Softener & Filter System: What is the proper way to install them?

First, let me start by explaining the sequence of the components starting from the water source: Max adapter, tubing, shut off valve, tubingsoftener housing, tubing, carbon filter housing, tubing, shut off valve, purge filters, and connect to machine.

That was the short, simplified version; now I will get into a little more detail. To install the max adapter, go under your sink and shut the cold water off. Directly behind the shut off valve you just closed is a 3/8-inch compression fitting; undo it. Attach the max adapter to where you just disconnected the water line that goes up to your cold-water faucet.

Note: You may need to go to Home Depot to complete the next step. Now connect the tubing that comes down from your faucet to the top of the max adapter. It will require some bending if you have ridged 3/8 pipe. If you can't get it to line up by bending then disconnect it up above at the faucet and go to Home Depot; they sell several different lengths of flex braided tubing complete with the necessary fittings on both ends. Bring your old one with you to be sure you get the right length.

Now let me tell you something about John Guest Tubing, it's the best. There are two things to be sure you do when using this tubing. Number one: When cutting it to the length you want, always use a very sharp knife or a razor blade; it is important so as to keep the tubing perfectly round. Note: Never cut the tubing with a pair of side cutters. Secondly, when you want to make a connection male to female, be sure you push the tubing in all the way till it bottoms. When you first push it in, it will feel as if it is in. You will meet some resistance and think it is in all the way; push a little harder and it will go in another 1/8 inch and you will feel it press against a solid surface.

It is important that you install the filters in this order beginning at the water source, first the softener then the carbon filter. It is equally important that you install the two shut off valves, one between your source water and the softener housing and the second between the carbon filter housing and your machine. Stop! Very Important: Do not connect to your machine until you first purge a gallon or two of water through the filters. This is extremely important; carbon filters have loose carbon dust in them that must be purged out before connecting to your machine. The carbon filter is there to protect your machine but without purging, you can cause damage to your machine not covered by warranty.

John Guest Fittings work like Chinese handcuffs; the more pressure the tighter they hold. It is for this reason you install the shut off valves were you do. To disconnect your machine or change a filter, you must first release the pressure in the lines. First,  turn the valve off before your softener. Go to your machine and make it call for water; either pull water through the group or from the hot water spigot. Your pump should start running; let it run for no more than 10 seconds. Now shut the valve off between your machine and the carbon filter. You can now use the wrench provided to loosen either filter housing. To disconnect the tubing from a fitting, pull the small collar on the John Guest fitting towards the fitting and pull the tubing out. Note: If you do not pull the collar back, you will never be able to disconnect the tubing from the fitting.

This softener is capable of removing approximately 850 grains of hardness. What does that mean to you? To get an idea of how many gallons of water it can soften for you, you need to know how many total grains of hardness in your water. You can find this out by calling the water district that supplies you water; you can find their phone number on that bill they send you. Once you know that, simply divide 850 by the number of grains of hardness in your water to determine how many gallons this filter will soften. As for the carbon filter I recommend you change it once a year, and remember to purge it before reconnecting it to your machine.