Water filtration systems can literally be a lifesaver. This could be the way to go if you are looking for clean, safe, and delicious water in your mobile home. But of course, they have to be installed first. Luckily, with some help, you should be able to handle the installation as well as some regular maintenance and repairs yourself.
Read on for our one-stop guide to installing and repairing your mobile home filtration system. We can’t cover everything. But we are going to look at some of the most common types of water filters and necessary repairs.
Installing countertop filters
One of the quickest and easiest systems to install are countertop filters. They rarely require making changes to pipes or drilling any holes.
There are several types. But we’re going to focus on the most popular options which you attach to faucets with a diverter.
1 – X marks the spot
To begin with, you need to work out where to place the filter. We recommend that you put it right next to the sink. But you can’t always be choosy.
It should at least be placed close enough that the systems water line reaches the faucet comfortably.
2 – Turn of water supply
Yes, you aren’t going to work directly on your plumbing and pipes. But it is better to be safe rather than sorry. You don’t want to accidentally open the tap and let water flood all over the parts.
3 – Remove the aerator
Next, you need to remove the aerator on your faucet. It should be attached right on the opening of the tap. You will typically be able to unscrew them by hand.
Over time they can become stuck. But, don’t worry. There are several tricks you can try.
One is to use vinegar to clear away corrosion or debris. Pour some white vinegar into a bag and tie it over the end of the tap.
Another is to try to loosen it with a rubber wrench or pliers.
4 – Attach diverter valve
Now you can secure the diverter. Most filtration systems come with a range of adapters to help you fit it securely to the tap.
Take a look at whether the faucet has an outside or inside thread and whether the product comes with suitable adapters. Otherwise, you might need to make a quick trip to a hardware store.
Screw the diverter valve on until it fits securely and is sealed.
Remember to pay attention to where the switch will end up. You need to be able to access it.
5 – Test
Different products use different types of diverters with different methods off switching between filtered and unfiltered water. Check your product’s manual to see how its switch works and test it out.
Depending on the type of filter the system uses, you might need to flush it. Turn on the diverter and let the filtered water run until no debris comes through.
Installing under the counter filters
1 – Make some measurements
Before you even buy a filtration system, you need to measure your cupboard underneath the sink. It doesn’t help that you get an under the counter filter that doesn’t fit … you know, under the counter.
Keep in mind that you want to install it so that you can have access to it. You will probably need to check and change the filters regularly.
2 – Shut off supply
Before you do anything else, turn off the cold water supply line underneath the sink. Be warned that they can become quite stiff. Dripping some penetrating oil on the valve can sometimes do the trick.
If you can’t get it open, you will have to call a plumber to come take a look.
3 – Drilling a hole
Next check to see if your sink has any pre-drilled holes for additional taps or accessories. It might be closed with a plastic fixture. If you find one, count yourself lucky.
Otherwise, you have to drill a hole for the filter’s faucet.
Check whether the manufacturers have given any specifications for the size of the hole. Or if you need to calculate it.
Then you should find a space on either side of the existing tap. Make sure there isn’t any plumbing or obstructions under the spot.
You should be able to drill into a porcelain sink with the masonry drill bit. Besides this, you should be able to make a hole in a stainless steel sink with a standard metal bit. But you will have to consult a pro for granite or stone.
For peace of mind, you can apply masking tape around the spot to help stop the drill damaging the surrounding areas.
4 – Adding fixtures
Now that you have the hole, you can install the filter’s tap.
To connect the system, you should install a tee to divert water from the supply line. You need to place it where the cold water line connects to the sink’s faucet.
There will also be a water line that you have to secure to the filter’s tap.
Both of the lines need to secure it with compression fittings. Just try not to over-tighten it.
5 – Install system
Next, you have to check the manufacturer’s manual and instructions. It will tell you where the water lines need to be connected to the system. You should also find out how to secure the different filters.
6 – Flush the filter
All that’s left to do is to check that everything is in tip-top shape. Turn on the faucet and make sure there aren’t any leaks. Let the water run for a few minutes. This is necessary to flush out small carbon particles if you have a carbon filter.
Installing an entire home filtration system
1- Picking a spot
First, you need to figure out where to install the filtration system. It needs to be as close to the place where the main water line enters the house as possible. In mobile homes, you can usually find it in the underbelly.
Consider installing it before your water heater if you want to protect it from lime and scale.
Besides this, remember that you need to be able to access it to do maintenance and repairs. The underbelly might be the perfect spot to put it as well.
2 – Shut off supply
As always, you need to turn off the water supply. In mobile homes, this valve will probably also be in the underbelly. However, manufactured houses are unique in that they often have two switches. The other might be located in the yard or somewhere outside the home.
Then you need to drain all the water from your plumbing by opening all the faucets in the home.
3- Prepare the line
Now comes the tricky part. You need to cut into the main pipe. Measure out how much space you will need for the filter and its components and mark it.
Cut out the section. Sand off the burrs from the ends and clean debris from the pipe.
An optional step is to install a shut-off valve on either side of the system. This will make maintenance that much more straightforward.
4 – Installation
Once the prep is done, you can begin with the actual installation. Read the manufacturer’s manual for product to make sure you know what to do for this specific system.
Orientate the filter so that the input and output lines are on the right side.
You might need to buy some adapters so that everything fits snuggly. Again be careful not to tighten the parts too much to prevent cracking the pipes.
5 – Test and flush the filter
Almost there! All that’s left to do is to check for leaks and prepare the filter. Open the shut-off valves and turn on all the faucets that are connected to the system.
Be ready to turn it off if there are leaks quickly.
Leave all the water running for several minutes to flush the filter.
Checking for issues
Manufacturers usually stipulate how often you need to have your filtration system checked. And especially if and when parts like the filters should be changed.
But there will probably still be some issues that crop up in between.
Here is a list of signs that there’s a potential issue with your filter:
- A change in the odor or taste of the water
- Unusual colors in the water or even debris
- A decrease in the pressure of water that has passed through the filter
- The filter or any parts of the system has reached the end of its lifetime.
- You have run a test and found contaminants or unwanted substances.
- An imbalance with the pH
A must-have for any mobile home owners with water filtration systems are water testing kits. It’s great to have these on hand to regularly test your water to make sure everything is still in tip-top shape.
Each of the products tests for a variety of different substances.
What you want depends on your water. But a few of the critical tests to look out for are:
- Mineral levels such as iron and calcium
- Nitrates and nitrites
Manufacturers often tailor make them for specific water sources. So check for this before buying a test.
Take a look here if you’re looking for a water testing kit for your mobile home.
If you are still worried after you have checked it yourself, consider calling an expert to inspect.
Common repairs for water filtration systems
Unfortunately, we can’t cover all the potential issues. But we will look at three of the most frequent fixes.
How to replace water filters
No matter which filtration system you buy, you will have to replace the filters regularly. This is essential to keep the system running and help it clean your water.
If the filters are difficult to come by, it could be a good idea to buy extras when you buy the system. That way you will already have some on hand. Remember that many of the systems use more than one kind of filter.
Manufacturers will give a recommendation on how long they can last. However, it depends on your usage and the state of your water.
Turn off the water supply. Open the system’s filter canister. You either need to use a specialized opener that you get with the system or a strap wrench.
Remove the old filters while paying attention to how they were placed. You can rinse the filter housing, especially if there is some sediment build up. Then you can install the new ones.
We recommended that you use this time to replace the old O ring as well.
Be prepared for some water spillage so bring a bucket and some rags with you.
How to repair leaky filter
We all hate leaky pipes. And unfortunately this a common issue with water filtration systems too.
As soon as you suspect a problem try to more or less locate the source of the water and quickly shut down the supply valve.
If it appears to come from the housing, check for exterior cracks. Next, remove the hose and check whether the O ring seal is still in place and in good condition. Replace it if necessary. Applying silicone grease to the ring can help to improve the seal.
Check for wear and tear on the filter housing cap.
The system’s water lines can also be the source of the leak. Most of them work with standard plastic or rubber tube. It’s often best to replace the damaged section. For a temporary solution, you can try to seal it with Teflon tape.
It is a good idea to inspect the adapters that connect the filter to your water pipes. You can also try to seal it with Teflon tape temporarily. But eventually, a replacement will probably be necessary.
Getting the job done
With some information and experience, you will be able to take care of many of the repairs yourself. That’s why it can also be critical for you to keep any manuals that you received with the filtration system.
But in saying that, you should also know when it’s time to call for help.
You might need to do this if none of these fixes seem to solve the problem. It’s also better to find an expert if the problem seems to be with your mobile home’s plumbing or with the electrical features of the system.
In case you missed it, check out our article on the best mobile home filtration system on the market.