plug and play spas don’t require hard wiring, they are a great choice for renters that do not have the option of adding hard wiring to the home they are renting.

What are the cons of a plug and play hot tub?

Performance — Plug and play hot tubs do offer hydrotherapy. However, their components and jets may not be as powerful, effective and efficient as a top-of-the-line portable hot tub model from a premium brand. Most plug and play spas have much fewer jets than a luxury hot tub.

Smaller components — Smaller heaters, pumps and jets equate to the plug and play spa having to work harder to achieve similar benefits of a traditional portable hot tub. A plug and play spa will take longer to heat the water than its portable hard-wired counterpart.

Difficulty Maintaining Heat in Colder Climates — Due to those components, a plug and play will not only have to work harder to bring your spa water up to temp, it will also be harder to maintain it. Especially if the spa is operating in very cold weather or climates.

Lack of Amenities — Many plug and play spas do offer after-market amenities and accessories to enhance your hydromassage experience. However, many do not come with the number of amenities and features that come standard with most high-quality portable hot tubs. Plus, hard-wired hot tubs also have a variety of upgrades to really take relaxation to the next level.

Durability — Some plug and play hot tub shells and cabinets are made from plastic. On the other hand, high-quality hot tub models from premium brands are generally made from more durable materials, such as acrylic for example, that are made to withstand the elements and extreme weather, hot or cold.

What are some brands that carry plug and play hot tub models?

Some hot tub brands that carry plug and play models include:

-Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs

-Sundance® Spas

-Lifesmart™ Spas

-Bullfrog Spas®

-AquaRest Spas

What are some alternatives to a plug and play hot tub?

There are many different types of hot tubs. Plug and play hot tubs and 220v portable hot tubs are the most similar. Other options include in-ground hot tubs. Often, these are built into the ground, often in conjunction with or adjacent to a swimming pool. An inflatable spa is another alternative. These are just as they sound, inflatable and can be easily deflated. They do not have the jet power and functions of a plug and play and 220v hot tub. Swim spas are yet another option. A swim spa is a hybrid of a swimming pool and a hot tub. It features jetted seats and a central area designed for aquatic fitness training.

Where can I shop for a plug and play hot tub?

Before purchasing any hot tub, plug and play or otherwise, it is recommended to visit a reputable spa dealer in your area. You can peruse the showroom to see the various brands and models up close and personal. This allows you to compare the materials, jets, seating options, features, components and technologies of each.

As you do your research, it’s also a good idea to create a wish list of priorities when it comes to your hot tub purchase. Consider factors such as size, energy efficiency and costs (initial buy-in and installation as well as running and maintenance costs). Once you have dialed in your dream hot tub, it will be much easier to find the exact model that will bring you soothing relaxation and enjoyment for years to come.

Brand disclaimer: This article features brand names not affiliated with Jacuzzi Group including Lifesmart™ Spas, Bullfrog Spas® and AquaRest Spas. All information included was accurate at the time of writing and may change without notice.

Medical disclaimer: This information is not intended to prescribe a particular diagnosis or course of action. We are not medical professionals. Please contact your GP or other medical professional for advice if you have any concerns about your current health or well-being.

Affiliations: Jacuzzi® is a registered trademark of Jacuzzi Group. All rights reserved.

Did this answer your question?