How To Remove Stuck Hot Tub Filter: Easy Steps For Success

When it comes to troubleshooting a troublesome hot tub, the first issue anyone should look at is the filter. A hot tub filter helps to keep the water clean and is a vital part of the filtration system. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for them to get stuck and create a tricky repair scenario. If you are stuck attempting to remove a stuck hot tub filter, this guide is here to help. With a few pieces of equipment and some patience, you can learn how to remove a stuck hot tub filter. Keep reading to get the step-by-step process on how to remove stuck hot tub filters.

How to Remove a Stuck Hot Tub Filter: Step-by-Step Guide

Nobody wants to face the frustration of a stuck hot tub filter. These small but essential components help to keep water clean and circulating properly. Fortunately, with a few simple tools and some guidance, removing a stuck hot tub filter doesn’t have to be a headache. This step-by-step guide will help you tackle the problem with ease. From gathering the right supplies to turning to a professional if need be, you’ll have the information you need to get the job done quickly.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Getting the job done safely and efficiently requires the right tools. The good news is that the supplies you’ll need for this job are basic and inexpensive. Collect the following items before getting started:

– Adjustable Wrench: You’ll use this to loosen stubborn nuts and bolts. Make sure it is the right size to fit your filter.
– Replaceable O-Ring: This will come in handy if the seal ends up being worn or damaged when you remove the filter.
– Glove and Safety Glasses: Safety first! Wearing a glove will help you get a better grip on the filter. Make sure you’re wearing safety glasses to protect your eyes from any debris.

If you’re missing any of these items, it’s easy to find them at a local hardware supply store. Before buying any of these supplies, consider taking a photo of the filter handy. This way, you’ll be able to find the exact replacement parts you need quickly. With these items in hand, you’ll be ready to start the job.

Step 2: Understand the Filter

Understanding the filter is key to being able to remove it. Firstly, you need to be able to identify the parts on the filter. The filter has two parts, the housing and the element. The housing is the larger part which the element is screwed into. The element is the part that filters the water or air. It is typically made of a fibrous material such as paper or fabric and is held in a metal or plastic container.

You also need to be able to determine what kind of filter it is. Some filters can be unscrewed and removed with no additional tools, while others are not removable and require special tools to remove them. You should also be aware of the potential hazards of removing a filter, such as releasing pressure that could cause damage to nearby pipes or yourself, as well as potential loss of water if the filter is not fitted correctly when re-installed.

Finally, be sure to wear full-face protection with gloves and eye-protecting eyewear when tackling a stuck filter. This will help protect you from any exploding particles should the filter burst.

Step 3: Dry the Filter

The first step when removing a stuck hot tub filter is to make sure the filter is dry. Doing so helps lubricate the O-rings and prevents any damage that could occur if the filter is tightened while wet.

To dry the filter, first unplug the hot tub. With the power off, grab a towel and gently dry the surface of the filter housing. The towel should be able to absorb the moisture. Once the surface is dry, use a cloth to cover and securely hold the filter in place. This will ensure it stays in the same place and prevents any further movement.

To further dry the filter, get a can of compressed air and use it to blow the water out. Make sure to use the lowest pressure setting. You can also use a shop vac to completely remove the water from the filter.

You should also:
– Make sure the filter is completely dry before continuing work on it.
– Pay special attention to the O-rings as water will cause them to shrink and become difficult to remove.
– Don’t use any abrasive materials or tools on the filter, as this could lead to damage or further sticking.

Step 4: Unscrew the Filter

Start taking control of the stuck filter by first unlocking and unscrewing it. To do that, check the filter for screws, nuts and bolts that could be securing the filter in place. Loosen them up with an adjustable wrench. Set the adjustable wrench’s head size to the right size to ensure a proper fit and turn counterclockwise until the screws, nuts and bolts come free.

If the filter is resistant to coming free, try oiling or spraying a lubricant to any stuck parts, such as the screw heads or O-rings, which could be corroded and stuck to the filter. Adding the lubricant can help loosen stubborn screws, nuts and bolts.

Once the screws and bolts are loosened, hold the filter with both hands and twist it counterclockwise until it begins to unscrew, and then repeat on the opposite side. The filter should be able to come loose as long as there is not a lot of corrosion on the thread and the filter is dry.

Take care to ensure that the filter is free before replacing and never force the filter if it is stuck. When in doubt, enlist a professional to help with the removal of the filter.

Keep the parts below handy during the whole process:

  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Replaceable O-ring(s)
  • Glove
  • Safety Glasses
  • Filter Photo/Description for Exact Replacement

Step 5: Grease the Filter Threads

To safely remove a stuck hot tub filter, step five is to coat the filter threads with grease, lubricant or petroleum jelly. Ensuring the threads are well-lubricated before re-fitting the filter helps reduce the chances of the filter becoming stuck again in the future.

Before you start, gather the tools and supplies you need for this step:
• Grease, lubricant or petroleum jelly
• Old rags or towels
• Gloves
• Safety glasses

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, follow these steps to grease the filter threads:

1. Put on gloves and safety glasses for protection.
2. Apply grease, lubricant or petroleum jelly to the filter threads on both the filter and filter housing.
3. Wipe away excess grease, lubricant or petroleum jelly with a rag or towel.
4. Re-fit the filter.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure you have correctly greased the filter threads, helping reduce the chances of the filter becoming stuck in the future.

Step 6: Try Removing the Filter Again

If attempting to unscrew and remove the filter doesn’t work, there are some other things you can do to try and loosen the filter. Try the following techniques for further loosening:

  • Spray penetrating lubricants onto the threads of the filter.
  • Use a rubber band to try and pop the filter free from the threads.
  • Tap the filter from the outside with a non-metallic object.
  • Aim a hot blow dryer at the filter for a few minutes.

Be sure to use caution when trying to remove the filter after applying any of these processes. Applying too much force can damage the threads of the filter. If the filter continues to remain stuck, it’s best to contact a professional who specializes in hot tub filters. They can help you safely remove the filter without causing any damages.

Step 7: Contact a Professional for Assistance with a Stuck Hot Tub Filter

In some cases, it may be necessary to contact a professional for assistance with a stuck hot tub filter. Although replacing or removing the filter may be something you can do yourself, a professional can help if you have difficulty or need a more specialized approach. Here are a few tips for finding the right hot tub services professional:

  • Look for a professional who has experience working with spas and hot tubs. Ask for references and check their reviews online.
  • Make sure they carry all the necessary tools and supplies to properly remove the filter.
  • Find out their level of experience and inquire about any special techniques they may use to remove a stuck filter.
  • Request a quote for their services before committing to hiring them.
  • Ask about any service warranty in case the filter needs to be removed again in the future.

When your hot tub filter becomes stuck, it is important to have a professional who is knowledgeable and well-equipped to remove it properly. Be sure to do your research and find a service provider who will give you peace of mind and ensure the filter is removed quickly and safely.


How do you remove a strong spa filter?

To remove a strong spa filter, start by switching off the spa’s power. Then locate the filter canister. This can either be inside the spa or in an area accessible from outside the spa. Once you’ve located the filter canister, open its lid and locate the filter cartridge. If the filter cartridge is wet, be sure to wear gloves to avoid the risk of electrical shock. After the filter is located, unscrew the filter cartridge and it will be ready to be removed. Finally, dispose of the filter cartridge properly.

How do you remove the filter from a lazy spa?

To remove the filter from a lazy spa, turn the power off and disconnect the hose from the back of the spa. Then, locate the filter cover, usually located near the bottom of the spa wall, and unscrew it to remove the filter. Once the filter has been removed, the cover can be screwed back in place.

Last Words

Learning how to remove a stuck hot tub filter can be intimidating but with the right tools, precautions and guidance, it’s actually quite easy. Taking the time to gather the right supplies, understand the parts of the filter, and knowing when to turn to a professional are all key to getting the job done safely and efficiently. Using the steps outlined in this article, you can now remove your hot tub filter with confidence and get back to enjoying your spa.

Eric Schunk

Hi, I'm Eric Schunk, the main author of OchoWorkshop. I've been working in the hot tub industry for over 15 years, and I'm passionate about helping people find the perfect hot tub for their needs. I've written countless articles and guides on hot tubs, from buying guides to maintenance and repair tips. I pride myself on providing accurate, in-depth information that can help you make an informed decision when it comes to buying and maintaining your hot tub.