• This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows how to ensure clean water for your entire home.

    Steps:
    1 Turn off the water to the house at the meter.
    2 Screw a plywood panel to the wall close to where the cold-water line enters the house.
    3 Fasten the filter's mounting bracket to the plywood panel with hex-head screws.
    4 Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of the outlet fitting; tighten the fitting to the outlet side of the filter housing.
    5 Screw an adapter into the inlet side of the filter housing.
    6 Wrap Teflon tape around a threaded fitting, then thread it into the adapter and tighten with it pliers and a pipe wrench.
    7 Use close-quarter hacksaw to cut through cold water pipes.
    8 Clean the just-cut pipe ends with emery cloth.
    9 Mount the filter housing to the metal bracket bolted to the plywood panel.
    10 Push the solderless coupling onto the end of the water pipe.
    11 Push the valve assembly onto the coupling and then onto the inlet side of the filter.
    12 Install the second valve assembly onto outlet side of filter.
    13 Be sure both ball valves are turned off.
    14 Add a bare copper ground wire from the house side of filter to water meter side of filter to ensure the plumbing connection is grounded.
    15 Turn the water back on, open both ball valves and check for leaks.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Requires some plumbing experience
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      Tools List

      • tongue-and-groove pliers
        Pliers
      • , for tightening plumbing connections
      • pipe wrench
        Pipe wrench
      • , for tightening plumbing connections
      • ratchet wrench
        Ratchet wrench and sockets
      • , for fastening the filter's mounting bracket
      • close-quarters hacksaw
        Close-quarter hacksaw
      • , used to cut water pipes
      • drill
        Cordless drill
      • , for screwing the plywood panel to the wall

      Shopping List

      1. Whole-house water filter

      2. Ball valves, used to shut off water before and after filter

      3. Solderless brass fittings, for joining cold-water line to copper pipe and filter housing

      4. Copper pipe, for connecting filter to cold-water line

      5. Teflon tape, for sealing threaded fittings

      6. Plywood panel, used to attach the filter's mounting bracket