What are the different spa filter connections? Cam Lock vs coarse thread vs fine thread

When it comes to maintaining your spa, having a reliable filter is essential. Cam Lock, coarse thread, and fine thread are popular options. We'll explore their features and benefits to help you decide which one is best for your spa.

A spa filter is a device that is used to remove impurities from spa water and is usually cylindrical in shape.

Changing your spa filter helps to keep your spa water clean and clear and can reduce the amount of chemicals you need to sanitise your water. Spa filter maintenance can seem daunting when you don’t know where to start.

We’ve simplified it down so you can spend less time on maintenance and more time soaking in your spa. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of filter fittings, the pros and cons and how to change and clean your spa filters.

In this article, you'll learn:

What are the main types of filter fittings?

There are two main types of filter fittings for modern portable spa pools and swim spas: threaded and non-threaded.

How do I find out what spa filter fitting I have?

The main difference between filter connections is based on how they are installed into the filter box. You will need to remove one of the filters and pay attention to how the filter is removed, does it lock into place or screw into place?

Once you have determined this you can count the number of threads to determine whether you have a fine thread or coarse thread filter and if there are no threads you have a camlock filter.

Back to top

What is a camlock fitting on a spa filter?

A camlock fitting is a non-threaded bayonet-type base that locks into place.

How do I install and remove camlock filters?

Simply place the base of the filter into the filter box and twist slightly to click it into place. To remove it simply do a small quarter turn and the filter will come out.

Watch: Quick and easy filter change

What are the benefits of camlock fittings?

Camlock filters are easier to install than threaded filters as they simply lock into place with a quarter turn.

There’s no need to worry about thread damage or cross threading like a threaded filter, making these a more convenient option for spa owners, especially if you are older or have limited mobility.

Back to top

What is a coarse thread-fitting spa filter?

A coarse thread filter has wider threads on the base, normally only 3 are visible.

What is a fine thread-fitting spa filter?

A fine thread filter has more threads on the base, normally 8-9 threads are visible.

How do I install and remove threaded filters?

This filter screws into place by matching up the thread hole at the bottom of the skimmer box with the thread on the base of the filter.

To install this filter you will need to turn the filter clockwise until it is secured and won’t turn any further. To remove the filter simply unscrew the filter by turning it anticlockwise until it pops out.

What are the benefits of threaded fittings?

Threaded filters are the most common filter on the market meaning they are easy to find and can be purchased through a variety of outlets.

Are there any disadvantages to using threaded fittings?

Threaded filters will sometimes take a bit of effort to get into place. They can also cross thread and this can damage the spa thread making the filters hard to get in and out and potentially damaging the spa.

Back to top

What other types of fitting might I find on a spa filter?

Less commonly you can get an internal thread filter where the threads are found on the inside of the filter column.

In older spas, you may also find filters that have no threads. These are used in a canister and they float rather than remaining fixed in place.

They may look similar to the image below.

Should I use thread sealant when installing my spa filters?

Thread sealant is often used to make sure there are no gaps between the connections for water to escape from once the filter is installed. The two main types of thread sealants are liquid and tape.

We do not recommend using thread sealant as the filters are submerged under water so the sealant won’t work. It’s best to avoid using thread sealants completely as deteriorating thread sealant can cause damage to the pump and create pipe blockages which will void the spa’s warranty.

If your spa pool is leaking please contact a professional to assess the cause of the leak.

How often do I change my spa filter?

People often ask us how to tell when they need to change their spa filters. Although there should be an easy answer, the fact is there are several variables at play.

  • Bather load: how often you use the spa and the number of people using the spa can affect the life of the filter
  • Filter maintenance: how often do you remove and clean your filters
  • Chemical usage: the quality and amount of chemicals you use in your spa pool.

As a rule of thumb, we suggest changing your pleated filters at least every 12 months. If you are running two sets of filters you can usually get 18 months per set.

You should make sure the filters you choose have high-quality filter media. The filters sold at Spa Store are made with the finest filter media available. Also, these filters are extremely durable because of the advanced process used to attach the top and bottom end caps.

How do I clean my spa filters?

We recommend rinsing your filters every week to help reduce the build-up of oils and residue which makes them less efficient. You can use a garden hose working from the top down to wash away the build-up.

For the best results, soak your filters overnight around once a month in a filter cleaning solution, then use a filter wand to rinse them out. It is advisable to rotate two filters which will prolong the life of your spa filter considerably. One filter can soak in filter cleaner while the other filter is in service.

Back to top

In summary

We hope this article answers your questions about filter connections so you can now confidently tell the difference between threaded and non-threaded filters and order your next set easily.

To learn more about our range of filters you can check out the filter section on our website.

Got more questions?

Talk to us on live chat, or email us your spa questions and we'll be happy to help!

Five Star Trust Pilot Rating

We are proud that Spa World customers have given us a Five Star Trustpilot rating.