hot tub water filtration

With cooler air descending upon us, ‘tis the season for warm blankets, fireplaces, après ski, and hot tubs. And if you own your own hot tub, ‘tis also the season to ensure that your water is clean and the filtration system is in working order. The last thing you want is to open your hot tub cover, ready to crawl in and relax, and see cloudy, foamy water.


Do Hot Tubs Need a Filtration System?

Having a decent filtration system keeps your hot tub water clean and clear with very little maintenance. The filter should circulate the water through the hot tub and remove bacteria and other contaminants. Combining this with chemicals and sanitizing agents, you can rest assured that the water you will be soaking in is clean and safe.

Without a proper filter, your spa will quickly fill with contaminants that come from outside sources (and the bathers). A few common sources include:

  • Leaves and debris
  • Contaminated water from the hose
  • Sunscreen
  • Makeup
  • Deodorant
  • Laundry detergent from swimsuits


What Are the Filter Options?

There are different filtration systems and ways to filter the water going into your hot tub. 

Hot tubs already come equipped with a filtration system that typically works by pumping the water through a microfilter, which traps the contaminants for easy removal. With newer, more modern hot tubs, this filtering process is done automatically with pre-programmed filtration cycles that can run from 4-24 hours a day. 

Suction Type

This is the most common type of filter used today. They are mounted on the top for easy access. Typically, these are larger than other types of filters and are much easier to maintain, but you must perform regular maintenance for them to remain effective.

Pressure Type

Usually found in older hot tubs, the pressure filtration system has a smaller filter cartridge housed with the skimmer within a sealed canister in a separate unit. These systems can handle more pressure and require less maintenance than a suction filter; however, the care is more complex and involved.


The standard way of filling a hot tub is with water straight from your garden hose. Although water coming to your home from the treatment plant is filtered and disinfected according to regulations set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the pipes that the water travels through, including your garden hose, do not operate under the same standards.

When using water from your garden hose, your hot tub can sometimes encounter water problems from the get-go. Contaminants such as chemicals, mold spores, algae, bacteria, and chlorine by-products can easily be in your hose. A pre-filter can combat these contamination problems and equate the water going into your hot tub to filling your spa with bottled water. 

The pre-filter connects directly to the hose. Using a food-grade activated carbon, it suspends solids and chemical by-products. It also removes metals from your water that were picked up along the journey from the treatment plant to your home.


Can You Use Well Water in a Hot Tub?

You can use any water to fill your spa; however, ensuring the water is clean and filtered is essential, especially with the high metal content often found in well water. 

Besides using spa chemicals and your hot tub’s built-in filtration system, using a pre-filter on your garden hose is the best way to use your well water to fill your hot tub. The pre-filter might feel like an extra step in the process, but in the long run, the cleaner and more filtered the water is going into the hot tub, the less the maintenance will be.

How Do You Maintain Hot Tub Water from a Well?

Maintenance and proper care are essential to extending the life of your spa components and the water within. All hot tubs require certain chemicals to keep the water soft to the touch and properly balanced. If you are using well water, adding metal protection and scale defense products goes a long way in maintaining the life of your spa. These products will help to filter out metals and minerals and prevent them from causing discoloration and buildup in the water.


How Do Filtration Systems Work?

In a hot tub, the jets and pump work together to push water through the spa filter to remove particles. The more water that can pump through the filtration system, the cleaner the water will be. Depending on the type of hot tub you have, your ability to control the filtration cycle can vary. Sometimes you will be able to control the water flow, and how much of it is being filtered. In newer hot tubs, you can choose the presets based on bather load.

There are multiple parts to how the filtration system works:

  • Filtration Cycle: This is the amount of water that passes through the filter and how often.
  • Circulation Pump: This secondary pump runs continuously to push smaller amounts of water through the system. These can still run even when your primary system is shut down but cannot be used alone. 
  • Control System: Usually a panel on the outside of your hot tub, the control system is where you can access the spa features and control the filtration system.

Even with filtration systems and chemicals, you should still test the water from your hot tub weekly, regardless of how often you use it. Regular testing prevents bacteria buildup and chemical overdosing. Be sure you are only using spa chemicals, not pool chemicals. Spa chemicals are specifically made to work in hot water and with hot tub surfaces and have more accurate dosage instructions based on the smaller size of spas.

Besides testing and treating the water, don’t forget other basic maintenance, including rinsing the filters, cleaning the cover, and keeping the waterline and drain refill clean.


The Science of Water

We put a lot of emphasis on water filtration for our drinking water, but filtered water is also better for your skin, hair, laundry, dishes, food, and appliances, including your hot tub. Happily, your hot tub probably came with its own filter and tools you can use for its specific maintenance. But what about the rest of your home? How can you take as much care with your indoor appliances, not to mention your health?

When it comes to ensuring safe, clean water for everything from drinking to bathing, nothing is more effective than a whole-home water filtration system.

At The Science of Water, we are committed to finding and installing the best filtration system for you and your family. We use only the Puronics drinking water systems, which are an eco-friendly, cost-effective way to provide your home with highly filtered, crystal clear water. We’ll even provide you with a free water test to analyze the safety of your current water, and recommend the perfect filtration option for your needs.

Don’t take chances with unsafe water. Call us at 1-352-745-7070 or 1-904-580-0000 or visit our website to take advantage of our free water test and estimate today!



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