A Step-by-Step Guide to DIY RO Water System Installation
Installing your own reverse osmosis system at home can save you money while ensuring purified water for your family. While it takes some effort, installing an RO system is a DIY project any homeowner can accomplish with proper preparation and these step-by-step instructions.
Picking the Right RO System
Before getting started, choose the right RO unit for your needs. Key factors include:
- Daily purified water capacity (gallons per day)
- Feed water source (municipal or well)
- System stages (sediment, carbon filters, RO membrane, etc.)
- Placement (under sink or freestanding)
- Optional extras like remineralization filters or UV sanitation
Shop around for a quality system that fits your home and budget. Avoid overly cheap models that likely won’t perform well or last.
Assembling Tools & Materials
Make sure you have these supplies on hand before tackling installation:
- RO system and replacement filters
- Adjustable wrenches, pliers, Phillip/flathead screwdrivers
- Teflon plumbing tape
- RO feed water adapter valve
- 1⁄4” tubing for water line connections
- Drill with 1⁄4” & 1⁄2” bits for faucet & sink holes
- Bucket to catch water when tapping into plumbing
- Safety glasses for eye protection
Pick an Installation Spot
Find a space under your sink or countertop where the RO system and storage tank will fit. The system will need to connect to a cold water supply line, drain pipe, and existing faucet. Choosing the right spot beforehand simplifies installation.
Shut Off Water Supply
Locate the cold water shut-off valve for the sink and turn it off. This prevents water spraying while you work. Open the cold tap to depressurize plumbing lines. Leave open until installation is complete.
Connect Feed Water Supply
Use a 1⁄4” bit to drill an opening in the copper cold water supply line. Place a bucket underneath to catch drips. Connect the feed water adapter to the supply line opening you created. Tighten firmly but don’t over tighten.
Mount Storage Tank
Find a flat spot like a cabinet wall or flooring to place the pressurized storage tank. Mark and drill pilot holes if needed to mount the bracket. Attach tightly using a screwdriver.
Select a spot on your sink or countertop for the RO faucet. Drill a 1⁄2” hole and feed faucet hoses through opening. Slide rubber gasket over bottom end. Insert faucet and fasten using provided hardware. Connect tubing from faucet to storage tank.
Connect System Components
Attach tubing between supply valve, pre-filters, RO membrane, post-filters, storage tank, and faucet as shown in manufacturer diagrams. Most push-to-connect fittings don’t require tools. Cut tubing with utility knife as needed. Label tubes.
Position System & Tubing
Place RO system components in chosen spot under sink or cabinet. Arrange tubing neatly using clips and hangers to avoid kinks. Keep RO membrane upright and make sure hoses aren’t strained.
Flush & Check for Leaks
Turn on water supply and allow RO system to fully flush water through for 15-20 minutes. Inspect closely while flushing to check for leaks at fittings. Tighten if any appear. Turn off supply once flushing is complete.
Sanitize & Flush Again
Use manufacturer’s sanitizing solution or a diluted bleach mixture to fill storage tank and outlets. Let sit 30+ minutes. Flush sanitizer from RO system, then flush clean water through for 5 minutes. Your system is ready for drinking!
Maintaining Your RO System
Monitor TDS levels and replace pre-filters and RO membrane as needed per manufacturer instructions, typically every 6-12 months. Your DIY RO system will produce purified water for years to come.
Installing your own reverse osmosis system takes planning, patience, and handy skills—but it’s a doable project for most DIYers. Follow these key steps and refer to the owner’s manual for model-specific details. Take time to do it right and you’ll save money while getting high-quality, filtered water from your new RO system.