How to Install Whole House Water Filter

Last Updated on October 15, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

To address the problem from its root, let’s begin with a brief intro of what a Whole House Water Filter is. It’s not complicated at all – the names give everything away. Most people believe that a water filtration system isn’t of much use since our tap water is chemically treated. Well, I’m here to disagree with that. You can never be too safe, especially when your family is part of the equation. 

The question that kept on coming up when I was deciding to invest in a whole house water filter myself was – WHY? 

It’s simple. Health should be our top priority. Now that we have experienced a pandemic, do you want to take risks? This is the house water we’re talking about – water that you take showers with, do your laundry, and clean your dishes with. 

Sure, your local water district must have treated the water. But it’s a healthy choice to make sure at your end too since we don’t know how well the job is done.

If anything, you’ll at least have the peace of mind that the water in your daily use doesn’t have harsh bacteria or contaminants that aren’t supposed to be there. 

Related: 7 Reasons To Have Filtered Water In Your Home

How to Choose the Right Whole House Water Filter? 

home water filtration system

Even though all water filters, at the end of the day, purifies the water – there are different kinds out there. And if you know what you’re looking for, finding the most suitable one for your household becomes much easier. Even after trying, you’re confused about which to invest in- refer to this list on

Factors to Take into Consideration before a Whole House Water Filter Installation

Investing in a Whole House Water Filter is a huge decision. Hence, before diving right into it – doing your own research is the best way to tackle such important household decisions. 

Water Outlet Usage

A whole house water filter installation is only feasible if all the water outlets in your home are in active use. In most cases where an average family will be using it, the answer will be yes. In other cases in which only one or two outlets are actively used, this isn’t the best option. 

How well is the Water Treated by the Local District?

If you live in an area where you just cannot entrust your local district with water treatment, you NEED this. Even if they’re trustworthy, understand how they operate. For example, if they use chlorine to filter treat water, invest in a filter that filters out chlorine.

Water Quality Test! 

Installing a whole house water filter is an investment. This is why making sure if it’s beneficial is a must. To do that, get your tap water tested first. The results will tell you if it’s needed or not. 

Nope, Not Clean enough to drink

The standard for drinking water isn’t the same as daily household use. Hence, if the answer you’re looking for is whether drinking tap water after whole house water filter installation will be safe, the answer is still a no. 

A Guide To Install a Whole House Water Filter

whole house rainwater filter system

Now that all the basics are out of the way, let’s talk about installation. The good news is that no matter what kind of filter you choose, the installation process doesn’t change much. Many go for professional installation but if you ask me, you can easily do it yourself, and reading this article is all you need. 

The first thing you need to get right is having the proper tools because the saying, ‘A man is only as good as his tools’ fits perfectly with this job! You’ll be able to find most of these tools in your toolbox or you could ask one of your neighbors for the missing ones. Here is a checklist to make it much simpler: 

  • Soldering Supplies
  • Bucket or Pan
  • Drill Bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Drill
  • Pipe Cutter or a Hacksaw
  • Teflon Tape

1. Shut Off the Main Water Supply & Empty the Tank

We’ll be cutting into pipes which is why shitting off the main water supply is the first step. Now drain all the water that’s already in the tank. Also, leave one or a couple of faucets open to release any sort of air pressure there may be. 

2. Look for the Main Pipe

The filter should be installed on the pipe where the water has to pass through before it flows through taps around the house. Hence, finding that pipe so the water is filtered throughout the whole house is essential. 

3. Cut into the selected Pipe

Now, you’ve got to cut out a section of the pipe. It should be big enough to accommodate the filter system along with all of its components. Keep the water bucket with you since some water in the pipe may start pouring out if it’s not empty. 

4. Clear out The Pipe and Sand the ends 

Once you’ve cut the piece out, it’s time for smoothening out the ends. Don’t forget to clear out the pipes because there may be debris scattered from cutting and sanding. 

5. Valve Installation

For ease of maintenance, on either end, install valves. You can either use just a shut-off valve or bypass one. I’d recommend the latter since that will allow water circulation in the pipes even when the filter system needs to be serviced. 

6. Pressure Gauge

This part is optional too yet a great addition. If you install a pressure gauge with the shut the dirty filter-off walls, you’ll know whether it’s time to change the filter or not just by a glance since it’ll tell you the input/output pressure. 

Related: How to Change a Whole-House Water Filter

7. Installing the Filter

Get ready for a lot of dry fitting as this step calls for it. Depending on the type of the whole house filter you ordered, it may or may not have housings with it. If they do, use warm water to clean them to get rid of any debris before you install it. Don’t forget to grease O-rings and make sure they are fitted right. 

The In and Out ports should be facing the right direction. In case the pipes won’t fit, use adapters. To prevent water from leaking, use Teflon tape to further secure the joints. You should know when to stop tightening the pipes because overtightening the joints may result in the pipes cracking.

Since we’re not professionals, it’s okay if you want to skip the soldering part but make sure that you’re using push fittings so the water is sealed. But in case you’re confident with your soldering skills, clean the ends and make sure that the heat doesn’t get too close to the pipes. 

8. Check for leaks and clear out the air

For this step, turn the water back on. If the fitting isn’t right, you’ll notice leaking immediately. Tighten the pipes or use Teflon tape to fix the leakage if required. After this, open all the taps around the house to drain out air and flush out any debris left in pipes. After several minutes, close the taps when the pressure has been restored. 

9. Filter Setting

For settings, refer to the manual of the whole house water filter you ordered. All done! 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Will a Wil it Cost? 

To be fair, giving an exact estimate isn’t possible since it varies from system to system. The better way to address this issue is to mention the range that you can expect the cost to fall in. 

  • Countertop machines: $60 – $500
  • Reverse osmosis systems: $200 – $4,200
  • Whole house systems: $1,000 – $4,200+
  • Under sink systems: $200 – $1,300

Will it successfully rid the water of odor and taste? 

The answer to this is yes, it will make the water fresh, odorless, and tasteless. It works with the activated carbon filter. Carbin doesn’t just remove the unwanted flavor and smell, it makes the water clean and fresh too.

As compared to the sediment filters, they’ll last you twice as long but they need to be replaced on a regular and timely basis. The carbon filter cannot be cleaned and have to be replaced every time. Although, if a sediment filter is followed by a carbon one – the latter will have an increased lifespan. 

After Installation, will the water pressure decrease?

Since the process of filtering out contaminants take time before it reaches the water tabs, yes, you will notice a decrease in water pressure. 

What will happen if the filters are left unchanged? 

Well, leaving the filters in for a very long time will kill the purpose of installing the filter in the first place. The longer it’s left in after its standard time, the lower the efficiency will get. 

How do you change the Filters? 

To change the filter, shut off the valve that was installed following the steps above. This is where the bypass valve will let the house have a water supply while the filter itself isn’t in service.

Now take out the casing of the filter and start with tidying up the O-ring. The O-rin is accompanied by a blastic black that you’ll see in the casing. Put it right back in the position when you’re done cleaning it. Replace it with a new one if it’s not good enough to use again. 

Now remove the filter that’s dirty and throw it away and clean the dirt in the casing. To wash the casing, you’ll easily find the supplies in your kitchen. Warm some water, mix in kitchen soap, and use a piece of cloth or a soft sponge. After the initial clean-up, wash it again by adding 1/3rd amount of water in the housing and a bit of bleach. Be gentle with the casing and after rinsing it twice with the method mentioned, leave it to dry.

Grease the O-ring by using silicone grease. Silicone grease stops the rubber to soften or swell hence not opting for any other type of grease is best. Put the O-ring where it belongs while trying your best to not break the housing seal. Before the water disperses throughout your house, it goes through the water filter so make sure the newly replaced filter is placed correctly over the cartridge. 

Use screwing motion to manually fix it to the standpipe at the center and you’re good. Switch it back from bypass mode and turn on the valves again. Again, turn on the water around the house and let the water flow for a few minutes so the filter can do its thing and the pressure is restored. 

How Often Should A Whole House Water Filter Be Changed? 

There are multiple factors on which the length of time the filters must be changed depends. The kind of filter you’re using is one of them. Here is a short table to help you:

Sediment pre-fileters1-6 months
Post-filters9 months or more
Carbon Filters14-15 months

Let’s talk about the other factors. The timespan mentioned above may change in accordance with changes in these factors too. Like the quality of the water that you’re filtering, or the capacity and size of the filter that’s being used.  If the water has a lot of impurities, the filter lifespan will decrease. 

The point is that we can not rely on time when it comes to switching out the filters. What we can rely on are indicators. There are numerous signs that you can look for before changing out the filter. Some of these indicators that you should keep an eye for are changes in water pressure and flow rate or bad odor and taste in water.


Water is a huge part of our life. Let’s not even talk about drinking – wherever cleaning is involved, water is involved. This is why investing in a system that is a one-time expense yet pays off for so long shouldn’t be a decision you need to think twice about. Depending on where you live, the water quality varies but even then it’s better to take things into your own hands for a healthy lifestyle.