Install a whole-house water filter

A whole-house water filter provides sediment-free, clean, tasty water to all the faucets and appliances in your home. In-line single- or dual-cartridge filter systems are relatively easy to install and often cost less than $50.

Step 1: Before purchasing a whole-house water filter, consider the cost and availability of replacement filters. Select the right type of filter for your specific needs. The smaller the micron rating of a filter, the longer it will take for water to flow through the system, which translates to reduced water pressure in most homes.

Step 2: Turn off the water supply and open the nearest faucet to drain the pipes before installation. Whole house filters should be mounted on the main water line shortly after the water meter or pressure tank.

Step 3: If the water filter has a mounting bracket, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and secure the mounting bracket to the wall or joist adjacent to the main water line. Be sure to choose an accessible location that allows enough room for easy filter changes.

Step 4: Wrap all of the pipe thread fittings with Teflon tape and assemble the filter as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 5: Use the assembled water filter as a guide to mark a section of the main water line for cutting. Remove just enough pipe to allow the filter assembly to fit properly between the pipe ends. Remember that a portion of the pipe will need to fit into the assembled fittings.

Step 6: Use a tubing cutter for copper pipe or a hack saw for plastic pipe to cut and remove the marked portion of pipe. Use emery cloth or a file to smooth any rough pipe edges.

Step 7: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach the filter to the water line. In most cases this will entail slipping a compression nut onto each pipe end, followed by a brass or plastic ferrule. Work the filter assembly carefully between the two pipe ends and hand tighten the compression nuts.

Step 8: Use a wrench to finish tightening the pipe fittings, being careful not to overtighten them.

Step 9: Turn the main water back on and check for leaks.

Step 10: Once the whole house filter is properly installed, open the nearest faucet and allow the water to run for approximately 15 minutes to properly clean and activate the new water filter.