Water droplets on stainless steel sink illustrating pure water.

Transform Your Tap Water: How to Install and Maintain an Under Sink RO System

Hydration is fundamental to maintaining good health, but the quality of the water you drink is equally crucial. An under-sink reverse osmosis (RO) system offers a reliable method for ensuring the water you consume is free from harmful contaminants. This detailed guide will walk you through the process of replacing filters in your system, bolstered by practical insights derived from an instructional installation video. The guide aims not only to instruct but also to enlighten you on the intricacies and benefits of using an under-sink RO system in your home.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is a sophisticated water purification process that removes impurities from water by forcing it through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure. This technology is capable of filtering out a vast array of particles, including dissolved salts, bacteria, viruses, and chemical contaminants, resulting in water that is as pure as distilled water. The process is particularly effective in areas where water quality is compromised or in households seeking to improve taste and safety.

Benefits of Using an Under Sink Reverse Osmosis System

The under-sink RO system is designed to optimize both the safety and the taste of your drinking water. Here are the key advantages:

Purity of Water

The system removes up to 99% of dissolved solids, chemicals, and biological entities, delivering superior water quality directly from your tap.


The compact design allows the system to be installed under the sink, preserving valuable kitchen space and providing purified water at the point of use without the need to modify kitchen aesthetics significantly.

Economic Efficiency

While the upfront costs of purchasing and installing an RO system may be considerable, the long-term benefits, including reduced expenditure on bottled water and decreased medical bills due to waterborne diseases, offer significant savings.

Diagram showing the process of reverse osmosis water filtration

Image by macrovector on Freepik

Choosing the Right Reverse Osmosis System

Selecting an appropriate RO system for your home involves careful consideration of several factors:

System Size

The physical space under your sink will determine the size of the RO system you can install. It's crucial to measure the area to ensure a good fit.

Filter Stages

RO systems come with different numbers of filtration stages, typically ranging from three to seven. More stages usually result in purer water but can also mean higher costs and maintenance requirements.

Water Pressure Needs

RO systems require a certain level of water pressure to operate efficiently. It's important to assess your home's water pressure before making a purchase, as low pressure might necessitate an additional booster pump.

Popular brands such as Pelican Water offer diverse models that cater to varying needs and budgets, making it easier to find a system that matches your specific requirements.

Family drinking water from an RO system at home.

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Preparatory Steps Before Installation

Before you install your RO system, it’s important to prepare adequately:

Gather Necessary Tools and Materials

You will need various tools and materials such as wrenches, tubing, and fittings, which are typically provided in the installation kit.

Ensure Safety

Shut off the water supply and drain the existing water lines to prevent any leaks or water damage during the installation process.

Mineral addition filter attached to RO system.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Mount the Filtration System

Secure the main filtration unit under the sink, ensuring it is stable and accessible for future filter changes.

Connect Water Lines

Attach the cold water line to the system’s inlet and the waste line to your sink’s drain. This setup is crucial for the efficient disposal of contaminants.

How to Replace Filters in Your System

Regular filter replacement is vital for maintaining the effectiveness of your RO system. Here’s a straightforward process to follow:

Turn Off Water Supply

This prevents water from flowing into the system during the replacement process.

Remove Old Filters

Unscrew the filter housings and carefully remove the old filters.

Install New Filters

Insert the new filters into their respective housings and screw the housings back into place securely.

By following these detailed steps, you ensure your under-sink reverse osmosis system continues to provide high-quality, safe drinking water, making it an indispensable part of your household.

Person checking water flow from RO system faucet.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with proper maintenance, you might encounter some issues with your under sink reverse osmosis system. Here are some common problems and how to resolve them:


Check all connections and fittings for tightness. If leaks persist, replace worn-out or damaged O-rings and seals. Ensuring all connections are secure is crucial in preventing water damage under your sink.

Low Water Pressure

If the water flow from your RO faucet seems reduced, check if the filters are clogged and need replacing. Additionally, verify that the water pressure tank is functioning properly and is not depleted of air. Adjusting the pressure in the tank or replacing the filters might resolve this issue.

Maintenance and Care

Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring your under sink reverse osmosis system operates efficiently and has a long lifespan. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

Regular Cleaning

Periodically clean the RO system’s exterior and periodically sanitize the water storage tank to prevent bacterial growth.

Timely Filter Replacement

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for filter changes, typically every 6 to 12 months, to ensure the best water quality and system performance.

System Check-ups

Conduct a full system inspection annually to check for any wear and tear, especially in the membrane, which is crucial for the RO process.

Maintaining your RO system not only ensures continuous access to clean water but also prevents unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs.

Technician tightening connections on under sink RO system.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

Using an under sink reverse osmosis system is an environmentally friendly choice compared to buying bottled water. Here are a few points on its environmental impact and sustainability:

Reduction in Plastic Waste

By providing purified water at home, RO systems significantly reduce the reliance on bottled water, thus decreasing plastic waste.

Energy Efficiency

Modern RO systems are designed to be energy efficient, using only a small amount of electricity to operate the pump.

Responsible Filter Disposal

It's important to follow local guidelines for the disposal of used filters to minimize environmental impact. Some components of the filters can be recycled, so checking with your local waste management services is recommended.

Cost Analysis

Investing in an under sink reverse osmosis system involves initial and ongoing costs which include:

Initial Purchase and Installation

The upfront cost can vary widely based on the system's complexity and brand. Installation might also add to the initial expense if professional help is needed.

Maintenance and Operating Costs

Regular filter replacements and occasional membrane changes add to the operating costs. However, these are generally offset by the savings from not purchasing bottled water.

Despite the initial investment, the long-term savings and health benefits make under sink RO systems a cost-effective solution for many households.

Leak detection in under sink RO system setup.

Customer Reviews and Feedback

Feedback from users who have installed an under sink RO system typically highlights several benefits:

Improved Taste of Water

Many users notice a significant improvement in the taste and odor of their drinking water.

Health Benefits

Reductions in contaminants are often credited with improving users' overall health and wellbeing.

Ease of Maintenance

Users appreciate the simplicity of changing filters and the low maintenance requirements of their systems.


An under sink reverse osmosis system is a significant but worthwhile investment in your health, offering reliable access to pure, clean drinking water. With regular maintenance and care, these systems can provide years of service, making them an essential part of a healthy home environment.


How often should I replace my reverse osmosis filters?

Typically, you should replace your RO filters every 6 to 12 months, but this can vary based on your water usage and the local water quality.

What are the signs that the filters or membrane need changing?

Common signs include a noticeable decrease in water flow, changes in the taste or odor of the water, or visible sediment in filtered water.

Can reverse osmosis remove all types of contaminants?

While no filtration system removes 100% of all contaminants, RO systems are highly effective in reducing a wide range of them, including bacteria, viruses, fluoride, and heavy metals.

Is reverse osmosis water good for health despite the removal of minerals?

RO water is safe to drink; however, it is low in minerals. Some people opt to use mineralization filters to add beneficial minerals back into the water.

How can I dispose of old reverse osmosis filters responsibly?

Check with your local waste management services for recycling or proper disposal methods that meet environmental regulations.

Featured image: Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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