Do you know the second most important element to spa water care? Filtration.
Spa Filter-What is it?
A spa filter is a pleated polyester cartridge that removes fine particles from spa water. The design of a spa filter forces the water to pass through the woven micro-fiber fabric which traps dirt, debris, oils, and other water clouding particulates. Hot tub filters look and function similar to an air filter in an automobile. Eventually, the cartridge becomes clogged, fibers separate, and it needs to be replaced.
When Do Spa Filters Need Cleaning?
As a spa filter cartridge loads with dirt, the circulation water flow rate is reduced. Soon after, the water quality begins to suffer. Depending on your spa use and water quality, cleaning the spa filter cartridge weekly is most common. However, some may need to be cleaned 2 to 3 times per week, depending on use.
When using Waters Choice enzymes, you can clean filters every 2 weeks after the 4-6 weeks. Do not go too long between cleanings. The cartridge could become damaged and your water quality will suffer and may even become unsanitary. Each time a cartridge is cleaned, the woven fibers separate a little bit and eventually open up to allow small particles to pass through unfiltered. You may notice that the water flow rate is reduced in the spa either by less ripples on the water surface or lower jet volume, or you may notice the water begin to look a little dull and gray.
How To Clean Cartridge Spa Filters
We have found using a handheld garden hose with a nozzle attached is the best method to clean your filter. It can be a wet and not particularly comfortable experience, but cleaning pleat by pleat in an up and down motion does the best job. Follow these steps:
1. Shut off the spa, open the filter canister and remove the cartridge.
2. Carefully spray each pleat of the filter with a high-pressure hose nozzle to remove debris.
3. Soak the filter cartridge for 1 hour in the following solution – 1 cup chlorine or vinegar and enough water to cover the filter. Then rinse clean. No special filter cleaner is needed.
4. Allow the filter to dry completely before reinstalling. Never let a dirty filter dry or it may always look dirty.
When using Waters Choice enzymes, you will not need to use a special filter cleaner. The enzymes break down the oils. If you are using our Clean & Drain spa purge, let this product do the work for you! Remove the filter cartridge and let it sit in the footwell of the spa as Clean & Drain is cleaning your spa and purging your plumbing.
When Should Spa Filters be Replaced?
Six signs your spa filter needs to be replaced:
1. Frayed, fuzzy, or torn filter fabric.
2. Broken or loose bands.
3. Staining, discoloration, or odors that persist after cleaning. Staining does not always indicate a filter needs replacing. It often indicates mineral build-up that can clog the filter
or stubborn mildew growth if combined with odor. These issues can affect filter efficiency and water clarity and should be addressed immediately.
4. Brittle or cracked end caps.
5. Collapsed or stuck together pleats, even after cleaning.
6. Pleats are separating from end caps.
Each time you clean a spa filter, the fibers separate a little more and the filter loses a bit more effectiveness. Manufacturers recommend filter replacement after 12 to 15 cleanings. Filters that have heavy hot tub use or poor water conditions will also have a shorter lifespan.
How Long Should the Spa Filter Run Each Day?
Lots of variables affect the number of hours a spa filter should operate each day. When using Waters Choice enzymes, we recommend running the filtration a minimum of 8 hours a day for the first six weeks during the initial enzyme startup phase. After the first month, back the filtration down a little at a time as long as the water remains clear. Never run filtration less than 4 hours per day.
Can I Run the Spa Pump Without a Spa Filter?
Yes, you can run the pump without the filter for a short time. The water will not be filtered and will only circulate the water.
Now you have all the information you need regarding spa filtration. Please comment and let us know of any other questions you may have regarding spa filtration. We’d love to help you on your hot tubbing journey!