How To Install A Faucet Water Filtering System

Many homeowners prefer to install their own water filters at the faucet instead of using a more expensive whole-house system.

Municipal water sources usually provide safe drinking water for customers, but they must occasionally add chemicals such as chlorine in order to control the growth of algae in the processing tanks. Water provided by a well is not as processed, but can still contain trace amounts of solids and potentially harmful microorganisms. The general solution for homeowners who seek purer and tastier water is a water filtration system, but a system designed for the entire home can be expensive to install and require professional maintenance. This is why many homeowners have switched to faucet-level water filter systems. Installation is usually very simple, and the filters themselves can be replaced easily without tools or specialized knowledge.

Installing a new faucet water filter begins with selecting the model most suited to your particular needs. Home improvement stores, hardware stores and larger department stores carry a wide assortment of faucet-attached filtering systems. Some require a significant investment at first, but replacement filters are fairly inexpensive. Others may be cheaper to purchase, but their filters are expensive or difficult to find. You'll want to find a water filter system which will match your existing faucet, allow for filtered or unfiltered use, and have replacement filters readily available. Another useful feature is some sort of onboard monitoring system which clearly shows when the filter has reached its final days of usefulness.

Once you've purchased a new water filter system for your kitchen faucet, here's how to install it:

1. Take everything out of the box and make sure all of the pieces are in perfect condition. Now is the time to discover any cracked fittings or bent connections. Read the accompanying instructions thoroughly and clear out a workspace around the faucet area.

2. Some water filter systems have a preinstalled filter, but others may have the filter separate from the unit. Don't install a separate filter until the written instructions say it is okay to do so. Generally, the unit and the filter will be together at the time of installation, but some instruction manuals may vary.

3. There should be a fitting on the main part of the filter system which contains a ring with threads. This fitting should match the threads around the end of the kitchen faucet. If your kitchen faucet's threads are not exposed, you may to remove a decorative ring first. Untwist the decorative part in a counter-clockwise direction until it is free. Hold the water filter unit against the faucet end with the ring surrounding the threads. Turn the ring in a clockwise direction until it is snug. Some water filter systems may contain adapters for unusual faucets, so look for one if the ring of the filter unit and the end of the faucet do not mesh. Be careful not to misthread the ring- a good seal needs to form.

4. Once the water filter unit has been securely screwed onto the end of the faucet, it is important to look for the on/off positions before turning on the water. Some filtering units must be turned to a certain position before water will be diverted into them. Others may have a manual switch or require a twisting motion. Filtered water will most likely pour from a separate opening, not the original faucet. Some filters work immediately, while others may take a few minutes to become effective. Hot tap water may be problematic for water filters, so be sure to turn off the filtering option when drawing hot water from the tap. Cold filtered water may be heated at another source to prevent damage to the filter itself.

5. After a certain amount of time, water filters will need to be changed. Look for an indicator bar or other measurement of the filter's saturation level. Some water filter units may have to be removed from the faucet for maintenance, but generally the filters can be accessed and replaced without taking the unit completely off. Be sure to match the new filter with the old one- some may look similar but are not designed to work with your particular system.

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