Filters should be replaced every 3 to 6 months depending on how often you clean them and frequency of hot tub usage. To extend the life of your filter keep your water chemistry in proper balance, never use a stiff brush to clean the media, and alternate between two sets of cartridges when cleaning.
What is the best procedure for filter maintenance?
Filter cartridges are similar to shoes, they last longer when properly cleaned and rested between uses. We recommend having a spare filter that soaks in a Cartridge Cleaner solution from 6 hours to 3 weeks then removed and allowed to air dry while the other is in your spa. Each filter will last longer, filter better, and save you money over time. Every two months create a new solution and switch your filters, hosing off the one that sat in Cartridge Cleaning solution.
Best way to maintain a single filter
Hosing down your filter removes large debris but is not enough for hot water environments. Cleaning a filter in a dishwasher often results in excessive foaming in your water and may lessen the life of your filter. Filters will last longer if properly cleaned every few weeks with a Filter Cleaning Solution that generally comes in a spray form. . Filter Cleaning solutions break down the non-visible grime and oils that collect on a spa filter without affecting your water’s chemistry. To use, remove your filter cartridge, spray on the Filter Cleaner, wait at least 10 minutes, and simply hose off your filter cartridge before replacing it into your spa.
Cartridge filtration is used in virtually 100% of above ground spas sold throughout the world. The reason for this popularity lies in the advantages of filter cartridges, which are effective, efficient, environmentally advantageous and relatively easy to maintain.
A Brief History of Filtration
A properly maintained filter will reduce the pressure in a spa’s filtration system, keep water flowing smoothly and reduce the wear and tear on all equipment in the system.
Over the past decade, much advancement has been made in cartridge filtration. Better materials, better flow, and longer life have made keeping a spa’s water much easier. Plus, the average homeowner can easily handle filter maintenance on a spa as filters are easily replaced, with the old filters simply being thrown in the trash and swapped out with new ones.
Effective and Efficient
A new filter cartridge will capture 100 per cent of all particles larger than 30 microns (one micron equals 1/25000th of an inch); particles smaller than 40 to 50 microns are not visible to the naked eye. As a filter cartridge is in use, the filtration fabric (media) will actually start to ‘load’ with particles, making the filter more efficient. After loading, the cartridge will naturally capture a higher percentage of smaller particles even as small as five microns. As any filter captures (loads) particles, the path for other material to move through the filter gets smaller and more complex, making any filter more efficient in trapping more matter of a smaller size. Be careful, over time your filter will get more efficient, BUT at some point your filter will trap many particles which can’t be cleaned and it will be less efficient. At that time, the filter should be replaced.
Larger particles will be trapped on the surface of the filtration fabric; these can be washed off simply with a quick run of the hose. Smaller particles will actually penetrate the media and cannot be washed off. Over time, filter cartridge efficiency will be reduced, as it becomes loaded with these small, invisible particles.
In a spa, hot water will remove oils and other contaminants from bathers more rapidly than cooler pool water. Therefore, filter cartridges are more apt to become clogged and need to be replaced. Where homeowners use their spas regularly, replacing filter cartridges every three to six months is recommended. Using a filter cartridge beyond its recommended life can increase the wear and tear on other more expensive components (e.g. pumps) because of the extra force needed to move water through the filtration system.
Some filters use an inferior filtration
fabric, which can clog quickly and fail to
achieve proper water cleanliness. Please
look for filters made in the U.S.A.
Cartridge Filtration Fundamentals
Not all filter cartridges are the same. There are four main elements in an effective cartridge filtration system: The core, media (filtration fabric), bands and end caps.
A properly designed core enhances flow rates, reduces head loss (lost pressure or velocity of a flowing fluid between two points created by friction) and maximizes filtration. This improved flow
reduces wear and tear on the pump, uses less energy and extends cartridge life. This becomes even more important given the recent trend of switching to energy-efficient variable-speed pumps. When a pump is on low speed and saving energy, a core that maximizes flow will make it easier for water to move through the filter, maximizing the filtration area and creating uniform flow distribution through the entire cartridge.
In contrast, a poorly designed core will create water channeling, which reduces the usable area of the filter cartridge (i.e. a 50-sf filter will work only as effectively as a 25-sf filter). Improper flow distribution greatly decreases usable filtration area, making for an inefficient filtration system.
The consequences of poor flow are significant. Increased pressure will have a negative impact on every component in the filtration system, resulting in early failure. Filtration fabric is the most expensive component of a filter cartridge; if a poorly designed core inhibits the full use of the media, money is wasted.
Media /Filtration Fabric
Virtually all major filter cartridge manufacturers use the same media — spun-bonded polyester filtration fabric. This media is bonded together by entangling the fiber (filaments) without using adhesives. This material ‘depth loads,’ meaning some particles will actually get imbedded into the fabric and cannot be cleaned out, as previously explained. Eventually, the media will become inefficient. In s spa setting, this is indicated when a filter quickly inhibits water flow right after cleaning. In pool applications, a clogged filter can be identified by rapidly increasing tank pressure, indicated on the pressure gauge. If this happens, it is time to replace the filter cartridge.
To function most effectively, filtration fabric must be long-lasting and free of filter, additives or binders, which could serve as potential contaminants that might leach into the water during filtration. Further, the use of point-bonded material, which is less expensive, will reduce water flow, clog more easily and reduce filter life. This media uses additional adhesives to hold fibers together, which reduces flow (and media efficiency) and usually results in shorter filter cartridge life.
Higher-quality filtration fabrics, while more expensive, are also more resistant to rot and mildew, and will retain their physical characteristics when exposed to most solvents, oils, salt solutions, acids and alkalis. This uniform flow distribution results in even dirt loading, providing cleaner water and longer life. Superior filtration fabric is also easily cleaned and can be re-used several times. Lastly, higher-quality filtration fabrics are more uniform in their construction, which facilitates even water flow and provides more surface area to enhance the filtering process. When the fabric construction is uneven, water will move to the point of least resistance and larger particles will not be captured.
While they are often overlooked, bands are not used for esthetics-they serve a very valuable purpose. Bands should be tightly secured to each pleat for stability and strength. A properly secured band will help enhance flow, assure more consistent use of all the filtration fabric and increase a filter’s resistance to severe operating conditions. Too often, poorly constructed filters have no bands at all, or ones that fall off easily. Without proper bands, the pleats will actually fold over and the usable area of the filter will be reduced.
Strong end caps, which are specially formulated to withstand chlorine degradation, provide structural support and increase cartridge durability. If an end cap degrades over time, it can break into pieces and damage a spa’s pump. Today, anti-microbial end caps, which inhibit the growth of bacteria, are becoming more common.
As the spa industry continues to grow, many companies are working to revolutionize spa filtration. These companies understand that people love their spas, even though economic times are tough. Regardless of the strength of the world’s economy, existing spas need to be maintained. This gives rise to an increasingly competitive filtration market
Cartridge filtration is evolving. New media are being developed and tested to increase water cleanliness without sacrificing ease of maintenance. Innovative designs are being developed in which several different types of media are being used at the same time (e.g. one filter traps large particles leaving smaller particles to another more expensive filter using a more advances media).
Unfortunately, despite these technological advances, any filtration system will fail without proper maintenance or unbalanced water. In the end, homeowners need to be educated about the health and cost benefits associated with small incremental investments needed to properly maintain their spa. Keeping your filter clean and well maintained is a good place to start.