How to Fix a Reverse Osmosis Faucet That’s Malfunctioning

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Reverse osmosis faucets can and do leak. Usually, it’s due to the buildup of debris somewhere, but it can also be due to loose connections and O-rings that have lost their effectiveness and need to be replaced.

Another problem with RO faucets is gurgling noises.

How to fix leaks or drips among other issues, you might ask? Well, that is what we are here for. Read on to learn how to fix a reverse osmosis faucet that’s malfunctioning.

Key Takeaways

Here is how to fix a reverse osmosis faucet:

How to Fix a Reverse Osmosis Faucet That’s Leaking

The first thing to check is where your RO faucet is leaking from.

If it is the tip or the base, it may just be a case of grabbing your wrench to tighten the connections, so give that a try first.

  1. Pull the faucet spout up out of its base if possible.
  2. Push the dispensing lever toward the faucet base centre.
  3. Turn the head adjustment a half turn counterclockwise.
  4. Re-install the lever.
  5. Re-install the spout.
  6. Test the faucet, and if there are still drips, repeat the process.

young girl opening reverse osmosis faucet

How to Fix a Leaky Air Gap RO Faucet

If a reverse osmosis faucet is leaking from its air gap hole, then it is likely due to a blockage, and you will need to check the ⅜” line connected to the faucet and clear out any debris. The leak might also be caused by the drain line not being properly connected.

  1. Turn off the water supply just in case, and grab some towels to put under your sink cabinet.
  2. Remove the flexible drain line tube from the faucet fitting.
  3. Use some kind of pipe cleaner or wire brush to push through the tube and clear any debris. Start from the end of the tube that is connected to the drain saddle.
  4. Clean the drain saddle and make sure it aligns properly with the drain line.
  5. Reconnect the tube, turn the water back on, and test to see if the leak has been fixed.

Avoiding Future Leaks

  • Always ensure that your RO faucet is all lined up and properly connected.
  • Ensure that the garbage and dishwasher disposal is connected to your sink’s drain as far away as possible from the drain saddle of your RO system.
  • Avoid washing food particles down your sink’s drain.
  • Treat the sink drain pipe regularly with natural cleaners that will dissolve any solids and debris.
  • Keep on track with your reverse osmosis system filter replacement and maintenance schedule. If your feed water is high in contaminants and your filters are not functioning optimally, then there is more of a chance of debris clogging the unit’s drain line.
  • Avoid having the drain saddle rotate away from the drilled hole. This can occur from repeated bumping of the system under the sink.

Areas where blockages may occur include the drain saddle, the drain tube at the saddle connection, a clogged sink drain pipe, a drain saddle clamp that has rotated from the hole drilled in your sink, or right in an air gap hole.

How to Fix a Reverse Osmosis Faucet That’s Dripping

Dripping faucets are usually due to loose connections.

  • You may need to tighten all your faucet connections or perform a faucet adjustment as outlined in steps 1-6 of this article in ‘How to Fix a Reverse Osmosis Faucet That’s Leaking’.
  • Also check for any loose tubing elsewhere.
  • The dripping may also come from an improper filter housing connection. This is likely to be an issue with the O-rings being worn out. You will need to close off your water supply and unscrew your filter housings to check the O-rings and possibly replace them if they seem a little worse for wear. If this doesn’t fix the issue, it might mean that the filter housing itself is damaged and needs to be replaced.

How to Fix a Reverse Osmosis Faucet Making Gurgling Noises

First of all, air gap faucets can be noisy and gurgle quite a bit.

However, you can do a few things to minimize the gurgling noises coming from your reverse osmosis faucet.

  • Ensuring your drain saddle is installed in the right location can help (horizontal pipe section, above J or P-trap, upstream of garbage disposal).
  • If the noise is coming the first time you are using the system, this is normal while your system flushes out air.
  • If the sound continues, it could be that too much water is flowing through your drain lines. Check with a drain line flow rate test.
  • Restriction of the water flow can also cause gurgling. Check to make sure that all the pipes, tubes, and fittings are straight, without kinks or twists.

If you have any questions about how to fix a reverse osmosis faucet please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald is one of the founders of BOS and currently head of content creation. She has 8+ years of experience as a water treatment specialist under her belt making her our senior scientist. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
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