I have water leaking out of the base of my RO faucet. How do I fix it?
We hear this question on a daily basis. Air gap leaks commonly occur in reverse osmosis systems. An air gap leak occurs when a blockage in the brine output tube prevents rinse water from escaping to the sink drain.
RO systems rinse away removed contaminants to the sink drain via brine outlet tube. When a blockage occurs in the drain system, rinse water will back up and spill out of the air gap hole located below the fill lever of the RO faucet. Typical blockages result from either buildup of biofilm, or other debris like food in the drain.
You can repair the air gap leak by removing debris lodged in the drain adapter and brine output tube. The two most common drain adapter types are shown in the diagrams below. If you are using a saddle-clamp type drain adapter, we would recommend upgrading to the DLA-12 for easier maintenance.
NOTE: If you have the drain saddle style drain adapter, it is very important to make sure that the saddle does not rotate around the drain pipe. There is only a small hole drilled into the side of the drain pipe that the drain saddle must line up with in order for the brine water to reach the drain. If the drain saddle does rotate, it can be difficult to line it up to the hole again. This is another issue that can be eliminated with the DLA-12 Drain Line Adapter.
Air Gap Leak Repair Procedure:
- Remove Brine Tube (See “A”) from DLA-12 or Saddle Clamp type fitting.
- Remove DLA adapter cup or Saddle Clamp elbow from sink drain pipe. (See “B”)
- Clean out all clogging debris (See “C”) using a paper clip or other small tool.
- Re-insert Brine Tube into fitting.
How can I prevent an air gap leak?
You may not be able to completely eliminate the occasional air gap leak, but there are a couple things you can do to minimize the frequency with which they occur. You can avoid rinsing large chunks of food, or objects that might cause an obstruction down the drain. Another thing you can do is to treat your drain with MegaMicrobes, an all-natural drain cleaner. Using MegaMicrobes as a preventative maintenance measure will help keep the biofilm and other organic waste in your drain under control.