I plan to install a whole house water filter system. I will buy the cartridges separately and have a plumber hook it up. I don't want to trench from one end of the house to the other to put them on the garage wall, so I plan to just have it installed outside in the bushes where the water line comes in from the street.

I will have 3 cylinder cartridges that are about 7" diameter and 24" tall.

For reference, 3 of these: http://www.purewaterproducts.com/whole-house-filters-compact (Style C + Style B). One particulate filter + 2 carbon filters in parallel.

Any ideas on enclosures I can use to protect them from the weather?

  • Your water line comes in above ground, outside your house? Where do you live? Someplace that never freezes?
    – Ariel
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 23:14
  • Also, why do you want to filter all the water? It's very expensive, loses water pressure, and is rarely necessary. For example, you need to filter water to the bathroom sink? Why not just filter the water going to the kitchen?
    – Ariel
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 23:15
  • No, the water line doesn't come in above the ground. However, I don't want to extend it to the other end of the house where the garage is. It will then have to come up out of the ground, go through the filters, then back down. I live in Texas.
    – David I.
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 23:29
  • It sounds like you have a city water supply -- so what type of filters are you using? If you need sediment filters, the city is not doing their job at all. If you are using activated carbon (for taste), you're going to end up going through cartridges rather quickly, with the water for your washing machine, dishwasher, shower, and toilets all being filtered. Most people don't really care what their toilet water tastes like, but I digress.
    – gregmac
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 17:34
  • I would use a sediment filter to catch the chance that a pipe repair occurs somewhere and puts some sediment into the line. I'm on city water. There are whole house filters specifically for this task. I edited the question for reference.
    – David I.
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 22:36

2 Answers 2


So if I understood you correctly then you want to dig in the ground, raise the water pipe to a filter, then back down into the ground?

I have to say that doesn't seem like a good idea to me. If I were doing this I would just cut a pipe in the basement and put the filter there. In particular I would cut just the pipe going to the kitchen, and not the whole house.

But if you really want too...

For the enclosure use double layer (4 inches) extruded foam sheets including on the ground! Then cover them in some exterior-grade plywood on the outside to protect from damage.

i.e. build a plywood box without beams/poles inside it (put them on the outside), then glue the foam sheets to the inside. Lay some plastic on the ground with small holes for the pipe, tape the plastic to the pipe, then foam sheets on top of that, and put the whole plywood box on top of it.

You'll probably need a 3rd hole for some sort of support to hold the filters.

I would suggest you wrap the pipe first in electrical heating tape (they sell it to protect pipes from freezing, it's what you want) then in waterproof (i.e. closed cell) foam rated for underground use several inches think and bury it.

Taxes is rather large - if you happen to live in a place that doesn't get very cold then this might not be necessary. I checked and record low in taxes was -23F, but that's probably not where you live.

  • I don't have a basement. I'm in Fort Worth. I doesn't get below freezing very often, and usually not for very long. And yes, we REALLY want to filter all the water for the whole house.
    – David I.
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 14:16
  • OK, no basement. But the pipes are somewhere in the house, no? Under the floor somewhere? That's where you put the filter. And seriously, don't filter the entire house, I don't think you realize what you are getting yourself in for.
    – Ariel
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 19:19
  • Where's your water meter? I'm sure it's in the house - put the filter there. (Actually legally I think you are required to put it after the meter anyway.)
    – Ariel
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 19:20
  • Water meter is at the street
    – David I.
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 22:27
  • 1
    So looks like the frost line for you is above 2feet. Then that's what you should do - either bury lower than that, or build the insulated, electrically heated, box I suggested. I still think this belongs in the house though. And I still think you will be unhappy at the water pressure.
    – Ariel
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 19:02

You need to think this through more carefully.

First of all, Ft. Worth freezes every winter and some winters it gets really cold at night. Just last night it was below 15F. So, if you were to install your imaginary system it would have frozen solid and been destroyed (water expands when it freezes and it will rupture every single cannister, fitting, line and valve in the system when it does this).

Secondly, what do you mean by "filtration"? Are you just talking carbon filtration to remove a little sediment, large-scale microbial filtration, osmotic water purification? There is a wide range of levels of filtration depending on how small the objects are that you want to remove. Anything less than an osmotic purifier is pretty much useless because they will pass through all dissolved solids and most pathogens (like e. coli etc). If you just want to get rid of some rust/dirt, then carbon is correct, but if you want to purify the water to any degree you will need osmosis.

Thirdly any filter reduces the water flow a LOT and takes pressure down to about zero. So that means that if you want to, say, take a shower, you will have to repressurize the water after you filter it. So, the filter puts the water in a large tank, then you have to have a high-power pump that will repressurize the water coming out of that tank. For a typical home you will need a tank at least as big as a water heater, and even then you will run dry more often than you think. I would probably have AT LEAST one water-heater-sized tank FOR EVERY PERSON in the household. If you have a 4-person household, that is a big tank, 200 gallons or more.

Finally, your filtration system has to produce water faster than you use it. A typical family uses about 400 gallons per day. As osmotic system capable of producing 400 gallons per day costs about $10,000 to $25,000 and is the size of an SUV. Starting to get the picture?

  • I edited the question for a reference to what I'm looking at. By filtration I mean a particulate filter and 2 carbon filters in parallel to reduce pressure drop. The purpose is to reduce clorine smell/taste. I have an RO filter at the sink for drinking water, don't need that.
    – David I.
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 22:34

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