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Neglecting Your Spa Filter Can Cause Serious Issues With Your Hot Tub

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dirty vs clean cartridge filter

How often do you change the filter on the hot tub?

Do you replace the hot tub filter once a year and clean it regularly?

If you have a hot tub, you are probably used to routine maintenance.

However, many spa owners, especially new purchasers, do not fully understand the important role of the spa filter.

Every hot tub, regardless of manufacturer, will have a filter - but the size of the filter will depend on the size of the spa.

Regardless, they all need regular maintenance and replacing to avoid serious issues.

So What If I Don't Bother with the Spa Filter and Water Maintenance?

dirty hot tub filter

What can go awry if you don't care for your filter and watch the water chemistry, you ask? 

1) First, the spa can develop water quality issues which could lead to health issues - like skin rashes or infections.

At some point, your dirty, clogged filter will no longer be able to remove the coagulated contaminants from the water you soak in.

This can lead to equipment failure and even medical issues, as well as water discoloration and odors. 

Getting your guests to shower before entering the spa will also help the water stay cleaner and make the filter work less hard.

2) Second, you may be shortening the life of the expensive equipment in your spa.

Water that is not properly maintained can be too acidic or alkaline (pH imbalance), leading to corrosion or issues with your pump and heater.

Dirty water can also clog plumbing and jets, if particles are not trapped in the filter fibers because the filter is too old or too dirty.

Many times when you see a "Flo" error on your control panel, it may be because your filter is clogged and the water is not flowing properly. Sometimes Flo errors are caused by pressure switch errors or adjustment issues as well.

3) Third, you could be spending a lot more on chemicals - trying to keep the water balanced when the filter is not working properly. Your pH levels may be off, you may begin noticing algae or the water may become foamy or dirty looking.

At some point, your water will become too saturated with chemicals and tds (total dissolved solids) and your only option will be to drain and clean the spa, and then refill it with fresh water.

However, if you do not properly clean or replace the filter, you will soon find yourself back in the same boat.

When you first get your hot tub, locate the filter basket and familiarize yourself with removing the filter cartridge.

You should be taking it out once every week or two depending on hot tub use, to hose it down and clean it.

Overnight Filter Soak

overnight filter bath

At least once a month, soak the filter overnight in a filter cleaning solution.

This will help clean out the particles and debris that are trapped inside the filter or spunbound media. You can also purchase a filter brush to help you clean between the pleats.

Filters generally need to be replaced every year according to most spa manufacturers recommendations - sooner if you use the tub frequently or with multiple bathers.

The easy way to maintain your spa filter is to purchase an extra one when you are buying your spa chemicals on Hot Tub Outpost.

filter clean

We carry hot tub filters for all makes and models - from the top manufacturers like Pleatco, Unicel and Filber.

The best deal we offer is on multi packs of bulk spa filters.You can save by stocking up - so you always have a spare filter on hand.

If you aren't sure how to maintain your spa water, follow our easy Monday-Wednesday-Friday hot tub water maintenance program.

Make the first of every month your filter change day by popping out the dirty old filter and putting in the clean replacement.

Rinse the old filter with a garden hose, then leave it to soak overnight in a bucket with water and the filter cleaning solution.Remove the filter the next day and rinse it again.Let it dry and put it on the side to switch out again next month.You should never let the spa run without a filter in place.

All hot tub filter media starts off white (unless you are using the blue Microban media), but turn grey as debris and dirt build up.

You will notice the filter media color getting lighter again after a good cleaning.

Over months of use, the filter fibers get clogged or worn down, so they can no longer trap the smaller contaminants (the ones you can't see) that are in your water.

Once you see a filter paper turning dark grey, it is probably time to replace it.

If you are not sure which replacement filter you need, look for markings on your currently one.

See our handy spa filter measuring guide or call us for assistance.

You can also email a photo of your filter for us to match (support@hottuboutpost.com) along with length and width measurements. Be sure we can see what the bottom and top look like as well.

Since there is much less water in a spa than a pool, and it usually remains for 3 months or longer, it is important to regularly test your water, control the chemicals and clean your filter.If you find the spa water does not respond to chemicals (i.e. - Spa Up, Spa Down, Foam Away, etc.) it may be too saturated (p.p.m.) and will need to be drained.Always have a spare filter on hand, so you can replace a filter that gets too dirty, that needs to soak overnight or needs to be replaced.

Compared to the serious issues a dirty filter can cause, buying a replacement hot tub filter makes a lot of sense (cents!).

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