Aqua Spa & Leisure: Hot Tub Buyer's Guide

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At Aqua Spa and Leisure, we know how confusing, and sometimes how daunting it can be when you start exploring a new purchase. There are lots of things to consider and you are probably asking yourself questions along the lines of… Where do I start? Which hot tub is best for me/my family? What is the difference between 13amp and 32amp hot tubs? Are hot tubs expensive to run? How is a hot tub going to get into my back garden? Where should I put it? 

We want to help make your hot tub journey as pleasant and pain free as possible, which is why we have put a hot tub buying guide together for you to refer back to throughout your hot tub journey. This guide contains useful tips on choosing the right hot tub for your needs, and includes detailed information on the electrical requirements, site preparation and the access that is required to get a hot tub into your property. 

Of course, if you’d prefer to speak to someone, please feel free to give us a call, one of our friendly team will help answer any questions you may have, and also…

  • Arrange a viewing at our showroom 
  • Book a wet test, allowing you to try our hot tubs in complete privacy 
  • Book your free of charge, no obligation site survey

Electrical Requirements

All electrical work for the installation of Hot Tubs should be carried out by a competent, certified electrician. All works must be certificated conforming to Part P of the Building Regulations. Electrical installation work should always conform to the latest edition of the Wiring Regulations.

What is Part P?

Part P is a section of the Building Regulations and was introduced to reduce the risk of personal injury and damage to your home as a result of substandard work. We can put you in touch with electricians that we use or, you can contact a certified Part P electrician from one of the links listed below. 

13 AMP Rated Hot Tubs

Most domestic hot tubs are designed for single phase power supplies. For permanent installations at your home, it is highly recommended that your 13amp hot tub is hardwired as this is the safest way to run one. However, 13amp hot tubs are often referred to as ‘plug and play’ as they can be plugged into a standard 3 pin outdoor, waterproof RCD protected socket. If you opt for the plug option, we will supply up to 5m of cable and provide a plug on the end of the cable.

Whether you hardwire your hot tub or plug it in, you should ensure that it has its own supply direct from the distributor board (consumer unit). Plugging a hot tub into an outdoor socket which has been spurred off the downstairs sockets ring can easily lead to dangerously overloading the circuit.

Electrical Installation Diagram


Electrical Requirements

32 AMP Supply Spa’s 

32amp supplies require a thicker cable which must be protected by conduit or steel wire to avoid electric shock if the cable was accidentally hit with a spade for example.

6mm 3 core SWA (Steel Wire Armoured) cable would be perfect, however HiTuff cable could also be used depending on the location of the cable (best to check with you electrician). 

The hot tub MUST have its own fused spur back to the circuit board with the correct size breaker. Your electrician will know which type of breaker to use on the distributor board based on the power requirements of the spa, in general it should cover the amperage of the spa plus 25% to allow for the extra spike of current when you start the hot tub. 

You will need an IP65 rotary isolator switch situated no closer than 2 metres away from the hot tub location. This allows the hot tub to be disconnected from the main supply quickly and efficiently whilst keeping it out of the immediate splash zone. 

Please ensure you have a tail of cable running from the isolator switch to the centre of the hot tub location and then leave a coil of 4-6 metres of cable next to the hot tub base so that we have enough cable to wire it in. 
PLEASE NOTE It is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that all electrical work is Part P certified and is a criminal offense if it does not. We reserve the right to not complete an install if we deem the electrics to be unsafe.

Site Preparation

“Preparation is key”… or how about, “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”? Some would say these are phrases to live by, but when it comes to the world of hot tubs, preparation is everything. The first hurdle is getting half a ton of hot tub, safely down the side of your house and into your garden. But don’t worry, we can assess all of that for you with our free of charge site survey.

  • Your spa should sit on a structurally sound, flat and level surface. We recommend a solid
    concrete base or a flat level patio. A concrete base of at least four inches thick is
  • Decide on the orientation of your hot tub. You would normally enter the spa by stepping
    over the touchpad. Underneath the touchpad is also where the majority of components
    are housed, so this will need to be accessible and not against a wall. 
  • The route that the hot tub will travel must be free of obstruction and have sufficient height
    and width clearance all the way to the end destination.

Deck Installation 

If you like the idea of your hot tub being complimented by surrounded decking, we do that too! With a wide range of colours from natural wood tones to more vibrant ones, our decking is 100% eco-friendly, UV stabled and HVOC-free.

If you already have existing decking in place, you must ensure your deck can support the weight of the hot tub, its contents and occupants and re-enforce the decking accordingly. You can also semi-sink your hot tub into decking. However, it is advisable to have a concrete base underneath for the hot tub to sit on and then deck up to the hot tub edge.

Positioning Ideas

Now that you have your power supply in place and you know that the hot tub will fit round the side of your garden, it is time to think about the position.

What area of your garden will give you the most enjoyment out of your hot tub? Think about privacy and being overlooked by neighbours, think about your view from the hot tub. Think about shelter from the wind and rain. And of course, don’t forget to make sure your hose pipe will reach the hot tub location.

We also offer Garden Pods, Garden Rooms, Decking, Pergolas and Outdoor Bars. Below are a couple of photos to give you some ideas on how to position your hot tub for maximum enjoyment.


Other Points To Consider

Hot tub filters can become blocked as they get dirtier. The pumps in your hot tub then have to work harder to pull water through clogged filters, making your hot tub less effective at filtering the water. This can lead to a build-up of debris and bacteria, lowering the lifespan not only of your pumps but also the hot tub itself.

How much does a hot tub cost to run? 

This can vary depending on a number of factors such as the time of year, how often the hot tub is being used, the size and capacity of the hot tub, the insulation and more. 

The power supply of the hot tub will also affect the running cost. On average a 13amp spa can start at approximately £1.50 per day and a 32amp costing up to as much as £2.50 per day. 

What should I look for when buying a hot tub? 

The better the quality of the materials that have been used such as the insulation, the better the hot tub will be at retaining the heat.

Another thing to look out for is a solid ABS base and ensure it’s tough, rigid and heat resistant. A base like this will not only retain heat at the bottom of your spa but also prevents garden creatures and outdoor pests from getting inside. 

Hot Tub Jets & Pump

There is a common misconception that the more jets that are in a hot tub, the more powerful the hot tub will be. However, the key factor is power distribution from the pump to the jets. For example, a 2hp pump with 90 jets would be exceptionally underpowered. A 2hp pump is better suited to around 25 jets. 2 x 2hp pump would suit 50 jets. 

We have carefully selected our spas to ensure they provide maximum efficiency without losing out on power or hydrotherapeutic benefit.