Over time, if you’re using a pleated filter as opposed to a disposable one, the pleats in your hot tub filter will start to accumulate dirt and debris. It’s important to clean your filter regularly to ensure the flow of water is not interrupted due to grime buildup and to keep your hot tub running at peak efficiency.
With regular usage, you'll want to pull the filter out of your hot tub and rinse it about once a week. There are a couple of different ways to do this, the most popular being using a hose or a filter brush. If using a hose, you will want to make sure to spread apart each pleat and rinse well in between them to ensure you remove all of the debris. A filter brush is the same idea but will clean up to 8 pleats at the same time, which will end up saving you quite a bit of time and water. Always make sure to let your filter dry before placing it back in your hot tub, as this will discourage any microbial growth that may be lingering on the filter.
A common question is if you can use your dishwasher to clean a filter, but it is not recommended. In addition to not cleaning the filter thoroughly, this can also damage the pleats in the filter and you will then have to replace it. The same goes for high-pressure sprayers, which can also damage your filter.
About once a month, again depending on how often you use your hot tub, you will want to do a chemical soak to remove any oils, lotions, or dirt that will not come loose with rinsing. This is easily done in 4 simple steps:
- Rinse your hot tub filter
- Fill a bucket with up to 5 gallons of water and add your chemical cleaner (read the instructions included with your cleaner for specific amounts)
- Soak the filter in the mixture for the length of time specified on your cleaner’s instructions (this can be anywhere from 25 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on which chemical cleaner you are using)
- Rinse your filter again
After it’s been cleaned, let the filter dry and then place it back in your hot tub.
When to Replace
With regular usage and cleaning, you’ll only need to replace your filter about once a year. Sometimes the filter can fail earlier than this if water conditions are not optimal. Here are some signs to watch for:
- Inner portion of the pleats will not come clean, even with a chemical cleaner
- Water flow is restricted
- Pleats become frayed or torn
- Water is not staying clear
- There is a heavy musty or strong smell even after cleaning
- The pleats are separating from the ends of the filter
- Plastic ends are cracked or broken
If you find that you are frequently replacing your filters, have a closer look at your spa conditions to ensure your chemical levels are not harmful to your filter. You can also use something such as a pre-filter to remove any impurities from the water before filling your spa, or a floating scum remover to reduce the dirt and debris going into the filter.