If your home’s drinking water has an unpleasant taste or is occasionally cloudy, an inline water filter is often an easy and inexpensive fix. Private water wells can deliver off-tasting water and waterborne sediment. Accumulating sediment can short- out electric water heaters and reduce the efficiency of gas water heaters. Although sediment is less of a problem in municipal systems, city water can have an off taste as well. Every town with a popula- tion above 100 must meet strict federal water-safety standards, and sometimes the methods used to sanitize municipal water will give it an unpleasant taste. Inline filters, used singly or in tandem, can improve both problems and can also be used under sinks for single-fixture pro- tection. The good news is that inline filters are affordable, rang- ing between $25 and $100. Expect to pay more for larger pipe diameters and for built-in shut-off mechanisms, which make chang- ing media cartridges quick and easy. Filter cartridges need to be replaced every couple of months, especially charcoal filters, which can dump impurities in high con- centrations when fully saturated. Here’s a quick guide to installing your own inline filter.
STEP 1: ATTACH
THE FILTER ￼When installing a basic whole- house filter, you’ll need to cut out a section of water supply line and splice the new filter between two shut-off valves. If possible, isolate your home’s outside
faucets since your lawn and garden won’t need filtered water. This will help your filters last longer. The simplest approach is to solder male adapters to two short pieces of copper pipe, then wrap the male threads with Teflon tape and tighten the adapters into the plastic filter head.
STEP 2: TIGHTEN THE
COMPRESSION FITTINGS ￼Soldering pipes that retain even a little water can be a strug- gle, so I suggest completing the installation with ball valves fitted with compression fittings. Assemble the filter body and the shut-off valves and tighten the compression nuts until they feel snug. However, be careful not to overtighten to avoid crushing the compression rings. Generally, when you feel first resistance with a wrench, tighten each nut one full turn and walk away.
By Merle Henkenius
Install a Whole-House