I just bought a house and the filter needs changing but I can't budge the
housing on the inline water filter. I have the plastic wrench that came with
the unit I'm afraid if I apply any more pressure I'll tear the whole piping
system apart. The filer is on of those whole house filters and the whole
unit it plastic. Is there a safe penetrating agent I can spray up into and
on on the housing threads that might help loosen it. Yes I an turning it
the correct direction. Any ideas? Thanks.
No "penetrating agent" will help and the wrong one may eat the plastic
Make sure you shut off the water supply and open a faucet downstream
to relieve the water pressure. If there's still pressure in the
housing it will not unspin easily.
When you get it off use a little "food grade" silicine grease on the
housing o-ring and only hand tighten.
Agree w/ the above -- I keep an oil filter band wrench in the cabinet
specifically for them -- it's unlikely you'll break them, they're
typically a pretty heavy plastic.
On reassembly, I use Vaseline petroleum jelly for the lubricant -- it's
readily available and nontoxic for the purpose. Make sure to lubricate
the o-ring well as well as the threads...
Petroleum jelly WILL damage rubber o-rings and is NEVER recommend. Do
not use any petroleum based lubricant on a rubber part.
Always use a neutral lubricant and when dealing with potable water
ALWAYS use a "food grade" or NSF certified grease.
Lowe's sells a neat little tin (plastic) of the right stuff from
I wouldn't have a problem with it. Depends a lot on the material used to
make the o-ring. And while I don't consider PJ to be a "potable" product,
it's safe to consume in minute quantities so overall no harm done.
I was referring as "safe" for the o-rings that have "survived"
20-something years apparently unsullied.
As for the possible uptake, the threads and all are lubricated before
reinstallation and still dry and once back in place there's essentially
no water in contact w/ the lubricant, anyway.
But it doesn't matter as I'm dead already (but just don't know it) from
the lead in the solder in the water lines and unmitigated radon from the
concrete aggregate in the basement walls and floor and other perhaps
So, for the OP, since I apparently have the only two o-rings in the west
that won't immediately fall to pieces if lubricated improperly and the
highly toxic suggested material not to be named again might be harmful,
use something else of your choice...
:) $0.02, etc., etc., etc., ...
Using the wrong lubricant for 20+ years is not a certification of
compliance or correctness.
Right or wrong they are your o-rings BUT if you want to learn then...
Notice the specific warning about petroleum jelly. That is a water
treatment industry wide warning. I also believe that using an non-NSF
or non-FDA or non-"food grade" certified grease in/on a potable water
system, fixture, or fitting is a plumbing code violation.
I bought a Sears rubber strap wrench specifically for this purpose.
Sometimes took a minute of constant pressure before it would start to
unscrew. Hope you have a bypass system when servicing filter, otherwise
if you break it you're out of water until fixed. This happened to me ;(
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