When most of us look at a soothing bubbling hot tub we think of relaxation or hydrotherapy. What we may not often consider is the kidneys of the system so to speak. What is it that keeps the water clear and sparkling instead of looking like murky bath water? After all, we all want clean water in our spas. You don't want to be like one customer who had owned their hot tub for a year and asked us, "What's a filter?"
While sanitation and circulation are two important keys to clean water, it's the filter that does a large portion of the work. The filter removes contaminants and improves the clarity of the water. In fact, even small particulate that we may not see with our bare eye can be caught by the filter since it catches particles as small as 10 microns (a human hair is about 50 microns in thickness). Everything that goes into the spa water will eventually pass through the filter system whether it is oil and sweat from our body, deodorants, makeup, sun tan lotion, bacteria or plain old dirt.
As the filter does it's job of trapping and collecting these particles it becomes denser and in turn catches more and more. Eventually, however, the filter will become plugged if it isn't cleaned. Cleaning a filter involves two things.
Rinsing the filter on a weekly basis will remove much of the soil it collects. Simply remove the filter from the hot tub and use a garden hose to rinse it off. Spray thoroughly between the pleats to remove as much of the dirt as possible. Use caution if you decode to use a pressure washer as this can actually tear the filter media. If the filter is torn or develops a hole it will no longer be as efficient and will allow a measure of contaminants to pass through it and return to the spa water.
The second method of cleaning requires a chemical treatment. On a monthly basis the filter should be rinsed and then cleaned with a chemical solution. While there are many different brands of filter cleaners most require that they soak in the solution for several hours. This helps to removes oils and greases that have embedded themselves in the filter media and that won't simply come off with a rinse.
After the filter has been chemically cleaned it should dry completely as this will allow the media to shrink like a pair of jeans after they have been washed. When the media shrinks and tightens it will be more effective in catching small microns. Some people choose to have two sets of filters so that they can swap them for cleaning and avoid any down time on the hot tub.
Keep in mind that there are exceptions to every rule. Heavy bather loads may require cleaning the filter more often, and very light usage my need less. But above all else, have a regular schedule for your hot tub maintenance. Regular maintenance will go a long way to prevent cloudy water, odors, or poor circulation. If you still have questions about your filter or your hot tub in general, please reach out to us with your questions. We're here to help!