hot tub filters

Keeping It Clean: The Vital Role of Filters in Your Hot Tub

RnR Hot Tubs and Spas

RnR Hot Tubs

June 20, 2024

Hot tubs are a luxurious addition to any home, providing a perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation. Imagine sinking into warm, bubbling water after a long day, feeling your stress melt away. This serene experience, however, hinges on one critical factor: water quality. To fully enjoy the myriad benefits of your hot tub, it’s crucial to keep the water clean and the system functioning smoothly. Dirty water can quickly turn your haven of tranquility into a source of discomfort and health concerns. This is where hot tub filters come into play.

Hot tub filters are the unsung heroes of your backyard oasis. They work tirelessly behind the scenes, trapping debris, dirt, and contaminants to ensure that every soak is as refreshing and hygienic as possible. Without these essential components, the water would become cloudy, foul-smelling, and potentially harmful to your skin and health.

In this article, we’ll delve into the importance of hot tub filters and why regular maintenance is essential. We’ll explore how filters function and the impact of neglecting them. Additionally, we’ll provide practical tips on maintaining your filters. By understanding and caring for your hot tub filters, you can extend the life of your hot tub, reduce energy costs, and, most importantly, ensure that every dip is a clean, safe, and enjoyable experience.


Hot tub filters are essential components that remove debris, dirt, and contaminants from the water. They ensure that the water remains clean, safe, and enjoyable for users. But what exactly are these filters, and how do they work?

Hot tub filters are typically made from pleated polyester material or similar fabrics designed to capture and hold onto particles as water passes through them. These filters act as the first line of defense against impurities that can spoil the water quality and compromise the overall hot tub experience.

How Do Hot Tub Filters Work?

The primary function of a hot tub filter is to circulate water through the filtration system, trapping any unwanted substances. As the water flows through the filter, it passes through layers of fine mesh that capture various contaminants, including:

  • Debris: Leaves, insects, hair, and other large particles that may fall into the hot tub.
  • Dirt: Soil, dust, and other tiny particles that can make the water appear cloudy.
  • Oils and Lotions: Residues from body oils, sunscreen, and lotions that can form a scummy layer on the water’s surface.
  • Microorganisms: Bacteria and algae that can cause health issues and unpleasant odors if left unchecked.

Different Types of Hot Tub Filters

There are several types of hot tub filters, each with its own set of advantages and maintenance requirements but we are going to cover the type of filters that we deal with: cartridge filters.

Cartridge Filters are the most common type of hot tub filters. They consist of a cylindrical cartridge filled with pleated fabric that captures debris as water flows through. Cartridge filters are easy to remove, clean, and replace, making them a popular choice among hot tub owners.

Depending on the make and model of your hot tub will depend on the type of filter that you need. In our store, we carry filters that will work in many different hot tubs or swim spas. 

If you have purchased your hot tub from RnR Hot Tubs and Spas, we will have the type of filter that you need for your hot tub. 

hot tub filters

If you haven’t purchased your hot tub from us, we can certainly try and help you find the hot tub or swim spa filter that you need. To do this easily, we need the make and model of your hot tub or swim spa. You can also bring in an old filter so that we can try and match it to a filter that we have in stock.

Why Are Hot Tub Filters Important?

The importance of hot tub filters cannot be overstated. Without them, the water in your hot tub would quickly become dirty and unsafe. Here are a few reasons why hot tub filters are indispensable:

  • Maintaining Water Quality: By continuously removing contaminants, filters help maintain clear and clean water, enhancing your hot tub experience.
  • Protecting Your Health: Clean water is essential for preventing skin irritations, infections, and other health issues that can arise from bacteria and algae.
  • Extending Equipment Life: Filters protect the internal components of your hot tub, such as the pump and heater, from damage caused by debris and dirt. This can significantly extend the lifespan of your hot tub and reduce maintenance costs.
  • Improving Efficiency: A clean filter allows for better water flow, ensuring that the hot tub’s heating and circulation systems work efficiently. This can lead to energy savings and lower operating costs.
  • Protecting The Hot Tub’s Components: Clean water is essential to prevent damage to the hot tub’s internal components, such as the pump and heater. Dirty water can lead to clogs and reduce the lifespan of these parts.

Understanding the role of hot tub filters and keeping them well-maintained is key to enjoying a safe, relaxing, and trouble-free hot tub experience.


Maintaining the cleanliness of your hot tub filters is crucial not only for the performance of the hot tub but also for your health and your wallet. Dirty filters can have several negative impacts, which can turn your relaxing soak into a troublesome experience. Let’s explore these impacts in more detail.

Reduced Efficiency

A dirty filter can significantly reduce the efficiency of your hot tub. Here’s how:

  • Restricted Water Flow: When a filter becomes clogged with debris, dirt, and other contaminants, it restricts the flow of water through the system. This restriction forces the pump to work harder to circulate the water, leading to strain on the pump and other components.
  • Overworked Pump: As the pump struggles to push water through a clogged filter, it can overheat and wear out more quickly. This not only reduces the efficiency of the system but can also lead to costly repairs or replacements.
  • Poor Water Quality: Reduced efficiency in water circulation means that the water isn’t being filtered as effectively. This can result in cloudy, uninviting water and a less enjoyable hot tub experience.

Increased Energy Costs

Dirty filters don’t just impact the performance of your hot tub; they can also hit you where it hurts most: your energy bill.

  • Higher Energy Consumption: When the pump has to work harder to move water through a dirty filter, it consumes more energy. This increased energy usage translates directly to higher utility bills.
  • Extended Heating Times: Efficient water flow is essential for maintaining the hot tub’s temperature. A clogged filter can slow down the heating process, meaning the heater has to run longer to achieve the desired temperature. This not only uses more energy but also increases wear and tear on the heating element.

Health Risks

One of the most serious consequences of dirty filters is the potential health risk they pose.

  • Bacteria and Algae Growth: Dirty filters are breeding grounds for bacteria and algae. These microorganisms can multiply rapidly in warm, stagnant water and pose serious health risks, including skin infections and respiratory issues.
  • Irritated Skin and Eyes: Even if bacteria levels aren’t high enough to cause infections, dirty water can still irritate your skin and eyes. Oils, lotions, and other contaminants trapped in a dirty filter can be reintroduced into the water, causing discomfort.
  • Unpleasant Odors: A dirty filter can cause unpleasant odors to develop in your hot tub. These odors are often a sign of bacterial growth and can make your hot tub less inviting.

Regular Maintenance Is Essential

To avoid the negative impacts of dirty filters, regular maintenance is essential. Here’s what you can do:

  • Routine Cleaning: Clean your hot tub filters regularly to remove trapped debris and contaminants. Depending on usage, this might be every 1-3 months.
  • Periodic Replacement: Filters have a limited lifespan and should be replaced as recommended by the manufacturer, usually every 1-2 years.
  • Monitor Water Quality: Keep an eye on your hot tub’s water quality. If you notice cloudiness, reduced water flow, or unpleasant odors, it might be time to clean or replace the filter.

By keeping your hot tub filters clean and well-maintained, you can ensure efficient operation, lower energy costs, and, most importantly, a safe and enjoyable hot tub experience.

At RnR Hot Tubs and Spas, we offer Ultrasonic Filter Cleaning. This is a Drop N Go service that allows you to drop your filters off to us and give them a thorough Ultrasonic cleaning. This service takes about two weeks as we wait for your filter to be completely dry before calling you to pick it up. This is because when the filter dries completely, the fibers in the material tighten back up and allow the filter to do a better job of cleaning your hot tub or swim spa. This is also why we recommend having two sets of filters so that you can easily switch them out when cleaning even if cleaning them yourself.


Knowing when to replace your hot tub filter is crucial for maintaining the efficiency and cleanliness of your hot tub. The most common one that we see is visible wear and tear. Here are some key signs that indicate it’s time to replace your filter:

Visible Wear and Tear

Filters endure a lot of wear and tear due to continuous exposure to water and contaminants. Over time, they can become damaged and less effective.

  • Inspect Regularly: Make it a habit to inspect your filters regularly. Look for any visible signs of damage, such as tears, cracks, or holes in the fabric.
  • Flattened Pleats: The pleats in the filter are designed to maximize the surface area for trapping debris. If these pleats are flattened or damaged, the filter’s effectiveness is significantly reduced.
  • Material Deterioration: If you notice that the filter material is fraying or breaking down, it’s a clear sign that the filter is past its prime and needs to be replaced.

Decreased Water Flow

Efficient water flow is essential for the proper functioning of your hot tub. A significant decrease in water flow is a strong indicator that your filter is clogged or damaged.

  • Check the Flow: Pay attention to the water flow from the jets. If it seems weaker than usual, it might be due to a clogged filter.
  • Pump Strain: If the pump seems to be working harder than usual or making unusual noises, it could be struggling to push water through a clogged filter.
  • Heating Issues: Reduced water flow can also affect the heating efficiency of your hot tub, making it take longer to reach the desired temperature.

Cloudy Water

Clear water is a sign of a well-functioning hot tub filtration system. If your water starts to look cloudy, it’s time to check your filter.

  • Unclear Water: Cloudy water means that the filter is not effectively removing dirt, oils, and other contaminants. This can make the hot tub less inviting and potentially harmful to your health.
  • Frequent Cloudiness: If your water becomes cloudy shortly after cleaning or replacing the filter, it may indicate that the filter is no longer functioning properly and needs to be replaced.
  • Odor and Discoloration: Along with cloudiness, if the water starts to develop an unpleasant odor or changes color, these are additional signs that the filter is failing to do its job.

Other Indicators

In addition to the major signs above, there are other indicators that your filter may need replacement:

  • Frequent Cleaning Needed: If you find yourself cleaning the filter more frequently than usual to maintain water clarity, it might be time for a new filter.
  • Filter Age: Most filters are designed to last around 12 months. If your filter is older than this, it’s likely time for a replacement, even if it doesn’t show obvious signs of damage.
  • Manufacturer’s Recommendations: Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for filter replacement. They provide valuable advice based on the specific design and materials of your filter.

In conclusion, hot tub filters are a vital component in maintaining clean, safe, and enjoyable water. Regular maintenance and proper care of your filters will ensure your hot tub remains a haven of relaxation and health. Don’t neglect this crucial aspect of hot tub ownership, and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.

Whether you need new filters or want to get Ultrasonic Filter Cleaning done, come on down to our store. If we do not have the filter that you need in stock, our team will see if it is a filter that we can get. 

You can visit us at Bay 8 –  5700 Barlow Trail SE in Calgary.

Servicing all makes and models including Vita Spa, American Whirlpool, and Maax Spas.

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