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Convert 110v Plug and Play Spa to 220v Hot Tub

dip switch bankSome plug and play 110v-120v hot tub models are convertible plug and play spa models that can easily be changed to 220v-230v operation for added heating power. 

Horse Sense
Warning: Working on your own appliances, cars, covered wagons and hot tubs as well as anything else electrical or mechanical carries with it severe risk of injury or property damage. These tips and suggested procedures are free and for informational purposes only. Proceed at your own risk. It is best to use the services of an electrician or tech. Hot Tub Outpost is not liable for any damage or injury that may result.

Converting the hot tub to 220 volt operation does require the services of an electrician to add the appropriate circuit, circuit breaker and GFCI.

The electrician can then complete the installation by following a few easy steps to convert the spa from 110v to 220v so that the heater will operate at 4kw instead of 1kw and also that the heat will stay on even if the pump is put into high speed mode.

Balboa 120v to 230v Heater Conversion

Note that not all 110-120 volt plug and play spas can be converted to 220-240v operation, but a select few of QCA Spas plug and play models such as the Mystic, Riviera and Star Gazer can.  The Dream Star cannot be converted.  Most of the other models already are 230v spas, but this video and these tips apply to these three spa models that are convertible from 110v to 220v operation.  Note that the names of these models may be different depending on from which merchant the spa was purchased from. 

When a plug and play spa operates at 120v, the heater (if the spa has one) is mostly a 1kw heater. By converting one of the convertible plug and play spas to 220-240v operation, the heater operates at 4kw, so you don't need to exchange the actual heater when converting the spa from 110 volt operation to 220 volts.

Will the spa use more power at 240v? 
No, because the recovery time and initial heat up time is 1/2 the time.  The only thing you are converting is the power to the heater which results in a higher output. The pump still operates at 120v even when the spa is wired for 220 volt operation.  The way the spa is wired at the GFCI allows for both a 110v and 220v power leg that your electrician will wire up properly.

The benefit of operating the spa at 220-240v is that the heater works better.

White jumper wire for converting hot tub to 230 volt operationOn a plug and play spa, the heater is convertible to 240v by removing a white wire and switching a dipswitch on the circuit board.

Your electrician can do this conversion in a few minutes.  The steps are to power down the spa, unplug the spa.  Remove the power cord by unscrewing the connections on the terminal block on the circuit board.  Then remove the jumper wire from the "Red AC" section.  Move the number 10 dipswitch down and that converts it to 240v.

Your electrician will then bring in the neutral, 2 hot wires and a ground wire and you are good to go.

See the diagram in the video for how to wire up a GFCI at 240v.

When inside the power control box, do not move the red, factory preset dipswitches.  The only dipswitch that needs to be adjusted when converting from 120v to 240v is the last one in the row (dipswitch #10). Do not move any of the other dipswitches at any time without calling for assistance.

Dipswitch 10 Spa


Gecko IN.XE 240v to 120v Conversion

Now others, for instance Villa Series Spas owners (Emerald Spa) may want to convert their Gecko IN.XE spa pak hetaer from 240v to 120v.  This type of Gecko IN.XE heater voltage conversion wiring is provided by instructions from Gecko.  It involves being performed by a qualified electrician in accordance with local and national electrical and safety codes.  A permanently connected unit must be GFCI protected.  This type of conversion involves removing the heater access door by taking out all six screws (with power off!) and then unscrewing the L1 wire from the terminal post and reconnecting it to the Neutral terminal post, then replacing the heater access door and screws. Now the heater operates at 120v for this IN.XE System.

In general, the 240 volt IN.XE systems are wired up with 4 wires which includes the correct wiring of the electrical service box, GFCI and pack terminal block to be properly installed.  The 120 volt IN.XE type connection uses 3 wires, but if connected to a 3-wire, 120v system, no 240 VAC component will work.