A basic spa switch is a break in the hot line of a circuit. The most basic on/off switch is called a single pole, single throw (SPST) switch. This switch handles one circuit each time the spa switch is thrown. The second type of spa switch is a single pole, double throw (SPDT). In this case, there is still only one circuit of electric current, but when this switch is thrown one direction, it electrifies one appliance, and when it is thrown the other way, it electrifies another appliance. Depending on the spa appliance, you might use several variations of poles and throws.
The other concept regarding spa switches that you will encounter is multiple switching. There is often more than one control or switch on each spa appliance. There are often time clocks and air switches controlling spa equipment and a simple on/off switch attached so you can shut it off easily for service work.
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