Plug and Play Hot Tub

plug and play spaA plug and play type hot tub allows for 120 volt operation in North America.  These units most often come with an included power cord with integrated Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).  No electrician is usually needed as these plug right into a 120 volt power outlet with the provided GFCI cord.

Plug and Play hot tub models include the Dream Star, Mystic, Star Gazer, and Riviera available factory direct at

These plug and play models are also convertible.  That means that at a later date, they can be field-modified to operate at 230 volts instead of 120 volts thereby making the built-in heater a 4 kw heater instead of a 1 kw heater, all without needing to exchange any components.  The upgrade is a simple dipswitch setting and the moving of 1 wire which can be done in a couple of minutes.  Of course if you choose to operate the convertible plug and play spa at 230 volts, you will need an electrician to install the main breaker, proper gauge wire run, gfci disconnect box and wire to the control box of the spa. The electrician will also need to unmount the GFCI cord as that is only for 120 volt operation.

See our other articles on how to convert a plug and play spa from 120v to 230v and how to choose a plug and play spa.

Not all plug and play spas on the market are convertible, but the ones at Hot Tub Outpost are.

Models that have this feature include the Mystic, Star Gazer, and Riviera.

The Mystic is a 4 person spa, Riviera is a 3 person spa and the Star Gazer seats up to 5.

The benefit of 110-120v hot tub is low initial cost and low installation cost.  Even the power cord is included, so no expensive external wiring is usually necessary.

The benefit of a 230v hot tub is that pump(s) can be run on high speed with heat still running, whereas at 120v the heater shuts off automatically when the pump is put on high speed so there is enough current to run the heater.  The heater is also 1kw at 120v but is 4kw at 230v, so the 230v spa heats faster.  A good solid cover will keep the heat in no matter which voltage you operate the spa at.

plug and play hot tub spaThe Dream Star is a 2 person hot tub that operates at 110v only.  It fits anywhere and is only about 250 lbs. so it is easy to set up anywhere or move.

The flex covers that are standard with this series come with a free hard cover upgrade from

Getting into a hot tub is easy with a plug and play spa from Hot Tub Outpost.

QCA Spas Insulation

QCA Spas hot tub model onlineInsulation is an important energy saving feature of a hot tub. The spas made in Iowa by QCA Spas all exceed the stringent requirements of the California Energy Commission and employ a multi-layer approach to insulating a hot tub.

First of all, since heat rises, having a quality hot tub cover is the single most important component to saving energy and electricity. Covers without steam stoppers and other energy saving features may let heat escape more rapidly from the spa than would be the case with a well-made spa cover. QCA uses excellent quality covers that include these features to not negate the rest of the energy savings construction methods.

The spa cabinet has insulation all the way around. The Styrofoam with an added reflective foil barrier adds an extra level of insulation. The spa is foamed and the cabinet is insulated. The heat recovery system is the dead air space that traps hot air. This not only creates that window pane type air insulation barrier, but allows the hot air to be reused to heat the water.

Fully foamed spas are an old style method of building hot tubs because the foam provided support to thin spa shell material. These types of spas are extremely costly to repair should a leak occur as finding leaks in fully foamed cabinets involves digging out a lot of foam and then trying to find the component that has a leak. By the time a leak is even apparent in these types of hot tubs, a foul odor can already be permeating the cabinet and mold, mildew and bacteria may be present.

Avoid the hassle and potentially high repair bills by buying a hot tub like the QCA Spas line that uses thermal air barrier type insulation as one of the insulating factors.

QCA Spas hot tub modelThe Polar Insulation System traps the heat inside the cabinet without needing exhaust vents that would let all the warm air escape.  A well-insulated spa + a great spa cover = energy savings for your hot tub.

QCA Spas is one of the oldest hot tub manufacturers on the planet in business since 1966. Reliable, trustworthy and experienced, the folks at Hot Tub Outpost have also been serving the hot tub industry for over 30 years. Get any quality QCA Spas hot tub model online from

Advantages of Smaller 2 Person Hot Tubs

Having a hot tub in your home is a wonderful accessory to own, for many reasons. Hot tubs can help you relax, unwind, and provide some health benefits too. The great thing about a 2 person spa hot tub is that they are more affordable than the larger hot tubs, are easier to maintain, and can fit just about anywhere.

What to Look For in a 2 Person Spa Hot Tub

There are a few factors to think about when buying a 2 person hot tub. First of all, make sure it is a good quality tub made of high quality material, especially the tub’s shell. Those that are made of cheaper material, like vinyl, can crack, leak, and fade more easily than higher quality material, like Lucite acrylic, which is a much more durable and long-lasting material.

Pay attention to how many gallons of water the tub holds, and the dimensions of the tub. For maximum comfort, you want to be able to have plenty of leg room, and be able to immerse yourself shoulder deep for optimal comfort.

The seats should be very comfortable and ergonomically designed, so you will want to spend more time in the spa.  An ozonator to clean the water with minimal chemicals is a wonderful feature. In addition, find a 2 person hot tub that you can simply plug in and enjoy for quick set up and operation.

Health Benefits of a Hot Tub

Believe it or not, hot tubs actually provide health benefits through the use of hydrotherapy. Studies have shown that joint pain can be dramatically reduced by spending a few minutes a day hanging out in a hot tub. Various doctors and therapists have recommended their arthritis patients to spend time on a regular basis in a hot tub to reap the benefits of hydrotherapy on their aching joints. The heat from the water, the pressure from the jets, and the buoyancy of the water takes pressure off people’s joints, and alleviates pain and discomfort from arthritis and joint pain.

In addition, tension headaches have been known to be helped by using a hot tub on a regular basis. The relaxation and stress-relief that a hot tub can provide can relieve the tension that causes these headaches. Simply spending a few minutes a day can alleviate pain and discomfort, and rejuvenate a person.  If you do sports or fitness, or spend hours doing physical labour each day, a hot tub will also help with muscle pain, warm up or cool down.

There are also social benefits.  Hot tubs are a great place to spend time catching up and getting reacquainted.  What could be more romantic than a 2 person hot tub?