Updated: April 9, 2021 by Zac Harding
When you want your entire house to have the safest, softest water possible, protecting not just your family, but your pipework, the whole house filter is a perfect solution.
Also known as Point Of Entry Filters, because they work on your water as it comes into the home from external sources, these eco-warriors remove unwanted deposits and prevent the side effects of hard water, as well as making it more pleasant to drink.
Such a system might sound dramatic, yes, but it’s the most efficient way to ensure every single glass you have is as pure as could be. Do you really want your family to be drinking, washing in, and cleaning with contaminated water?
You’ve already decided you need a filter, and maybe you’ve already even purchased one, so let’s cut to the chase: where is the best place to install one for maximum performance?
So, Where Should a Whole House Water Filter be Installed?
Location, location, location.
A whole house filter should be installed as close to the water main as possible — this is the point at which the water feed enters your house. Likewise, you want it to be installed upstream of your water heater, for the sake of efficiency.
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that whole house filtrations systems come in many shapes and sizes, with different installation requirements.
Likewise, not every filtration system will be suitable for the fitting you have, and changing that is a pretty big job in itself. Be sure to measure up your space and check that your water system meets the guidelines. Then, and only then, should you make a purchase!
Also important and worth considering is how easy it is to access the filter for maintenance purposes from your chosen installation spot.
When it comes to a whole house setup, you’re looking at multiple cartridges to clean and swap over, so it’s a two handed job and you’ll need a good source of light!
It’s entirely up to you whether your filter goes inside or is installed out of doors. We would recommend an indoor install, but understand if you prefer an out of sight, out of mind approach.
Of course, nobody wants an unsightly setup ruining the aesthetic of their home, but if you want the system to last as long as it can, you should protect it from exposure to the weather. There’s only so much heat, humidity, rain and frost it can withstand!
Therefore, if you’re going to set things up just outside, at least protect it with some kind of weather-resistant covering. You’re spending a lot of money, so you might as well make sure you get plenty of bang for your buck!
Bear in mind that the manufacturers of certain systems will recommend inside install, and you may void any warranty by failing to heed this advice. Like we said though, what you do is up to you, just don’t say we didn’t warn you…
Top Tips For A Successful Installation
Okay, we’ve covered where exactly it needs to go. Now let’s figure out how to make your life (and installation) as easy as possible.
Primarily, it’s important to note that wherever you’re installing the filter, it should be placed in a vertical position, so that flow of water is moving from the bottom of the unit upwards – this is an excellent starting point, as otherwise, it won’t function!
Beyond that, you can (and should)…
Thoroughly Read The Manual
Don’t get cocky. Even the most experienced plumbers will tell you that reading the manual cover to cover is an imperative step in installing a product you’re not familiar with. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail, after all.
Not only will you find clear step by step instructions, usually with helpful diagrams, but it will also list all of the tools needed and any additional purchases. Even if you’ve installed a filter before, this one could be completely different!
Prepare All Necessary Tools and Equipment
Although it’s not necessarily going to take you all day, installing your new filtration system isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Make your life easier and make sure you’ve got everything you need in advance!
Tools you’re going to need will be listed in the manual, but broadly speaking, the installation might involve:
- Drill / Adjustable drill bits
- Adjustable wrench
- Soldering equipment
- Heavy duty/TEFLON tape
You will also need to pick up some additional supplies in order to install the system – it’s unlikely that your filter setup itself will come with any of these basic necessities.
Again, check the manual for exactly what you need and in which sizes, but expect to require:
- Wall Brackets
- Pressure Gauges
- Fittings and screws
- Valves (bypass, shut-off etc)
By making sure you have everything in advance before you get started, you’ll massively reduce the risk of having to stop mid-install for a run to the hardware store.
Do Not Connect The Filter To Your Heater!
It’s imperative to note that the majority of filters only function with cold water; above the appropriate temperature, filtration is less successful, and you could cause permanent damage to the entire system.
Cleaning once installed is no exception either – hot water has the potential to ruin your filter, so keeping it cold and connecting directly to the main supply is your best – and only – option.
That being said, you also need to avoid temperatures that put your water at risk of freezing up – for obvious reasons!
Ensure You Know What You’re Doing!
Listen, there’s no shame in hiring a professional or asking a skilled friend to help you out. If you aren’t a hundred percent sure you can install the system mistake-free, we’d highly recommend you get an experienced plumber in to do the job for you.
It’s likely that anyone with basic DIY know-how could pick up on what to do just by watching a couple of Youtube videos, but as with all attempts at renovation taken on by amateurs – do so at your own risk!