How to Change a Water Filter Cartridge | 8 Easy Steps

How to Change a Water Filter Cartridge

Having a water filter cartridge is a necessity these days. From filtering out chemicals, bacteria and other contaminants to making the overall taste better, it ensures everything for drinkable water.

And to make sure that the whole function works properly, you need to replace the water filter cartridge from time to time. As a matter of fact, experts suggest that you replace your water filter cartridge every 2 to 6 months. But, how to change a water filter cartridge properly?

Well, here’s where I come to your help. I will share my experience and show you 8 easy steps to replace your cartridge. Then I’ll take you to the importance and signs of changing your water filter cartridge. I’ll close with some other important hot topics and answer a few top questions.

How to Change a Water Filter Cartridge?

Using a dirty filter is the same as drinking dirty water. That is why it needs to be cleaned or changed.

Sometimes it is not as easy as it sounds. But trust me, I do it 3 times every year. And I believe if you follow these simple steps, you’ll be able to pull it off pretty easily too. Let’s get to it.

Things You’ll Need

  • Filter Wrench
  • Bucket
  • Brand New Filters
  • O-ring
  • Scale Stick
 

Here are the steps you need to follow to properly replace the water cartridge: 

Step-1: Turn Off the Shut Off Valve

Firstly, the shut off valve needs to be turned off. Because you want to confirm that there is no water going into the system. So take the incoming water line and turn off the shut off valve.

Step-2: Turn on the Flush Valve

In the second step, you have to turn on the flush valve. So get to the drain line and turn on the flush valve. Why will you do it? Because it will let the water drain.

Step-3: Let the Pressure Drain

I always take my time and do this step slowly. I suggest you do the same. After you have turned on the flush valve, it will drain the pressure as well.

So wait for 4 or 5 minutes. Let the pressure in your pre-filter and post-filter be completely drained. In my filter system, there are red buttons. You will have it in yours too(It might be in different colors). So press it and wait for the remaining pressure to go out.

Step-4: Taking out the Pre-filter

Here’s the changing part. Take out your filter wrench. Get the wrench through the pre-filter from bottom to top. Loosen it up as much as you need to. Once I loosen it up a bit, I use my hands to twist and remove it.

After that, take out your pre-filter now. Dirty, isn’t it? Yeah, it is supposed to be. Mine always gets a bit brown because of the irons, but it may also get:

  • Slimy
  • Black
  • Green
  • Yellow

 

Throw it away.

Step-5: Replace the Pre-filter

After throwing the dirty one away, you want to replace it with a brand new one.

But in the middle of this, you have a must-do. Inspect the O-ring. I always pull it out to inspect it properly. If you need to, install the O-ring with a new one.

After that get the new filter in and put the bowl back to its place. Keep in mind  that you don’t want to make it too tight.

Step-6: Replace the Carbon Filters

In this step, you need to take out the filter quarter. So keep turning it and then pull it out. Get the new filter out and do not forget to take the plastic and cap off ( I once forgot to do it).

On top of the filters, you will find two little wings. They will help in lining the filter up. So check from below, push the filter in, keep turning and connect it properly.

You may have 3 or 4 carbon filters. Perform this step on all of them.

Step-7: Change the Post-Filter

After replacing the pre-filters and the carbon filters, it’s now time to change your scale stick. Get the wrench again, loosen up the filter and pull the bowl out.

Now you have to use some of your strength and pull out the scale stick. My scale stick always gets a bit stuck. After removing the old scale stick, insert the new scale stick into the manifold.

Before putting the bowl back, check the O-ring just like you did for the pre-filter. If you think it’s necessary, then do not hesitate to replace it. Now put the bowl back in its position.

Step-8: Flush the Cartridges

All of the filters have been changed, but it is not over yet. You have to flush the cartridges. To do that, shut off the drain valve first.

Now turn the water line back on.

After that, take the drain line and run it to the floor drain or bucket. Now turn on the flash valve. I usually wait for 5 or 6 minutes. However, if the filter is really dirty, you can wait some more time.

Shut off the incoming water line and shut off the drain valve. The last thing you need to do is turn the system back on.

That is it; you’re done and ready for another six months.

Is it Important to Change your Water Filter Cartridge?

The answer you are looking for: Yes, it absolutely is!

Water filter cartridges are the soul of a good water filter system. And to ensure that the entire system works effectively, changing the filter cartridge is really important.

The filter cartridge collects all the contaminants and pollutants in the water. But by filtering them out, they lose their effectiveness from time to time. The filter gets clogged after a time, and the water cannot pass through it easily.

Different kinds of chemicals or bacteria are left in our water. As a result, the entire water pressure declines.

Changing the cartridge makes sure that bacteria, fluoride, lead, and other types of contaminants are filtered properly.

Your pipe’s water will pass through properly, and the flow of water will remain constant.

Another thing I noticed is that changing the water filter cartridge helps to get better-smelling and tastier water. This is one thing I love the most because my kids hate it when the water tastes bad.

Another benefit of changing the water filter cartridge is, it decreases the risk of gastrointestinal disease and protects you from harmful minerals.

Keep another thing in mind: it’s really important that these cartridges are changed in order to prevent the buildup of mold, bacteria, and other dangerous contaminants.

If you do not replace the water filter cartridge on time, you might be on the edge of facing severe water pollution incidents. It might seriously affect your health and your family’s health in the long run.

That is why, in order to get pure drinking water in your stomach, cleaning and changing the water filter cartridge is absolutely necessary!

6 Signs You Need to Change Your Water Filter Cartridges

How will you know that it is time to replace the water filter cartridges? Well, I usually mark the dates and change them every three or four months.

However, there are signs that can help you identify it. If you come across these kinds of indications, consider changing the cartridges immediately.

1. Bad Taste in the Water

This is one of the most common signs.

Your drinking water will taste bad. Why? because a lot of harmful minerals and other contaminants have already built up in the system. They will leave a bad taste in the water.

So, if you think there is a significant change in the taste of water, change it without a second thought.

2. Water is Smelly

It is quite similar to the first one. When you haven’t changed your cartridges for quite some time, they stop performing at their optimum level.

I didn’t change my water filter for 6 or 7 months maybe. And trust me, I got the worst smell coming out of my faucet’s water.

I hope not, but if you find yourself facing a similar situation, you have to replace them.

3. Water Pressure Decline

As different kinds of pollutants build up throughout the time, the water pressure declines.

If the filter is clogged and you are facing a low flow rate of water, it is high time you should replace it. Because a drop in water pressure affects the pipes and can turn out to be a serious issue.

4. Cloudiness in the Water

Your water might be unclear. It might look a bit foggy and can come out with a milky texture.

This type of water can be really harmful. It will look so bad that you won’t even want to drink water. So, change it as soon as you can.

5. TDS effect

You need to check the effect of Total Dissolved Solids or TDS in your water.

If the TDS level remains 50-150 ppm then you are good to go. Otherwise if you are unlucky, you might even need to change your whole filter system.

6. Filter Indicator

These days, some of the filters come with indicators. The indicator shows a light and lets you know that you need to replace it.

That is why, if you get a red light on the indicator, change the cartridge without wasting any time.

You can check best budget-friendly water filter cartridge here

Frequently Asked Questions

Well it depends on what type of water filter you’re using. But experts recommend that you change the cartridges every two to six months.

However, if you notice any change in the water color or if there is slow flow rate, change it immediately. I personally replace them every 3 or 4 months.

Yes, you can. As time passes, the water filter cartridge will lose its power to filter out the contaminants. The water will remain dirty and harmful. As a result, it will cause you serious health issues in the near future.

I always use a home water testing kit and test my water. You can use it too.

However, if you are unable to get that kit, make contact with the water filter manufacturer or local water provider. I’m sure they will be able to help you out

Yes, a little bit maybe.

When the carbon filters are changed the carbon dust is removed. That is why you may experience a little bit of color change.

Final Thought

Drinking safe water is a must to ensure a healthy life. And water filter cartridges help us get that pure, drinkable water.

I hope this article was beneficial to you and now you know how to change a water filter cartridge. Remember the signs, spare some of your time and consider changing them for you and your family’s betterment.

Save water, save life until then!

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