Good day folks, Rod from My Water Filter here and what we're going to cover today is everything you need to know to install a Whole House Water Filter.
It doesn’t matter if you have a Whole House Triple Water Filter, Whole House Twin Water Filter, a Whole House 10” x 4.5” Water Filter or a Whole House 20” x 4.5” Water Filter, its the same situation so this same guide applies.
Get this Video to your Plumber
These systems are supposed to be installed by a plumber, and you won't find a lot of information on how to install a whole house water filter outside because you're supposed to be a plumber.
But what I'm finding is even some plumbers, maybe they are new to the game or whatever it might be, they're having a couple of hiccups and issues when they install them, so we've created this quick video for you.
Every section of this guide can save you a lot of trouble with split head caps, water leaks and other unnecessary issues.
So when you buy a whole house water filter, we'll get this video to you via email. Feel free to share it with your plumber if you don’t have any issues, mistakes, and time without water in your house.
Only Use Thread Tape - Otherwise you are destined for leaks
Whole house water filters have a one inch BSP threaded ports on either side of the head cap.
These ports are where the pipework from the mains water comes into your water filter and out to your home, and if these are not sealed properly, they will leak.
You must only use, and I repeat, you must only use thread tape to seal the ports on the head cap. The head cap of the water filter is made of strong, high-quality plastic that has been used for decades, and they don’t falter unless you use sealant.
If you use sealant, as the sealant sets, it will expand inside the head cap and crack it, and it will make your whole house water filter leak.
If you have a steelhead cap which is not very common, a lot heavier and a lot more expensive, you can use as much sealant as you like, but if you are going with the standard plastic head cap, you can not use sealant.
Here is what has happened before:
A customer will come in and say:
"The water filter's no good, "it's leaking."
When we check all the fittings, they are all fine, but the water filter still leaks.
Why? Because they sealed it up with sealant and it expanded, putting a crack in it which caused it to weep.
When this happens, we need to pull the whole thing apart, replace the split head cap and mention it to the plumber - thread tape only.
We don’t want you to go through this unnecessary headache so just make sure your plumber only uses thread tape. Most plumbers will already be aware of this but just confirm, and you will be good as gold.
Our Australian plumbers are fantastic, so once he knows, he will set it up for you and you will be good to go.
The water in these systems run left to right.
The water comes from the mains, fills the housing, penetrates through the cartridge, gets to the centre core, comes up through the centre core and flows over into the next housing.
They're all the same, but water flow direction is important.
When you are working out where to install your water filter, if you need your whole house water filter to flow from right to left, you can do that too with this water filter.
The stainless steel or white bracket will come off. You can simply undo the bolts in the bracket, take the plate off, spin it around and put it back on.
You can't just run the water through the right to left without turning the bracket around. You must turn the bracket around, or it just won’t work. If the water comes through the opposite way, you'll be pushing your water out through the centre of your cartridges, and the system is not designed to work that way, and you will only have problems.
Whole house water filter pressure gauges
The whole house water filter gauges on the top are great because they give you a bit of an idea what the filter's doing and how it's performing.
If the pressure is very high, then something is blocking one of your cartridges. It is usually sediment, and it is the reason why we have a sediment cartridge in position one. You never know how much sediment will come down your main water line.
Once again, don't put any sealant on your water filter gauges, please. A little bit thread tape is all that is needed to seal them up.
How to install the pressure gauges without cross-threading
When the gauges are brand new, they can be tight to screw in.
If you give it a turn or two and it's stiff, and it doesn't want to go, don't keep forcing it.
Just simply wind it back out. You don’t want to cross-thread them. Take your time and be patient with them.
Make sure it's level and make sure you're screwing it in the thread.
These should go in perfectly every time.
There's never an issue unless you're in a hurry or you're not paying attention, and you happen to cross-thread it. If you keep screwing it in, you will strip the thread, and that means you will not be able to get a seal on the head cap and it will need to be replaced.
It has happened before, and that is why it is in this guide. Take your time with the gauges.
How to install whole house cartridges without damaging them
When you received your water filter, we recommend you check the cartridges if they come inside the system. They may still have plastic wrapping on them. Take the plastic wrapping off the cartridge and check if there is any damage to the cartridges. A damaged cartridge will not filter the water.
The whole house water filter cartridges must be straight and in alignment with the head cap.
The big blue housings screw on and off very easily.
Depending on your system, you will likely have a sediment cartridge in the very first housing. In the bottom of the housing, there is a little stem that goes inside the centre of the cartridge to centre the cartridge.
Just hold the cartridge nice and centre and screw it up by hand. There's no reason to use the cartridge tool until it's all screwed up and in place.
When you finish screwing it up by hand, the last part of it will tell you if the cartridge is straight. If it feels stiff or awkward to tighten by hand, the cartridge is not straight or centred. If you force it with the cartridge tool, you can either break the cartridge or the centring prongs inside the top of the head cap.
Do not use unnecessary force when using the cartridge tool. If the cartridge is not straight or centred, wind it back and centre it in the bottom and the top and it will tighten up very easily.
Once the cartridge is in and screwed up by hand, then use cartridge tool and turn it an inch or two to nip it up and it is good to go.
Don't keep screwing it up and overtightening it. It is unnecessary and harder to get the cartridge housings off next time you need to change the cartridge.
Whole house carbon water filter cartridges break more easily if not centred
First, check for washers. It needs to washers to create a seal top and bottom so the water can’t get around the cartridge.
Similar to other cartridges, centralise the carbon cartridge using the stem in the bottom of the housing This will help the top of the cartridge sit within the prongs in the top of the head cap.
If it's off or on an angle when you tighten the housing, the top of the cartridge head cap will break, and you will need a new cartridge.
We have had customers call and say:
"Oh Rod, "I've got a broken cartridge,"
We will know why. That's what happens to them if they are not centred, so take your time.
If you're screwing it up by hand and then it doesn't want to go any further, give it a rattle, and it'll fall into place, and then you'll be able to screw it up.
If you're screwing it up by hand and then it stops and gets stuck, and you get a cartridge tool out, and you start forcing it with the tool, that's what your cartridge is this is what will look like. It'll have a hole in it.
How to set up up a bypass on your whole house water filter
No matter where you install your water filter, it’s a good idea to set up a bypass using on/off ball values.
It's great to have an on/off ball valve on both the inlet side and the outlet side of your water filter.
We now have a full step my step home water filtration system installation video including setting up a bypass below:
This will allow you to isolate your whole house water filter any time you want. It makes replacing whole house water filter cartridges a lot easier as you can turn off the water to your system. Just make sure you open a tap on the other side of your water filter to drop the pressure.
Ask your plumber to set this up for you. It’s worth it.
Sediment - Yes, Chlorine - Yes, Hard Water - No
The sediment cartridge is great and removing sediment, and the carbon cartridge is great at removing chlorine.
Unfortunately, nowadays, our water's not as good as it used to be.
Depending on where you live in Australia, many states that now use a lot of bore water.
We get a lot of hard water minerals in the water and calcium, and magnesium is often through the roof - destroying bathrooms, hot water systems and tapware.
It’s about $800 a year more expensive to live in a hard water house than a soft water house because mineral just goes straight through your these things destroying everything.
How to solve hard water problems
Your whole house water filter will take care of the sediment and the chlorine and chemical, but to you need a different device to treat the mineral. What we generally use is a Limetron Hard Water Conditioner.
While Melbourne is generally okay, places like WA, South Australia, Alice Springs and the top of Queensland are usually really high in mineral and will require a Limetron Water Conditioner.
It’s a half-inch in diameter with 3/4 ends and is perfect for Australian water with a lot of mineral in it.
If you are in a hard water area, particularly Northern, Westerns or Central Australia, this device will save you a mint, making your house and all your appliances work much, much better.
It will treat the mineral and stop it costing a lot of money every year.
Install the Limetron before your whole house water filter.
How to structure all of the water in your house
The government has to throw a lot of chemical into the water to kill the bugs and bacteria, and when it does, oxygen dissipates out of the water, and the molecules lock up together. This is called clustering.
Then they pump it to our homes and when we go to the kitchen tap and get a glass of water and what have you got? A glass of water and all the molecules are locked up together. When you drink it, you can't absorb it half of it because the molecular structure is too large, and that is why we are half dehydrated most the time.
Hence, we use the Home Edge or a Grander unit. These are great little devices that break up the molecular structure making the water more structured similar to how water flows in nature. Your garden will love it too.
Install the Home Edge or Grander unit after the water filter if you have a limetron. If you don’t have a Limetron, install the structured water unit before the whole house water filter.
This will open up the molecular structure and allow the water filter to get more contamination out so you can have the best water flowing into your house as we can.
The Home Edge and Grander unit create amazing showers.
Have a chat with your plumber about these extra devices or any of the things we have shared in this guide and if he/she is unsure, talk to us, and we will always be there for you.
Whole house water filtration system installation cost can vary, and it’s always more expensive if you make a mistake, so we always recommend this guide - even for plumbers.