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jimma4191
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I have a 2010 Hot Springs Vanguard tub that this forum helped me set up. Thank you. I love my hot tub. I/ we (the wife and I) use it 4-5 days a week. Mostly just me. It will be two months tomorrow. I am using the Bromine System. It has been very easy. I knew nothing coming in. I am using the Taylor K-2106 to monitor my waters health. I have clear water, no smell and no foaming problems. I have not had any skin problems that I've suffered with public pools. I have added only an ounce or two of bleach over a month ago. Very minor adjustments only a couple of times with baking soda and/or muriatic acid. This particular model has five filters in the filter well. One primary and the others appear to be just soldiers. Today I went to clean the filters and found them very clean. All had some very minor particulates and the primary had some discolor at the bottom. I gave them all a hot water rinse. they all look very clean (white) including the primary which I rotated out to a secondary position. I chose not to use the filter cleaner I had. I was afraid it might introduce a foaming problem. Would you insist I use the filter cleaner? Should I use some bleach just because?

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You don't normally clean the filters with bleach. The filters are catching organic material that chlorine generally will not react with such as skin oils or lotions (if your skin isn't cleaned off before getting into the spa). You are likely getting into the spa fairly clean and that's the main reason your filter's are staying clean.

A water rinse won't usually be enough to thoroughly clean the filter because the insoluble organics will stick to the cartridge material (that's intentional). Though water will wash off bulk amounts, it probably won't get the film of material adhering to the cartridge material. That's what the cleaners are for though you could use real trisodium phosphate (TSP) if you wanted to do this yourself without the use of an official cleaner (though for quantities used to clean spa filters, "official" cleaners aren't that expensive).

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I'm sorry, I did not intend to wash the filters with bleach. I have a filter cleaner that I will use at some point. How long can I let them go before using the cleaner?

I have not used any bleach as in a shock application. The water has stayed balanced. Should I be using the bleach to shock even though the water is balanced?

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Normally spa filters need more frequent cleaning since they are relatively small and the bather load is high since the water volume is small, but your water seems to be in good shape. You can shock with bleach if your water starts to get dull looking or if you notice bromamine smell; otherwise, you don't need to shock. Usually with bromine, you'll need to shock every certain number of weeks -- how many depends on how heavily you use your spa.

As for when to use the cleaner or even how frequently to clean the filters, look at the filters and use your judgment. After rinsing off, use your finger to feel the inside between pleats and notice if it feels like clean filter material or slimier as if organics are still stuck to the material. The purpose of the filters are to keep the water clear. The main downsides to not cleaning them are 1) higher pump costs due to higher filter pressure, 2) higher chlorine/bromine demand if some stuff in the filter continues to get oxidized by your oxidizer (bromine in your case).

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