How Often Should You Change Your Hot Tub Filter?

Last Updated on December 7, 2020

Do you want to relax in your hot tub without having to worry about the bacteria and other contaminants that come with the water flowing into it? If the answer is “Yes”, then it is important to know all about the “Filter” that helps in maintaining good hygiene in your hot tub.

A hot tub filter should essentially be changed at least once every year. Although this is a recommendation of most hot tub manufacturers, this timeline can vary from user to user, depending on the frequency of use.

In today’s article, we will be covering all the essentials about the hot tub filter to ensure that you have a pleasant and hygienic experience using your hot tub.

What is a hot tub filter?

A hot tub filter is an essential part that is equipped behind the water outlet of your hot tub. To make it more simple, it acts like a “Firewall” by preventing all the debris that comes with the water from the water taps and letting only clean water flow through it.

While various types of hot tub filters are available in the market, their primary objective is the same, that is to prevent debris including harmful bacteria from entering the hot tub. To discuss a few, there are mainly four types of widely used hot tub filters. These include:

Cartridge Filters

These filters are widely used by most hot tub owners due to its simple and easy to install mechanism. They are usually made out of paper, fabric, or plastic making them extremely lightweight and highly effective. The installation process includes removing the old filter and simply pushing in the new filter in its spot.

Ceramic Filters

These filters are similar to cartridge filters in structure, however, the only difference is that they are made out of ceramic which is more durable and long-lasting compared to paper, fabric, and plastic. They are slightly on the heavier side, however, due to their long lifespan, these require replacement at least once in 2 years.

Sand Filters

These filters are made out of sand which is typically stored in an independent spherical container. They do not fit inside a hot tub, therefore occupying an additional space for operation. The downside of these filters is that they are similar in price but require frequent maintenance.

Diatomaceous Earth Filters

These filters have a mechanism that is similar to a cartridge filter. The only difference is that they are made out of fossilized diatoms which is a more eco-friendly source of raw material.

Related Read: How Do I Make My Hot Tub Hotter?

How Do I Know My Hot Tub Filter Needs Changing?

When you own and bathe in a particular hot tub, you subconsciously become aware of multiple things which includes

  • The rate at which the water flows into the hot tub
  • The scent of the water
  • The color of the water
  • The sound water makes when it comes from the water tap

When you experience the slightest of variations in any of the above, that means that the hot tub filter may require changing. This can be the case if you experience any of the following issues:

  • The water takes a significant amount of time to fill up the hot tub compared to when you purchased and installed it for the very first time.
  • The color of the water is very greyish or muddy making the whole bathing experience highly uncomfortable.
  • The scent of the water is unbearable. Seems as if you are bathing in a public swimming pool.
  • Upon inspection, the water filter appears to be broken or cracked from various sides.
  • Regular maintenance, including soaking and washing from a garden hose, fails to clean the surface of the filter.
  • The water filter requires regular maintenance at very frequent intervals.

It is highly recommended to keep a spare hot tub filter to prevent any last-minute breakdowns. Although it is readily available in the market, who would want to skip precious time just to grab hold of it at the last moment.

How to Make Your Hot Tub Filter Last Longer?

The more carefully you use and maintain your hot tub, the hot tub filter would likely last a long time. If you use your hot tub at regular intervals, you must carry out regular and periodical maintenance consistently. This includes:

  • Washing the filter with a garden hose
  • Attaching a micro-pipe to a garden hose for deep cleaning of the filter
  • Soaking the filter in a chemical solution to get rid of debris stuck inside the filter

For individuals that live in hot areas and make use of the hot tub at infrequent intervals, their filters may not require regular and periodical maintenance. On the counter-part, it is suggested that you carry out maintenance of your hot tub in the following manner:

Regular Maintenance

It is recommended to extract your hot tub filter every once in two weeks and wash it with a garden hose thoroughly to get rid of the debris that is present on its surface.

To clean it more thoroughly, you can attach a micro-pipe to the garden hose to get rid of debris that cannot be seen on the surface.

Periodical Maintenance

When you perform a deep-cleaning exercise on your hot every once in three months, take your hot tub filter and soak it into a filter cleaning chemical solution for at least 24 hours. After that, take your hose and clean the hot tub filter with some clean water. Let the filter dry-out on its own before reinstalling it inside the hot tub.

On a side-note, while you’re using your water hose to clean the filter, make sure that the water pressure is optimal and not very fast. Otherwise, you may end up damaging it.

Also, while choosing a chemical solution for soaking your filter, make sure to do some basic research just to ensure that the solution is environmental and filter friendly and does not contain so many chemicals such that it erodes the filter sheets inside the filter.

Related Read: How to Clean an Inflatable Hot Tub?

Can You Run a Hot Tub Without a Filter?

The answer to this question is “Yes” and “No, it is not recommended”.

You see, you do not need a seat-belt for a motor vehicle to take you from one place to another. However, to ensure that you reach in one piece and unharmed, seat-belts are installed and used by the drivers and passengers on each ride.

Similarly, you can bathe in a hot tub without needing a water filter. But to keep your hygiene standards optimum, a filter is installed as an essential in all hot tubs by manufacturers.

Running a hot tub without a filter may lead you to experience many problems few of which include:

1. You May End Up Getting Sick

Because the contaminants that manifest in the water are not filtered out by the filter, you may expose yourself to them. This may not only make you sick but also expose individuals that live in your surroundings.

2. Your Hot Tub May Get Damaged

If the water stream includes plants, small stones, or sand, there are chances that the surface area of your hot tub may get corroded. This will not only lead to an unpleasant bathing experience but also reduce the lifespan of your hot tub.

3. You Run the Risk of Voiding Your Hot Tub’s Warranty

Some manufacturers explicitly mention in their warranty terms and conditions not to use the hot tub without a filter. Failure to use it without one may void the warranty assigned to it.

4. You May Not Be Able to See Yourself Underneath the Water

It may sound funny but if the water is muddy, you will feel as if you are bathing in poo. And nobody, absolutely no one wants to even think about it.

5. You May Experience a Very Bad Smell

Yes, a water filter helps get rid of contaminants that have a very bad odor. Unless your nose is blocked, it is a “Big No” if someone asks to use their hot tub without a filter.

6. The Equipment May Get Damaged

When you spin the jets to mix the unfiltered water that is inside the hot tub, there is a chance that the spinners may get damaged. Besides, you also run the risk of choking your sewerage pipes.

Unless it is an emergency or you cannot save the world without taking a bath in a hot tub without a filter, we do not recommend you to skip into using the tub without a filter.

What Will Happen if I Don’t Clean or Change My Hot Tub Filter?

If you do not follow regular and periodical maintenance cycles, or replace your hot tub filter every once a year, you may end up elevating the risk of spending more money soon.

One might ask, how would negligence towards a hot tub filter make you spend more in the future? The answer is quite simple, you will spend money to consult a doctor, purchase medicine, hire a repairer to fix the equipment of the tub, among others.

When you expose yourself to contaminants that do not get filtered, you may get sick. When you get sick, depending on the country you live in, you will have to incur a heavy fee to consult an experienced doctor which would later go on to prescribing you medicine to help you get well.

When you get well, you will consider getting your hot tub repaired and washed thoroughly by an expert. Not only will you end up paying a person in this case, but also, the replacement equipment is likely to have a significant bearing on your wallet.

In this medieval time of Covid-19, it is highly recommended to clean and replace your hot tub filter as prescribed above. Not only you will be able to enjoy a more hygienic and pleasant bath, but also keep individuals around you safe.

Can You Clean Your Hot Tub Filters With Vinegar or Bleach?

The answer to this question is “No, you should not clean your hot tub filter with anything other than a filter cleaning solution”.

While your household bleach is an oxidizer that helps in getting rid of debris that can be physically clean, it is not considered to be safe for cleaning hot tub filters.

The prime reason is that it is highly reactive in nature which may cut down the filter sheets contained inside a filter. This would not only reduce the effectiveness of the filter but also poses a threat to the hygiene requirements of the user.

In the case of vinegar, you can use it to clean your hot tub filter, however, it has to be administered very carefully.

To clean it with vinegar, you should mix the vinegar with water in such a manner that their proportions are equal. Once you are done with it, soak your filter inside the solution for at least 2 hours. After the time prescribed has lapsed, take it out and wash it thoroughly with clean water and let it dry on its own before using it in a hot tub.

However, if you follow our recommendation, we would highly suggest you always make use of a filter cleaning solution that is designed and manufactured exclusively for hot tub filters making them our go-to option.

Related Read: Can You Use Liquid Bleach In A Hot Tub?

Does the Article Cover Everything About Hot Tub Filters?

I hope that this article answers most of the questions regarding hot tub filters. All the way from their purpose, maintenance, and usage to their replacement cycle, among others.

Whichever filter or cleaning product you decide to use, just ensure that it has a reputable standing and after-sales customer service. After all, nobody wants to do experiments on their precious hot tubs or their body.

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