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BobS
Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
BobS

I have a whole house water filter problem: every time I need to change the filter element I can't get the canister turned out of the top housing. I've broken 2 of the plastic wrenches, tried using 2 strap wrenches together and even made my own "wrench using wood and nylon rope. I contacted the manufacturer who recommended using food grade silicon grease on the threads and the O ring seal. I did that and was careful not to over tighten. It's time to change the filter and once again the canister housing the filter cartridge is jammed. I’m stumped and frustrated. :confused: Any ideas short of replacing the whole unit? I'm not adverse to that option, but don’t want to end up with the same problem?

KKelly
Re: Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
KKelly

This is one of those questions, at least in my experience, that there is no easy answer to. I've dealt with those systems in residential and commercial applications and the best thing I can tell you is "finesse".

They're most often made of fiberglass or plastic. When you put a pipe wrench on them it compresses opposite sides, and when you apply pressure it's like applying breaks to a peddle, it clamps down, compresses the plastic and it won't budge because fiberglass or plastic has it own surface resistance that you tend to be increasing.

I've applied grease to them, graphite, and WD40, and they all tend to make the situation worse because they only seem to enable the option to compress and bind.

This isn't a great answer but it works for me. The old Amish "Gentle Persuasion". Grip it with your hand or a strap wrench very evenly all around and tap it lightly with a screwdriver or small hammer and turn gently. It's like the old Arthur and Excalibur story. Every knight in the realm tried to brute force the sword from the stone, Arthur just coaxed it because he didn't know any better.

The restrictions on sanitation prevent the device from being anything but something which works out to be pliable. A pliable cap doesn't work like we expect it to but it does work.

goldhiller
Re: Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
goldhiller

Bob,

You are using the pressure relief valve on top of the fixture before trying to unscrew the canister........yes?

If you don't, then you're fighting against X pounds of water pressure per sq. inch.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
Blue RidgeParkway

couldn't you just close supply valve and open some faucets or valves downstream to drain the water & pressure from the filtration unit before you began, instead of just closing valves before and aft and leaving the device under pressure?

ed21
Re: Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
ed21
goldhiller wrote:

Bob,

You are using the pressure relief valve on top of the fixture before trying to unscrew the canister........yes?

If you don't, then you're fighting against X pounds of water pressure per sq. inch.

Ditto that, makes all the difference.
Hand tighten, then use the wrench only to stop any leaks.

MrButters
Re: Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
MrButters

I hear you. I actually replaced mine with a large capacity filter and took the time to build in a bypass and pressure relief valve and tubing. Best idea every. I put ball valves before and after the filter. That way, I could totally isolate it. I than added another ball valve with a drain tube. I put a bucket under the drain tube and then released using my ball valve and drain tube. No mess. It was much better then using the crummy pressure relief button. Adding the bypass meant that I could rinse the muck out of the bottom of the canister even when the whole house filter shut off. The unfiltered bypass was an outside spigot, so being filtered wasn't an issue.

Also, the amount of force should be quite a bit lighter than one would think. It's like a spin-on oil filter; just enough to make it water tight.

Fencepost
Re: Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
Fencepost

Had the same problem with my Grandma's water filter. Yes, I was relieving the pressure. I ended up using faucet grease on the threads and o-ring; that helped quite a bit. I find that even still it doesn't come off easily; but rather than trying to force it off, I use even, steady pressure and it eventually comes loose.

cpop
Re: Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
cpop
KKelly wrote:

This is one of those questions, at least in my experience, that there is no easy answer to. I've dealt with those systems in residential and commercial applications and the best thing I can tell you is "finesse".

Keyword is "finesse"... I've never looked forward to this household chore... Finesse is the keyword here, and also a little patience. In addtion to finesse, you'll need a 32oz deadweight mallet and the black plastic wrench with the nubs that fit onto the blue body...

Draw a black line with a Sharpie on the blue body - visually aligned with some reference point on the black housing. Using the black plastic wrench, wale on the wrench with the mallet as close as possible to the stronger part of the wrench...

Key: Don't expect it to loosen all at once. Inspect that black line you drew on the blue body, and sure enough you'll see that you are making progress in very small increments. Once you see you've rotated a degree or two, you'll actually be convinced that it's starting to loosen. You're home free...

Also, lacking any handy plumbers grease, I used ordinary vasoline on the threads of the blue body. I think that helps, or else it's a placebo.

dj1
Re: Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
dj1

This is an old post, but the problem is not.

This is how I do it: First I shut the water supply, disconnect the water supply into the unit and out from the unit, take the unit outside the house and start working on it.

I use 2 wide wrenches. One to hold the body as a vise (I don't use the plastic holder that came with the unit - it's too weak). The other to turn the top of the filter unit.

When you are ready to put the top part, lubricate the thread with Vasaline/petroleum jelly, as suggested above, not WD40. Hand tight + 1/2 a turn with the wrench. Assemble the supply lines. Check for leaks.

Jim
Re: Jammed Whole House Water Filter Housing
Jim

Steps that I found useful.

Not all "wrenches" are equal. If purchasing a new/additional bring your old one to ensure sizing is correct. If using 2 wrenches try taping them together for better grip. The extra leverage from using a short piece of ABS as a handle extender makes it much easier on the hands. I put blocking and tightened with a wedge between the supply/feed copper fittings on either side of the top of the housing to distribute the load further.Shut off water and any pressure in the filter must be released (pressure valve or drain system)Once the wrench is in place, with a hammer or mallet, tap lightly around the top, on the top of the cannister and a couple of raps upward on the very bottom. Gently apply pressure clockwise, hopefully you get that nice "pop" when it is released. When re-installing, hand tighten and clearly mark where the cannister seats for future reference. 

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