How to Replace the Filter in a Water Softener


Hard water contains elements of calcium and magnesium. A water softener removes the hard elements from water and releases small amounts of sodium into it. The effect of the exchange generates soft water. Iron and other solid particles are not removed without the use of an additional filter. A pre-filter is the first cartridge on the upstream side of the water softener. The quality of water flowing through the water softener assembly determines the frequency of filter replacement.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Replacement filter element
  • Turn the water supply off leading to the water softener.

  • Close the isolation valve located downstream of the water softener. The isolation valve maintains water in the lines while servicing the water softener.

  • Place a bucket under the filter housing to catch excess water spilled while removing the housing.

  • Grasp the filter housing with both hands and turn it clockwise. The housing will unscrew from the filter head and expose the filter element.

  • Pour the excess water held in the filter housing into the bucket. Check the o-ring on the housing and make sure it is not cut or damaged. If the o-ring is bad, replace it with a new one.

  • Remove the filter element from the housing and throw it away.

  • Install a new filter element into the housing and screw the housing back into the filter head. Tighten the housing by hand until it is tight.

  • Turn the water valve on leading to the water softener and check the filter housing for leaks.

  • Turn the isolation valve on between the filter and the house to reestablish water flow.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a spare filter element on hand for unscheduled filter changes.

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