If you dream of hot tubbing far away from your home, the idea of running a hot tub off a generator might sound appealing. But is this actually viable?
You could run a hot tub off a generator, but it isn't recommended. Hot tubs draw a huge amount of power, and you can't just turn the generator on and off whenever you want as most hot tubs are designed to keep themselves up to temperature all the time. The generator therefore needs to be constantly able to deliver power.
Let's explain this in a bit more depth—and then suggest a couple of better alternatives.
When is it beneficial to run a hot tub off a generator?
Almost never. Not unless you are looking for sky-high gas bills. However, there are some advantages.
Obviously, the main advantage of running a hot tub from a generator is that you have remote power. You don't need to run power lines to your hot tub. As long as you have a generator, you can put that hot tub wherever you want. Have a forest surrounding your home? Stick the hot tub in the forest, if you want.
If you have a generator and keep it topped up with gas, you never have to worry about power issues either. If your home suffers from frequent power cuts, you may see a generator for your hot tub as a good choice.
Finally, having a hot tub running on a generator would give you a bit more visibility into its energy use. You will know exactly how much you are spending to run that hot tub.
Why you should avoid using a generator to power a hot tub
So, now we have all the positives out of the way, what about the negatives?
Well, for starters, hot tubs require a lot of power. Your typical camping generator isn't going to be able to deal with the power requirements for the hot tub. You will need to buy something incredibly large and incredibly expensive. In most cases, wiring your hot tub into the mains supply of your home will be much cheaper than buying a generator.
Secondly, the fuel costs can be expensive. At the time of writing, fuel costs are at an all-time high, and they are unlikely to go down any time soon. You may find that the cost of fuel for your generator is way too expensive. Remember, they consume a lot of power, and they will need a constant supply of fuel. And it's not just the financial costs—consider the environmental impact too.
Finally, you will need to ensure that the generator is constantly topped up with gas. You can't let it empty out. If it does, then the water in your hot tub will start to cool down and not be able to circulate properly. It can take upwards of 24 hours for your hot tub to get back to the right level of heat... and that would be incredibly expensive to fuel. You may find yourself needing to check on the generator several times a day, and this would get annoying fast.
Alternatives to running a hot tub off a generator
If you really want to install a hot tub somewhere you can't connect a permanent power source, there are better options designed specifically for this.
Wood-fired hot tubs are a great way to enjoy a soothing soak without using any electricity. Instead of relying on a heater to keep the water warm, you can simply build a fire in the stove and let the heat from the flames do its work.
Of course, you need to plan ahead and make sure that the wood stove is properly set up before you use the tub. And be sure to monitor the temperature closely, as the water can get quite hot without the usual sensor to regulate the temperature. With a little planning and preparation, wood-fired hot tubs can provide a truly unique and relaxing experience.
The Dutchtub is a unique hot tub alternative that is perfect for those who want to enjoy a relaxing soak in nature. This tub is made from durable materials and is designed to be used outdoors. It features a built-in wood-burning stove that heats the water, and it can accommodate up to four people.
While you can run a hot tub off a generator, it is best avoided. It would be very expensive to do, not to mention bad for the environment, and way too much of a hassle to ensure that the hot tub has a constant source of power. Look into other options (including wiring the hot tub to your mains supply if possible) before you even consider using a generator.