Hot Tub Cleaning and Maintenance

Hot Tubs March 6, 2021


Hot Tub Cleaning and Maintenance

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Keeping your hot tub clean isn’t a difficult task. Because hot tubs are very efficient at self-cleaning because of the chemicals you use they don’t need a deep cleaning that often, but proper cleaning and routine maintenance is a key part of keeping your hot tub running efficiently.

Hot tub filters are the heart of your filtration system and work to keep the clarity of the water. They keep the water clean and safe for the user. It s also important to keep the water chemistry balanced which will prolong the life of your hot tub and it’s equipment.

To give you a better understanding about hot tub filters, here are 3 types of filters used in pools and hot tubs.

  • Sand – This is a low-priced filter with not much need for maintenance, yet the least effective at filtering. This type can be very useful for larger hot tubs because it doesn’t often become clogged. However, it can slowly erode and become less effective as pressure builds in the filter and time passes. These usually last 5-7 years.
  • Cartridge – This is a medium-priced filter with a higher efficiency rating and considered a traditional filter. It cleans better than sand filters and are just as easy to maintain as a sand filter but is more effective. These only last 3-5 years before needing to be replaced.
  • D.E. – This is the most expensive type of filter requiring the most maintenance. It’s also the hardest working and best for overall water cleanliness because it filters the smallest particles. A diatomaceous filter does not need to be replaced very often, but he internal grid will need to be replaced every 2-3 years.

Hot Tub Filters Maintenance

The result of filtration processes and the lifetime of your filter depends on how well you maintain your hot tub. Here are ways to keep your filter and clean and your water looking great.

  1. The best way to keep your hot tub water clean and fresh is to keep running your hot tub even it is not in use. But of course, it can be costly. Run your hot tub at least one hour each day when you are not using it to keep the water circulating. To help in filtering, add water clarifier to the spa once per week. However, don’t use water clarifier if you are using PH Balance as it will cause you spa water to get cloudy.
  2. The more you use your hot tub, the more you need to clean the filter. The size of the filter also affects the how often you need to clean the filter. With normal use, a portable or inflatable hot tub filter should have to be cleaned once a month.
  3. Blast with a high-pressure hose nozzle is the best way to clean hot tub filter. If needed, you can take to a local self-serve car wash to get more pressure. Just use cleaning products that are designed for cleaning filter cartridges to avoid damages. If you think your filter is too dirty, you need to soak overnight using cartridge clean.
  4. Reduce the number of oils that get into filter by using a floating oil absorbing sponge (floating duck) in your spa. Like a filter, you must clean and replace them when they get worse.
  5. Important note only uses the cleaner designed for a hot tub. Don’t use car wax or any household cleaners on your hot tub or filter. You can use Oh Yuk Healthy Hot Tub Cleaner because it is made for that.
  6. Do a water chemistry test with a reliable test kit as frequent as you use your hot tub. Algae and bacteria are something that spa filter cannot handle. So it is critical to keep proper water chemistry at all times.
  7. Provide backup filter to switch quickly without losing your hot tub time when maybe you need to soak them thoroughly overnight. Having two filters as a substitution is ideal.
  8. Clean your body and hair before getting to the hot tub. Hair products, suntan lotion, deodorant, perfumes, excess sweat and skin creams of any kind are the worst enemies of hot tub filters.
  9. Drain and refill your hot tub with new fresh water. Even though you already take care of the water, you still have to replace your water regularly based on the usage. It’s recommended to change it every 6 months for 1-2 times a week or less usage, every 4 months for 3-4 times a week usage and every 3 months  for 4 or more times a week usage.
  10. Lastly and the most important, a hot tub is not a bath, so keep soaps or oils of any kind out of it.

How to Clean a Hot Tub Filter Cartridge

The main function of filters is filtration, and you need to clean hot tub filters regularly depending on how often you use it. The filter itself, is one of the most critical parts of a hot tub and it’s job is to remove any contaminants in the water that may affect the water’s quality.

Before you start cleaning your filter, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Here are some basic instructions for cleaning your hot tub filter

  1. Pull out the cartridge from the filter housing.
  2. Rinse filter to remove dirt and debris. Wash down the filter element using a hose with a straight flow nozzle, on low pressure, to avoid damaging the cartridge. Wash all the pleats with emphasis to the slit between the pleats. Rinse until it is free of dirt and debris.
  3. Rinse filter to remove suntan lotions, moisture, and other oils. Soak the cartridge element in a filter cleaner for at least one hour, but overnight is most effective. Another option, you can soak in one cup trisodium phosphate.
  4. Rinse the cartridge to remove coating, oils and cleaning solution. WARNING: failure to eliminate all oils and cleaning solution before acid soaking will cause in a permanent restraint of water flow and tend to premature cartridge failure.
  5. Rinse to remove the coating on the element, soak filter to remove the coating of algae, iron, calcium carbonate (residue form of the calcium hypochlorite), or other minerals. Use a treatment of one part muriatic acid to twenty parts water to soak the cartridge until all bubbling stops.
  6. Last rinse the cartridge clean using fresh water, dry it and reassemble housing.

Replacement of Filter Cartridge

How often your filter cartridge needs replacing is dependent on a number of things:

  • The size of the filter
  • How often it’s cleaned
  • How much the spa is used
  • How much debris gets into the water

Generally a filter needs to be replaced every one or two years, or if you notice either of the plastic ends are cracked, fabric pleats separating from the plastic ends or cleaning it doesn’t make it any cleaner.

When it’s Time for a Deep Clean

You should deep clean your hot tub at least once a year. But there are times when you need to give your hot tub some extra help.

Here are a few signs that it is time to deep clean your hot tub:

  • Your hot tub smells
  • You’ve had heavy use
  • You can’t get the water clear
  • The hot tub has gone unused for a log period of time

How to Deep Clean Your Hot Tub

When it’s time for a deep clean, follow these steps:

  1. Remove large debris such as leaves so they don’t clog your filter.
  2. Add a system flush chemical like Seaclear. Pour this into your hot tub filter area the night before you do your deep cleaning. Do not use household cleaners!
  3. Run your jets for between 15-30 minutes. Rotate the diverter levers through each position so the system flush can do its work. Then turn the jets off and close the lid of your spa.
  4. Circulate your hot tub overnight.
  5. The next day it’s time to clean your hot tub. Take off the cover and drain it. Put on rubber gloves and wipe down your shell to remove any scum on the sides.
  6. Remove and either clean or replace your filters.
  7. Add new water to your clean hot tub.
  8. Balance and treat the water with chemicals.

Amy is a writer and editor who loves the outdoors, landscape design, and home improvement. She has been remodeling homes since 2013 and is an avid do-it-yourselfer. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, gardening or working on DIY projects.
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