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Whole House Water Filter Leaking From The Top: What To Do

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Tim Rhodes

Water filters are the noble inventions of the earliest civilizations but if you maintain it well otherwise it will become a headache, that’s why you need to know what to do when the whole house water filter is leaking from the top.

Do you ever face water filter leakage? – If yes, then get ready to pay a handsome amount to plumber for fixing it. 

Wait! – What if you can repair it by yourself?

Need help on how to change it? – I know I did so I am going to share this for you.

Before checking out the treatment of this problem, I will tell you some precautions for when the whole house filter is leaking from the top. 


Best Way To Avoid Water Filter Leaking

Before telling you the steps to fix the water filter leaking problem, I’ve decided to give you some tips to avoid this problem and increase the lifespan of your filtration system.

So read out the ways to maintain your filter system.

Regular Cleaning Routine

Cleaning the inside of your water filter system thoroughly and frequently is important to avoid a build-up of contaminants, minerals, or dirt in the filter.

Try not to use any punitive cleaning products and gently stain the system with warm water.

No one wants to add any harmful toxins to their systems that could be absorbed into the water that he/she and his/her family drink.

Make sure to sanitize the different parts of the system when cleaning your water filter, including the water dispenser, cap, and line, assembly, and clean all elements of the system, preferably on a weekly basis.

New Filter Cartridges

You can maintain your filtration system by regularly changing the filter, which if left for too long, can become blocked.

The control unit will show you when the filter needs changing usually displayed on your filtration system.

This may be specified by a daily status on the system itself or the changing colors of a discourse.

You should note down the date you last changed the filter cartridge and follow the guidelines provided for that particular cassette type and your individual system regarding how long this should last.

The lifespan of a water filter cartridge can be measured in both gallons and months and will have a specific expiration date.

When changing the filter cartridge of your filtration system don’t forget to assess the condition of the O-rings, ensuring there are no drips or leaks originating from this area.

Water Filtration System Replacement

Some Filtration systems have specific maintenance requirements like the reverse osmosis filtration systems.

With particular types of water filters, it is essential to pay close attention to the guidelines provided as some cleaning products can damage the system.

Like all other household appliances, your water filtration system has a suggested lifespan after which it will ultimately need replacing.

Some problems that you may experience can be easily fixed with a regular maintenance routine but continuing to use an old water filter can result in filthy drinking water and an inefficient system.

A good maintenance routine will improve the lifespan of your filtration system, for a cleaner, better tasting, and healthier drinking water for you and your family.

If you take care of these tips your house Water filter will never leak or make you trouble. Now I am going to share the Step to fix the leaking top of your house filtration system.

Steps To Fix The Leaking Problem By Yourself

Step 1: Shut Off The Feed Water Line 

When your filtration system starts leaking don’t waste time go and shut off the water line to the OR lines by turning the Cap on the tank ball valve 90 degrees, this will help you to save water.

If you’ve never turned your water off before this is the best time to practice doing it to verify, this will help you to shut off and re-opened your valve. Look for where your water meter is at the curb and verify you have a water shut off key or wrench.

If you can’t turn it off call your water utility for help.

They may need to switch out valves.

If you are in an apartment or condo check with the manager or home owner’s association to see where your unit’s shut-off valves are located.

Ideally, you would shut off the water to your entire house but for those of you rash enough to proceed please do so with thoughtfulness!

The last thing you want is a full explosion of water coming in with no method for closing it off.

Understand which way the water is flowing you need to take a good look at your whole house water filter setup.

Tip: A good tip from Fichtner is to fill up a bucket or sink full of water before you turn off your water.

This way you have water available for washing up or rinsing.

Step 2: Turn off All the House Appliances

Make sure your appliances of using water are turned off.

These appliances are like the ice cube maker, clothes washer, sprinklers, dishwashers, etc.

Suggest people use the bathroom now before you shut off the water.

Make sure you flush the line after changing the water filter to avoid problems with sediment, rust, or backflow.

Step 3: Depressurizing The System

After you’ve turned off the water supply to your house go and open up a bathtub or faucet sink valve to let the water pressure release.

Ideally, you should do this at the nozzle with the lowest elevation in your house to help drain out most of the pressure in the line.

If you open the 2nd floor or 3rd-floor bathroom faucet and are changing the water filter in your basement you’ll have 2 to 3 floors of water still in the pipeline when you open the filter in your basement hence the bucket.

I usually leave the nozzle open to help flush any fragments of water out the system when you go to turn the water back on but do what works best for your system.

Some systems use flower stem handles in which case lefty loosey is open and righty tightly is closed.

There are three main valves/ handles that you should close in water filtration leaking. i.e.

The first handle you’ll want to turn off in your water filter.

This avoids the water intake from reaching your filter.

The second handle filter you’ll want to turn off when you open the filter housing this will prevent a backflow of water in the line from coming back to you.

The third handle is the bypass handle that should have been off because it was forcing the water to go through your water filter.

You’ll now want to open this handle.

This means that if your water line is still on or not completely shut off, it will continue on bypassing the water filter.

This system is what you would do if you end up with a leaky whole house water filter that you need to bypass while you make repairs but still providing unfiltered water to the rest of the house.

Step 4: Opening The Big Blue Filter Canister

In most cases, people complain that they are unable to open their filter’s housing as well as carp about the plastic filter wrench.

This is either because the system is still pressurized or they overtightened the filter.

Better house filter systems have a red button on top that lets you release the water pressure in the line to make it easier to open the housing.

If you have this red button and your water is shut off go ahead and press it.

If you hear the sound of pressure releasing you have just saved yourself from a lot of arm wrestling with the wrench.

Some water filter systems even have a built-in bypass.

I’m not quite familiar with their setup but it might be a straightforward setup.

Tip: use a rubber mallet and gently tapping the plastic wrench to help loosen the filter housing.

If you have hard water use vinegar it will help to remove hard water build-up.

If needed then use a toothbrush and softly apply vinegar to the mineral build-up areas.

Due to hard water, it is possible that the calcium deposits have built-up where the thread pattern is.

Carefully proceed and make sure to clean them out.

Once the canister housing starts moving verify it by using your hands underneath to turning it level.

This will prevent having the canister falling to the ground or any stripping of the threads.

You should get a flow of water coming out and then the water leak should go to a dribble as you remove the housing.

Step 5: Check The Old Filter And Clean Out The Filter Housing

Transfer the filter housing water into the bucket below and look for any big sediment pieces that might show you are getting dirtied water from a broken water line.

The water should smell fine if it doesn’t investigate any serious issues because it might be a problem with your water source e.g. fracking near water wells or absence of chlorination for water utility lines.

Remove the disposable filter, these should be replaced every 6 months, but in my case, it had been almost 1.5 years! 

The outside of the filter is where the water comes in so all the wreckages should be on this side of the filter.

Take a look inside the center filter ring to see how it looks.

This is the filtered water that proceeds out to your valve.

If there are small black flecks it may be from a charcoal filter.

If you see rusty metal flakes it probably means you have steel pipes that are starting to worsen.

A small amount of sand is not strange.

A lot of pebbles, sand, or concrete pieces are not normal.

Take a look at the bottom of the filter housing for more wreckage.

Wash it out and use a clean thread to wipe down the insides and outsides of the canister.

Wash the threads of the canister as well as the threads of the canister holder bracketed to the wall.

You may find chunks of debris stuck in here from opening the canister.

It is essential to clean this out well, use a toothbrush or Q-Tip, and then wipe it clean with your thread.

Step 6: Check And Replace The O-Ring

Your filter canister has a black o ring that is a food-grade safe ring to help avoid leaks.

This O-Ring is the seal between the filter bracket and canister and is important for preventing leaks.

Most people think they just need to tighten harder rather than understanding they need a new O-ring.

Clean out the O-Ring track with a Brush.

It might feel gluey due to the silicone grease used on it last time.

Try to get it clean, but do not use any solvents or detergents to do this.

You’ll want to proceed and put some silicone grease on your fingers and rub a light coating onto the ring, be sure the replacement O-ring fits nicely into the track. 

Note: Carefully remove the O-Ring from the canister and take a look for any flattened parts.

Do not stretch the ring because if you have to re-use it, it might not fit again.

Before replacing, check the diameter of the new ring with the old one.

The new one should be slightly thicker or the same size in diameter.

Take the time to make sure you are ordering the right kind of O-Ring for replacements.

They should be Buna-N O-rings that are also called Nitrile NSF 61 O-Rings.

These rings are certified safe for the water filtration system (ANSI standard 61).

Step 7: Use Plumber’s Tape Around The Threads Of The Filter Canister

Mostly People skips this step, so you are free to skip it too, except if you are running into a leaking problem like I was.

Wrap the Plumber’s PTFE Teflon Thread Seal Tape several times around the threads.

You’ll get good coverage without over-doing it.

Tip: Make sure your thread this on correctly the first time, otherwise you’ll need to remove it and start all over again.

I find that it works best just using my two hands and holding it tightly as I slowly turn the canister ROUND (righty tight) works best.

Make sure you’ve got the new filter in the casing before you do this though!

Step 8: Placing The Replacement Filter In

Place the filter into the casing and make sure it is perfectly centered.

If it is off-center or you lean it while you thread it you are probably damaging the top of the filter as it is splendid into the brackets designed to help guide the canister housing back on.

Take the time to carefully look at your filter in the canister and at the threads, you are screwing it onto.

Usually, people tend to hand tighten it only.

It will go on easy and once the water is in it, it will be difficult to unthread unless the system is depressurized.

If the valve is too loose then the filter will leak again.

Some plumber cheats and does a little monkey tight, not gorilla tight with the filter wrench but this step is done because they didn’t install a new O-ring, use PTFE tape, and/or silicone grease. 

Tip: if you are over-tightening the filter then when you go to do the filter change next time you will end up using the strap wrench to get it opened!

Step 9: Slowly Pressurize The Water System

Don’t just go and turn the water system back on to full pressure if you do so then expect a leak!

Most people turn on the water only to check the canister fell off and water is scattering everywhere!

Tip: Slowly turn on the ¼ water and listen to the pipes. It is better to have some other person who turns on the water while you watch, in this way you can find any problems quickly.

Leaks will either be a huge geyser of spray or appear as a steady stream of drops down the side at the connection.

This is a good time to check for rust and wreckages getting flushed out in the lines before proceeding you should let the water run until it goes clean.

Once the water is running clear you should go up to the highest water vent in your house usually an upstairs shower and turn it on to eliminate any air out of the water lines.

If there is still any sign of leakage shut everything down.

If it looks fine go ahead and go to half water pressure and then full water pressure.

Step 10: Clean Up And Final Tips

Carefully clean up everything. Clean the bucket by dumping out the water on it.

I recommend that you leave the bucket under the water filter for the next filter change or in case you have any leaks.

It’s better to put a note on when the filter was changed and set a calendar reminder on your phone for 6 months out.

I recommend installing a water leak detector, it will help you in saving your dollars.

If you don’t have it, this is a good time to get one.

Benefits Of Using Water Filtration

Water filtration can provide better smelling and better-tasting drinking water by clearing chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals, and bacterial contaminants.

It will provide better-smelling beverages and better-tasting by removing bacterial contaminants and chlorine.

It will remove the lead from the beverage immediately before drinking so this will prevent you from harmful substances from entering your body.

The purchase of a countertop filter leads to a source of unpolluted, healthy water that costs much better than boiling water.

Water filters greatly reduce the danger of carcinoma, bladder cancer, and rectal cancer by removing chlorine and chlorine by-products from beverages.

Dangerous contaminants from beverages will be removed by solid block carbon which will filter water while retaining healthy mineral deposits that balance the pH of the beverage.

It will give you good health-related benefits and protect your body from dangerous diseases and increase your lifespan. 

A filter provides pure and healthy water for cooking also as drinking at the convenience of water.

Water filters reduce the danger of stomach disease by quite 33 percent by removing cryptosporidium and giardia from filter-water.

Drinking pure water is especially important for children. 

Water filters provide the pure and healthiest water for children’s developing immune systems.

 It offers the last line of defense between the body and therefore over 2100 known toxins that will be present in beverages.

Removal of the by-products of disinfection chemicals like chlorine and chloramines, like, halo-acetic acid, trihalomethanes, NDMA, chlorites, bromates, etc., some of which have been linked to cancer.

These are produced when chlorine or chloramine reacts with organic matter in the water.

An honest carbon filter will remove a spread of V.O.C.’s (volatile organic chemicals) like carbon.tet, atrazine, tetrachloroethylene, benzene, etc. that end up in drinking water. A

An honest filter will remove waterborne, enteric disease-causing pathogens.

If you’re using municipally treated water, your filter should have a pore size rating at 1.0 micron and take away 99.9% of any microbial cysts like Cryptosporidia or Giardia Lamblia since these are often not killed by the conventional municipal treatment.

Lastly, aesthetics and taste are an enormous advantage to the filtered beverage especially when activated charcoal is employed.

Your water will be clearer and taste better and you will want to drink it more.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this instruction will be helpful to you!

We are lucky to be in a country with clean water.

Please pray/vote/donate to assist those without access to clean water.

Knowing what to do when the whole house filter is leaking from the top we will make them more conscious of other water filtration methods, their practicality, and their benefits. 

Inferiority water can cause health hazards which will be avoided by putting into place these safe, inexpensive, and effective water filtration techniques.

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