How to Tighten a Reverse Osmosis Faucet

It’s said that water is the most important part of our daily lives. And yet, we often neglect the quality of our water. Reverse osmosis technology has brought many benefits to American households by providing clean, filtered drinking water. But what if your reverse osmosis faucet leaks? How do you fix a leaky reverse osmosis faucet? This guide will teach you how to tighten a reverse osmosis faucet using tools and materials at home.


Why Do Reverse Osmosis Faucets Leak?

One of the most common causes for a leaky reverse osmosis faucet is a loose fitting. If you have a rubber or nylon washer, this is usually the culprit. In some cases, the rubber or nylon washer may need to be replaced.

In other cases, it’s possible that the faucet was not installed properly from the beginning and there is a gap between the pipe and resting surface. This gap allows water to sneak by and into your sink cabinet.

If you know that your reverse osmosis faucet has been installed correctly and tightened tightly, then it’s likely that you have a cracked valve stem.

This can happen because of mishandling during installation or through normal use of your faucet as time goes on. When this happens, water will flow out from under your sink cabinet where you can’t reach it with a wrench or screwdriver.

In many cases, tightening the valve stem will solve this problem. However, if there is visible cracking in the stem, you’ll need to replace it instead of simply tightening it.

How to Tighten a Reverse Osmosis Faucet

A leaky reverse osmosis faucet is a nuisance. But it doesn’t have to be. In this post, we’ll teach you how to fix a leaky reverse osmosis faucet using materials from your kitchen.

Using a few simple tools from your home, you can tighten a reverse osmosis faucet and stop the leak.

What Tools You Need to Tighten a Reverse Osmosis Faucet

You will need the following tools to tighten a reverse osmosis faucet:

  • A screwdriver
  • Pliers (And/or a wrench)
  • Spare screw
  • Cloth to place under the faucet to catch any drips
  • Towel or rag to dry the outside of the faucet after tightening

How Do You Fix a Leaky Reverse Osmosis Faucet?

Modern methods of drinking water purification, such as reverse osmosis technology, can provide many benefits to American households by providing clean drinking water. However, like any other machine, your reverse osmosis faucet can become faulty and start leaking. When that happens, you’ll need to fix it.

Luckily for you, this guide will teach you how to tighten a leaky reverse osmosis faucet using only materials found around the home.

First, you’ll need to shut off the water supply to your faucet. To find the water supply valve, look for a pipe that enters the wall next to your faucet or look for a box with a lever or knob on it. Turn this lever or knob until the water stops flowing out of your faucet.

Step 1: Remove the Faucet Handle

The first step to fixing a leaky reverse osmosis faucet is removing its handle. There are two ways you can do this:

If there’s a screw on top of your handle, remove it with a screwdriver. If there isn’t, push down on the handle and pull up on it at the same time to remove it.

Step 2: Remove the Faucet Handle Insert

Now that you’ve removed the handle, you’ll need to remove the handle insert. To do this, look on the inside of your faucet for a tab or a notch. Press this tab or notch with your screwdriver to pop out your insert.

Step 3: Tighten the Insert Screws

Now you’ll need to tighten three screws found on the inside of your faucet. These screws attach the insert to your faucet and keep water from leaking out of it. To tighten these screws, hold onto each one with a pair of pliers and turn them clockwise until they’re as tight as possible. Be careful not to strip any of these screws, as that can make your faucet leak even more.

Step 4: Put the New O-Ring on Your Faucet

The o-ring is a small ring that goes between your faucet and its insert. This ring prevents water from leaking out of the inside of your faucet. To install the o-ring, first take it out of its packaging. Then, put one end of the o-ring on your faucet and put the other end in a bowl of water or soapy water (so it doesn’t dry out). Now push down on your new o-ring until it’s on all the way around your faucet.

Step 5: Put Your Insert Back Into Your Faucet

Now you’re ready to put your insert back into your faucet. Be sure to put the insert in the right way, so that it’s facing the right direction. The insert should have a “male” or “female” end on it, which will help you figure out which way it goes. If your faucet has a tab or notch on the top of its insert (like our faucet did), use a screwdriver to pop it back into place.

Step 6: Screw Your Faucet Back Together

Once your insert is back in place, you can screw your faucet back together. You’ll need to attach the handles and spout to the base of your faucet.

Step 7: Put The Stem And Hose Back On Your Faucet

Now you’re ready to put the stem and hose back onto your faucet. To do this, unscrew the hose from the stem, then screw it back on. Then screw your stem back onto your faucet.

Step 8: Screw Your Faucet Into The Hole In Your Sink

Next, you’ll need to screw your faucet into your sink’s hole. You may need a plumber’s helper tool for this job (we did). Be sure to tighten it down all the way!

Step 9: Turn On The Water And Check For Leaks

Now turn on the water and check for leaks. If you find any leaks, tighten your faucet down further or try tightening the nut on your stem or hose.

Step 10: Clean Up The Mess!

Now that you’re finished, go ahead and clean up the mess. Wipe off any water that spilled on your countertops, then wipe off all of the tools you used and put them away.

And, you’re done!

RO faucet drip leak repair DIY. How to completely disassemble and clean up

Why Is My Reverse Osmosis Faucet Dripping?

A leaky faucet can waste more than just water. It can waste energy and money. A dripping faucet can waste up to 2 gallons of water per hour, or 168 gallons of water per day!

You may notice a dripping faucet if you’re hearing an annoying sound in your kitchen sink. If this is the case, you need to tighten your reverse osmosis faucet.

It sounds like a simple task, but unfortunately it’s not always that easy. Sometimes the metal O-ring inside your RO faucet valve won’t stop leaking and needs to be replaced with a new one.

Why Is Water Coming Out of My Air Gap?

If water is coming out of your air gap, it’s likely because your faucet has a leak. A reverse osmosis system will also leak from the air gap if there is a crack or hole in the faucet.

This isn’t a huge problem, but it’s an issue you should take care of right away. The longer you ignore the leak, the more damage it can cause to your home.

The first step before tightening the leaky reverse osmosis faucet is to identify where the leak originates.

To do this, turn on your faucet and listen for the sound of water coming out of your air gap. If you hear nothing coming from your air gap, then there’s no need to tighten anything, but if water is still leaking out, then you’ll need to take care of that first.

To fix a leaky reverse osmosis faucet with an airgap, remove all water sources from your house so there are no other leaks in your home. Next, use some vinegar or weed killer around the base of your faucet until water stops dripping out. This would be where the leak is located and may indicate that tightening any screws will not stop the leak.

If you can’t find the leak, then you’ll need to call a plumber to inspect your faucet for you.

The last thing you want to do is tighten the airgap, only to have water start dripping out of another place on your faucet. That’s why it’s important to identify the source of the leak before attempting any repairs yourself.

Now, it’s time to tighten the airgap. You can do this by using a screwdriver to twist the airgap clockwise until it no longer moves.

Wrap a piece of Teflon tape around the threads of your faucet and screw it back into your sink. Be sure not to over-tighten or you’ll strip the threads, making it impossible to remove in the future.

Turn on your water source and test out your new faucet to make sure there are no leaks. If everything is working properly, then you’re done!

How Can I Make My Air Gap Faucet Quieter?

First, you’ll need a wrench and a pipe wrench to tighten your faucet. You can find these at your nearest hardware store.

Second, you’ll need to remove the cap from the top of the faucet using the wrench.

Third, take your pipe wrench and place it around the handle of the ball valve. Tighten your pipe wrench by turning it clockwise until you feel that there is no more leaking from the faucet.

Fourth, put all of your tools away and enjoy clean drinking water!


The good news is that you don’t need to replace your faucet in order to fix it. The bad news is that it could be a little complicated—even if you’re handy. However, fret not, if you practice some patience and take your time, it is a pretty straightforward DIY project.

Meet the author: Paul White

Paul is water engineer by trade and is very passionate about innovative solutions for water filtration. His goal is to make drinking water accessible and affordable to all. An avid runner, he is currently training for a marathon. “Running is my sanity. Writing is how I organize my thoughts. I’m a poet and writer who is passionate about change. I aspire to be the best version of myself, and to help others do the same.” Learn more about Paul and the rest of the team.