Just a few moments ago, Laura informed me that our water was orange. Upon learning this, I said, “Oh crap. Not another issue.” It’s these little surprises that are my least favorite things. I enjoy predictability and steadiness. Not ups and downs and things I’m not ready for. Luckily, before she even finished her sentence, I knew how to fix the problem.
I totally forget if I ever wrote about the sediment filter I installed in the basement on this blog. We have a shallow well here and because of that (well, even if we had a deep well or city water), we get some sediment in the water that comes into the house. We used to deal with this issue a lot when we lived in Connecticut, so I’m familiar with what needs to be done to cure it. All that’s necessary is a bit of cutting some pipe and some plumbing. It’s sort of a challenging job if you don’t know what you’re doing, but if you do, it’s a snap.
The filter I installed is in the basement. It’s right next to the pressure tank and it’s mounted to the concrete foundation. The filter we had in Connecticut was mounted between the second floor floor joists and moved somewhat every time I had to remove the bottom clear piece to change a filter. I never liked that “movement” and because of it, I was careful to really bolt this one to the wall when I installed it.
If you take a quick look at the photo above, you’ll notice that there are two ball valves, one on each side of the filter. The reason I installed these two valves is two-fold. First, if I didn’t, my father would never let me live it down. He’s been talking about valves that control water flow since the day I was born. Second, the twist valves that come with these types of water filters aren’t very dependable. Our filter in Connecticut ended up leaking from that top valve because of over use. I thought it would be better to simply isolate the housing in its entirety when a filter needed to be changed. That way, I won’t wear out a piece of plastic and end up redoing a project that only needed to be done once.
I’m not sure when I installed this filter. I know it was over a year ago. I visited it a few times and didn’t really see much dirt, so I left things alone. That is, until today.
I guess it was time to change the filter.
These things are a bit deceiving. I’ll show you why in the last photo of this post. Basically, the outside of the filter looks fine when quickly glancing at it. The problem is, the majority of the dirt is hiding in the filter’s insides. It’s for this reason that it’s probably best to change these things every six months or so. That is, for a regular house. If you have more aggressive problems with your well, you’ll definitely need to change them more often. I just took a look at some images on Google and boy, people surely wait far too long to change these sediment filters. I saw photos with goo and slimy coatings. It’s totally gross and can make your water taste horrible and can reduce the water pressure.
Anyway, changing this filter was simple. All I did was turn both ball valves to their “off” positions.
Then, I got out the wrench that came with the filter and placed it around the plastic housing.
To unscrew the clear filter housing, I turned the wrench clockwise if I was looking down at the top of the filter or counter-clockwise if I was looking up at it. It only needed a small amount of pressure to break the seal. When it was broken, I twisted if off the rest of the way with my hand.
I took out the old filter, swirled the dirty water that was left in the clear housing and dumped it. I then installed the new filter in its place.
Then, I took a picture of the bottom of the valve contraption the filter connects to, just in case anyone might be interested in it.
Finally, I screwed the clear housing back up to the valve and gave it a quick tighten with the wrench. I turned the ball valves back on and called it a day. Problem solved.
Now, let me show you what I was talking about above. This is the insidious nature of sediment filters. While they look okay on the outside, they’re filthy on the inside.
From the photo above, you can see the gradient of dirt that travels from the exterior to the interior of the filter. Lesson learned. I’ll be changing these a lot more often.