Second time this has happened, male threaded part on end of filter came off and stuck in tub

watson524

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2014
182
Lake Ariel, PA
Hi all, Jacuzzi J-385 here. 2 large screw in filters. One filter "receptacle" has a metal grate in it, the other just goes down into the bottom. When going to remove the filters tonite, even tho we do NOT screw them in super tight, the threaded part of the filter that sticks out, came off and is stuck in the hot tub. It's like that part of the filter is some sort of press in fitting and it just comes out. Now we can't get that part unthreaded from the tub. This time it's on the one with the metal grate and it has happened once before but I can't remember which one.

I have to figure out how to get the part that's stuck in there unthreaded, using 2 pot gripper things does nothing and with a pliers it's just cracking off but my bigger question is, how the heck do you not have this happen?? I know bleach can degrade plastic but come on, these things are made for hot tubs! The plastic has definitely aged based on the color but these were brand new filters in late November. It's generally only 2 of us that use the tub a few nites a week so I only remove for a rinse every few months and then swap with fully cleaned ones about every 6 months (which is what we were doing tonite).

Thanks for any advice!
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,571
Cabool, Mo
Some filters do have a removeable thread, either press-in or notched, and these can come out. It normally shouldn't be an issue to unscrew it, but if it has become brittle it will break, and you'll need to replace it. I use a flat screwdriver to break the threads out of the fitting.
If it was new in November I'd say you have some serious chemistry issues, and your filter is not the only thing being damaged. Perhaps you should describe your maintenance routine and what you are using in it.
I'd recommend silicone o-ring lube on the threads if you're going to use anything.
 

watson524

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2014
182
Lake Ariel, PA
Finally got the *&^%$#@! thing out, clean set went in with a wrap of teflon tape on them and stopped turning the second it got even remotely snug but I'll get some silicone o-ring lube, I didn't know if that would be an issue and throw off water chemistry or have an impact that would cause foam. Now off to order another filter.

As for my water chemistry, I use the dichlor then bleach method described here and follow it to a T. I do a FC/CC test most every day and keep FC around 3 except for when we shock to 12'ish once a week or after a soak when we raise it about 7ppm / person hour. Calcium is 100 (well water and I do nothing to change it), Alkalinity sits at about 60 or 70. CYA I keep at around 30 and shock with dichlor instead of bleach when it gets in the 20 range. pH sits at 7.8 to 8.0 but based on another post I made here, folks were ok with it.
 

watson524

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2014
182
Lake Ariel, PA
Nope. Our filters don't have the individual caps and sit in tubes so to speak. They're just behind a big panel with a grate on it and skimmer bag behind it so that only comes off when changing or cleaning filters. Chemicals go in the middle of the tub.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,571
Cabool, Mo
Sounds like you're doing it right, but that rate of deterioration is not normal, and is associated with prolonged high sanitizer levels or ph issues, or concentrated chemicals going through the filter. I can't be there to check for you, but I suspect it's something you are doing that's causing this.
The only other circumstance I can imagine would be if the supplier somehow exposed them to chemicals in storage, or just sold you really old filters. Try a different source. Can't hurt. But I'm still betting it's user error, no offense. All the signs say so. Could it be sucking in your dichlor or bleach perhaps? Maybe try adding it farther away and more slowly with jets on low instead of high to allow more dispersion before going through the filters? Pre-dissolve your dichlor? Use ozone?
 

bradgray

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2021
19
St. George, UT
I agree with everything RD has suggested. But if it makes you feel better, we have also found the tall filters in those Jacuzzi tubs are especially prone to snapping at the union just due to the form factor. They are so tall, there is a lot of leverage with even a small amount of horizontal force. We've seen several clients knock the filter dam loose and then manage to bump the filter and break those male threaded nipples off into the spas. We usually then just carve out 2 notches diametrically opposed from one another, and then spread a pair of need nose pliers across the diameter with the tips in the notches and use it as a wrench to unscrew it.
 
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bradgray

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2021
19
St. George, UT
Here's a recent example. The filter was only about 6 months old and we had regularly cleaned it. It was definitely not ready for replacement, but someone managed to bump it and it snapped the male nipple clean off.

This is after we pulled it out of the spa. You can see one of the two notches we cut into the nipple to remove it.
 

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