How to Change a Spa Filter? Here’s what to know. A standard spa can hold over 1500-litres of water and needs to have its water completely replaced approximately every three to four months to remain hygienic, depending on the frequency of use.
During refill cycles, your spa also utilities a filtration system to filter out dirt, pollutants, organic matter, bacteria and micro-particles from your water.
This vital function makes your filter one of the most critical parts of your spa’s system, not only for water hygiene but also to filter coarse particles and abrasives that could damage your hot tubs pump and jet components.
When properly maintained and cared for, a spa filter can last for years. It is helpful to know how to change this filter to ensure proper care of your valuable investment and maximise its life expectancy and efficiency.
Types of spa filter
Before we delve into how to replace an old spa filter, it’s essential to learn a little about the two main types of spa filter that, and how to tell them apart.
A filter is rated by how many captured microns there are as water passes through it. To give you an idea of how big a micron of foreign matter is, it is smaller than a red blood cell or most common bacteria.
Pleated spa filter
The pleated or surface filter is popular for spa and pool pumps. On average, a standard pleated spa filter would filter around 20-microns or larger per measurement of fluid.
As the filters title suggests, the pleated filter features pleated filter material known as media. These pleats are sheets of cotton, polyester and paper tightly folded to increase their surface area.
The pleats, in conjunction with the compound material act like a screen filtering out the foreign and organic matter.
Micron spa filter
A micron filter can be used either stand-alone or in conjunction with a pleated filter. This depends on the brand and the style of the pump and filtration system. The micron filter is a “spun” style of filter media.
Clean micron filter is capable of filtering much smaller particles, or microns, generally around 5 microns per unit of water. When used in conjunction with a pleated filter, the micron filter runs secondary to catch the smaller particles that make their way past the pleats.
This double filter system produces a more efficient filtration method that reduces the volume of heavy chemicals needed for hygiene, like salts and chlorine. A stand-alone micron filter is still highly efficient but will require a clean more regularly without a pleated filter collecting the larger particles first.
How long does a spa filter last?
With regular cleaning, maintenance and proper care, the average pool filter can last anywhere from two to five-years. Several factors can affect the lifespan of a spa filter.
Different areas around the country can have significantly different qualities of water supply, often referred to as water hardness. Over time your filter will become clogged with collected material and microns and will start to diminish in filtration effectiveness.
Signs your filter needs replacing
After some time (approx two to five-years), your filter will have reached the end of its useful life and will need to be replaced with a new one. If you are unsure if your filter is due for replacement, here are some telltale signs:
- The spa water is often murky or not staying clear after cleaning.
- The filter cartridge is getting blocked more often or requires more regular attention.
- Water flow or jet strength seems compromised or diminished.
- The cartridge shows cracks or other signs of wear or damage.
If you are still in doubt, it is worth taking your filter cartridge to your local spa supplier and ask for a professional opinion.
How to change your spa filter
Every spa will have a spa filter within the pump system. Where this filter cartridge sits will vary depending on the brand and model of spa or hot tub in which you have invested.
Filter cartridges usually sit near the inlet of your spas water pump system in the main body of your hot tub. Although the placement of this inlet may vary, most pleated or micron filters have the same screw thread to fit and seal it in place.
1. Remove the cover
Most filters cave a cover. Refer to your user manual to discover how the cover detaches. It will generally slide off, or be held on by one or more clips.
2.Unscrew the filter cartridge
Generally, most brands of filter cartridge will have a handle to thread the unit in place. Use the handle to turn the cartridge anti-clockwise until the seal loosens, then carefully un-thread the cartridge, ensuring you do not damage or “cross” the thread.
3.Inspect the filter
Now the filter has been carefully removed from its housing you can inspect its condition. Check the colour and look at the build-up of dirt, debris and pollutants that have been collected
4.Clean the filter
If your filter is at the end of its life, it may be obvious that it needs replacing. If you are unsure, clean the filter with one of the methods below, and reinspect the filter after it is clean
A pleated filter is easy to clean once removed. A good flush with medium water pressure will usually suffice if you have decent water quality coming from your mains.
If your water quality is on the heavier side, you can soak your pleated filter in warm mildly soapy water, or a light vinegar or heavily diluted bleach solution for 24-hours before you rinse it off. There are many tips and tricks for these cleaning methods online.
Micron filters are usually sealed and cannot be cleaned like a pleated filter. It is worth checking the specification on the box of your micron filter and replace it as often as recommended by the manufacturer. Below thanks to American Sales here a video to help you
5.Reinstall or replace
If your filter is relatively new, then you can reinstall your clean filter by reinserting it and carefully threading it back in place clockwise. Ensure you create a good seal without over-tightening.
If you can see the filter has damage, excessive build-up or wear and tear, then it’s time to install a new cartridge. It is worth taking your old filter with you to your supplier to ensure the right type of filter is purchased.