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Culligan Sediment Filter... Endless Frustrations!

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  • Culligan Sediment Filter... Endless Frustrations!

    Hello All, I am posting here for the first time and would appreciate your thoughts on a problem I have had for years. Don't mean to write a book with this post, but I'll try to describe things so you know what the heck I'm talking about in order to give a proper response.

    I have a Culligan Sediment Filter (the type which uses the string-wound cylindrical filters) and I always have one heck of a time getting the clear plastic filter basket off. What should be a 10-minute job becomes a weekend problem, because I sometimes strain the pipes going into and coming out of the filter assembly and get leaks.... all because I can't get the filter basket to unscrew. I know I must be doing something wrong -- no one should have to go through this every time they want to change a filter! For this reason, we live with pitiful water pressure around here, and I've about had it!

    There is a pressure-relief button which I press to release the pressure, which of course should ease the strain on the basket. The trouble is that when I press the button, water shoots upward and makes a total mess of things... it does not just shoot up for a moment, but continues to shoot up for a very long time... my finger is cold and numb from the water by the time it is all done, and there is water all over the floor from the spray and from water running down my arm and dripping off my elbow.

    Even when I finally get the pressure relieved, it is a bear to get the filter basket loose. I use the supplied wrench and pull, but there is no way to offset the torque in the opposite direction and my copper pipes are put under more strain they can tolerate... what gives with this? Totally frustrated here!

    Here's my idea... could anyone let me know if this is a good idea or not? The directions state to grease-up the O-ring with vaseline once I'm ready to reinstall the filter basket. Could I take this one step further and put vaseline on the threads so as to provide lubrication? It seems to me that it's the plastic-to-plastic friction that is causing the problems here, so the vaseline should help? On the other hand, could the application of vaseline on the threads cause my filter basket to ever come loose all by itself (like when we're away on vacation) and cause extensive water damage?

    Yeah, I'm not gifted with plumbing as you all have probably figured out... I can sweat copper and join PVC with no problems but anything else I call in the pros... but this filter thing... that's something I ought to be able to do as a home owner. Thanks for whatever advice you can offer!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gregnold
    Hello All, I am posting here for the first time and would appreciate your thoughts on a problem I have had for years. Don't mean to write a book with this post, but I'll try to describe things so you know what the heck I'm talking about in order to give a proper response.

    I have a Culligan Sediment Filter (the type which uses the string-wound cylindrical filters) and I always have one heck of a time getting the clear plastic filter basket off. What should be a 10-minute job becomes a weekend problem, because I sometimes strain the pipes going into and coming out of the filter assembly and get leaks.... all because I can't get the filter basket to unscrew. I know I must be doing something wrong -- no one should have to go through this every time they want to change a filter! For this reason, we live with pitiful water pressure around here, and I've about had it!

    There is a pressure-relief button which I press to release the pressure, which of course should ease the strain on the basket. The trouble is that when I press the button, water shoots upward and makes a total mess of things... it does not just shoot up for a moment, but continues to shoot up for a very long time... my finger is cold and numb from the water by the time it is all done, and there is water all over the floor from the spray and from water running down my arm and dripping off my elbow.

    Even when I finally get the pressure relieved, it is a bear to get the filter basket loose. I use the supplied wrench and pull, but there is no way to offset the torque in the opposite direction and my copper pipes are put under more strain they can tolerate... what gives with this? Totally frustrated here!

    Here's my idea... could anyone let me know if this is a good idea or not? The directions state to grease-up the O-ring with vaseline once I'm ready to reinstall the filter basket. Could I take this one step further and put vaseline on the threads so as to provide lubrication? It seems to me that it's the plastic-to-plastic friction that is causing the problems here, so the vaseline should help? On the other hand, could the application of vaseline on the threads cause my filter basket to ever come loose all by itself (like when we're away on vacation) and cause extensive water damage?

    Yeah, I'm not gifted with plumbing as you all have probably figured out... I can sweat copper and join PVC with no problems but anything else I call in the pros... but this filter thing... that's something I ought to be able to do as a home owner. Thanks for whatever advice you can offer!
    Hey Pro,

    You're good at copper and PVC, put a valve on each side of your filter. Common sense, which it seems you don't seem to posess, would tell you that if your relief button is dumping large ammounts of water---you are draining your system. Isolate it from both sides.

    Then, when you decide to pull the top off of your filter, put a back-up on your plumbing before you break the pipes.
    the dog

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Plumb Dog, good suggestion! You are correct that it is common sense. I forgot to mention that I did that years ago when I first bought the house, but calcium deposits routinely make my valves unusable... I always have to replace valves as well. Not sure how to handle this.

      My other question was about putting vaseline on the threads... did you have any advice on that idea? Common sense tells me that would work ok, but being that I'm no pro at this, I figured I would ask this group.

      Thanks for the warm welcome by the way... it really made my day. I belong to a metal working lathe forum and would have never answered a newbie's question in the same manner... I love to share what I know..makes me feel good to help! Thanks again!

      Comment


      • #4
        gregnold, actually "dog" barely barked at you.
        sometimes he really takes a bite

        i would actually use silicon grease. it won't hurt the o-ring seal.

        sounds like the issue is that either pressure is causing the sump to be tight, or the calcium deposits are getting past the o-ring and into the threads.

        i would replace the o-ring and grease the threads and o-ring with the silicon grease. also a new shut off valve at the connections, or inlet would be advised.

        i believe that the filter is only 10 3/4'' long is that correct?

        if all else fails, call the manufacture.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          are you happy with that system? do you have well water with rust and/or sulphur?

          just wondering, because i'm looking for a solluition that actually works

          Comment


          • #6
            Plumber Rick, thanks much!

            That filter is 10" long by about 2.5" in diameter. I'll pick up some silicon grease, but just to ask again about what I fear most -- with the lubrication of silicon grease on the threads, do you think there is any chance of the basket coming loose by itself? I have to laugh at that a bit, because I know it sounds like a paranoid question... with the pressure it shouldn't happen...but... thinking of the water damage which could occur if it did... I think it would be wise to ask. If you have any doubts yourself, I will call the manufacturer and see what they say.

            Thank you very much, I really appreciate your help!

            -- Greg

            Comment


            • #7
              CheekyMonkeeWrench,

              No I am not happy with my system, but if the silicon on the threads work and I am able to easily change my filter, I guess I would be happy with it. We'll see what happens. In september I'm off on vacation and I may put in a larger commercial system -- basically the same thing but just a much larger filter -- I'm betting that just by being larger it would help my terrible water pressure at the faucet / shower nozzle... it is a joke taking a shower around here! And it is not because of inadequate pressure in the pipes either... just because the filter is in such need of replacement (and almost never is replaced, since it is a fiasco to do so).

              Yes, we have a well and a ton of iron. Filter goes red almost immediately upon replacement. Fortunately we have no sulfer, and thankfully our water doesn't stink up the house. There is talk of a city water line going in out front however... if that's the case I'll show up with shovel in hand and help them dig... I'm tired of what well water does to pipes and valves!

              If you find a solution that actually works, please let me know as well!

              Thanks! -- Greg

              Comment


              • #8
                gregnold, i didn't realize that you are attempting to filter out the whole house with this system. this is way too small of a capacity to meet a whole house system. these are good for point of use for a sink drinking water system.

                you can either invest into a whole house system. this would have a larger flow and filter capacity. another way is to manifold multiple filters to allow for more flow. it would also allow to service a filter without shutting off the water to the house. you could isolate the 1 filter and service it while the others still operate.

                the silicon will work fine and is recommended. i would keep these filters out of direct sunlight.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow... thanks much Plumber Rick! I had no idea that what I was using was not for the entire house! All I personally did was replace what was exisiting when I bought the house and never investigated it further... I simply assumed the previous home-owner installed the correct equipment. Poor judgment on my part it turns out... The previous home-owner was no craftsman and had no expertise in anything... he had everything jury-rigged from wiring to plumbing and so what you said suddenly makes perfect sense. Just incredible... I sure am glad I asked!

                  These whole house filter units... are they something which is available at Loew's or Home Depot? I can hardly wait to ditch that crummy system I have now and get something better. If I go the manifold-filter route, how many filters would you recommend for a small 4-bedroom home with 2 bathrooms?

                  Thanks again Rick! I may get some great water pressure yet!

                  -- Greg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    greg, home depot sells a 1'' whole house filter that will flow plenty of water as long as the element stays clean. the housing is $49.0 and the replacement cart. is $16- 28 dependng on what you want to filter.

                    i was just there the buying 10- 3/4'' filters for a water storage tank emergency supply. each outlet has it's own filter.

                    i would suggest on your system with the well water to invest in at least 2 filter housings. the 3/4'' i bought do have a built in 3 way valve. (off/ filter/ bypass). you can also remove the actuall filter membrane and check for proper flow.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great Rick... thanks for all the advice. I'll be spending some time at Home Depot this weekend, that's for sure!

                      Take Care Rick!

                      -- Greg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Is your water safe to drink? sound like you need to run through iron filter maybe a clorinator and storage holding tank and water softner would not hurt. as far as your filter housing. I have always use cooking oil on oring gaskets taste better than vasaline when it get into system

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What size is your plumbing? If you are in an older house with a 3/4 main that filter could be enough. Putting a larger filter in would mean you had to change it less often but isn't likely to improve performance if the pipe going in and out is only 3/4 to begin with.

                          In your case if your ready to scrap the housing, you can do so. Replace it with a 'big blue' housing. These use filters that are 4 inches in diamiter. The housings are availible in 1 inch or 3/4. I don't know if HD or Lowes carries decent ones. I recomend against a manifold system for a single home. It is simply overkill for anything outside a comercial application. If these filters are clogging in under 2 weeks you should probaly consider an alternitive to cartridges.

                          Also if you ready to do more pluming and have a wall nearby you can get a mounting plate for attaching the top part of the housing to the wall and never have to worry about torking the pipe.

                          An important thing is never tighten a cartridge housing together with the wrench. That is only for taking it apart. Hand tighten them only.

                          I recomend against putting lubricant on the threads. People do it all the time with our equipment. It generaly causes more problems then solving them. What happens is grit tends to get in the grease. That causes scoring and makes it harder to take it apart. The answer is no it won't come apart on it's own if you do.

                          We tell our customers to use vasiline because they usualy have it around and its far cheaper then silicon grease. Silicon is better. It is what we use when servicing equipment. Vasiline can chemicaly damage an O-ring over time. People changing filters on a regular basis are going to damage it long before that is an issue. Then also note the O-rings cost less then a tube of silicon.

                          If you are using gate valves that would explain the valve problems your having. Anytime you do plumbing work in that house spend the extra money for good ball valves. You should have a ball valve before and after the filter.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Boytyperanma,

                            Thanks for your input as well, lots to consider. Yes I have 3/4" plumbing, but I have to try something different... I need more pressure one way or another.

                            I didn't know they made mounting plates, but that sure seems to be the way to go. Thanks for that and all your tips... this weekend I'm going to review these letters and buy what I need... on my September vacation I'll be putting it all to good use hopefully!




                            Freddy,

                            yes, despite all that I've said about my well water, it tests safe to drink! Actually it tastes good too... or else I'm just used to it by now!

                            Thanks again everyone for your great assistance... it's much-appreciated!!

                            -- Greg

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              gregnold
                              The problem with your valves sezing up might easily be solved by excersing them. just open and close them once or twice every couple of months. this should keep them working good.

                              Comment

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