Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Install an Under Sink Water Filter System

We are a tap water house. It is cheaper, greener, and lazier because I don’t buy and lug bottles to and from the store or send them to recycling limbo.



We’re also a filtered tap water in the refrigerator house. In theory. Unfortunately, the filtered water pitcher is the first thing jettisoned from the refrigerator when I need to make room for food after a shopping trip.


I fell in love with my sister in law’s refrigerator with a water dispenser in the door during a visit. I swear I chugged gallons of filtered cold water like it was going out of style during our stay. I’d love to have one but it is silly to replace our refrigerator because it works fine otherwise (although I wish it were the same color as the other appliances in my kitchen.)

Then I visited Mother and Father in Law’s new farm (yep, they downsized their house and bought the farm – literally) and got a big case of the I want one toos. They installed a well water filter system and separate tap on their kitchen sink. Yay! 

I sometimes bring a water bottle from home to their house, which makes Mother in Law feel like a bad hostess. She isn’t. It’s my stupid stomach that has ruined a more than one camping trip because it can be prissy about well water.


Husband and I discussed installing a sink water filter faucet on the drive home. We figured it would be too spendy to install right now since we are in a saving for other stuff cycle.

Nope!

November’s One Small Green Change is to install a water filtration system.

 How to Install an Under Sink Water Filter Faucet


 This project is so, so easy to complete. 
You can do it! Promise.

I installed a Filterete under counter water filter system with a dedicated filtered water faucet for under a hundred buckaroos. The replacement water filters run around $30.00, last six months, and reduces select VOCs including the herbicide Atrazine, the pesticide Toxaphene (my development was zoned farm before they built our house), lead,  cryptosporidium and giardia cysts, sediment, rust, dirt, and select pharmaceuticals. Perfect! Just what we want.

If you are in a buying or researching mood the official name of our under sink water purifier is the Filterete High Performance Drinking Water System.  

Let’s install this bad boy!

The most difficult part of installing the water filter system is drilling the hole for the tap in my stainless steel sink. Drilling the hole is doable as long as you have a hole saw for metal and a time because it is slow going. But hey, when you are using a hole saw, slow and steady wins the race - and is safest.

If you have a sink that has already has a hole for a soap pump, you’re in luck. You can use it for the water filter tap and skip Steps 1 though 3 of my water filter tutorial.

You will need:

Painter’s tape
Nail or awl and a hammer
Safety glasses
Drill (I use a corded drill with a hole saw because you want a steady stream of power. Hole saws do their job slowly, drain the batteries on a cordless drill quickly, and may shorten the life of a cordless drill/battery.)
Optional: Regular drill bit to drill a pilot hole for the under sink screws if your cabinets are hard wood like mine
Hole saw for metal
3 in 1 Oil
Small bucket (I used our under sink compost pail)
Wrench
Optional: Teflon tape
Pencil
Screwdriver

Do it!

1. Mark where you want to drill the hole for the water filter tap on the sink with the painter’s tape.

I had a little fun with my chalkboard backsplash during the project

2. Use the nail or awl and a hammer to create a divot on the sink for the center of your hole saw so the saw will not “walk” while you are trying to drill on slick stainless steel.

3. Lubricate the area with the 3 in 1 oil, put on your safety glasses, and drill the hole with the drill and hole saw. This will take some time unless your sink is made of paper like the one in the How to Drill a Hole in a Stainless Steal Sink video below. It's cool. Slow and steady wins the race when you are working with a hole saw - and it is safer too.




4. Thread the flange, rubber ring, and washer onto the bottom of the water filter faucet. 


5. Thread the water filter faucet through the hole in the sink and tighten it under the sink using the included nut and a wrench.

Not quite done but close!

6. Mark where you want the water filter and bracket to hang under the sink with a pencil.

7. Drill pilot holes for the screws with the drill and regular drill bit.

I'm going to straight up apologize for the next set of photos. I used the flash and blew out the detail. If I didn't, the rest of this post would have photos like the one above.

8. Use the screwdriver and included screws to screw the water filter bracket onto the side of the cabinet.

Screwy!

9. Push the tap water line into the filter bracket. You do not need tools for this; use your hands (or those of a small child who fits under the sink better than a fun sized adult.)



10. Turn the water off to the cold water under the sink.

I should also apologize for the dirt on my pipes and under my sink. Yuck!


11. Place the bucket under the cold water pipe (or don’t if you want to work in a puddle) and use the wrench to remove the cold water line (mine is PVX instead of copper or PVC pipe) from the water shut off valve.

12. If needed, wrap Teflon tape around the threads of the water shut off valve to reduce the chance of leaking.

I'm wrapping yo.


13. Use the wrench to attach the T adapter onto the water shut off valve. Caution: if you use your hands to attach it fingertip tight, it may leak when you turn the water back on. Guess how I know?)

Wrenching!

14. Use the wrench to attach the the cold water line to the T adapter. See my Caution in Step 12 unless you like to clean up more than one easily prevented water leak under your sink.

15. Push the water filter line into the T adapter just as you did in Step 8

Push it.

16. Screw the water filter into the bracket.

Almost done!

17. Turn the cold water valve on.

18. Run water through the water filter tap for 2 minutes or so until the water runs clear.

Whee!

19. Recommended: Check under the sink to make sure your connections are tight enough and do not leak before you put anything you may have removed to install the water filter back under the sink. Especially if you did not follow my advice in Steps 12 and 13 and enjoy trying to dry out a cardboard box of dishwasher detergent – twice.

20. Grab a cup and fill it up with cold filtered tap water!

At first, we thought a water filter system was a nice extra to have but it is quickly becoming a must. We use more often than we thought we would because of the separate tap and the water is always refreshingly cold.

We are drinking even more tap water than we normally do and more often in place of juice, iced tea, etc. We also use the filtered water tap to make coffee, for cooking, and Husband carbonates the filtered water in his Sodastream.

I don’t know if it makes much of a difference in the taste since our water is pretty good as it was (as always your mileage may vary.) I appreciate the extra protection the filter provides. I like the convenience of not fiddling with the sink faucet to grab a glass of water as cold as I like it. I don't miss playing Jenga in the refrigerator with a filtered water pitcher either.

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Disclosure: Filterete provided a water filter system for this review. This did not influence my opinion because all opinions are always my own. For realsies.