Taking Care of Your Filter

Taking Care of Your Filter

Taking Care of Your Filter

A clean or dirty filter can make or break how well your water looks and how your hot tub performs.

You may not know that only some of your water goes through your hot tub filter. Which is confusing because you would think that’s what they are for. Next time you open your tub cover, take a look at the bottom of your hot tub inside your foot well. You will see large grates on the sidewall. Those are called bypasses. Any water flow restricted by your filter goes through those by-passes, and they lead directly to your pump and go right out of the jets without ever being filtered.

This can be damaging your hot tubs, pumps, jets, and waterfalls. If you have ever cleaned a hot tub filter before, you know it gets pretty dirty. Now imagine what’s getting back into your hot tub and has gotten stuck somewhere, and now you need service to remove it.

hot tub bypass

To minimize this potential problem, you need to keep those filters clean.  I would recommend inspecting your filters weekly. If they are dirty, rinse them with a garden hose or laundry sink. When you clean a filter, start at the top with the water flow pointed at a 45-degree angle to the filter and rinse downward. Try to get in between each of these pleats. Once you have completed a full circle, flip it over and repeat. You can click on my video below for a demonstration.

Now, when you inspect your filter, and it is not dirty, leave it and check again in a week.  When they start to look dirty, Clean them. Once you have done this a few times, you will know how often you need to clean them based on your usage, and you can set a regular cleaning routine. To make cleaning easier. There are some tools out there that can help speed up this process. You can check out my Swim n Soak Store for the ones I recommend. When you use any of these devices, always follow the 45-degree rule. You never want to spray straight into the pleats as it will push the dirt further into the fibers rather than remove it.

cleaning filter

I would not recommend using your dishwasher or a pressure washer for the same reason. They can damage the filter fibers or push the debris in further, making your filtration system less effective.

 Sometimes, your hot tub will get overrun with foam, which can clog up your filter. If this happens, rinse off the filter and use a quick clean cartridge spray. Several are on the market, and I have some in my store. These sprays are suitable for a fast surface clean and will get you back to soaking in no time.

In addition to regular cleaning, I recommend a deep filter soak every four months when you do your regular water change. Just rinsing and surface cleaning will keep you soaking, but as time goes on, what is left behind in the filter will keep building up deep inside those filter fibers, reducing effectiveness and causing more water to go through the bypass.

swim n soak spa filter

I prefer any cleaner that directs you to use it for several hours or overnight. Those products will do the best job, especially on the soaps and oils that are hard to get out of your filter. I have an excellent cleaner in my Swim N Soak Store.

As your filter ages, watch the top and bottom rings for cracks. As the plastic ages, it will start to break down, which is a sign you need a new one.  Another thing to watch for is the pleated ring used to separate the pleats. When the pleated ring starts to break down, the pleats stick together, and now you have less surface area and more by-passing. When more than 25% of the pleats are no longer connected to the pleated ring, it’s time to replace the filter. 

The last thing to watch for are the fibers that make up the filter. When the filter is new, they are woven tightly together. As the filter ages, the fiber starts to separate. Dirt and debris will then pass through and back into your hot tub. When this happens, toss the filter and get a new one.


dirty filter

My last thought on filters starts at the Beginning when shopping for a new hot tub. How many filters does that tub have, and how many square feet does it have? Remember, a filter is measured in sq feet of surface, so the more sq feet of filtration you have, the less by-pass.

Generally, higher-end hot tubs will have plenty of filtration or filters, and most others will have a little less and will have to be cleaned more often.

See This On YouTube


Deep filter clean with regular soaking

Use the Aqua Comb for Cleaner Pleates

Great Spray for Routine Cleaning

Keep on Swimming N Soaking!

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