Pool Hot Tub Troubleshooting

How Does a Hot Tub’s Filtration System Work?

Keeping your hot tub clear does not need to become a time-consuming inconvenience. So be assured of choosing the appropriate filtration system for you so you can unwind. 


By Allen Hayward

Clean water is essential to have in a hot tub. That is what makes the filtration system so important to it.

When you turn on the system, it causes water to circulate throughout the hot tub. As the water flows through the filter, any debris particles and contaminants in the water get blocked out. Then you have nice clean water return to the spa area. From there, you must add sanitizing chemicals to the water so that bacteria and algae don’t form in it.

If you can filter and sanitize the water, then you’ll have a pleasant and safe hot tub experience. But first, you must understand how the filtration system makes this whole process possible.

Filtration System

A filter is required for any hot tub. This is the component which clears out the debris and dirt particles that are in the water. The type of filter you use determines how this task is carried out.

Suction Filter

Most people have a suction filter in their hot tubs. This filter is easily accessible because it’s mounted on top of the tub. It is a very large filter which makes it easy to maintain and care for. But the only way that the suction filter will remain effective is if you conduct maintenance regularly on it.

Pressure Filter

Some hot tub models still use pressure filters, especially the older spas. A pressure filtration system consists of a small filter cartridge that is inside of a sealed canister. The skimmer is kept separated inside of a different unit. Pressure filters are beneficial because you don’t need to maintain them as frequently, and they can deal with pressure a lot better than other filters can. But when you eventually need to perform maintenance on the filter, it is very difficult.

The Best Choice

Both filters serve the same purpose, which is to clean your hot tub water. But the filters function differently, so keep that in mind. The choice you make depends on how much maintenance you want to perform. Do you want a filter that is easy to maintain but must be maintained more frequently? If not, do you want a filter that is difficult to maintain but doesn’t require frequent maintenance? That is your choice here.

Filtration Cycles

When water flows through the filter of your hot tub, this is called a filtration cycle. Every hot tub has a difference filtration cycle because it’s based on the amount of water which flows through the filter each time. Some things can be done to control the cycle, but the quality of your spa is the most important thing. If you can pump lots of water through the filter during each cycle, then your spa water will be cleaner overall.

Circulation Pumps

Don’t confuse your circulation pump with the jets and main pump. A circulation pump is a secondary pump for your hot tub. It continuously pumps a low quantity of water that goes through the filter. When you deactivate your main system, the water keeps getting pumped by the circulation pump. This does a lot to maintain the cleanliness of your water so that you don’t have standing water.

Control System

The control system is another important component of your filtration system. You use the control system to manage the functions of your hot tub by utilizing the buttons on a control panel. The number of controls available depend on the make and model of your hot tub. Some hot tub models let you control water flow and the amount of water which gets filtered regularly. Other models let you choose preset configurations for the load of the user.

If you can understand the system completely, then it’ll be easier for you to manage your hot tub properly. As a result, filtration system adjustments won’t be such a big deal to make when you need to accommodate a heavier load.


Water is pushed through the filtration system because of the water pump and jets. As the water passes through the filter, all the particles in it are removed. If you increase the amount of pumped water that passes through the filter, then you’ll end up with cleaner water. Your filtration cycle can happen multiple times during the day. It depends on the bather load that you’ve set for the hot tub.


Every hot tub relies on a filtration system to keep dirt, debris, and contaminants out of the water. But you must do your part by maintaining the filter so that it can continue to do its job well. Otherwise, you’ll end up with dirty spa water that’ll make you sick.


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