Whole House Water Filters

Whole House - Water Filter System

Our new house has well water.  Lots of iron and rust was showing up in the toilets, sinks and tubs, so i though a water filter system would be a good idea.

Here is what the existing plumbing looked like as it entered the house.
copper water pipe, well, house

There was already a water softner in place.
water softner connection, pipe, plumbing, how to connect water softner

This was my 500th different design.  4 filters each smaller then the previous one.
water filter plans, plumbing layout

I decided to use PEX pipe.  So happy i did, this stuff was super easy and fast to install
pex pipe, coil, blue, red

Here's some of the pieces laid out.
whole house water filter, parts, materials, cost

And here's everything laid out in place to make sure i didn't forget any part.
filter, culligan, whole house, water filter, cost, material

I used a laser level to roughly align the larger filters with where i would connect them to the copper pipe.
plumbing, whole house filter, water filter, well water, how to

Here's the first 2 filters.  They are basically a fine wire mesh to catch the particles.
spin down, turn down, never change water filter

Here's the next 2 filters.  These get a cloth insert that can be any micron size filter.
clear culligan water filter, 4x10, 4.5x10, filter size

I mounted everything to a piece of plywood anchored to the wall.
how to make a whole house water filter

The PEX went together really fast.  Just crimp the metal connector.
remove rust from water, iron from water, rust in well water

Pressure gauges and butterfly valves to monitor pressure and isolate the filters when they need to be changed.
well water filter

There were 0 leaks at the PEX connections.  A few at the copper connections because i didn't use enough teflon tape.
filter out rust from well water, city water smell

This is the bypass line so that i could change the filters and still have water to the house.
check water pressure, flow

Close-up of the PEX connection.  There are other types of PEX rings, this one was the cheapest.
pex water pipe, elbow, pex elbow

The pressure gauge.  I had 2, which showed the pressure before and after the filters.
monitor check water pressure, low flow

Rough placement of pipes and filters.
whole house water filter system

Connection to the existing copper lines.  Elbows and brackets to keep it tight to the wall.
connect pipe from filter to house

Everything set and in place.  In total it was around $400.
water filter for house

3 weeks later and you can see the rust/iron that was collected.
rust in water, rusty water, iron, rust, well, pipe

I've been buying the 20 micron filters in bulk for $7.  But it's still a pain to change every month.
arsenic, rust, iron, well water, test

The final setup, with instructions on the board for how and when to change the filters.
cost for whole house water filter, build, plans, make, amazon

Transcript of the Youtube video:
before I begin if you just want to see
the installation of the filters on the
water system you can skip ahead I'll put
a time down at the bottom but for the
first part of this video I wanted to
quickly talk about the filters I bought
why I bought them the system I'm going
to set up how much everything costs all
the fittings you're gonna need and why
I'm doing this the way I'm doing it so
we just bought a new house and we have a
well and we live here in Michigan and we
get really good water pressure but we
also have iron in our water and our
Simac in our water we had a test when we
bought the house and they said we had 2
parts per billion of arsenic now this
system will not get rid of the arsenic
the only way to get rid of arsenic is
with a reverse osmosis system and we're
going to be installing two of those on
six right under the sink upstairs this
is purely to get rid of sediment and
minerals and hopefully iron that's in
the water so all of that isn't slammed
into the reverse osmosis filter system
which is a series of filters and that
doesn't clog up this is going to filter
everything in the house except the
sprinkler system and the spigots on the
outside there's a bypass on the plumbing
right over here this is going to
intercept all the other water and it's
going to intercept it before it gets to
the water softener so before I bought
anything I did tons of research I
watched videos and pictures and read
about it and I saw people had done one
filter or they had three filters with
the same filter cartridge in it
I saw filters that had been plumbed in
parallel so you didn't lose pressure and
this is just the system that I came up
with it makes the most sense to me and
what I've come up with is a series of
four filters and each of them with a
smaller micron size opening so the way
it's going to work is like all other
systems I'm going to tap off the
existing line run through the filters
and tap back in I will have valves to
isolate it and pressure gauges to
monitor the pressure coming in and out
and before I keep going everything I
bought here I got on Amazon and I'll put
links down in the description with what
I bought the cost and the quantity and
the quantity I'm gonna actually use
because some of these I bought a packet
I'm only using four but I'll put all
links and the cost for everything down
in the description but for the filters
themselves these are the first two that
I purchased and this one is a 1
filter and this one is a 5
filter I know they look the same but
they have smaller openings in the fabric
itself and the fabric when I say fabric
these are actually turndown filters or
spin-down filters you're not actually
changing the filter it's kind of like
the screen on your screen window where
it's just gonna catch the particles when
this gets clogged all you have to do is
open the valve all of that will get
washed out and close the belt and I
really like that idea that I'll never
have to change a filter on either of
these two so these are gonna catch the
big particles that come in the house
first the next two that I bought I was
almost gonna buy there's a real popular
one it's blue from DuPont it was quite
cheap there's a billion people that
bought it on Amazon but I won with these
because they're clear and I wanted to be
able to see the filter I wanted to be
able to see if it was clogged with iron
I'm gonna have pressure gauges but I
wanted to see how a clog it was
immediately look at and say oh man I got
to change that filter so I went with
these they're from culligan this is the
filter casing this isn't the actual
filter the filter gets screwed placed
inside of here and these are from
culligan they're on Amazon there's one
of the most popular ones on there it
seems super well-built looking at the
picture it realize how large it was but
these are really big they take a 1
by 4 inch circular filter cartridge that
looks like this and the cool thing about
this is I bought two exactly the same
but I have in these I have a hundred
micron 5
micron in here and a 5 micron in here if
it starts to get clogged up or I lose
pressure I might change this from a 5 to
a 1
this is that as it is now water's
running straight up through the house
and we're going to be putting it through
bends and pipes and valves and gauges
and filters and we're gonna lose some
pressure hopefully not a lot like I said
I live in Michigan we have plenty of
water now
is estimated that each of these bends
and fittings and tees you might lose a
half a PSI I think maybe
each time it goes through these filters
I might lose up to five psi so if I have
that goes through here it might be down
to 3
goes upstairs it might be 2
I hope not also the next point is I was
originally going to use solid copper
pipe and you solder and hook it all up
but I decided to go with PEX piping
which is right here one downside with
the PEX piping is the inside diameter
it's slightly smaller this is all three
quarter inch pipe and three quarter
inches what I have back there but the
inside diameter of PEX piping is a
little smaller with the system I'm going
with you can expand the packs and that's
one method of crimping on but with all
these different fittings these are
actually smaller than a 3/4 inch and
it's recurrence with a copper the copper
fitting fits over the 3/4 inch pipe
these are going on the inside of the
three-quarter inch PEX piping so we
might lose some pressure by the time it
goes through the whole system and
upstairs I'm hoping it's not a lot but
it's something I have to look out for
now I went with a cheapest one which is
this here and this tool actually works
for 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch and it kind of
works like you know a hose clamp where
you put it on a up tube and use a
screwdriver and you can tighten the hose
it kind of works in the same way where
there's an inner ring and an outer ring
and you're compressing that I would a
ring you're just kind of pinching it
together was only 3
these were each each of these filter
casings were 52 and I think these were
each 52 as well as pull the system was
right around $4
but you could just go with one filter
and it would be half the cost but the
main cost was in these filter systems
again with PEX piping the cost is a
little bit more expensive than a normal
copper tee but these weren't too much I
think these were a buck 5
use a sharkbite fitting where I'm
connecting to the existing system these
were five or six bucks these are the
offensive ones you definitely don't want
to use the sharkbite fittings all the
time just one or two in certain
scenarios where you can't weld it or you
don't want to weld it now like I said I
did a ton of research and I drew the
system out maybe 1
me to visualize how I wanted to do this
because when I started I didn't really
understand the actual flow of how it was
gonna go I know if you've done this
before it probably makes sense but like
I said it's going to leave the existing
pipe I'm gonna cut it it's going to come
into this sharkbite fitting from here I
want to install a tee which will go to a
butterfly valve where I can isolate this
system so there's actually actually
about three butterfly valves to where I
can shut off the incoming and outgoing
flow of the system and one for the
bypass so if I ever want to change a
filter I will close the filter system
valves open the bypass and the water
will go straight through and straight
out but for most of the time I'll close
the bypass and it will run through the
system now the way this is gonna go I'm
gonna take this piece of plywood I have
right here I'm gonna mount it onto the
wall I'm gonna fit everything on here
that I need and I'll make the final
connection to my water system we're
actually have to cut the pipe on
somewhere I'm like a Saturday or a
Sunday where I know I have plenty of
time because there's going to be no
water to the house for a little bit
while I make this connection but when
you're doing this before you start
laying it out you have to decide where
this is going to go and you do want it
open and easy and accessible to get to
so that's why I'm putting it on that big
wall and tucking it behind somewhere
what I won't be able to get to it I
won't be able to access it
this is the point we're on connecting
I'm going to be connecting it to this
pipe here so I just set up my laser
level just shine a line on the wall just
so I can get a rough estimate of where
this is going to be because I want this
one in line pretty close
the other one is going to come up drop
down and then go over and connect here
but this one I kind of want to keep in
Oh screwed up I figure it's a better
idea to put some of these fittings on
here now and I definitely have to put
this fitting on first
I can't mount this screw this in because
I have to spin this to rotate it down so
I'll have to mount both of these
simultaneously but I might as well do
the ends too
the crescent wrench doesn't fit
Hey right
keys to using this x-pipe is want to
make sure the tool is wide open it can
grab a little bit on the end and it will
grab it and won't let go but you don't
want this all the way at the end of
against the elbow you wanted a little
ways off so aggressive right the middle
and squishes it up what's it set it
it's like that
sit easy
I have everything right fit and then I'm
just kind of aligning it before since
you get down
now I've looped everything through
everything on the wall it's done I just
have to make the final two connections
here luckily I have a direct flow
through here and I pass which goes
through the water softener so I can
close this valve and this valve open
this will still have water to the house
that this will be isolated so I'm going
to go ahead and close these and I can
make my connections right here and what
I'm going to be using to connect the
pecs to the capper is just a sharkbite
connection I know these are kind of
expensive these are those are like five
or six bucks but I could really find a
good copper to PEX connection and I
figure this figure in of a snap it in
snap it in and be done
now I don't have a lot of room to get a
cutter in here because it's so close I
have the water shut-off and I'm gonna do
it with a hacksaw and a bucket
okay well I just took this piece out and
another reason why these sharkbite
connections are good it doesn't have to
be completely dry you can see there's
water dripping probably leaking from
this valve the water's coming up from
I'm with the sharkbite connections you
just pop it in otherwise I don't know
how I would be able to solder it with
all this water in the pipe okay time to
make the connection but before I do I'm
going to finally use this little dome -
I got it shows the depth that this
should be on there and I can mark it and
see how far that sharkbite should fit on
there so I know it's all the way this is
the five micron filter
now what important thing is to check
this desk it it's good to have backups
and to have food-grade lithium grease to
put on here
or silicone grease to put on here
because you want to keep this clean and
lubricated so it doesn't leave
all right Tech the big test a few leaks
I'm going to close the main over the
I'll fill it up
it's pressure this little guy right here
is a water sensor it's got two sensors
on the bottom I'm gonna put this down
here it's super important so if we hear
this beeping you know something's the we
have 35 psi here 35 psi here so I'm the
tank right off the tank we have 38 yes I
well unfortunately it looks like we have
two small leaks
none of them are linking of the
sharkbite connections have a small leak
right here and a small leak right up
here so they're both leaking out of the
fittings that I did so I'm gonna close
this here close this one here and I'm
going to open the bypass so now it's
running in and right back down so now
the system is closed I'm gonna try to
tighten tighten this here and somehow
tighten this here that's gonna be tricky
well at the moment everything's working
fine there's no leaks I did have some
leaks in that brass fitting I had to pop
off one of the hex couplings but more
teflon tape on it and really cinch it
down the hard part was they wanted to be
tight off-center so I had to put enough
teflon tape to get it to be tight when
they're parallel together like this
nothing's leaking but I'm gonna keep an
eye on it and like I said my water sets
are here so in the middle of the night
if anything happens hopefully we'll hear
it and the basement flood but another
thing about the pressure I noticed when
I connected it and turned the water back
on gauge coming out of the well is 55
and both of these were reading 55 - and
when water fluid flowed through it
these dropped this one didn't so I don't
think these have a correlation up until
the point where the pump turns on
okay it's been a week since I put the
first part of this in and I did make a
couple changes one is I put two more
elbows in the corner just so it doesn't
have that big round curve I felt there
was a lot of pressure on these sharkbite
things so I put the elbow in so it was
nice and stable I also put another
bracket here on the wall made out of
wood just to hold everything in so it's
nice and tight but it's been a week and
I'm amazed at how much rust is already
in this filter this is the five micron
filter I see a little bit in the hundred
nothing in the fifty a little bit in the
twenty five but the five and the hundred
are the ones that are filled up so I
think if I were to do this all over
again all I would do from this well is
use a 1
filter just the - I don't know how much
those other two are gonna do but again
it's only been a week and they're not
hurting anything they're definitely
helping I could see a lot of rust in
this 25 micron filter so what I might do
is make this a 1
filter like this and I could make that
one a 1
a tent another thing I added was this
down tube from these blow-off filters
with a little brass teeth this is 3/8
inch inside diameter so that's what fits
up knees down tubes and it just goes to
a sump over here 25 meters was 5 bucks
and 2 bucks for the fitting the last
thing I have to do is make a shelf I'm
gonna make a shelf up here for the
filters I have to write on the board I
want to write so it's nice and clear to
anybody who comes down here what the
filters are the process for changing
them so fine down here people can see
okay open this valve close these to
unscrew this I'm gonna have it on the
show if I have the wrenches up here too
and two more things that I bought are a
non-toxic lubricant and some more Oh
rings and some people have said that
it's good to have these some people
change them every time they change a
filter sometimes when they open the
filter the o-rings expand and they can't
get them back in so they're good to have
and use the lubricant to put on the
o-rings to lubricate it so it sits and
it seals properly so I'm gonna have
these sitting next to it as well but so
and the week that has been up I haven't
noticed any pressure loss in the showers
all the way upstairs I haven't noticed
the water pressure down at all so I
think I'm a little lucky being here in
Michigan we have tons of pressure I'm
seeing I'm the gauge down there out of
the well it's 5
outlet I'm seeing 45 psi and 45 psi
right there so the filters haven't been
clogged a little info trust that they
don't look like they're clogged
according to the two different pressures
a little bit of a pressure loss from the
well to here I'm not sure why it's been
like that right when I installed it but
so far so good I'm really happy with it
hopefully we won't be getting any more
rust in our toilets or our showers or
our sinks and this means that now I can
go do the reverse osmosis filter to get
rid of the arsenic and the other rooms
knowing that all this rust and sediment
has already collected here and it won't
be collecting in those filters so I'm
really happy with how it turned out I
really love using the PEX pipe I like
having all the filters knowing that all
the water coming into the entire house
is filtered out now so let me know what
you think 

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