Hot tub filters run to remove debris, bacteria, algae, and other unwanted substances from your hot tub’s water. Naturally, the gunk they pick up will build up on the filter, so you’ll need to clean them regularly.
To clean the filters, you’ll have to first identify the type of filter you have. If you have a newer hot tub, then chances are it uses a regular suction filter located in the upper basin of the tub. If you have an older tub, it may use a pressure filter that is stored in its own container separate from the tub and next to the skimmer.
There are three general courses of action you should take to clean your filter depending on how dirty it is and the time span since its last cleaning:
Routine Cleaning (Every Two to Three WEEKS)
Remove the filter from its basin and set it on the ground away from any dirt. Take a garden hose (preferably with a spray nozzle) and simply spray the filter with water ensuring to get around the entire cartridge and any crevices that are hard to see. It is normal to see colored water dripping from the bottom of the filter as you wash it, as this simply means the muck caught on the filter is being removed. Make sure to thoroughly rinse it until the filter is noticeably lighter in color. Allow it to dry completely before reinstalling it (at least 24 hours).
Chemical Wash (Every Two to Three MONTHS)
For this method, you will need a liquid filter cleaner sold in your local pool store or online outlet and a spray bottle. Empty about a quarter cup of the substance into a spray bottle and spray enough to coat the entire area of the filter, including the inner folds. Allow the filter to sit for 15 minutes to absorb the cleaner completely, and then carefully rinse it as you would in a routine cleaning until the chemicals have been completely washed off. Allow it to dry for 24 hours.
Chemical Soak (Every Two to Three MONTHS)
This method gives you the highest degree of cleaning of the three we discuss, and it can be performed interchangeably with a chemical wash along with routine cleanings to maintain results.
Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and add your liquid filter cleaner to create a solution, following the dilution direction on the bottle. Mix the solution and insert the filter so that it is fully submerged. Allow the filter to soak for 24 hours. Then, remove the filter and wash it with a garden hose thoroughly. Your filter should look noticeably brighter as the solution and gunk is washed away.
If you live in a region of the United States where hard water is common, then you’ll need to take steps to protect your hot tub. Hard water creates calcium deposits that can make your Jacuzzi's water cloudy. In addition, it can build up in the plumbing of the system and clog your jets, valves, and other components. To prevent such events, you’ll need to filter the calcium out of the water going into your tub or control it during use.
To filter the water beforehand, you can purchase a pre-filter that goes attached to the hose you will use to fill the tub, such as the PreFresh filter or Pleatco pre-cartridge. This technique captures contaminants and metals before the water even makes it to your system. If the tub is already filled, you may opt for a binding agent such as CalTreat that works during operation to create larger calcium particles that can be captured by your filter. Rocky Mountain Hot Tub Co. recommends you keep your tub’s water at a Ph between 7.2 and 7.8 to keep it from becoming too acidic or basic.
Proper maintenance of your tub will prevent costly problems in the future. It will also keep your unit functioning to its best degree, even if it seems like a lot to deal with in the present. A balanced tub and water will keep the unit and people who use it healthy.