Hot Tub Filters Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

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Hot tub filters are the heart of spa filtration system to keep the clarity of spa water. They keep the water far from dirtiness. As we know, the bad water of Spa will cause any skin disorder. Make sure that the water is best filtrated and the spa filter takes this job all the times as long as your spa run. This is what we called as the best function of spa filters.

To give you more understanding about spa filter, I write short summary of 3 types of filter used in the pool and spa. How it works and the level of filtering distinguishes the three types of filter.

Sand Filter

Sand Filter – Sand Filter use special sand for the filtration process. Sand to filter pool 0,4- 0.5 mm in diameter. The finer the sand, the clearer water result flows from the screening process.

The working of the filter sand is by drain the water from the surface of the sand in the filter. Pressure from pumps and gravity cause the water coming down. Dust and dirt are filtered in the gap between the sand; the result is cleaner water flow back into the pond.

Diatomace Earth PowderDiatomaceous Earth (DE) Filter – The principle is similar with cartridge filter that using the same cartridge. The only difference is the addition of DE powder which will coat the cartridge so that the size of the impurities can pass through the filtration system is smaller, which is between 3-5 microns. The result is water cleaner and clearer filter cartridge.

The cost of DE is more expensive than filter cartridge. But the result is equal with the quality of water you get. So far filtration system using Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is the best spa filtration system.

Filters CartridgeFilter Cartridge – Filter cartridge consists of a folding fabric wrapped (typically, filter cartridge using polyester fabric) around a core circle.  Filter cartridges have better filtration performance than filter sand. The cartridge can filter out impurities with a smaller size than sand.

Commonly, hot tub uses filter cartridge for their water filtration system as their some advantages. The price of the filter cartridge is cheaper than DE filter. They also need smaller pumps for the filtration process. So in this article, I propose how to maintain spa filter cartridge.

Hot Tub Filters Maintenance

The result of filtration processes and the lifetime of filter depend on our accomplishment. So, we need to follow some maintenance rules below. The rules also affect how to take filter cleaning.  Let take a look carefully!

  1. The best way to keep your spa water clean and fresh is by keep running your hot tub even it is not in use. But of course, it is costly. Just run your hot tub at least one hour each day when you are not using to keep good water circulation. To help in filtering, add water clarifier to the spa once per week. However, don’t use water clarifier if you are using PH Balance as it will cause you spa water cloudy.
  2. The more you use your hot tub, the more you need to clean the filter. The size of the filter also affects the how often you need to clean the filter. Generally, in normal use, a portable spa filter should have to be cleaned once a month.
  3. Blast with a high-pressure hose nozzle is the best way to clean spa filter. If needed, you can take to a local self-serve car wash to get more pressure. Just use cleaning products that are designed for cleaning filter cartridges to avoid damages. If you think your filter is too dirty, you need to soak overnight using cartridge clean.
  4. Reduce the number of oils that get into filter by using a floating oil absorbing sponge (floating duck) in your spa. Like a filter, you must clean and replace them when they get worse.
  5. Important note only uses the cleaner designed for a spa. Don’t use car wax or any soap based cleaners on the spa or the filter. You can use “Spa Gloss” since it works great for spa.
  6. Do a water chemistry test with a reliable test kit as frequent as you use your spa. Alga and bacteria are something that spa filter cannot handle. So it is critical to keep proper water chemistry at all times.
  7. Provide backup filter to switch quickly without losing your spa time when maybe you need to soak them thoroughly overnight. Having two filters as a substitution is a very good idea.
  8. Clean your body and hair before getting to the spa. Mousse or styling gel, hair spray, suntan lotion, deodorant or anti-per spirant, excess sweat and skin creams of any sort are the worst enemies of hot tub filters.
  9. Drain and refill your hot tub with new fresh water. Even though you already take good water care, you still have to replace your water regularly based on the spa usage. Every 6 months for 1-2 times a week or less usage, 4 months 3-4 times a week usage and 3 months 4+ times a week usage.
  10. Lastly and the most important, a spa is not a bath! So keep soaps or oils of any kind out of your spa!

How to Clean Hot Tub Filter Cartridge?

Hot Tub Filters Cleaning and Maintenance TipsAs the main function of filters is filtration, you need to clean hot tub filters regularly depend on the way you use it. The amount of spa usage is the main factor that determines when you should clean your spa filter.  For normal use, spa filter should be cleaned at least every 1 month to keep work properly. However, after long service, you will get your spa filter will not work properly and you need to replace it with the new one.

Before you take filter cleaning, I suggest you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Although generally same, occasionally different manufactures have their specificity of filter cleaning procedure.

  1. Pull out the cartridge from the filter housing.
  2. Rinse filter to remove dirt and debris. Wash down the filter element using a hose with a straight flow nozzle (low-pressure water spray) to avoid damaging the cartridge. Wash all the pleats with emphasis to the slit between the pleats. Rinse until it is free of dirt and debris.
  3. Rinse filter to remove suntan lotions, moisture, and other oils. Soak the cartridge element in a filter cleaner for at least one hour, overnight is most effective. Another option, you can soak in one cup trisodium phosphate.
  4. Rinse the cartridge to remove coating, oils and cleaning solution. WARNING: failure to eliminate all oils and cleaning solution before acid soaking will cause in a permanent restraint of water flow and tend to premature cartridge failure.
  5. Rinse to remove the coating on the element, soak filter to remove the coating of algae, iron, calcium carbonate (residue form of the calcium hypochlorite), or other minerals. Use a treatment of one part muriatic acid to twenty parts water to soak the cartridge until all bubbling stops.
  6. Last rinse the cartridge clean using fresh water, dry it and reassemble housing.


How often your filter cartridge needs replacing is dependent on a number of factors; the size of the filter, how often it’s cleaned, how much the spa is used and how much debris gets into the water.

Generally a filter needs to be replaced every one or two years, or if you notice any of the following; either of the plastic ends are cracked, fabric pleats separating from the plastic ends or cleaning it doesn’t appear to get it any cleaner.

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My name Alex Fabian, I am Spa holic just want to share everything about Jacuzzi hot tub here. Let's get relaxing spa here..

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