A large and busy household needs all the help it can get when filtering its water supply. Thankfully there’s no need to buy individual filters for every faucet – get a whole house filter, and water is filtered and directly supplied for the entire house.
After some time, though, whole house water filters will exhaust themselves of all their hard work. Sediments will build up, and unwanted residues will affect the water’s quality.
Before the worst happens, read on to find out the answer to – How to change whole house water filter?
Table of Contents
What Is a Whole House Filter System?
Whole house filters, as they are so conveniently named, filter water for the entire house. It is installed straight into your main plumbing to treat the water as it comes. Because it’s connected to the main line, this will include the water flowing to your dishwasher, your washing machine, your toilets, and your showerheads.
The whole house filter system can consist of several mechanisms that will make it tough and effective against contaminants. Depending on where you are getting our water, whole house filters can be as rigorous or as lenient as you want them to be.
If your source is well water, your ideal whole house water filter should have a sediment filter, a water softener, a carbon filter, and an ultraviolet system. Well water hasn’t been treated with chlorine like municipal water has, so it contains many bacteria and dissolved solids.
On the other hand, if your water supply is sourced from the city, your whole house filter won’t need to be so complicated. A sedimentary filter and a carbon filter ought to do the job – making sure to remove the excess sediments and chlorine.
Take note that some municipalities add fluoride into the water supply as a means to mandate dental health. While water fluoridation is said to be helpful in preventing tooth decay, it can be harmful in excess. Some whole house filters may need the assistance of a separate in-house filter to remove excess fluoride.
What Methods Are Involved in a Whole House Filter?
Depending on what you want to keep out of your water, a whole house filter can include or exclude specific methods that can be assembled according to your household needs.
The most commonly incorporated methods use activated carbon filters, mechanical sediment filters, ion exchange (water softening), catalytic conversion (water conditioning), the process of oxidation-reduction, and UV (ultraviolet) sterilization.
The use of activated carbon is very common in filtration as it’s proven to be very effective in removing unwanted solids and the icky taste of chlorine. It’s made from various components made of carbon, which were heated at high temperatures – creating a matrix of tiny pores that trap microbes. The activated portions lure in tiny organic molecules; therefore, activated carbon can effectively remove dangerous chemicals, gases, and odors.
Sediment filters are made to keep dirt, scale, and other solids out of the water. They’re either paper-based cartridges, metal, ceramic or a combination of all three and more. The primary purpose of sedimentary filters is to improve the water’s texture – making sure to remove any cloudiness or floating substances that make the water turbid and unsightly.
The process of ion exchange ‘softens’ water by removing the positively-charged calcium and magnesium minerals using the help of negatively-charged resin beads. The ‘hard’ mineral-rich water passes through these beads that have just been lined with salt, the minerals stick to the beads, and the salt is displaced. The result is salty, soft water, which has been proven to be friendlier for your household appliances. Soft water is also kinder to your clothes, hair, and skin.
Catalytic conversion also ‘softens’ water but does not use salt. It does so by altering the state of the minerals in the water rather than removing them entirely. The process is more commonly referred to as water’ conditioning’. The magnesium and calcium minerals in the water are not removed but are conditioned not to create limescale stains on surfaces. While not as effective as water softeners, it is eco-friendlier as it uses less electricity and water.
On the chemical side, oxidation-reduction (or simply known as ‘redox’) uses oxidation to remove electrons, iron sediments, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide from the water. This makes it easier to filter out with a sedimentary filter.
UV sterilization disinfects bacteria and viruses from the water. This is possible because of short UV rays that interrupt germs from functioning and reproducing. This method is effective against E. coli, cysts, and other problematic microbes. Unlike chlorination, UV sterilization adds no extra odors or tastes to your water.
Some whole house water filters are paired with a reverse osmosis (RO) system that’s installed under the sink. This system is on the pricey end of the spectrum, and for a good reason. It’s by far the most effective water purification system available in the market.
Suppose your whole house filter is equipped with all mentioned previously and attached to an RO system. In that case, you can count on your drinking water to be the cleanest and safest ever – that is, of course, if you can maintain both these machines consistently.
How Do I maintain My Whole House Filter?
Maintenance plays a significant role in your whole house filter’s performance, which is why it’s recommended that you check on it regularly. Employing preventive measures such as cleaning and flushing will save you the time and money you might spend on an intense repair job caused by a neglected water filter.
Whole house filters may prove challenging in maintenance since handling them will need some professional assistance. Compared to domestic filters such as countertop filters and pitcher filters, whole house filters are industry-standard and consist of more parts than usual.
In other words, you’ll have to bust out the ol’ toolbox now and then to make sure your whole house filter stays in tip-top shape. If you consult a professional, take all the necessary precautions, and study the manual, you’ll do just fine.
How Will I Know When to Change My Whole House Filter?
Because a whole house water filter is connected directly to your plumbing, it may be difficult to closely monitor it as you would a domestic filter. Not only that, it’s going to take a large chunk of your time and energy.
It’s best you schedule check-ups on your whole house filter ahead so you can mentally prepare yourself for the trip to that part of your house. These types of maintenance checks can be uncomfortable if you’re not used to heavy household maintenance, but it proves to be very rewarding in the long run.
If you notice your water flow decreasing and the sight and smell of your water looking iffy, then you should change your whole house filter right away. Avoid experiencing this entirely by nipping it at the bud: keep a tracker, do monthly check-ups, and change your filters every 3-6 months.
How Do I Change My Whole House Filter?
If you’re not experienced in plumbing work, you will need a professional’s supervision to perform the process of changing your whole house filter. They are a little bit more complicated than domestic in-house filters, so take some time to familiarize yourself with the parts and terminologies involved.
If you are skillfully capable of doing your own house plumbing, here’s a short guide on how to change your whole house filter. Be sure to read through the manual of your whole house filter before attempting to do any of these. Safety comes first, so put on a mask and some gloves to protect yourself from the accumulated muck that you will be briefly exposed to you.
First, turn off your water source. Make sure no water is flowing on the inlet and outlet side. Next, relieve the pressure from the pre-filter. There is usually a pressure release button that’s on the housing itself.
When everything’s turned off, you can now safely unscrew the housing. You may need to have specific tools to do this, so make sure to check the manual or consult an expert on certain parts of your whole house filter model.
After you have removed the housing, clean it using a small amount of bleach or rust-remover, and rinse thoroughly. Set that aside and proceed to remove the filter – making sure you don’t expose yourself too long to the contaminants it has collected.
Dispose of the used filter properly. Prepare your replacement filter and install it according to manufacture instructions. Then carefully re-attach your newly-cleaned housing. Do not overtighten the caps and screws of your housing.
Once everything is in place, turn your water back on and check for any leaks. If you notice any weird noises coming from the whole house filter, switch off the water and check for any loose parts or large sediments.
Whole House Filters for Your Whole Life
How to change whole house water filter? Changing your whole house filter may seem like a trip into the unknown – full of complicated terms and tools. However, with a keen eye and the proper techniques, you can provide your household with clean and safe water for years using this direct-to-plumbing machine. It will be a bit of a learning curve initially, but you’ll eventually get the hang of doing your household maintenance work.