If your tap water is not potable or if you often buy a lot of filtered or bottled water, getting your own reverse osmosis (RO) system may be a good option. An RO system removes 95-99% chemicals and contaminants from water and flushes them down the drain. The water that will then flow out your kitchen sink faucet will be purified.
When you buy a reverse osmosis system, it should come with a guide for its proper installation. However, if you are just interested to know how the installation process is generally done, this guide will be useful. Since there are different brands and models of RO systems in the market, the procedure below may or may not apply for your specific system. To visit our product reviews click here.
To install a reverse osmosis system, you will need the following tools and materials:
- Adjustable wrench
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Low-pressure tire gauge
- Reverse osmosis system
If you have those tools, you can then easily install and RO system in your home through the following procedure:
Step 1: Find a suitable location
The most practical location to install a reverse osmosis system is under the kitchen sink. Make sure that there is enough space under the counter where you could position the system. If this is not a viable location, you may also install the system where feed water is available. Other possible locations are the basement, garage or a crawl space.
Once you have chosen a location, find the sink drain pipe and the cold water shut-off valve.
Step 2: Shut off the cold water valve
Close the cold water supply in the location where you will be installing the RO system. If it is inoperable, you’ll need to shut off your entire water supply. You can then open the cold water faucet to relieve the line pressure.
Step 3: Connect the RO system to the cold water line
You can do this step in several ways:
- Standard saddle valve – assemble a saddle valve clam on the cold water line then turn the pipe clamp adjustment plate so that it will fit the shape of the pipe. Tighten the bolt to firmly attach the saddle valve to the feed water pipe.
- Ez Adapter – as an alternate option, you can assemble a 90-degree needle valve and attach it to the feed adapter. You can make use of Teflon tape to prevent leaking. If you choose this option, you have a choice between flex line or solid line installation.
For flex line, you can disconnect the one at the sink, install the feed adapter and then connect the adapter to the flex line.
For solid line, you can do this by disconnecting the line at the sink and cutting off about ¾ of the line. You can then place the feed adapter and connect the line again to the feed adapter.
Step 4: Connect the drain line adapter
Below the sink, measure about 6 inches above the trap. Drill a hole about 5/16-inch diameter into one wall of the pipe. You can then attach the drain clamp, making sure that the hole in the pipe and clamp are aligned with each other before tightening the clamp.
Step 5: Install the faucet
Step 6: Install the RO system
Place the RO system as well as the water storage tank under the sink or anywhere close to the sink. If your unit is the wall-mounted type, hang it on the side wall or at the back of the sink base at a height specified by your manual.
Step 7: Hook up your RO system
In this final step, pay close attention to the color lines of your unit. For the sake of presenting a detailed guide, this is how to install using the industry standard colors:
- Orange line – connect to the EZ adapter or saddle valve
- Green line – connect to the RO water storage tank
- Black line – connect to the drain clamp assembly
- Blue line – connect to the faucet
Step 8: Try if the system works
Before doing this, double check that all the tubes are secure and all the fittings are tight.
Turn off first the storage tank ball valve so that no water can enter it. Turn on the valve of your cold water supply. Open your RO faucet on the sink. It is normal to hear a gurgling noise the first time you open it. It could take about 15 minutes before water will start to drip from your RO faucet. Once the water drips, leave it for about 15 minutes before closing the faucet.
You can now open the storage tank ball to allow the tank to fill. When the tank is full (which would take several hours), open the RO faucet until the water in the storage tank is completely drained. Close the reverse osmosis faucet and then allow the storage tank to re-fill. You should do it three times as this is recommended for new installations.
After a successful installation, be sure to check your system from time to time for any leak or maintenance issue.