STEP 3: RESTORE
CONDUCTIVITY You could also choose to use plastic PEX pipe and fittings to make your connections. PEX is now code-approved and doesn’t require soldering. But if your pip- ing system is made of copper, brass or steel, plastic can create a significant potential hazard. There’s a good chance the electri- cian who wired your home used that water piping, which contin- ues underground to the street to ground your home’s electrical service panel—at least in part. In fact, even our plastic filter hous- ing would sever that connection. To restore conductivity, install a code-approved grounding clamp on each side of the filter and jump the plastic with a short piece of #6 ground wire. Of course, if at any point you feel yourself getting in over your head, call a licensed plumber.
A PRIMER ON PRIVATE
WATER WELL PURITY As a rule, deep wells produce the cleanest water while shallow wells produce the best-tasting water. Deep wells are clean because surface water, its source, has to filter through hundreds of feet of permeable rock, sand and gravel to reach its aquafer depth. Contaminants are simply left behind in the grit, but in the process, the water absorbs some of the rock’s soluble minerals, and minerals in high saturation taste bad. Water from a shallow well, on the other hand, won’t have percolated through much rock. It won’t have a mineral taste, but it may also retain some of its contaminants. Local health departments require that all new, private-water
wells be tested for contaminants, typically coliform bacteria, nitrates and a few heavy metals. The same goes for older wells put back into service. If your well fails any part of this test, contact a water-treat- ment specialist.
Editor's Note: Merle Henkenius is a longtime writer and photo- grapher who specializes in home improvement articles and books. He is a licensed master plumber but has hands- on experience in nearly every phase of construction. He has contributed scores of articles and thousands of photos to national magazines. He also writes for The Home Depot, where you will find a large selection of water filtration systems like the one described in this article.