How to change the "BIG BLUE" carbon sediment filter???

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by rockandroller, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. rockandroller

    rockandroller New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    First, I'm totally new to "all things plumbing"... but now live in a house in the country with a deep well and water softener. It's a ten year old home and came with ZERO documentation. :confused:

    I need to find out all about everything - but first things first, the carbon filter is very overdue for changing (noticeable sulphur odor to the water, and the previous owner reports that "they never changed it" during the previous ten years)

    I went to the "BIG BLUE" manufacturer's website, and they had a great video about changing the filter media by using "the filter bypass circuit". However, when this place was built they didn't bother installing a filter bypass circuit.
    So I'm hoping I can get some advice here about how I can "de-pressurize" the filter completely so that I don't end up with water spraying all over the place when I open the casing. I do gather I'll need to have a bucket handy :)

    I am a little concerned that if I do things wrong I might end up getting too much air in the lines - again I currently know zero about plumbing, the science of hydraulics is one big mystery.

    As far as I can trace the pipes (see attached diagram) the flow looks like this:

    WELL ( in yard)
    Jacuzzi P.O.D tank
    a faucet
    shutoff valve "A"
    ECO water softener
    BIG BLUE water filter
    shutoff valve "B"
    another faucet
    "Tee" connection splitting off the main cold water line to the house
    shutoff valve "C"
    Inlet to the hot water heater

    plumbing-diagram.jpg
    What would be the correct procedure for changing the water filter media?

    PS: The Big Blue Water Filter has a red button on top near the inlet (see pic) - not yet sure what that's for...
    big-blue-filter.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,260
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If you shut off A and B and unscrew the blue basket very slowly, you will get a little squirting of water until the residual pressure bleeds off and that should be all. A bucket and a couple of towels will do the job fine.

    You might want to consider having some of that plumbing reworked. That hose and clamps and the plastic fittings there are not proper materials for a domestic potable water system. What you have there is something performed by a DIY who apparently didn't know any better.

    If the cartridge has really been in there that long and hasn't plugged solid, it really isn't needed and you should consider getting rid of it altogether. A cartridge like that is a perfect place for bacteria to grow. If you insist on keeping it, the basket should be chlorinated and filter replaced at intervals of 3 months or less.
  3. Cudos

    Cudos New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Canada
    I have that exact same filter. Its a whole house filter. The red button is to release water pressure before swapping out the filter. What cacher_chick said was accurate. Now the the sulpher smell is it more from the cold or hot water. Not changing that filter for 10 years is hard to fathom. That to me means you don't need it.

    Also noticed on the back wall. The plastic black wrench that removes the housing. i mean NOBODY in ten years has used that??
  4. Cudos

    Cudos New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Canada
  5. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    filters 'bypass' when they blow out the media or the owner is a liar. Its biologically dangerous to leave that in very long.

    O rings should last for 5 to 7 years, however, if you use some lube.
  6. rockandroller

    rockandroller New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    Thanks for all the hints. Have picked up a new carbon filter and (prelubricated) O-ring.
    Planning to install it this week, and I'm going to bleach out that basket for sure!

    I only really notice sulphur smell when its hot water, maybe getting used to it now.

    I have to say the previous owners lied to us about many things, so filter (non)change could also be a fairytale.
    But who knows! (guess I'll find out soon...)

    Not sure if we're going to stay here or move to another province, so re-working the amateur pipes is on hold.
    If we do stay, we'll most likely get a plumber in to install a laundry tub downstairs - and then he can replace all the junk piping at the same time...
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You shut off valve A, it shuts off water t everything. Then shut off valve B and depress the red button. That button is a pressure release valve and it depressurizes everything between valves A and B.

    When you push the red button you will get a small amount of water out of it. Then you unscrew the blue housing while supporting its substantial weight until it is off the head. That is difficult to do and if you drop the housing, it can break and prevent reusing it, which means no water until you do or take the head out of the plumbing and plumb across the gap.

    When you have replaced the cartridge and are ready to turn on the water, push the red button in and hold it until water starts coming out of it. That removes the air in the housing. Then open valve B and A full open. Run water at the faucets and any/all air will be removed from the plumbing.

    If the O-ring was installed correctly when the filter was installed years ago, and it must have been or there would have been leaks by now, you don't have to replace the O-ring unless you have a leak after getting things all back together and turn the water on with valve A. That means you damaged it as you reinstall the housing or you don't have the housing tight enough. Tight enough is sung plus a 1/4 to 1/2 turn.
  8. rockandroller

    rockandroller New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    Thanks Gary! your walkthru came in real handy, the filter change went smooth and fast :eek:
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