Clean water is important to maintaining health and vitality, and a whole house water filter is an excellent solution to the problem of water contaminants, from microbes to heavy metals. Filtering your water can improve the quality of your health and the taste of your water, and remove particles that may stain or damage fixtures over time. A whole house system is a moderately difficult DIY project that can be done with common household tools by the modestly experienced DIY homeowner.
Step 1 - Choose a System
Select a system that meets the needs of your home. A simple mail-in water screening can help you to determine what contaminants are present in your water in the greatest quantities, allowing you to select a system that best fits the requirements of your home. Consider the volume of water that you use by checking your water bill for the incoming water usage, excluding the sewage and outgoing fees—this will provide an accurate estimate for a whole house system, as all incoming water will be filtered by it.
Step 2 – Turn off the Water
The steps involved in installing a whole house water filtration system vary greatly between models, but all systems require completely shutting off water to the installation location. Locate the shut-off valve for both hot and cold water to the installation site, and turn them to their completely closed position. Clear the lines of any water prior to commencing with installation.
Step 3 – Connect the System
To install the system, you will need to cut into the main water line. Be certain to follow the instructions included with the unit very carefully, as different connectors and different sizes of cut are required for different units. Use a pipe cutting tool to make the cut per the included instructions. Flex connecting pipes work particularly well for this application, as they can fit almost any space and curve to meet the pipes and the filter. 1/4 inch connections are most common, but be certain to check the specifications of your filtration system. Use teflon tape on the threading of each connection to make certain it is water tight. Test all of the connections to be certain that they are tight before restoring water to the system, using the plumber's wrench to tighten them. Make sure that any inserts in the filter system that were placed during packaging are removed prior to use—these will be listed in the instructions that accompany your water filter.
Step 4 – Turn on Water and Test System
Once all of the connections are tight and sealed, and the water filter is installed per the manufacturer's specifications, it's time to restore water to the house. Turn the water back on at the main line and check the water filter again for any leaks. Run water throughout the house for several minutes to clear any old water that may have remained after the lines depressurized from the original flush—expect some noisy air pockets as the pressure is restored. After pressure is restored and the water is flowing smoothly, shut off your faucets. The water filter should now be providing fresh, clean water to all of the fixtures in your home.