Spa Filter 101: All About Spa Filters

Whether you are a new spa owner or a seasoned pro, this guide has everything you need to know about spa filters, including how they work, why they are important, and how to maintain them for a safe and relaxing soak.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced spa owner, this guide will provide you with the knowledge necessary to maintain your spa filter in optimum condition.

In this article, you'll learn:

What are spa filters and how do they work?

The key role of spa filters in spa pools and hot tubs is to maintain clean and safe water by removing dirt, debris, and contaminants. Spa filters work by trapping these particles as water passes through them, preventing them from circulating back into the pool or tub.

Without a properly functioning filter, the water can quickly become cloudy, murky, and hazardous to health. Therefore, spa filters play a crucial role in ensuring a safe and relaxing soak, and regular maintenance and cleaning are essential to keep them in top condition.

What are the main types of spa filters?

There are several types of spa filters, but the two main types are:

1. Polyester Pleated Filters

These filters are made of a pleated polyester fabric that can trap and hold small particles from the water. The pleating increases the filtering surface area, allowing it to capture more debris. These filters are relatively easy to clean and maintain.

2. Micron Filters

Micron filters are made of a fine mesh material that can capture even smaller particles than polyester pleated filters. These filters typically have a higher filtration rating, which means they are more effective at removing contaminants from the water.

However, they are disposable and should be replaced every 3-5 months. You can recognize a micron filters by its distinctive honeycomb appearance.

Ceramic material is used in some filters but is much less common. To learn more about the main type of filters, you may read our detailed article below.

How to know which type of filter my spa use?

To determine which type of filter your spa uses, you should refer to your owner's manual or contact the manufacturer. In general, the type of filter used in your spa will depend on the size and type of spa you have, as well as your personal preferences.

If you have a newer spa, it is more likely to use a micron filter, while older spas may use polyester pleated filters. You can also look at the shape and size of your filter to get an idea of which type it is. If you are unsure, you can take your filter to your local pool or contact us Spa World™.

How long should I run my spa filter per day?

Generally, it is recommended to run your spa filter for a minimum of 4-6 hours per day. However, you may need to run it for longer periods of time depending on the frequency of use and the number of people using the spa.

If your spa is used frequently, it may be necessary to run the filter for up to 8 hours per day to ensure proper water circulation and filtration. It is important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific spa model to ensure optimal performance and water quality.

What's the life span of spa filters?

The lifespan of spa filters varies depending on a variety of factors. These factors include the type of filter, the frequency of use, and water quality. Generally, spa filters should be replaced every 12 to 18 months and sometimes 2 years, but this can change depending on how well they are maintained.

A clogged or dirty filter can significantly decrease its lifespan, leading to reduced water quality, and possible components damage. Regular cleaning and maintenance can extend the life of spa filters, but eventually, they will need to be replaced.

It is essential to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and guidelines for your specific spa filter to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Spa Filter FAQ

How often should I replace my spa filter?

Depending on bather load and how you maintain your filter you should expect to replace your spa filter every 12 to 18 months. Rotating 2 sets of filters and using an approved spa filter cartridge cleaner will lengthen the life of your fitlers.

Suggested filter cartridge cleaners

When do I need to clean my cartridge filter?

Because a filter is designed to collect unwanted particles, debris, oils, soaps etc, it will need to be cleaned periodically. Basically the more you use your spa or pool, the more often you have to clean the cartridge filter. From very high usage (every 2-3 weeks) to low usage (every 2 months).

A blocked cartridge can put undue pressure on your pump and motor and decrease the life of these parts.

How do I clean my cartridge filter?

Cleaning your spa filters can be very easy with the right tools and products. Before you do so, please remember that not all filters are the same and may require different cleaning methods. For example, micron filters found in Vortex™ and Jacuzzi® Spas cannot be cleaned and must be replaced.

To ensure you're cleaning your spa filters correctly, you may refer to your user's manual.

You may also refer to our detailed guide on how to clean your spa filters.

When do I need to replace my cartridge filter?

Spa pool filters do not have a defined termination point, but over a period of time your cartridge will gradually block up and will need replacing.

There are three factors in determining whether you cartridge needs replacing:

  1. The cartridge gets blocked quickly, and you have to clean your cartridge more often.

  2. Restricted water flow and high differential pressure (differential pressure is the difference between the pressure coming in and the pressure going out, caused by a blocked cartridge).

  3. A cracked or damaged cartridge (this is very rare, and is caused by high differential pressure).

In a spa or pool with very high usage this can be within a year, but normally between 18 months and 2 years. As a rule of thumb we recommend that you change your filter at least every 12-18 months.

Why is my spa filter endcap cracked?

The reason for a spa filter endcap to be cracked can be due to various factors. One possible reason could be due to the age of the filter. Over time, the materials used in the filter may start to deteriorate, making them more prone to damage.

In some cases, improper installation or incorrect sizing of the filter can also contribute to endcap cracking. It is important to note that a cracked endcap may affect the efficiency of the filter and should be replaced immediately to avoid further damage or problems.

Why is my spa filter housing/filter face cracked or faded?

A spa filter housing is a container or casing designed to hold a spa filter. It is typically made of durable materials such as plastic or metal.

This image shows the Vortex Cobalt™ Spa

The housing is connected to the spa's plumbing system and serves as a protective enclosure for the filter. It also allows for easy removal and replacement of the filter for cleaning or maintenance purposes.

There could be several reasons why your spa filter housing or filter face is cracked or faded. Some possible causes include:

  • Adding undissolved sanitisers directly to the water. Some spa sanitisers can be harsh or concentrated. When sanitisers are added to the water without dissolving in a bucket prior, the undissolved chemicals can settle at the bottom of the spa or get trapped in the filter including the filter housing.
  • Over dosing of sanitisers. Spa sanitisers can be corrosive and damaging to the spa equipment, including pipes, filters, and heaters. Overdosing can accelerate the wear and tear of these components.
  • Using pool chlorine or floating bromine dispenser. Pool chlorine is typically made for larger volumes of water. The concentration of chlorine in pool chemicals is much higher than what is required for a small spa pool. Using pool chlorine or floating bromine dispenser, in some cases, can result in excessively high levels of chlorine in the spa water which may damage the components of your spa including the filter face.
  • Not keeping the cover open after a dose of chemicals to allow ventilation. Chemicals used in spas, such as chlorine or bromine, can release fumes that can be corrosive or damaging to certain materials. When the spa cover is closed immediately after adding chemicals, these fumes can get trapped inside and cause increased wear and tear not only on the filter housing but on other components like jets, seals, or surfaces.
  • Age and wear. Over time, the materials used in the filter housing or filter face can degrade due to exposure to chemicals, UV rays, and water. This can lead to cracks and fading.

In the dimension chart, there are two cartridges with the same dimensions, which one do I need?

Some cartridges are the same size but the difference is the amount of filter material (number of pleats). Manufacturers of filter housings do this so they can use the same housing for different size pools or spas.

If the filter housing does not stipulate the type of cartridge (e.g. 50sq ft or 75sq ft) It is better to over spec than under spec, (e.g. 75 instead of 50). If it has more square footage than it needs, it will normally last longer.

Why can´t I find my cartridge filter in your store?

There are many hundreds of different kinds of cartridge filters. If you can´t find one that is close to your dimensions, please contact us.

Got more questions?

Talk to us or email us your spa questions and we'll be happy to help!

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