Healthy Water

How to Change Your Whole House Water Filter

Water hardness is one of the most common water problems in the world. Billions of people are currently using poor quality hard water for drinking, washing, and showering. Statistics show that about 85% of the United States has hard water, which is a remarkably high number. 

Hard water damages a building’s piping system, and harms the beauty, health, and wellness of the people living or working there. To reduce water hardness, you need to install a water filtration unit or system in your home. Water filtration reduces the amount of hard minerals in your water, minimizing hard water damage to your home and health.

To soften hard water, you can either install a whole house water filtration system, or fix a water filter unit to a specific region of your house where you need it most. A whole house water filtration system filters your household water at the beginning of your home’s piping system. This water filtration method filters all the water in your house. On the other hand, a water filter unit, such as a shower filter, only filters the water that passes through it.

In this article from Captain Eco, we will provide a step-by-step solution guide to your dilemma: How can you change your whole house water filter?

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Step 1: Make sure it is the right time to change your whole house water filter

Before you do anything, you need to know the answer to this important question: How often do you need to change your water filter?

Your whole house water filter is efficient for three to six months. Therefore, you must change your whole house water filter two to four times a year to maintain optimal water filtration efficiency. Do not change your water filtration system too often or too late. Changing your water filter too often is a waste of your time and money. On the other hand, changing your water filtration system too late will make your water filter inefficient, resulting in poor quality household water.

Step 2: Gather the tools you need

To change water filters, especially whole house water filters, you need some handy tools to get the job done. Here is a list of all the tools you need to replace your whole house water filter with a new one:

  • The filter wrench
  • The Strap wrench
  • The replacement O-Ring
  • Silicon Grease
  • Teflon Tape, AKA Plumber’s Tape

In addition to all these tools, you need other stuff to help you do a cleaner job. You need a big bucket to contain water that leaks or spills from the pipes or the old filter. Further, you also need some rags for cleaning up the mess. You do not need to go shopping for these stuff. Use whatever you have at home to get the job done.

Step 3: Turn off the water system

This is the most important part of the process, and therefore, you must be very careful with it. Make sure you understand the way water is flowing, and that you know how to turn off the water properly. You must shut off the water to your entire house before you change your whole house water filter.

Step 4: Depressurize your water system

Although you have turned off the water, there is still some water remaining in your water system. You need to make sure this remaining water does not flow to an unwanted place once you start the process.

Turn on the water in your sink or bathtub after turning off the water system. Let the remaining water run until no more water comes out.

Step 5: Open the filter’s housing

Different filter housings have different setups. The most common types have a button on the top of the housing that you press to open the filter’s housing. To open other types of filters, you must use a wrench. 

Whatever the setup is, you can usually open a filter’s housing with ease. If you are encountering difficulty opening your filter’s housing, you probably did not release the water pressure properly. In this case, go back to step 4 and depressurize the water system, and then proceed to this step.

If you are sure that you performed the water depressurizing procedure properly, but are still facing difficulty opening the filter’s housing, then you should change your tools. Change the tools you used earlier, but do not apply too much force to avoid damaging the filter housing. Make sure that you do this step carefully, as the filter’s housing is an important component of the water system. Therefore, you should do your best not to damage it. 

Step 6: Pull out the old filter

After opening the filter’s housing, you now have a clear shot of the old filter. Pull out the old filter, and take a look at it. This inspection can give you some useful insight into the health of your piping system. Some things like small amounts of sand are common, but there may be other things. Spotting a lot of sand, concrete, or black flecks should be alarming. If you see any of these substances in your old water filter, talk with a plumber to discuss the issue after you are done changing your water filter.

Step 7: Clean up the filter housing

Clean up the filter housing, and make sure it is as clean as possible. Replacing your water filter with a new one is useless if you do not clean up the filter housing properly.

Like step 6, if you see any unusual substances or objects inside the filter housing, have a talk with your local plumber.

Step 8: Replace the O-Ring

This special rubber ring helps prevent water leakages in your water system. Remove the old O-Ring carefully. Clean the area where it was placed, and inspect it carefully. If it is flawless, you can reuse it. Clean it up and place it where it was.

You may find that the O-Ring is damaged or looks deformed. In this case, apply some grease on the new O-Ring and place it where it should be located. To apply grease on the O-Ring, put some grease on your finger, and rub it onto the ring. You do not need to apply too much grease. A light coating of grease on the O-Ring is enough.

Step 9: Place the new water filter

Place the new water filter in the housing, and try your best to have it as perfectly centered as possible. Although most people usually use a strap wrench to fix the filter, it is highly recommended to tighten it with your hand.

Avoid over-tightening or under-tightening the new filter. Not too loose and not too tight; that is exactly the amount of tightening you need.

Step 10: Clean up

There is probably a lot of water and dirt remaining after you finished changing your water filter. Clean up all the mess changing your water filter has caused. Make sure the canister, pipes, and the ground are as clean as possible. This is an important part of every plumbing procedure.

Congratulations! You are now able to change the whole house water filter on your own.

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