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How do Hot Tub Filters work?

Hot tubs are a place where you can get to unwind from a busy day at work and relax. They can relieve stress, anxiety, and enable you to sleep better. You, however, need clean water in your hot tub, which is where hot tub filtration systems come in handy. Hot tub filters will determine the durability of your hot tub and whether or not you get to enjoy clean water.

Learn about the different types of hot tub filter systemsThe water in the tub might appear clean but contains microscopic particles and other forms of environmental and body dirt, such as dust and body oils, respectively. The filters need proper maintenance if you want your hot tub to serve you for a long period. Additionally, proper maintenance of the tub, in general, can add the value of your house in case you make a resale.

What is the purpose of a hot tub filter?

A hot tub filtration system is responsible for cleaning the water in the hot tub that passes through the filter. It is the primary defense against all forms of contaminants. It ensures that the water you dip into is safe to your body. When you get into your hot tub, your body and hair contain oils, lotions, dust, dirt, and sweat that contaminate the hot tub.

The pumps and jets present in the hot tub push water through the filter, which traps any dirt to keep the water clean and harmless. The amount of water passing through the filter will depend on the amount of water pumped and the size of the filter. Smaller filters will generally filter low amounts of water, while large filters filter more water. Modern-day hot tubs save you from the need to turn on the filtration process manually. The filtration process is automatically turned on and runs on for 4-24 hours every day, depending on the bather load.

Common types of hot tub filter systems

Hot tub filters come in different varieties in terms of types and materials. The material will determine how to clean and maintain the filter as some types of filters will be easier to maintain than others. There are two common types of filters found in most home hot tubs:

  1. Pressure type filtration systems.

Pressure type filters are rarely used nowadays. They are problematic to clean and maintain, but maintenance is not frequently needed as with suction type filters. The filters are mostly found in spas or old hot tubs. The cartridge of the filter is smaller compared to the cartridge in suction type filters. The cartridge is also in a separate area from the skimmer and enclosed in a sealed container. The filters are named pressure type filters because they can handle water pumped at higher pressure.

  1. Suction type filtration systems.

These filters are what most homeowners run towards when having their hot tubs installed. This is because they are easy to clean and maintain. The skimmer of the hot tub has a microfilter. The skimmer pulls in the hot tub water at the top, which goes through the filter basket.


Most suction types filters are placed on top of the hot tub so that you can access them easily. These filters, however, need regular maintenance compared to pressure type filters.

How do hot tub filters work?

The working of hot tub filters is the same for all types of filters. Hot tub water is pumped through the filter, which has a cartridge that is responsible for collecting any contaminants present in the water. The contaminants trapped will remain in the filter until you clean the cartridge. The filters can be placed at each location of intake, or a hot tub can use one or two filters.

The frequency of cartridge cleaning will depend on the bather load and the weather. Hot weather will generally need you to clean the filter frequently due to the accumulation of dust in the hot tub water that requires frequent filtration. If you fail to clean the cartridge as much as needed, your filter can get clogged and affect your hot tub’s heating system. As a result, your hot tub will not last as long as it should have.

The cartridge is what you clean in the filtration system and can also replace if the cartridge is worn out. The cartridge is commonly made of plastic material and a pleated polyester or ceramic medium that encloses it. The pleated medium gives the filter a large surface area, which is necessary for efficient filtration to occur. In filtration, the larger the surface area your filter has, the more efficient the filtration process and cleaner the hot tub water will be. The filtration process is more effective if the amount of water pumped is large. However, the size of the filter will determine how much water can be pumped through it in each filtration cycle.

Cleaning of the hot tub filters.

Cleaning is necessary for your hot tub to last longer. The way you clean your hot tub filter will depend on the material of the filter cartridge.

For most materials, monthly cleaning using a garden horse is enough. To break oils, use a filter cleaner spray every month as well. Your dealer could also recommend a solution in which you can soak the filter to get rid of any stubborn dirt. It is best to replace your filter when you notice wear and tear and also depending on the frequency of use.

For polyester cartridge filters, replace them once every two years if you use them frequently.

For frequently used ceramic cartridge filters, replace them every five years.

Have any questions about cleaning hot tub filters or keeping your hot tub water clean and clear? Message us and we're happy to help.