Filter Replacement and Sanitising Your Water Filter System
Important instructions for persons replacing filters or opening filter housings.
It is impossible to even open a filter housing without cross contaminating the clean and “dirty” surfaces inside the housing. As soon as the filter element moves trapped bacteria are free to migrate across the sealing surfaces and cross contamination can occur.
Replace the element without sanitizing the system and you risk transporting the bacteria and other contaminants into the water line and tap. If you’re lucky then they will be flushed out the lines and tap when you flush the housing, if not the bacteria can colonise every crevice and joint they come across and migrate into your “filtered water” at will.
Please follow the process outlined below to prevent cross contamination and to sanitise your system before you replace the filter in your system.
These instructions apply equally to single or twin filter systems but are especially important for twin filter systems connected to tank water. These instructions are very detailed, don’t think you can’t do the job because you can; the instructions are there to detail every process in this simple task which will take about 20 mins.
You will need
Hydrogen Peroxide or a non alcohol based mouthwash; peroxide is best, remember though that peroxide will bleach anything it comes into contact with.
Clean Towel, Paper towel, Vaseline, hand sanitiser and a clean sink.
• Turn off the tap that feeds your filter system; turn on the outlet tap that supplies your filtered water to bleed pressure from the system. Take a good mental note of which hose goes in which connector, – the inlet and outlet orientation of your system.
• Position the towel under the housings; remove the hoses from either side of the housing by unscrewing the flexi line nuts on an EzyFit Full Flow System or depressing the small plastic clips in toward the fittings and gently pulling the hoses out on older systems using separate taps and ¼ in plastic lines. A small amount of water will drip from the outlet hose in particular onto the towel.
2a. If you are not comfortable with removing the hoses you can service the system in place under the sink. If this is the case then skip the next step and proceed from Step 4.
• Lift the system out from under the sink and place them on the sink top.
• Stand the filter housing vertical, unscrew the bottom of the filter housing, remove the filter and take care that you dispose of the water immediately down the sink.
Make no mistake, this water, particularly if your supply is from a rainwater tank, is laden with bacteria.
Contrary to popular opinion, filters do not kill bacteria, they block bacteria and those bacteria will be present in high concentrations in the water in the housings and on the surface of the old filters.
Treat the water and the old filters with the respect that they deserve, definitely don’t smell them, wash your hands after you have emptied the housing, wrap the old filter element in a plastic bag and placed it in a bin OUTSIDE your house. Most importantly wash your hands as soon as you have finished the disposal of the filters and housing water.
• Sanitise the system by placing your sanitiser into the housing and screwing it onto the housing head, replace the system under the sink and reconnect the hoses, starting with the hose from the filter tap into the outlet side of the housing first, then the inlet hose into the inlet side of the housing.
• Turn on the tap that feeds water into the filter housing until water begins to come out the filter system tap, then turn immediately turn off the filter system tap.
Now the housing, water line and filter system tap are immersed in a sanitiser & water solution, best practice is to allow a contact time of 20 mins, then turn the filter system tap on to allow a trickle of water out for a couple of minutes after that.
Peroxide is a very effective penetrative disinfectant before it eventually degrades into pure water and oxygen, no bacteria or viruses in your housing, lines or tap will survive contact with the peroxide solution that has passed through your system.
• Remove the lines from your system, unscrew the housings and carefully dispose of the remaining peroxide water solution down the sink and remember that this water will bleach anything it comes in contact with, but it is perfectly safe to dispose of down your sink and continue killing smelly bacteria down there as well.
• It is unlikely that any residue will be left in your housings, however if there is then the housings can be cleaned with ordinary detergent in the sink.
• REASSEMBLY. If you’ve followed the instructions carefully, washed your hands after every step, then your system will be clean and free of all bacteria and contaminants.
• Insert the new filters in their respective housings and smear a small amount of Vaseline or silicone grease onto the threads of the housings and assemble, tightening by hand only as hard as you can.
• Reattach the water lines and turn on the outlet tap before you turn on the supply to the filter assembly, carefully examine for leaks and then slowly turn off the outlet tap and again look for leaks.
• Flush the new filter elements by turning the water hard on and off a few times until no dark carbon fines are present in the filtered water. Small air bubbles will be present for up to a couple of days – this is normal as air is displaced from the fine pore spaces in the filter element. Avoid drinking them by letting the water run for a couple of seconds before you put your glass under the drinking tap.
• Your water will taste best only after all this air is either displaced from the filter of dissolves into the water in the housing and is flushed from the system.
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