How to replace a Reverse Osmosis Faucet

Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems provide purified drinking water and are often installed in the kitchen, under the sink. An RO faucet is the system’s outlet tap and is usually installed on the kitchen sink. It can easily be distinguished from a regular sink faucet since it is generally shorter and slimmer. Occasionally an RO faucet may become corroded, faulty or clogged, and need replacement. It’s not an electrical component and can be replaced by a home user. Here’s how:

  1. Get replacement parts and tools: Inspect the faucet to be replaced and determine what tools may be needed. Usually a small adjustable wrench should suffice. See if a length of pipe may need changing along with the faucet. Make sure that the replacement faucet is the same size. Otherwise the faucet hole on the kitchen sink may need to be enlarged. Also, there are two types of faucets, air gap and non air gap. It is possible to replace one with the other, but tricky. This is because a non air gap faucet has one pipe connector while the air gap faucet has three. Both types have their pros and cons. For simplicity it is best to replace the faucet with the same type as the previously installed fixture.

  1. Prepare: Disconnect the RO system power supply. Shut off the water supply valve on the RO system. This is the valve connected to the faucet. Then open the faucet to drain any remaining water in the pipe. RO systems usually come with such a valve. In case the system doesn’t have one, turn off the water supply from the tank to the RO system and drain the system. In case of an air gap faucet, also turn off the waste water drain valve.
  1. Remove the faucet: Disconnect the faucet tube and adaptor from the system. Open the nut attaching the faucet to the sink. Pull the faucet up and out of its housing. Air gap faucets have the waste water pipe also going through the sink. The waste water goes directly to the drain while the clean water tube connects to the faucet. Make a note of which is which.
  1. Install the replacement: Clean the washer, nut, sink surface and pipes. Place the replacement faucet on the sink. Replace the washer and tighten the nut to get a good fit.
  1. Change the adaptor: When replacing the faucet, it is also recommended to replace the adaptor. It is the part that connects the faucet to the RO system water tube. At this point fix the adaptor and reconnect the tubes, taking care to ensure that the waste and the clean water tubes are connected in the designated places.

Check after install: Turn on the RO system power. Open the main water supply and the waste water valve if these were turned off. Open the RO system valve to let the clean water flow through the faucet. Check the faucet to see if it’s functioning as required. Check for leaks. All done!

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