Can You Run a Hot Tub Without a Filter?

The filter pleats in your hot tub would need replacement at least twice a year. So what if you don’t have a replacement, can you run your hot tub without a filter? Here is the answer to that.

You shouldn’t run a hot tub without a filter for a long time because debris and scum will accumulate in the hot tub water. If the hot tub is run without a filter for a long time, the debris and scum in the water wouldn’t be picked up and this can cause green water.

But this is just scratching the surface. There is more to know about running your hot tub without filters and this post digs right into the topic.

Let’s dive in.

The filter is an important part of the hot tub. But, can you run a hot tub without a filter? Yes, you can but not for a long time.

Is It Possible To Run A Hot Tub Without Filters?

It is possible to run a hot tub without filters but the hot tub has to be on a low setting. You also shouldn’t run the hot tub without filters for a long time because doing that will clog the pipes and lead to murky spa water.

Let’s face it. It’s possible to discover that your hot tub filters are damaged when you don’t have a replacement. Does this mean you can’t use the hot tub? Not quite. It’s possible to run your hot tub without filters but you shouldn’t do this for a long time. You also need to take a few precautions before doing this.

Related Read: How To Clean Hot Tub Filters?

How To Run The Hot Tub Without Filters?

Run The Hot Tub On A Low Setting

This means you should ensure the jets aren’t turned on high. When the water speed is much, the contaminants in the water will spread much faster. This will quickly lead to clogged pipes and murky water.

Take A Shower Before Entering The Spa

It is usually advised to shower before getting into the hot tub to reduce the risk of introducing contaminants from your body into the water. But if you are using your hot tub temporarily without filters, this is a must.

Don’t Run The Hot Tub For Too Long

You also shouldn’t run the hot tub for too long without filters. If the water is being used for a long time without filters, contaminants will accumulate easily in the water.

Ensure There Is Enough Chemical In The Hot Tub

You also need to make sure there is enough chemical or sanitizer in the water. If there aren’t filters in the hot tub, then the chemical or sanitizer level has to be at the right amount to keep the water clean.

If the hot tub is being used without a filter and there aren’t enough chemicals in the water, that’s a recipe for green water in the hot tub.

So what happens if you use the hot tub for a long time without filters? Let’s take a closer look.

Related Read: Are All Hot Tub Filters The Same?

Risks Of Not Having A Filter In Your Hot Tub

What happens if you don’t have a filter in your hot tub?

The main risk of not having a filter in your hot tub for a long time is the accumulation of hot tub scum in the water.

Hot tubs usually have a host of contaminants in the water ranging from food residue to sunscreen. These contaminants are introduced by the bathers when they get into the hot tub.

Asides from the contaminants introduced by the bathers, debris, and dirt are usually deposited into the hot tub water by the elements. The wind carries a lot of dust and debris that can get into the water if the hot tub is left open. The effects of the sun’s UV rays on the water also allows algae to grow in the water.

Running your hot tub without a filter will allow all these contaminants and debris to accumulate in the hot tub.

But an accumulation of hot tub scum is just the beginning of the problem. When hot tub scum accumulates in the hot tub, it causes other issues in the hot tub. Let’s check out some of them.

Used Up Chlorine

Not having filters in your hot tub will lead to used up chlorine. This is because the chlorine and chemicals in the hot tub will be depleted quickly since there are no filters trapping dirt in the water.

The chemicals and filters in your hot tub help to keep the hot tub clean. The filters trap solid contaminants in the water and the hot tub chemicals destroy the rest of the contaminants.

When there is no filter in the hot tub, the responsibility of sanitizing your hot tub all falls on the chlorine in the water. This means the chlorine will be used up quicker. This also means you will be spending way more on hot tub chemicals than you need to because chlorine isn’t designed to trap twigs and leaves.

Related Read: Can You Raise Chlorine Levels in a Hot Tub?

Cloudy And Smelly Spa Water

Running your hot tub without a filter will also cause cloudy and smelly hot tub water. The contaminants in the water will accumulate and cause the hot tub to smell foul.

The hot tub water will also become cloudy when heated. This is because the heater is not only heating the water. It’s also heating the sunscreen, leaves, and the likes in the water. This will cause the water to become very cloudy and unclear.

Bacteria Attack

Hot tub filters prevent bacteria from severely attacking the hot tub and its components by filtering out any contaminant that can cause bacteria growth.

When you have hot tub filters, it becomes very difficult for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow in the water. Without filters, bacteria and even algae will attack the hot tub and make it unusable.

Unbalanced Water Chemistry

Using your hot tub without filters for a long time will disrupt the water chemistry and total alkalinity. The contaminants in the water will eventually break down or deteriorate.

The deterioration will cause clashes with the chemicals in the water and this can cause chemical reactions that will offset the water chemistry.

The total alkalinity of the water too will be off because the hot tub is left defenseless and the chlorine is being used up pretty quickly. This will also cause the pH levels of the water to go wonky.

Clogged Pipes

When there is no filter in the hot tub, the contaminants will clog the plumbing lines of the hot tub. This will also disrupt water flow in the hot tub and when water doesn’t flow as it should, the heater, Jets, and circulation pump can all get damaged. The heater especially will burn out when the pipes are clogged.

Staining And Discoloration

No hot tub filters in the hot tub will also lead to staining and discoloration of the hot tub shell. The contaminants in the water will cause a brown or green tint on the water surface.

This will cause dirty water that will then lead to staining and discoloration on the inner walls of the hot tub.

Why Is A Filter Needed In A Hot Tub?

A filter is needed in the hot tub to keep the water clean and catch all the dirt and debris that is in your hot tub water. Without a filter, a hot tub will be severely affected by contaminants and bacteria.

As you use your hot tub, you also introduce different contaminants into the water. Hair, body oils, sunscreen, body lotion, and the likes are all deposited into the hot tub from your body when you soak in the hot tub. These contaminants will accumulate and make the hot tub very unsafe and uncomfortable to use.

Filters are needed in the hot tub to trap these contaminants and stop them from circulating in the water. The filters also help to keep the water clean and healthy for soaking. Without filters, the hot tub water will become murky and very uncomfortable when you soak in the hot tub.

Filters are also needed to keep the plumbing lines of the hot tub free from debris and biofilm. As the water circulates and runs through the hot tub pipes, the filter pleats trap any contaminant that is in the water. This stops these contaminants from circulating in the hot tub pipes.

Overall, hot tub filters are needed in a hot tub to keep contaminants from circulating in and polluting the water.

Can I Run My Intex Spa Without Filters?

You shouldn’t run Intex spas without filters because debris and hot tub scum will accumulate easily in the water and cause green water. The debris in the water can also damage the hot tub components.

Intex spas are state-of-the-art inflatable hot tubs and many of them are designed with a built-in hard water system. Many Intex spa owners believe the hard water system keeps the water clean and since they use chemicals in the water too, they don’t need filters. This is a very wrong perception.

The hard water system is designed to keep the water softer and gentler on the skin. It’s not a replacement for hot tub filters.

Intex spas are inflatable hot tubs which means they are hot tubs and all hot tubs need to be run with filters. Running your hot tub either Intex or not without filters will cause a whole lot of problems in the hot tub.

For starters, the Intex spa components will get damaged and one thing about inflatable hot tub components is replacing them is usually difficult. Intex spas like all other inflatable hot tubs are designed with flexible pipes and components to allow folding and easy packaging.

If the hot tub isn’t used with a filter, the pipes can get clogged from an accumulation of hot tub scum. The walls of the Intex spa will also become discolored and stained. Not to mention the possibility of the hot tub being affected by bacteria, mold, and algae.

Eventually, the hot tub will become unusable especially when you use it without a filter for a long time.

Related Read: Can You Clean Hot Tub Filters in a Dishwasher?

Final Words

Overall, using your hot tub without filters isn’t something you want to do. It can cause the accumulation of debris and can also damage the hot tub in the long run. So if the filters get damaged, ensure to replace them immediately.

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