When you are shopping for a water filter, it’s important to consider the cost and complexity of installation.
In many cases, you can save money by purchasing a well-rated and recommended water filter online and then find a plumber to install the system if you can’t install it yourself.
Looking for a plumber or handyman to install your water filter can be frustrating. But by following these simple steps, you can make sure that you are getting the best experience possible.
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Can you install a water filter by yourself?
First of all, do you even need a plumber?
Most undersink reverse osmosis water filtration systems are advertised as “DIY (do-it-yourself) installation.”
This assumes that you have experience with using basic tools like a screwdriver and drill and are comfortable with the installation process.
For many people who consider themselves a confident DIYer, the trickiest step of an undersink filter installation is often drilling a hole in the counter for the filtered water faucet.
If you already have a blank hole on the back of your sink or are willing to remove an integrated soap dispenser or sprayer, then you can use one of those with little effort. However, if you have a flush sink under a granite countertop with no available holes, you will need a powerful drill with a special diamond drill bit to get through it.
Even if you can install the filter yourself, you may want to bring a handyman just to drill a tricky faucet hole.
The installation of whole house systems including water softeners, water filters, and whole house RO involves cutting pipes, special tools, experience, and knowledge of building code, so it is safest to hire a professional.
How to find a plumber
If you are not the DIY type or don’t want to deal with the process, you will need to hire a local expert that provides water filter installation services.
However, not all plumbers are created equal.
You should carefully research any plumber you are considering hiring to ensure that they are qualified and experienced in installing the water filtration system you purchase.
We will talk mostly about plumbers going forward, but many handyman services have skilled plumbers on staff who can do the work as well. In addition, handyman services can be cheaper than plumbing services for simple installations.
First, ask your friends and family for referrals. Chances are, someone you know has had a plumber they used in the past and would call again. Ask them what they thought of the experience and whether they would recommend the plumber.
If you don’t have any personal referrals, check with your local home improvement store or plumbing supply store. They may have a list of qualified plumbers who are experienced in your area.
You can also search online for local plumbers or handyman services near you. We share some links below.
What to ask the plumber
Some plumbers will only install products that they sell or are familiar with, so don’t book a visit online without speaking to them first.
Contact the person or company directly and tell them what type of system you need them to install and what you expect from them. Have the make and model names ready in case they want to research it themselves.
If you ordered an undersink water filter with a dedicated faucet and you don’t have a hole in your countertop for it, tell them that you need a hole drilled and the type of countertop you have. This is because thick, hard countertops like marble or granite require a special drill bit and not all plumbers will do this.
If you want an extra tube installed to connect your refrigerator ice maker to an undersink filter, let them know. This may involve drilling holes in cabinets or the floor to make the connection.
Find out how they guarantee their work and for how long. Can you count on them if there is a sudden problem later?
Do you have any other nagging plumbing issues in your house? If there is anything else for them to look at, you will save a lot of money if you schedule other work for the same visit.
Get a quote for the full cost of the job and payment terms before they start, so there are no surprises.
If it is not clear from their website or other sources, be sure to ask if they are licensed and insured to do plumbing work in your house. An acquaintance of yours may be confident that they can do the work for less money, but if they make a mistake and flood your house without proper liability insurance, you will regret it!
How to choose a plumber
Once you have a few names, do some online research to see what other people have said about their experiences with those plumbers.
Check major review sites and read customer reviews on other websites where you can find the plumber’s name or business name.
Some good sites to check for reviews are:
Finally, be sure to get quotes from several different service providers before making a decision.
The cost of installation can vary significantly, so it’s important to compare the price, schedule availability, and reviews of a few options.
The cheapest option may not be the best option!
Before the plumber arrives
You don’t want to pay extra for wasting someone’s time, so be sure to have all the system parts ready and waiting.
If they will install a system under your sink, remove everything from under the sink and make room on the countertop around your sink. Think about where you would want a dedicated water faucet installed so it works with how you use your counter space.
If you purchase a whole house water filtration system, make plenty of room around your water heater and the point of entry for water in your home. Also, make a clear path so they can bring in their tools and work.
Review the product manual and make a list of questions you can ask while they are there.
Does the filtration system require electricity? Tankless undersink systems, some whole house systems, and any system with an ultraviolet (UV) filter will need an electrical outlet nearby. If you don’t have one, you can use the same process on this page to find an electrician before the plumber arrives.
Plan for regular maintenance
Filter maintenance can range from simple in some systems to difficult in others.
Review the filter replacement schedule and maintenance requirements of your system in the owner’s manual before installation.
If you can’t or don’t want to complete that work yourself, ask your installer if they can come back to do it and how much it will cost each time.
This will help you to plan for the required maintenance before it is necessary.
Enjoy your new water filter
By following these tips, you can be sure that you are hiring a qualified professional to install your water filter correctly, so you can enjoy clean, filtered water without any issues.