Tri-X Filters are gaining in popularity due to their unique ceramic design which allows it to filter twice as efficiently as a standard paper filter. They have a life expectancy of up to 5 years with proper maintenance. They are able to be used as a direct replacement for most paper/fabric filter cartridges on Hot Spring Highlife models from 1997 to current, even if it originally came with a different filter. This filter comes standard on current Hot Spring Models: Grandee, Vista, Envoy and Aria.
This filter has amazing abilities. However it’s ceramic design makes people wonder how to clean it and how often to clean it. The good news is that cleaning Tri-X filters can be easier than cleaning any other filter, since half the work can be done by a dishwasher (unless your spa is using Baqua Spa water care products).
Your Guide to Cleaning a Tri-X Filter
How often do I clean a Tri-X?
Before we go into how to clean the filters we should discuss how often the filters should be cleaned. Tri-X filters should be cleaned regularly to maintain water clarity. How regularly will depend on the frequency and duration of the hot tub’s use and the number of people who get in the spa. Getting in with lotions or cosmetics will increase how often the filters will need to be cleaned. How much dust, dirt, leafs etc that get in when the cover is open will also have an impact. All of these things determine the appropriate time between filter cleanings. With that being said, with normal use, a filter should be rinsed every two weeks and cleaned with filter cleaner once a month and each time you drain and refill your spa.
How to Remove a Tri-X Filter for Cleaning
- Turn off power to the hot tub (unless you have a second set of clean filter to put in immediately to prevent damage to the pumps and heater)
- Remove the filter lid
- Unscrew the filter cap (located on the top of the filter).
- Caution: Do not remove the filter standpipe while removing the cap. If the standpipe is accidentally unscrewed while removing the filter cap, immediately screw the standpipe back into the spa. Standpipes should never be removed while water is in the spas as objects could get into the plumbing.
- Remove the filters
- To reinstall the filters, reverse steps 1 to 3. The Tri-X can be placed onto the standpipes with either side facing up. There is no wrong way.
- Note: Do not over-tighten filter cap as this could cause the standpipe to become unscrewed during the next filter removal.
The diagram below shows the filter components mentioned in this section.
WARNING: Do not use the spa with the filter cartridges or standpipe(s) removed as things floating in the spa water could accidentally get into the spa’s plumbing, causing damage to the pumps and the heater.
Pro Tip: While not mandatory it is recommended to have a second sets of filters. With two sets when it is time to clean the filters in the spa you can quickly change out the dirty ones for a clean set and take your time cleaning the dirty filters. It also allows you to keep your spa turned on all the time without having to worry about anything getting sucked into the lines or pumps while your cleaning the second set of filters.
The Two Steps to Cleaning a Tri-X
There are two parts to keeping your filter clean. First is removing things from the surface of the filter periodically. Typically, a filter should be sprayed off with a garden hose to remove the leafs and dirt on it one or two times a month with additional rinsing as needed. The alternative to using a garden hose for a Tri-X filter is to put it in a dishwasher. If it is not yet time to use a chemical filter cleaner, the filter can go back into the spa after being sprayed off or washed in the dishwasher.
The second part of cleaning the filter is removing the oils from the filter that come from skin, lotions, or cosmetics that clog up the filter’s pores and prevent it from keeping your water clean and clear. This also removes mineral buildup from the water when combined with using a metal and scale product, preventing a white calcium line from forming on your tub. The metal and scale product will bind with calcium and make it big enough for the filter to catch. A chemical cleaner then removes this calcium from the filter. A chemical cleaning should be done at least once a month with either a spray on or submersion filter cleaner. The chemical cleaning should always be done after cleaning the filter by spraying with a garden hose or washing it in the dish washer.
The two steps of the cleaning process are discussed in greater detail below.
Step 1: Rinsing off the filter:
Method 1: How to clean Tri-x filters using a Dishwasher
Once a month, place the Tri-X Filter into the dishwasher to clean the surface of the filter.
To clean using a dishwasher:
- Remove the filters from the spa.
- Place the filters in the dishwasher with no soap and make sure the drying cycle is turned off.
- Some dishwashers do not have the option to turn off the heating cycle so you will need to check to see if yours has the option.
Dishwasher detergents and rinse agents, such as Jet Dry, can be harmful to the filter if used while cleaning the filter in the dishwasher.
If the dishwasher is unable to completely clean the outside of the filter or you decide not to use the dish washer, you will need to use the garden hose method below. If you only want to use the dishwasher method skip to Step 2 Removing Oils from the Filter.
BAQUASPA NOTE: If the spa water is maintained with Baqua Spa Water Care products, you must use a garden hose and cannot place the filters in the dishwasher. Additionally, for step 2 you must use Baqua Spa Filter Cleaner.
Method 2: Cleaning the filter with a garden hose
If the dishwasher is can not clean the outside of the filter or you choose not to use the dishwasher, you will need to rinse your filters with a garden hose. The use of either a Filter Flosser, or PowerPic Reach will make this job significantly easier than trying to use a garden hose alone by directing the water into streams that are specifically designed for use with spa filters to remove stuck on debris.
To clean using a garden hose:
- Remove the filters from the spa.
- Either hold the filter in the air or place on a clean surface
- Rotate the filter while using the garden hose to spray the inside and outside to make sure the filter is clean.
- Either place the filter on a clean surface until you’re ready to clean with filter cleaner (Step 2) or put it back in the spa.
Step 2: Removing oils from the filter:
To maintain crystal clear water, we recommend cleaning the Tri-X filter using a filter cleaner such as Freshwater Instant Filter Cleaner or Brilliance for Spas Filter Cleaner or Baqua Spa Filter Cleaner to remove mineral and oil buildup every time you drain or refill your spa and once a month in between drain and refills. Be sure to rinse your filter thoroughly before placing the filter back in the spa to prevent suds from forming in the spa water.
This step cannot be completed using a dishwasher. Placing a filter in a dishwasher with filter cleaner on it will most likely result in a flooded floor with lots of suds.