How to Replace a UV Lamp


A UV water purification system can help you keep your household safe from illness-causing virusesbacteria, and other harmful microorganisms.

But your UV water filter will only work if you regularly change the UV lamp and clean the sleeve.

Before changing your UV lamp, it's best to refer to your system's owner's manual. There are many different UV water filter system manufacturers, and the instructions provided below are meant to be only a general guideline. 

How to Replace a UV Water Treatment Lamp

uv-lamp-sleeve-diagram.jpgStep-by-Step Instructions for VIQUA UV Lamp Change: If you have your new replacement lamp, o-rings, and latex gloves (optional), then let's get started:

  1. Turn off the water supply and close all faucets.
  2. Press the pressure button to release the pressure from the cartridges.
  3. Unplug the power. There may be an alarm that goes off as a warning.
  4. Cool System. Check to make sure the UV system is not too warm. You may want to allow the system to cool down for 10 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove safety cap or protective cover (at the top of the UV system) by squeezing the tabs, but make sure the VU lamp plug wires remain connected.
  6. Remove the lamp plug, but make sure the strain relief wires remain connected.
  7. Put on latex gloves. By putting on latex gloves before removing the lamp or sleeve, you can protect the lamp and sleeve from oils on skin that can cause damage.
  8. Remove the lamp/sleeve assembly along with the sleeve bolt from the chamber.
  9. Unscrew the UV lamp by holding the sleeve bolt.
  10. Unscrew the sleeve bolt and remove o-rings from the quartz sleeve.
  11. Clean or replace the quartz sleeve. To clean, use a cloth soaked in CLR, vinegar or some other mild acid. Rinse with water. More details on how to clean a quartz sleeve here.
  12. Insert new o-rings and tighten the sleeve bolt to the quartz sleeve.
  13. Install new lamp and secure into sleeve being careful not to over tighten which can break the sleeve.
  14. Insert and secure the lamp/sleeve assembly.
  15. Align connections by carefully rotating the ring clamp and installing the lamp plug.
  16. Insert the safety cap and plug the system in again.
  17. Open the faucets and turn on the water supply.
  18. Check for leaks.

Perform the disinfection procedure per your owner’s manual guidelines.

Video courtesy of Viqua

How often should a UV Lamp Be Changed?

instructions for replacing a uv water filter lampTo maintain your UV water disinfection system, the UV lamp should be replaced on schedule. Most UV lamps are designed to run continuously for about 9,000 hours or 12 months before losing their effectiveness. 

Unlike regular light bulbs, UV lamps do not burn out – they solarize. This means that they gradually lose their light wave intensity to about 60% of what a new UV bulb provides. Thus, it is important to change the lamp on time, otherwise, the system cannot effectively protect against viruses and other waterborne microbes.

Water is purified as it runs through the chamber, passing by a UV lamp which sterilizes the water from waterborne microbes with a special wavelength known as UV-C. Microorganisms present in the water will absorb the UV rays, altering their DNA so they cannot create infection or reproduce. 

It is important to note that even if your UV lamp is still shining and hasn’t burnt out at 9K hours or 12 months, the ultraviolet bulb should still be replaced in your UV system as a precaution. 

How to know WHEN to Replace an Ultraviolet Light Bulb?

To help you know when to replace your UV lamp, some UV systems have a "ballast" or controller that will indicate it is time to change out the lamp. The indicator may be a visual cue like a green light, an audible alarm or an LED display countdown from 365 until the replacement due date.

If your UV water disinfection unit does not have a lamp countdown, we suggest setting a calendar alarm for yourself. And as a courtesy, we send our ESP Water Product customers emails reminding them when the UV lamp is due for replacement. 

New VIQUA Sleeve Bolt for D4, E4 and F4 UV Systems

Viqua has a new sleeve bolt for the D4, E4 and F4 UV water sterilizer series. The video below shows how to install the lamp and sleeve utilizing Viqua's NEW sleeve bolt.

The benefits of this new VIQUA sleeve bolt include:

1. Reduces risk of misaligning the quartz sleeve

2. Easier to distinguish between the existing sleeve bolt and lamp

3. Requires o-ring so less likely for lamp to pop-out during install.

Watch this video for step-by-step instructions for replacing the lamp with new sleeve bolt.

Video courtesy of Viqua

Are UV Lamps Safe?

UV lamps used for germicidal purposes in UV water disinfection systems, are safely housed within a durable 304 stainless steel UV chamber. This chamber protects against UV rays leaving the chamber. In fact, safety measures are in place so that when you go to replace the lamp, you cannot take off the bolt to open the chamber without first removing the power cord. 

What Is The Difference Between Hard And Soft Glass UV Lamps?

Hard glass is pure-fused Quartz and maintains its ability to transmit UV light over a longer period of time than soft glass lamp. Soft glass lamps use a glass more like normal window glass. The UV light causes this glass to solarize and inhibits the transmission of UV light. Normally soft glass has a life span of 90 days and hard glass lamps can usually operate for at least one (1) year. We only sell hard glass lamps on this website.

If I Turn The UV Lamp Off While It Is Not In Use, Will It Last Longer?

No. It is NOT recommended to turn the UV light on and off.  The cycling of turning on and off of a UV lamp that is designed to be left on at all times can cause premature lamp failure and shorten the life of your system's ballast. On average the lamp can lose as much as six (6) hours of lamp life each time it is turned on and off. UV lamps require a very low amount of electricity, so it is best to leave the UV water filter system on, even when water is not passing through it.

So even if you're away from your cottage or lake home for a few months, don't power off the system. Bacteria may be in your well water and forgetting to turn the system back on could potentially expose your household to contamination. 

Replacement lamps and sleeves for Viqua, Pura and more