Installing a Whole House Water Filter

We got a notice in the mail that our county was going to be doing maintenance on the water lines which included treating with a chlorine solution. It also said we would be tasting the chlorine. Yuck. I had already been looking into a whole house filtration system, so at this point we decided to just go and get one. One of our friends installed this Whirlpool system and really likes it, so I picked one up at Lowe’s

This is where I’ll be tapping into the water main. Just ahead of the main shutoff, but still behind the tee for the garage hose bib. I just recently installed this valve because the original 1979 gate valve did not instill much confidence in me when opening and closing.

This is my initial design for a 3 valve bypass to hook the filter up to. I was originally going to use the included bypass like our salt water softener uses, but I decided to go with copper valves in the line in case I ever wanted to change this filter out to a multi stage canister filter. I would also install a drain before the main shutoff, so I can completely drain the house lines if needed.

So I started sweating some pipe. As you can see here the valves and drain don’t really line up with my design. That is because I accidentally soldered a valve the wrong way to the drain connection, so I was forced to move that into the middle of the bypass. After looking at these picture again, the middle valve is installed backwards. Oh well.. that will rarely be shut.

Also seen here is my homemade 1 inch pvc to 3/4 inch pvc threaded adapter. You would think they make something similar to this in one fitting, but I couldn’t find anything after lots of time staring at fittings at Home Depot. This is needed to step the filter input/output down to the diameter of the flexible hot water heater lines I will be using to hook everything up.

Mostly done with the bypass valve. I know my copper sweating technique is amazing…

Time to disconnect the water softener. I will only be disconnecting the input, as I will be installing the filter in line before the softener per the filter’s directions. Whoever installed this made some adapter similar the ones I just created, but went straight to copper, and then used some sharkbite lines to connect to the main. I don’t have sharkbite tools, so I just went with threaded connectors.

Main water line is cut. At least I know my Z-Wave flood detector works!

Valve sweated onto the main. Time for the first initial pressure test. I closed the first 2 valves and turned on the main… Who would have guessed.. leaking at the middle valve. Great.

The copper pipe I bought had a little flat spot on it, and it seemed to have lined up right at this valve. So I torched the crap out of this joint to get the old solder to flow out. Then I applied *lots* of flux to the joint and re-soldered. I tried to glob it on in the flat spot. After a few tried it was now leak proof. It ain’t pretty, but I’ll be monitoring this joint for leaks.

Proceed to burn the ever loving shit out of your wrist by touching the hot torch after re-flowing the solder in a stubborn leaking joint. It actually doesn’t look too bad here, and there’s the remnants of some fresh aloe I rubbed into it immediately.

Here the water is turned back on to the house, and using the valves, the filter is bypassed. Everything is still leak proof, so that’s a good sign.

Hot water supply hoses connected to the main waiting to be connected to the filter.

Now we have filtered water! I noticed an immediate difference in taste from the kitchen tap after leaving the water run for a bit. Running the initial media cleaning cycle showed me that my tee solution for the drain wasn’t good enough, as the drain from the water filter was under enough pressure to push water into the water softener’s drain port. Woops. I’ll fix that in a bit.

And here’s a close up of the 3 valve bypass in the filtration setting.


List of purchases for this project:


Qty Product Price Notes
1 Whirlpool Whole House Complete Filtration System $279.99

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.