How Long Do Hot Tub Filters Last?

If you have recently purchased a hot tub you might not have an idea on how long do hot tub filters last. After all, it is good to know a thing or two about hot tub filters, how they need to be cleaned and how long to go before they need to be replaced. 

Your hot tub filter will last anywhere between 2 and 4 years assuming it is being properly cared for. For most hot tub owners this number averages out around 3 years.

After all, your hot tub filter is the most important component that is directly responsible for keeping your hot tub clean and sanitary. The 3 years is just an average as I said, and it can depend on how frequently you are using your hot tub and in what way you do so. So let’s go through some variations and try to get a proper estimation on how long your filter might last.

How Do Hot Tub Filters Work?

Before you can know how long your filter will last, you first have to understand how hot tub filters work. 

It is fairly simple to explain the basics of how the filters work. Water simply passes through them, trapping unwanted particles in their folds.

Many hot tub filters today are designed as cartridges so that they could be easily removed, cleaned, and replaced. Each cartridge consists of a core structure, which is usually made of plastic, and a medium that is wrapped around the core acting as a filter. Regardless of whether the core is made of polyester or other materials, the medium is pleated. The more resulting folds it has, the greater the increase of the filter surface area for better cleaning action. The more filter surface area, the cleaner your water will get.

The particles that are trapped by the filters remain there until they are cleaned out. Our responsibility is in maintaining the filter which contributes greatly to its effectiveness. Keep in mind that skipping regular filter maintenance and replacement could have a significant impact on your hot tub pumps and heating system. That can cause dirt and grime to build up.

Maintaining your filters directly affects the following things:

  • Clearer water
  • Increased jet output and power
  • Less electricity usage
  • More reliable circulation and heating
  • Even easier cleaning and maintenance

Can you Run a Hot Tub Without a Filter?

Yes, you can operate the spa without a filter.

But you only need to do this to test the heater to see if the filter is the cause of the heater shutdown. Or to see if the filter is the cause of low water flow in your system.

Because the water is unfiltered, it is best not to use a spa without a filter cartridge to obtain clean, clear spa water.

Finally, the filter removes impurities from the water such as body oils, dead skin cells, hair, leaves, etc., from the water. Without a filter, these substances simply flow through the pipes and into the pump and heater. Over time, these things can build up in the equipment.

This can damage or destroy your equipment over time.

How Long do Lay Z Spa Filters Last?

In addition to the above, the recommended time interval for changing your spa filter is twelve months. This is for a spa that receives average use. They can be used for up to 18 months if the spa is lightly used, or should be replaced after 6 months if the spa is used very frequently.

The problem is that the longer the filter is used, the more dirt and debris in the spa water will clog it. Debris that settles in the filter is microscopic, but it can build up quickly over time and the filter gradually becomes less and less effective.

Obviously, the more a spa is used and the more work the filtration system has to do to keep the water clear, the faster the water will become contaminated. A filter in a heavily used spa will need to be cleaned and replaced much more frequently than a filter in a relatively infrequently used spa.

How Often Do Hot Tub Filters Need To Be Replaced?

Despite the average result, you want to have the best performing filter to provide the best experience while spending time in your hot tub. To be sure to get the most optimum performance of your hot tub filter, regardless of how often you clean it, it should be changed every year. 

Your hot tub filter is crucial to your hot tub’s power pack operating properly. Generally, you will want to replace your filter when it starts showing signs of wear or damage or if there is a lack of water pressure going through it. Additionally, a filter that is dirty or over-used may affect other parts of the system. This will eventually cost a lot more in repairs than simply replacing your hot tub filter on time.

What is The Best Way To Clean Hot Tub Filters?

There are a few ways to clean your filter. They can be hosed down, soaked in cleaning solutions, sprayed with dealer-recommended cleaners, or technically they can even be put directly into the dishwasher, even though that’s not the best option. 

However, if you do choose to put it in your dishwasher, make sure to run the dishwasher without soap and with an unheated dry cycle. 

Now, the best way to clean your hot tub filter is to hose it down. It is highly recommended that filters are washed using a garden hose working from top to bottom. You can use a filter wand that takes less time, does a much better job and the chance of damaging the filters is significantly reduced. 

Another recommendation is to not use a high-pressure hose, pressure washer or stiff brush. The proper way is to soak the cartridge for at least an hour (it is preferable to do it overnight) in a cleaning solution that is approved by the manufacturer.

Another great tip is to have a spare filter and rotate the two filters which will prolong the life of your hot tub filter considerably. One filter can be soaked in filter cleaner while the other filter is doing the service.

Your filter and other hot tub components can last as long as you keep maintaining it. Cleaning a hot tub filter is quick and easy using a filter water wand and shouldn’t be the reason for having a broken hot tub.

Can You Use Vinegar To Clean Hot Tub Filters?

Yes, you can also use household white vinegar in order to clean your filters. Some people use vinegar on a regular basis to clean their hot tubs as well. You can simply soak the filter in a water-filled bucket that is large enough for the filter to be submerged. 

The add a few cups of vinegar and let it for a few hours or overnight. It will allow the vinegar to help loosen the debris caught in the filter. Don’t forget to rinse the filter using a garden hose before you go and replace the filter back into its housing. Vinegar can affect the pH levels in the hot tub and that is why it is important to rinse the filter well.

Can I Put My Hot Tub Filter In The Dishwasher?

Even though the idea of cleaning your filter in a dishwasher may seem perfect, do not do it. Yes, it will end up looking really clean, however, the powerful wash will degrade the fibers which leads to reducing the effectiveness of the filter.

The reason for cleaning your hot tub filter is to prolong the life of your hot tub and its components. By cleaning it, you ensure that the filter cartridge will last longer and your water will remain clean for a long time.

How to Dry Hot Tub Filters

After you clean your hot tub filter, you have two options. You can put them back wet or take the time to dry them and then place them back. 

You should make a difference between drying them after rinsing, and drying them after cleaning because it is not the same. Usually, people rinse the filters with a hose and simply put them back in. On the other hand, when you change your water and you clean your hot tub with vinegar or a filter cleaner chemical, then you should let it dry. 

There is a risk of a wet filter getting a musty smell when it fails to dry fast. This is exactly why it is recommended to have a spare filter so you don’t have to rush to dry your hot tub filters.

Many people, on the other hand, like to let them dry once in a while. You can really blow them off or simply tap them in order to get a bit of powdery stuff off, but it shouldn’t be a problem to put them back in wet either since the chlorine would probably kill any remaining bacteria.

Additional Hot Tub Filter Cleaning Tips

We can list some general tips when it comes to cleaning your filters. In order to help your hot tub filters last longer, follow these tips:

  • Always have a hot tub filter to use while cleaning and drying the dirty filter
  • Drying after cleaning will help kill any remaining bacteria and contaminants
  • Try using a filter cleaner every 3 to 6 months in order to remove oils and mineral deposits
  • Don’t use a brush or high-pressure washer during cleaning
  • Stay away from using household chemicals, soaps or detergents
  • If you want to keep your hot tub sparkling and safe to use, get in the habit of replacing your hot tub filter cartridges every 12 to 24 months. With today’s low prices, there is really no excuse not to buy a new filter cartridge for your hot tub!

How Long do Ceramic Hot Tub Filters Last?

If you didn’t know, all the Hot Spring models use a 24/7 circulation pump, so the hot tub is constantly filtering water through at least 1 filter.

Bather load and usage time will directly affect how often you have to clean the filters, but I believe that the water quality itself will have a bigger impact on how long the filters last. If you are living in an area where the hardness of the water is extreme, you can’t expect your filters to last that long.

When it comes to ceramic filter, in my honest opinion they are definitely worth it. They will last for an extremely long time and they are known as very easy to clean.

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Emily Williams

Emily is a passionate Hot Tubs researcher who loves writing about all things Hot Tubs! She has years of experience and a knack for simplifying complex concepts, these articles are here to answer all your burning questions in a simple and easy to read style.
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