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Is my spa pool filter working? | HotSpring Spas

Is my spa pool filter working?

Spa filters are a crucial part of your spa pool, ensuring that you can continue using them safely for a long time. The best way to tell if your spa filter is working is to look at its length of use. Depending on the quality of the spa pool, the filter might need to be changed within 6-12 months. At Hot Spring, a filter can last 3 years or more with regular maintenance and care.



A great filtration system isn’t just important to your health. It is also integral for performance. Keeping an eye on your spa pool filter and having a cleaning and maintenance schedule is the best way to ensure that your spa pool filter is working.

The filter is responsible for much more than visible debris, keeping spa pool water safe and free from harmful chemicals and bacteria, so giving it the attention it needs can help you prevent problems down the line.

How Do Spa Filters Work? 

Spa filters are generally manufactured with a plastic core around which paper and polyester are washing to filter out debris. Most filters are one dimensional and lose their filtering ability with warming over time. On average, these common filters have a life span of 1-2 years, depending on use and care, but there are superior filters that give you better, longer-lasting performance.

The lifespan of your spa pool filters will depend on two main factors: the quality of the filter and how well you take care of it. Cheap filters that aren’t cleaned regularly might last as little as six months. But if you choose the highest quality filters and clean them regularly, they could last five years or more!

Spa filters function in the same way as you would expect them to: when water flows into them, harmful contaminants are stuck in the filters folds, and you are provided with clean spa water. 

Spa filters are designed to be removed, washed and replaced regularly. This is because filter life varies based on how much they are used and how well they are maintained.

The more often you use your spa pool, the more cleaning it requires. 

The cloth of your filters stretches as you scrub and clean them, reducing their tendency to collect debris and particles. Therefore, soaking would be recommended, followed by spraying Freshwater® Instant Filter Cleaner Spray. Once this has occurred, use a light brush to remove any large debris.

It’s also important to remember that filters are prone to wear and tear. 

To counteract this, you may need to either replace the spa filter altogether or clean even more frequently until you can get a replacement.

How three-dimensional spa pool filters work

In addition to the common filters mentioned above, Hot Spring Spa Pools has developed an exclusive pleated cartridge filter that is more durable and just as easy to maintain. The Tri-X filters are exclusive to the Hot Spring Spas Highlife® spa pool range and have several unique advantages:

  • Pleated carbon fiber filter for larger surface area and volume for clearer spa water
  • Faster and more efficient filtration for increased jet power and more reliable circulation and heating, which in turn will lead to a decrease in energy usage. 
  • Even easier cleaning and maintenance with a sturdier filter that can stand up to cleaners, and you can even sterilize it in the dishwasher to ensure sanitation of the spa pool. (No soap and unheated dry cycle.)
  • Lasts 5 years or more. 


These advanced ceramic fiber filters hold up to regular rinsing better than paper filters do. When properly maintained, they’ll continue to provide crystal-clear spa water for about five years of use.


How to tell if your spa pool filter is working

There are a few ways you can tell if your spa filter is working or if it’s time for a replacement. The first thing to consider is how often you clean the filter itself.

If you’re cleaning it very frequently and finding that the gaps between cleaning are shrinking, it means your spa filter may not be working the way it should.

For example, if you used to clean your filters once every two months and find yourself cleaning them once a month, your filters do not function the same way they did when installed. 

Another tell-tale sign is spa water clarity. Is the water in your spa pool clear or cloudy? If your filters are working as they should and you do regular cleaning, the water should be clear enough to see to the bottom. Weak filters lead to more dust and dirt build-up, causing cloudy and dirty water. 

Other factors can also include algae growth, which can signal that spa filters are ineffective.  Algae occurs when soil or dirt accumulates due to poor filtration or growth in the water if pipes are left uncleaned. The growth can cause damage to your spa filter, exacerbating the issue. 

Odours are another way to check if your spa pool filters are working. While a chlorine-like smell is typical due to the chemicals in the water, that should be the only smell. If you smell something a bit more foul or dirty, check your spa pool filters for cleaning.

Other reasons could also include leaks, such as a break or void in your spa pool’s tubing can lead to chemicals entering your spa pool and destroying the filter. 

How to prevent issues with spa pool filters

The best way to avoid issues with spa pool filters is through regular cleaning and using the right supplies and chemicals.

Consistent maintenance can help you avoid many problems with spa pools, ensuring that you can enjoy them for longer. Always make sure to check the manufacturer's instructions before undertaking any deep cleaning for filters and other spa equipment.

To keep your spa pool maintained correctly, here are some tips to extend the life of your filters and continue to enjoy your spa pool:

  • Clean your filter regularly so that it does not trap unwanted particles and lead to damage. 
  • When washing your spa pool, try to use chemical supplies designed specifically for spa pools where possible such as the FreshWater® Instant Filter Cleaner. You can find supplies at your showroom
  • You will need to drain and refill most spa pools every 3-4 months to get residual dirt and stagnant water out. High quality spa pools from Hot Spring do not need to be drained as frequently and can last 6-12 months, with the FreshWater™ Salt System.

How often should I clean my hot tub filter?

Clean spa pool filters seriously enhance the enjoyment of a soak, by ensuring the water is clear of unwanted intruders and debris. In order to keep your spa pool clean, the filters themselves must be clean, but how often do you need to do it?

A weekly clean of your spa pool filters is a great habit to get into. Set aside a few minutes every Saturday or Sunday to remove them, rinse them and replace them. If you only use your spa a few times a week or less you can get away with cleaning your filters every couple of weeks, but once a week is still best.

How long should hot tub filters last?

As one of the most critical spa pool components, it’s important that you replace your spa pool filters before they begin to let too much debris through. So how long do spa filters last?

The question of how long hot tub filters last is one without a clear answer, as it depends on the quality of the filter, the filtering demands of the machine, and how well the filters were taken care of. Generally speaking, a low quality and badly maintained filter can last a year or less, while a high quality and well cared for filter might last five years or more.

How often should spa filters be replaced? As often as they need to be. Keep an eye out for signs of damage or wear, and replace them as soon as you see it.

Can I run my hot tub with no filter in?

We do not recommend running a spa pool without the filters installed. It’s a dangerous game for two big reasons.

  1. The filters stop pollutants and other dangerous invaders, helping to keep anyone who soaks in the spa safe.
  2. The filters stop debris from clogging up the internal machinery of the spa, which can be a costly problem to fix.

Running a hot tub without the filters installed can put both your spa and your guests in danger. You should never do it under any circumstances.

How to find quality hot tub filters that last

Quality hot tub filters work more effectively and last longer than cheap filters, which can actually make them cheaper in the long run. It’s wise to buy the hot tub filters recommended by the spa pool manufacturer, as these will have been tested extensively with your specific spa to ensure they work and work well.

High quality options like our Tri-X ceramic spa filters can even be cleaned in the dishwasher, making the job of cleaning them that much easier!

Use Hot Spring® Clean Screen® Pre-Filter

Our Clean Screen Pre-Filter product keeps your water at its cleanest. Attach the Clean Screen to your garden hose to filter out organic contaminants, metals like copper or iron and tannins before they’re introduced to your water.

This is especially important for hard water from bore or tank water or if you're in the Taranaki region.

Spa filters serve an essential purpose, and there are several steps you can take to keep your spa pool filters operating at their best capacity. You can also do this by scheduling routine spa pool maintenance and servicing to prevent more significant issues and costly repairs down the line. 

Regular cleaning helps ensure that your spa pool filters work well so that you can continue to enjoy relaxing in your spa pool. If you’d like to learn more about spa chemicals, filters, and spa pool maintenance, please contact us today or visit a local dealer.

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