How to Remove a Whole House Water Filter System

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Removing a whole house water filter is not as complicated as it sounds; it’s simply a matter of retracing the steps you took when you originally installed the filter.

If you don’t have the budget to hire the services of a professional, here’s a guide on how to remove a whole house water filter.

Key Takeaways

To remove a whole house water filter:

  1. Turn off the water supply and open faucets nearest to the filter system.
  2. Tip: If there’s a pressure relief button on the filter housing, press and hold it.
  3. Unscrew the whole house filter housing and remove its filter cartridge.
  4. Disconnect and remove the system module.
  5. Reestablish the plumbing connection.

Removing a Whole House Water Filter

Before you get started, make sure to review your manufacturer manual for any information. Contact your manufacturer for inquiries if in doubt.

Tools & Accessories Needed

  • Filter housing wrench
  • Empty bucket
  • PVC, copper, or similar piping material

removing whole house water filter

Step 1: Turn the Water Off

Turn off the water supply to the house. The main shut-off valve is usually located near the water meter or where the main water line enters your home. Open faucets downstream of the filter to release pressure and flush out as much water as possible.

Step 2: Press the Pressure Relief Button

On the whole house water filter housing, there should be a button or lever sometimes labeled as “pressure relief”. Press and hold to release any pressure that may have built up inside the filter housing. You’ll know the pressure is gone once there is no more hissing sound.

Step 3: Unscrew the Filter Housing

Before unscrewing the canister, place an empty bucket under it to catch any water spilling.

Then grab your filter housing wrench and slide it onto the housing. Turn it to the left to loosen it. You can then proceed to unscrew it with your hands.

Step 4: Remove the Filter Cartridge Inside

Remove the filter cartridge from the housing and empty out the canister.

Step 5: Disconnect System

Now you can disconnect your whole house water filtration system. Depending on how it was installed in the first place, this step can take as little as a few minutes to 1 or 2 hours if you need to desolder.

Step 6: Reestablish Plumbing Connection

Finally, you need to bridge the gap that is now part of your main water line.

What If the Filter Housing Is Stuck?

If the housing of your whole house filter is stuck, it’s likely because pressure or debris has built up over time. There are a few techniques you can try to get it unstuck.

Use a Second Filter Housing Wrench

If you have another filter housing wrench in your toolbox, use it together with your first one. With one wrench in each hand, twist the housing to unscrew it.

Use a Pipe with Two Filter Housing Wrenches

A pipe with two filter housing wrenches can give you extra leverage. Hold the two wrenches together and slide them onto the canister. Then, grab a pipe and slide it into the wrench handles. Now try unscrewing the filter housing with the pipe as support.

Expand the Cap/Sump with a Blow Dryer

If your whole house water filter’s cap or sump is easily accessible, you can use a blow-dryer to expand it a little. Take your blow-dryer and heat all sides until you can feel them become hot. This will take a while, but it may help loosen the connection. Once the sides are hot, try using the wrench again to unscrew the filter housing.

Use a Strap Wrench

In extreme cases when your filter housing still won’t budge, a strap wrench may do the trick. A strap wrench is a heavy-duty wrench designed to loosen up cylindrical objects. Wrap it around your filter housing, and attach a socket wrench for torque.

How to Prevent Filter Housings from Getting Stuck

The best way to prevent your filter housing from getting stuck is to regularly lubricate the O-ring. The O-ring is a rubber seal that helps keep the watertight connection between the canister and the lid. Over time, the O-ring can become dry and brittle, which makes it more likely to get stuck.

To lubricate the O-ring, simply remove it from the canister and apply a generous amount of silicone grease to it. Then, put the O-ring back in place and screw on the lid. You should do this every few months to keep the O-ring from drying out.

Dealing with a Stuck Filter Cartridge

Fortunately, dealing with a stuck filter cartridge is less challenging in most cases. A filter cartridge occasionally gets stuck due to minerals that may have hardened around it. Here are a few tricks you can try to remove it:

  • Twist the cartridge with your hands. Try moving the filter cartridge clockwise and counter-clockwise repeatedly to loosen it.
  • Use needle-nose pliers to pull it out. The pliers may give you a better grip, so try pulling the filter cartridge out with it.
  • Heat the bottom of the housing with a blow-dryer. Similar to heating the cap of a housing, you’d want to expand the bottom of the housing so that the filter cartridge could loosen. Heat the canister’s bottom with a blow-dryer until it is noticeably hot, then try removing the cartridge.

These tips should help you remove your whole house filter, whether stuck or unstuck. If none of the above tactics work, however, be sure to seek professional assistance.

If you have any questions about how to remove a whole house water filter system please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Since 2020, she has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Alex has been using water filters and similar products for years which has gained her lots of hands-on experience.
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Leave a Comment:

Robert Long says April 20, 2024

Hi, I want to permanently remove the two filter system. Do I have to rebuild the straight pipe over the cannisters, or can I simply remove the cartridges and have the water somehow come through the empty cannisters and into the house system?

    Gene says May 14, 2024

    Personally, I would rebuild the pipe. One less potential leak source. But you should be able to use the system with empty filter housings.

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