Spa Filtration System
Maintaining your spa’s water is important for the health of all bathers as well as to prolong the life of the spa with minimal repairs.Some consideration should be given to the water used to fill the spa. Many spas are installed in resort or rural type environments that use well water or water that is high in calcium or minerals.For example, well water can carry various types of suspended minerals that can affect water quality. If one is uncertain of their local water quality, a pre-filter can be used to ensure that water system contaminants do not end up in the spa from the simple act of filling the spa with a garden hose. You may want to invest in a basic, pre-filter that can be used to ensure that the water placed into the spa is as neutral in its chemical make up as possible, as the first step to water quality.You can test your water immediately after filling your spa by using a water test kit to determine if a pre-filter is needed.
The spa filtration system in your spa plays a critical role in keeping your spa’s water quality and clarity at peak condition. Water may not always be as pure as it appears. Contaminants can come in many forms and can cause a range of issues in a spa beginning with the water that is used to initially fill the spa. Spa filtration systems are designed to entrap and eliminate these problem contaminants before they can do harm, and the filtration system ensures safe, healthy spa conditions. Below, we will discuss the components of a spa filtration system as well as a few other water quality related topics.
The spa filtration system consists the water intake skimmer and suction ports, the canister, a filter basket, the filter cartridge and in most newer spas an ozonator. The skimmer intake prevents large items and debris from being drawn into the filter canister itself. The filter basket captures items and debris that make it past the skimmer weir door flap. The canister itself houses the filter cartridge, which is held in place by the filter lock ring to secure the filter within the canister. The canister itself is connected to the plumbing hoses that move water throughout the filtration system within the spa. An ozonator generates 03 which can help keep your spa water cleaner with fewer chemicals and maintenance.
While there are many components of the filtration system, mainly consisting of PVC plumbing parts or other hardware that are fixed in place, the filter cartridge actively filters contaminants from the water recycling through the system. Effectively, the single most important component of the filtration system is the filter cartridge itself. It captures the contaminants and suspended particles that inevitably end up in a spa. While the skimmer gate might keep out sticks, leaves, floating matter, etc., the filter cartridge is actively capturing and removing small and soluble contaminants suspended in the water.
Most contemporary hot tub filters are designed as cartridges that can be easily removed, cleaned, and replaced. Each cartridge consists of a core structure, usually plastic, with reinforced end caps and a fibrous medium that acts as the filter. Filters are made of polyester, Remay, microban coating or other materials. The filter medium is pleated, so the many folds greatly increase the surface area of the filter for better cleaning action. The more filter surface area, the cleaner your water will be. For instance, a 100-foot filter will have more pleats to trap more particles than a 25-foot filter. The higher the pleat count, the lower the flow rate through the filter, so it is also less energy efficient.Your spa manufacturer will make a filtration system that is calibrated for the water capacity and equipment in your spa.It is best to replace your cartridges with the same ones your manufacturer uses for that model.
When a filter gets saturated with dirt and debris, it will not be able to trap any additional contaminants. The particles trapped by the filters remain trapped until they’re cleaned out, so your role in maintaining the filter contributes greatly to its effectiveness. Neglecting regular filter maintenance and replacement could strain your hot tub pumps and heating system; cause dirt and grime to build up and can also lead to spa “FLO” issues. Filters can be cleaned with chemical solutions and brushes and rotated in operations for better functionality and longer life.
You should remove the filter and rinse it off at least once a week.Be sure to get in between the pleats to release dirt and debris that is trapped.Buy an overnight filter cleaner to soak the filter in at least every month.This will deep clean and decontaminate the filter.You should keep a spare filter cartridge on had to put in the spa while the dirty one is soaking.You can alternate between the 2 filters each month.Depending on how well you maintain and clean your filter, as well as the amount of use/bathers your spa gets, you will need to replace the filter every 1 – 2 years.When the filter starts showing signs that it is breaking down – like fraying, pleats becoming loose, or the filter turning dark grey, then it is time to replace the filter.Keeping your filter in proper condition will save on more expensive repairs that can occur with improper maintenance.
When you need to replace your filter, there may be brands of varying degrees of quality and design available. Most filters are basic in design as noted above, but there are also filters that have antimicrobial properties which are made with strong, reinforced cores, antimicrobial end caps and high-quality polyester filter media.There are many different filter models and not all will be available from every filter manufacturer or in a microban option.Price and quality can vary.Some generic filters can work just as well but cost half the price.It may take some trial and error to find the one that works best for you.
See our section on How to determine the Correct Filter for Your Spa