How to change spa pool filters

12 March, 2021

Spa filters are an integral part of maintaining a clean spa pool or swim spa. They provide a physical barrier that captures unwanted particles as your spa water passes through the filter box.


Types of spa pools filters

Within the spa pool industry, there are two types of spa filter. Both are cylindrical in shape with plastic ends for connection to the filter box on the base and a turning handle on the top. Some spas use micron spa filters but your Sapphire Spa will have pleated spa filters installed: two in a spa pool and four in a swim spa (two screwed into the base of the filter box then another 2 two positioned on top).

Pleated Spa Pool filters remove debris 20 microns or larger and are the most common type of filters. The pleats in the material significantly increase the surface area available to capture particles through your filtration system.


Micron spa filters can be used on their own or as well as pleated filters. These filter fibres capture debris to 5 microns. Micron filters may save you money by reducing the amount of spa chemicals required to maintain water clarity.


Take note of the quality of the filter you’re purchasing as some manufacturers produce a cheaper product by lowering the quality of the construction. We don't recommend using cheaper spa filters as the construction may break down rapidly and be more difficult to clean properly. Poor quality filters may become blocked and unusable much faster than those of higher quality. Ensure you purchase your spa filters from a knowledgeable and honest supplier that offers a warranty as spa damage may occur due to filter failure.

When should you replace your spa filters

The life of your spa filters depends on how much you use your spa and how well you maintain your filters. The performance of all filter cartridges will gradually be compromised which can lower the efficiency of your pump and filtration system and possibly cause damage to the workings of your spa pool or swim spa.

Micron filters can’t be cleaned so if you use your spa regularly you will need to replace these every 3-6months.

We recommend that you clean pleated filters at least every 2 weeks, but more regularly your spa is under heavy use. If your filters are maintained correctly, you should only need to replace them with new ones every 12-18months.

You should consider replacing your spa filters if:

  • You notice restricted water flow.
  • The cartridge shows signs of cracking or other damage.
  • You’re finding that you need to clean them more often because they’re getting blocked quickly.
  • Your spa water is more difficult to clean.

Cleaning your filter cartridges

Pleated filters can be cleaned with a garden hose (not high-pressure hose) by spraying from top to bottom. This releases the debris from within the pleats of the cartridge and pushes it off at the base of the filter. You can purchase an approved filter cleaner solution from your local pool and spa shop and soak the cartridges for at least an hour (preferably overnight) if you have another set of cartridges that you can interchange.

1. Remove the filter cover face by pulling upwards on the top section.



2. Remove the tray that covers the top of your filter cartridges.



3. Turn the handle on the top of each cartridge anti-clockwise to loosen it from the filter box, then remove. Remove both spa pool filters which sit side by side.



If you have a swim spa, it will have four filters - two stacks of two. If the lower filter is screwed in too tightly for you to remove with your fingers, put the top filter cartridge back in and turn it anti-clockwise until it locks into the lugs on the filter below and so turns it anti-clockwise along with it. This may need a strong turn with both your hands and it will help to be in the spa at the time if you need to strengthen your grip.


4. Once your filters are out of the spa filter box, you will be able to see the dirt blocking the white pleated filter. Place them gently onto a grassed, paved or concreted area & spray with a garden hose from top to bottom to remove all dirt and debris.


5. Once clean, replace your filters by reversing the steps above. Take care not to over tighten the screw threads into the filter box.


Need more help with your spa pool filters?

Please contact your local pool and spa shop if you need any further help as they will provide face-to-face instructions on how to clean your filters and should also stock most replacements and cleaning products.