How to install a whole house water filtration system (2023)

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In order for a whole house water filter to provide clean water throughout your home, it must be connected to the water supply network. This includes, but is not limited to, cutting pipes and making new plumbing connections.

For seasoned DIYers, this probably sounds like a great idea for your next project. But even if you don't have that much experience with saws and pipe wrenches, you don't have to look up the nearest plumber's phone number; Because installing a whole-house water filtration system sounds more complicated than it is, as you're about to learn!

We think it's possible for anyone who isn't afraid to get their hands dirty.

so here it isour step-by-step guide to installing a whole-house water filter!


(Video) How to Install a Whole-House Water Filter | Ask This Old House

  • Place 1: Where to install a whole house water filter
    • 1.1 Before or after the heater?
    • 1.2 Before or after the pressure vessel?
    • 1.3 Before or after fabric softener?
    • 1.4 How about installing a POE filter outdoors?
  • 2 Whole house water filter installation diagram
    • 3.1 Deliveries
    • 3.2 Equipment
  • 4 How to install a whole house water filtration system
  • 5 video instructions
  • 6. Conclusion


Here are the steps to install a whole house water filter:

  1. Prepare filter media, if necessary.
  2. Shut off the water supply.
  3. Depressurize the main water line by opening several outlets.
  4. Remove a section of tube and file down the sharp edges.
  5. Optional: install pressure gauges and valves for easy maintenance.
  6. Put in the whole house filter.
  7. Connect the filter to your water line.
  8. Turn the water back on and check for leaks.
  9. Purge the system.

Location: Where to install a whole house water filter

Before we get to the practical side, where is the best place to install it?

First, the closer to the main waterline, the better. Ideally, install a POE filter directly on the main connection and avoid additional water pipes. Enough space for installation is mandatory. In addition, the system must be accessible from at least one side to facilitate maintenance and repairs.

Before or after the water heater?

A POE water filtermust always be installed before the water heater. This has two advantages:

  1. They filtered cold water and filtered hot water. This improves the lifespan of appliances that work with hot water.
  2. The service life of the water heater itself increases.

Before or after the pressure tank?

Owners of private wells need to installyour water filter system after the pressure tank.

Before or after water softener?

Install a whole-house water filtration system before or after a water softenerIt depends on the water conditions. With tap water, we generally recommend installing the water filter before the water softener to protect the softening resin, which is generally sensitive to chlorine. The first filter also resolves allwater pressure problems.

(Video) How to Install a Whole House Water Filter (iSpring WGB22B 2 stage, WSP-50SL)

You can do the opposite with well water. If you are not using shock chlorination in your well, it is not necessary to dechlorinate and install the whole house water filter after the water softener to ensure adequate flow for system regeneration.

How about installing a POE filter outdoors?

If possible, we would avoid installing an entire home filtration system outdoors. For one, you need to install it in a location that doesn't experience freezing temperatures. And installing it in your garage or basement protects your system from potential damage.

Whole house water filter installation diagram

How to install a whole house water filtration system (1)

Courtesy of BOS

accessories and equipment


Here are the materials needed to install a whole-house water filtration system:

  • Copper tubes or flexible stainless steel hoses
  • Soldering supplies (if using copper piping)
  • plumber's tape
  • Shark bite or other accessories
  • Shut-off valves (optional)
  • Bypassventil (optional)
  • Manometer (optional)
  • Mounting bracket (with modular water filter systems only)


Here is the equipment needed to install a whole house water filtration system:

  • serra
  • plumber's wrench
  • pierce
  • pierce
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket + large towel

How to install a whole house water filtration system

How to install a whole house water filtration system (2)

(Video) How to install a WHOLE HOUSE WATER FILTER with PEX plumbing. GE whole house water filter GXWH40L

Finally, let's discuss step by step how to install a whole house water filter.

Of course, you must remember to follow our instructions carefully. Because while the installation process is pretty much the same for most water filtration systems on the market, your model may require additional steps. So make sure you read the product manual carefully before starting.

  1. Activated carbon and other types of filter media generally require priming (48 hours soaking). You need to take care of this before you even think about going to step 2.
  2. Whenever you are tinkering with plumbing, your first step should be to turn off the water supply. In our case, it is the main water supply.
  3. Now drain all the water in the main water line. You can do this by turning on all nearby faucets and shower heads.
  4. Does all the water come out? Then it's time to remove a section of the water main. It should be long enough to easily accommodate your water filtration system. Before you start mowing, remember to place a bucket underneath as an added safety measure against water damage.
  5. Sand the ends of the water inlet and outlet line.
  6. At this point, we recommend that you install a shut-off valve on both sides of the filter. This allows for much easier maintenance later on. Instead of shut-off valves, you can alsoInstall a whole house water filter bypassThis allows you to continue using water even when the filter is in sleep mode.
  7. Another optional component is the pressure gauges. They allow you to measure the water inlet and outlet pressure. For what reason? A high pressure drop is a good indicator that one or more of the filter stages is clogged and needs your attention.
  8. Then place the filter where you want it.
  9. You must make a connection from the incoming water supply to the inlet port of the filtration system and a connection from the outgoing water supply to the outlet port. We recommend using flexible stainless steel hoses with push-in fittings. This is much more convenient than soldering copper pipes. Also remember that all threaded ends must be taped to prevent leakage (unless otherwise noted). Speaking of which, be careful not to overtighten the plastic fittings to avoid cracking.
  10. All connections established? You can then slowly turn on the water supply while checking for leaks.
  11. Finally, you must flush the system for 3-5 minutes to remove air and debris from the installation. Rinsing may also be required to activate the different types of filter media (see product manual).

In total, we estimate the installation to take 3-4 hours. If you've done this before, you can complete the project in 1-2 hours.

In older homes, conduit is sometimes used to ground the electrical system. In that case, you must add what is called a jumper wire from one side of the newly installed water filter to the other. This is to ensure the floor remains intact.[1]

video guide

To complete your project, you may find the following video helpful. Shows how to install a simple cartridge-based sediment filter. However, the general procedure is the same.


In short, installing a whole-house filtration system can be challenging, but it's certainly not impossible. It's a great DIY project for anyone wanting to learn.

(Video) Whole House Water Filter Installation

The best place to install a system is in your garage or basement on the main water line, before the water heater, after the pressure tank, and usually before the water softener.

Before you start, you need to gather all the necessary supplies and equipment. Then just follow the instructions in the product manual. For reference, you can see the instructions above.

We estimate around 3-4 hours from start to finish.

another read

  • Water Masterz Guide + Well Water Filter Reviews
  • Top Rated Well Water Sediment Filters - Water Masterz Guide
  • How much does a home water filtration system cost? – Prices 2023
  • All about whole house well water filtration systems
  • Guide to Reviewing the Best Whole House Water Filters
  • Top rated home water filter cartridge reviews


Meet Jason Hollow


How to install a whole house water filtration system (3)jasonis the founder of Water Masterz and head of content creation. After six years in the industry, he has extensive knowledge and first-hand experience in all aspects of water treatment.

His credo: No American should have to drink unhealthy water at home.


How to install a whole house water filtration system? ›

DIYers with a moderate amount of plumbing experience can learn how to install a whole house water filter. If you'd rather leave whole house water filter installation to a professional, consider using The Home Depot's water treatment services.

Can you install a whole house water filter yourself? ›

DIYers with a moderate amount of plumbing experience can learn how to install a whole house water filter. If you'd rather leave whole house water filter installation to a professional, consider using The Home Depot's water treatment services.

What is the average cost of a whole house water filtration system? ›

Whole House Water Filtration System Cost Range

Most homeowners pay between $900 – $3,100 for water filtration system installed by a pro. The cost ranges from about $360 for a basic DIY system to more than $3,500 for a professionally installed system with advanced filtration features.

How long does it take to install a whole house water filter? ›

Installing a whole house filter system could take an experienced plumber two to four hours. If you're installing it yourself, then it may take a little longer depending on your level of experience.

Where is the best location for a whole house water filter? ›

Usually, the best place for a whole house water filter is near your main water shut-off valve, which is usually located in a basement or on the perimeter of the house in a utility closet or other such area if you don't have a basement.

Can you drink tap water with whole house filter? ›

It is best to use a point-of-entry filter system (where your water pipe enters your house), or whole-house filter system, for VOCs because they provide safe water for bathing and cleaning, as well as for cooking and drinking.

Are whole house filters worth it? ›

If you need chlorine-free water 24/7 for your bathing and washing, a whole house water filter will be worth the investment. But if you just need your shower water to get filtered, a shower filter will also be good enough.

How long do whole house water filters last? ›

Generally speaking, a whole house water filter is meant to last no longer than 12 months. As long as you understand when to change your filter and signs that it's time to do so, you never have to concern yourself with waiting too long.

What should I look for when buying a whole house water filter? ›

A large filter is the best, as it means increased water supply and longer service interval. You also need to check the port size of the filter since it impacts the gallons per minute and the pressure of water that flows into your house. For an average home, the ideal size of a whole house filter should be 4.5″x 20″.

How often should you filter your whole house water? ›

Typical Whole-House Water Filtration Schedules

The typical water filter will need to be changed every 2-6 months.

Is it worth it to install a water filter system? ›

It not only aids in preventing rust stains in sinks, tubs, dishwashers, and toilets, but offers softer, brighter and longer lasting clothing. A carbon filter effectively removes chlorine, chloramines, and odor. The outcome is chemical free, clean, fresh drinking water for the whole household.

How often should you backwash a whole house filter? ›

Simply put, backwash filters will need to backwash once there is noticeable pressure loss through the filter – typically once every 1-2 weeks.

Does whole house water filtration go before or after water heater? ›

Connect your filtration system directly to the main supply before your water heater. Most water filtration systems are designed to work with cold water and may be ruined if the system uses water from the heater. Even during cleaning you should never run hot water through the system as it may damage it.

How many gallons of water does a whole house filter hold? ›

Good quality whole house 4.5" x 20" carbon filter cartridges will last 100,000 – 150,000 gallons in normal municipal water supplies.

What is the most cost effective way to filter water? ›

Ten Low-Cost Ways to Treat Water
  • Ceramic filters. Clay, sawdust and a plastic bucket can make a water filter that catches dirt and disease-causing microbes. ...
  • Bone char filtration. ...
  • Slow sand filtration. ...
  • Everything-but-the-sink portable filter. ...
  • Bamboo charcoal. ...
  • Solar distillation. ...
  • Emergency homemade filter.
Mar 11, 2012

Do I need to boil water if I have a whole house water filter? ›

If bottled water is not available, bring water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes). After boiling, allow the water to cool before use. Boil tap water even if it is filtered (for example, by a home water filter or a pitcher that filters water).

Do you need refrigerator filter if you have whole house filter? ›

Your whole-house water filtration system will take care of removing contaminants in your water with little maintenance required. You can then run your fridge's water dispenser without the added filter to have quick access to cold, filtered water from your filtration system.

What are the disadvantages of filtration? ›

Disadvantages of Filtration
  • Filters can only work on liquids and gasses.
  • Autoclaving is usually cheaper than filtration since filters are expensive to replace, especially nano-filters.
  • Glass filters are very brittle and can break easily.
  • Membrane filters rupture easily.
Mar 26, 2017

Do whole house air filters reduce dust? ›

Do Air Purifiers Remove Dust? The answer is yes. By filtering particles, air purifiers remove pollutants, allergens, and other toxins from the air.

How many filters do you need for a house? ›

Typically, a house will have 2 air filters in their intake vents. In some cases, there can be more or fewer depending on the square footage of the home or apartment and the number of floors that need to be supported by the central air system.

What happens if you overuse a water filter? ›

And aside from sediment, a carbon water filter that is used beyond its days can collect a build-up of other materials and contaminants. This build-up of contaminants often looks like 'goop' and can even leak into your supply of drinking water.

Why does my whole house water filter get dirty so fast? ›

Water Quality and Usage

Like the air filter in your HVAC system, the harder it works, the faster it gets dirty. Filtering water with heavy sediment is like asking an air conditioner to remove mud instead of dust. No fine filter will last as long as expected under those circumstances.

How many gallons of water do I need after replacing my filter? ›

Once your filter is replaced, run four gallons of water through the line to properly flush the new filter.

Does whole house water filter lower pressure? ›

Disadvantages of whole house water filtration systems:

May decrease water pressure: The water supply runs through the filter at a certain speed. If you are taking a shower, doing laundry, and running your dishwasher at the same time, you may notice a decrease in water pressure.

What are the 3 types of water filters? ›

There are three methods of water purification: reverse osmosis (RO), distillation, and ultraviolet (UV).

Should I buy a water filter or just buy water? ›

Filter water vs. bottled water. Although both filtered water and bottled water can provide healthier, better-tasting water, the cost-effectiveness and smaller environmental impact of filtered water beats out bottled water at every turn.

What happens if you don't change house water filter? ›

If you do not replace it on time, pollutants such as bacteria, pesticides, lead, fluoride, and many others, can build up inside the filter. As the filters clog, it becomes harder for the water to pass through the system. This decrease in flow can have a dramatic impact on the water pressure inside your pipes.

How do I know if my whole house water filter is working? ›

The most effective way to determine if your water filter is working properly is to test your water before and after it passes through your filter. Such analysis is called performance testing because it tests the effectiveness of your filter in reducing or removing potentially harmful contaminants that pass through.

What is the average labor cost to install a water filter system? ›

Water filtration system installation labor cost

Labor costs to install a water filtration system average $200 to $300 if you plan to hire a pro to do the work. If you are in the market for a whole house water filtration system, you can take the DIY approach, or you can hire a professional to do the work.

How much value does a water filtration system add? ›

Does water filtration systems increase home value? Research indicates that adding a water softener to your home can increase its equity anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

What are the pros and cons of water filter system? ›

Pro – These systems soften water and can reduce the potential for stains on clothes and sinks and lead to reduced corrosion in your pipes and appliances. Con – Some water purification systems remove beneficial minerals. Con – These systems are more expensive than point of source units.

Should you always rinse after backwash? ›

Backwashing reverses the flow of water, lifts up and flushes the sand, and then expels the dirty water via a waste line into the ground or drain. In order to prevent residual blow back into the pool, once you've finished backwashing it's highly advisable to rinse the filter.

What is the difference between backwash and rinse filter? ›

What's the difference between backwash and rinse? Backwash sends water in the opposite direction through the filter. Rinse sends water through the same in the same direction as normal filtration. The Rinse setting clears dirt from the clean side of the sand before sending it back to the swimming pool.

Can you backwash too long? ›

As eluded to above, if you backwash your pool pump for too long, it runs the risk of introducing air into the system. Air pockets can cause pumps to lose the constant flow of water that they need to keep working. If this happens to your system after a backwash, you may need to prime your swimming pool pump.

Does a whole house filter replace a water softener? ›

Oftentimes you need both a water softener and a water filter. The minerals found in hard water that lower the efficiency of a filtration system and diminishes water quality can be removed with the addition of a whole house water softener.

Does a whole home water filtration system soften water? ›

With a whole-house system, all the water you consume will be treated and softened at the same time, all at once, no matter which faucet you use.

What Micron is best for whole house water filter? ›

Generally, we recommend pleated 50-micron filter cartridges followed by a dual grade 25/1 micron depth filter. For very fine sediment in the range of 1 to 5 microns, we recommend dual-grade depth filters.

How much water do I need to drain when changing my water filter? ›

This is normal and why you should flush your water filter before use. You can pour the water directly down the drain. It usually takes 3 to 5 gallons of water to completely flush your new water filter.

Are spin down filters worth it? ›

Having a spin down filter comes very handy especially if you are trying to clean up water from a well. It is more useful than the typical filter cartridge that gets clogged and full in little time. Regular sediment filters have cartridges that vary from 5 to 20 microns.

Is it cheaper to buy bottled water or filter? ›

No matter how you slice it, high-quality, filtered tap water will always cost less than expensive bottled water. Switching from bottled water to a water filtration system could save you hundreds of dollars a year or more.

Should you filter tap water? ›

The levels of chlorine in the drinking water are non-toxic, so you may not need a filter. However, consumption over time may have health consequences.

Is it cheaper to filter your own water? ›

What's the annual cost of bottled water versus using water filters? It's about $80 cheaper to use a water filter in the first year than it is to buy bottled water for a household. You save even more the following year when all you're doing is replacing the filter at regular intervals.

Can I change my own water filter? ›

Changing a water filter cartridge is as easy as changing a light bulb. Doing something good for you should never be complicated. Installing a water filter in your home, office, caravan or RV is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure the water you drink is fresh and clean of any unnecessary contaminants.

What are the disadvantages of water filtration? ›

The Cons of a Water Filtration System:
  • Speaking of cost, initial installation is more expensive than other filtration methods. ...
  • You can't pick and choose what gets filtered. ...
  • Fluoride and your teeth: If you choose a whole house water filtration system that removes ALL chemicals, you will also be removing fluoride.
Apr 12, 2019

What is the most effective type of water filter? ›

Reverse osmosis filters are top of the line for removing a large percentage of contaminants out of the water, potentially including dangerous waterborne bacteria. The filters work by pushing water through the reverse osmosis membrane using pressure.

What is the cleanest water to drink? ›

Again, the healthiest water to drink is water that's free of pathogens and contaminants, yet rich in key minerals. But, if there was one water option to pick, it's likely going to be spring water or clean artesian water—water that still contains healthy mineral content and is free of pathogens.

How many years does a water filter last? ›

Filters used in commercial settings should be changed every 4 to 6 months. Filters in residential settings should be changed every 6 to 12 months. Reverse osmosis, membranes, and additional alkalisers only need to be changed ever 2 years or 4 years, respectively.

What can I use instead of a water filter? ›

Terracotta pots can work as water filters, too. The majority of bacteria and impurities in water get caught in the microscopic pores of the pot's walls as the water drips through the clay. A coating of colloidal silver ensures that whatever other bacteria remains is neutralized before the water gets through the wall.

How long does a whole house water filter last? ›

Generally speaking, a whole house water filter is meant to last no longer than 12 months. As long as you understand when to change your filter and signs that it's time to do so, you never have to concern yourself with waiting too long.

What happens if you accidentally drink water during a boil water advisory? ›

What if I accidentally drank tap water before I learned about the Precautionary Boil Water Notice? If this happens, don't panic. The chances of becoming ill are slim. See your doctor if you experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or abdominal cramps.

Can you shower during a boil water advisory? ›

Can you shower during a boil water advisory? Yes, being very cautious not to swallow any water. Young children may need to be supervised to ensure that they do not inadvertently ingest any water or get excessive amount of water in their eyes. In fact, you may consider bathing young children using a sponge bath.


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