How To Install a Reverse Osmosis System [DIY!]

Why Learn How To Install a Reverse Osmosis System?

One of the better options for filtering drinking water in a home is a reverse osmosis system. In this technique, drinking water is purified of ions, molecules, and bigger particles using a semipermeable reverse osmosis membrane.

Since reverse osmosis delivers four or five separate stages of filtration and eliminates the majority of dangerous pollutants, including heavy metals like lead, it has significant advantages over other forms of filtration.

A reverse osmosis system is relatively simple to clean and maintain because it has so few pieces. And the EPA has given it its complete approval.

Reverse osmosis tends to be more efficient than less sophisticated carbon black (charcoal) filtering systems and far less expensive than ultraviolet disinfecting systems, which are the best at eliminating germs, as compared to other point-of-use filtration systems.

Reverse osmosis units can be the best option in situations where chlorine water treatment is sufficient; nevertheless, they are exceedingly inefficient, taking up to three gallons of water supply to create just one filtered gallon.

How To Install a Reverse Osmosis System

While it is possible to install a reverse osmosis filter to purify all the water in the house, it is more common for an under-counter unit to be placed beneath the kitchen sink, which provides the majority of the water used for drinking and cooking.

The device has a storage tank where the cleaned water is kept in addition to four or five distinct filtration canisters, each of which filters a different class of impurities. When required, a countertop spigot that is separate from the home’s faucet provides purified water.

Even though the physics underlying reverse osmosis filtration are complex, installation is rather simple and only needs some plumbing knowledge.

What You’ll Need

To install a reverse osmosis system, you’ll require a few tools and materials:

  • Electric drill (preferably variable speed)
  • Metal-cutting drill bits: 1/2″, 1/4″ and 1/8″
  • Concrete drill bits: 1/2″, 1/4″ and 1/8″
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Cutting tool (for plastic tubing)
  • Level
  • Materials
  • Plumbers/teflon tape
  • Reverse osmosis system
  • Adapter tee (only if needed – see instructions below)
  • Installation diagram

Step-by-Step on How to Install A Reverse Osmosis System

Step 1: Prepare for the Installation

Make sure a reverse osmosis system will fit under your kitchen sink before you even consider purchasing one.

Measure the area you have available with a tape measure, and then contrast the results with the specifications of the system you’re considering. If it’s possible, you might want to consider shifting some of the bigger objects from under your sink.

Additionally, make sure there is enough room to connect the device to a certain faucet. The majority of reverse osmosis water filters include a faucet that may need to be mounted to your sink or countertop through drilling.

You might observe that certain goods come with an installation kit while looking at reverse osmosis water filter systems to purchase. The tools and materials you typically need for system assembly and installation are included in this package, potentially saving you a trip to your neighbourhood hardware shop in the future.

Additionally, be careful to know what kind of cold water source can be used. The majority of units include a tee connection that connects to the faucet’s 1/2-inch cold water supply line. A 3/8-inch flex line that descends from the faucet is used by other RO units. In this instance, a water source for the filter system can be created by using an adapter tee above the shut-off valve.

Step 2: Set Up The Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

Remove your reverse osmosis water filter from the box it came in and start by opening the package. Check the RO system to make sure the connections and parts for the filter are compatible with the plumbing under your sink before taking any action.

Before you start the installation process, purchase an adapter tee from your neighbourhood hardware store if you need one to connect the unit to your cold water line. Make that the tee is compatible with the R.O. feed line and your specific under-sink supply source.

Make sure your water supply and drain pipes don’t need to be moved; if they do, you might need to hire a professional.

Don’t give up if your under-sink space is inadequate. The RO system can typically be installed elsewhere, such as in your basement, garage, or a nearby cabinet, and connected to the waterline that will eventually end up beneath your sink.

Naturally, this project will take more labour, and you might need more tubing to reach because there is now a longer distance involved.

Step 3: Install the Faucet

Installing the faucet, which may be referred to as a “spigot” in your user manual, is the first step if your reverse osmosis device includes one. It is preferable to complete this task first since it will make it easier for you to reach the piping underneath your countertop before you cram the reverse osmosis water filter unit into the available area.

It’s possible that the knock-out aperture for your sink already exists, making it simpler to install the faucet. You will just need to drill a new hole in the sink if not.

Create the initial hole with a 1/4″ drill bit, then widen it with a 1/2″ drill bit. Use a step bit instead. Specialized bits and expertise are needed to drill through granite, porcelain/cast iron, stainless steel, or man-made materials.

If you are unsure of your expertise or skill set, now might be a good moment to seek professional advice. Errors can cost a lot of money. Make sure you pick a good location for your faucet installation, ideally close to your current faucet, that will allow it to empty into the sink and have enough space for it to turn.

After attaching the faucet base to your counter, take the waterline (included with your RO setup) and attach it to the air gap of the faucet, making sure it flows through the faucet opening.

Step 4: Set Up The Storage Tank

The next step should be taken if your system contains a water storage tank.

Install the tank connector first, sealing the connections with plumber’s tape to stop leaks. Then, using only your hands to tighten it, screw the connector for your faucet onto the storage tank.

Choose an appropriate under-sink placement for your storage tank.

It makes sense to position the tank close to your faucet, preferably directly underneath, as drinking water supply will be stored there after going through the reverse osmosis water filter system.

Step 5: Mount The RO System

If you haven’t done so before, measure the wall mount for the reverse osmosis unit and mark where it will go underneath your kitchen sink, making that the markings are level.

To allow you to unscrew and change the filters without having to remove the entire unit from beneath the sink, keep in mind that the majority of systems must be installed above the cabinet floor.

Reverse osmosis water filters should be fastened directly to the wall mount after it has been secured with screws.

Step 6: Pre-Fill The Storage Tank

To make sure there is enough pressure when you are checking for leaks, one alternative is to pre-fill your reverse osmosis water tank. Additionally, it will be simpler to flush your post-filter prior to use.

Simply connect the feed pipe that will eventually connect to the reverse osmosis system’s entry directly to your storage tank to pre-fill it.

Allow the storage tank to fill with drinking water before closing the tank valve to release pressure.

The feed line from the tank valve can then be removed.

Step 7: Connect The Water Supply Line

Now that your primary system has been installed, all that’s left to do is link everything.

Your cold water line must be linked to the water pipe that supplies your reverse osmosis filtration system.

Depending on the circumstances under your kitchen sink, there are different ways to connect the tubing. Most reverse osmosis systems come with a half-inch adaptor that will fit the half-inch flex line on your faucet.

However, if the tubing for the water supply line and the filter are incompatible, you might need to use an adaptor tee here. To learn more, consult your user guide.

Step 8: Install The Drain Saddle

The RO system is connected to the drain line by a drain saddle. It permits wastewater to enter the drain pipe that is already set up under the sink.

The P- or J-trap in the drain line should not be installed above the drain saddle valve. In order to reduce noise during operation, it is preferable to install this component on a horizontal waterline.

Examine the drain line pipe’s condition while you’re down there. Before you connect any tubing, I would strongly advise purchasing a new one if it is rusty.

Drill a hole with a 1/4″ drill bit into the top of the pipe once you’ve selected the location for installation.

Bolt the saddle to the pipe to secure it. Make that the drain saddle hole and the drilled hole are appropriately aligned.

The reverse osmosis system will now allow water supply to pass through the drain saddle and into the drain line.

Step 9: Connect Additional Tubing

Installing the remaining tubing, such as the ones that go from the reverse osmosis filtration system to the storage tank and from the tank to your faucet, must be done after your RO has been linked to the cold water line.

Read your manufacturer’s user manual carefully to be sure you’re properly connecting yours because tubing sizes can vary from product to product.

Step 10: The Final Details

Although your reverse osmosis unit is now technically ready for usage, there are still a few little tasks you need to complete before you can use the unit to acquire drinking water:

  • Start by looking for leaks in all of your connections and fittings.
  • Open the ball valve to allow the RO system to generate pressure, then check for leaks once more.
  • Then, after letting the water flow from your faucet for 5 minutes, you can check for leaks by opening the tank valve.
  • Repeat the process once more, allowing the tank to fill and empty while, this time, not utilising the produced water.
  • The third time your storage tank is filled with drinking water, it is secure and fit for consumption.

Calling a Professional

You can always think about hiring a professional for installation if you don’t believe yourself to be particularly handy, the directions in your user manual are confusing, or you simply don’t have the time or patience to install a reverse osmosis filtering system.

Plumbers and skilled handymen are trained in installing Reverse osmosis water filters, and they should be able to finish the operation in a fraction of the time that it would take you.

Installing some reverse osmosis systems may be more challenging than installing others. Systems that consume more space, have more filtration stages than 4, or are purchased with other filters, like as UV purifiers and remineralization filters, may be more difficult to maintain. Once more, if you doubt your ability to complete the task, you might think about hiring a plumber or water treatment specialist.

There are many reliable plumbers in your neighbourhood whose services include installing RO systems. Giving the job to a professional will relieve some of your stress because you won’t have to worry about the assembly’s quality.

If you want to learn more about a plumber’s capabilities, make sure to read reviews and request pictures of their prior work.

Keep in mind that installation by a plumber or handyman will increase your initial investment. A plumber will typically charge you up to $300 for the work, depending on how complicated your case is.

However, you can choose to spend a little bit more to complete the task well rather than risk having to spend more money correcting your own errors.Because a reverse osmosis system typically pays for itself over time, you could decide that increasing your original expenditure a little bit is worthwhile.

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