Is your reverse osmosis system leaking or clogging too often? Then you need to replace or upgrade the existing one. Unfortunately, when choosing a faucet for your RO system, the number of styles and finishes can be overwhelming.
If you take it from experts, a reverse osmosis faucet with an air gap is the best option to avoid health risks. That’s because non-air gap faucets can’t prevent contamination when there’s a backflow of wastewater.
To pick the best air gap faucet, you must go for a strong material, durable finish, ease of installation, and many other factors. Here, we have narrowed down the finest air gap faucets that meet all these criteria and provide the best service.
So without further ado, let’s dive in and check them out!
How We Tested the Best RO Faucet?
To determine the best reverse osmosis faucet, we took a multi-faceted approach. We began by reviewing the products’ style and functionality and checking online marketplaces for customer reviews. We also examined the manufacturer’s guidelines and warranty to ensure that the faucets were highly reliable.
In addition to reviewing the products’ specifications, we also conducted practical observations of the faucets’ performance. We installed them in our home reverse osmosis system and used them for a day to get a real feel for their construction, ease of installation, and quality of operation.
To further ensure that our recommendations were the best of the best, we also sought out the expert opinion of industry professionals. By combining all of these different sources of information, we could determine which faucets were well-performing and less problematic and which were the best overall.
Best Reverse Osmosis Faucet with Air Gap
As all our picks are suitable for standard RO systems, you won’t have any problem installing them on your sink. In addition, we have included different types of finishes so that you can easily find the right one according to your room decor. So go ahead and check out the details of each faucet to choose the right one.
1. Watts Premier WP116001 Air-Gap Faucet
For our first pick, we have a fully automated metal air gap faucet that’s safe and easy to install. This standard auxiliary faucet has an ergonomic lever to control the water speed and stream style to fulfill your every day kitchen needs.
Without a doubt, the design and material of this faucet are what impressed me the most. It has a long rotating gooseneck spout allowing you to quickly move it as per your needs. Also, the faucet’s height is suitable for smaller and larger sinks.
Thanks to the spring-loaded handle, dispensing the water only requires one touch. In addition, solid metal construction eliminates around 98.8% of lead from the system and complies with NSF low-lead regulations.
As for the finish, you have 5 different options to choose from. I particularly like the chrome finish as it’s durable and cheaper than the other options. You can also go for brushed nickel, antique bronze, or stainless steel.
The finish is smooth and free from blemishes. I can assure you that it will enhance the look of your kitchen and last for years.
You’ll love the lever of this faucet as it can be set in 3 positions: Up, Down, and Press open. On the Up position, the stream is turned on at a decent flow rate, and you can turn it off by pressing it Down.
I found the open Press style most convenient as it automatically fills a glass without your assistance.
Altogether, it’s an excellent option for any RO system at the most reasonable price.
Several months have passed since it was installed. The air gap has never been blocked, and the gunk from the drain has never reached the brine drip of the RO system through the air gap. An excellent product.
- Constructed from durable and sturdy material with a blemish-free finish
- Meets low-lead regulations and standard plumbing codes
- An easy-to-control lever smoothly maintains water flow
- One-touch spring-loaded handle
- 5 different finishes are available
- Installation instructions aren’t beneficial
2. Water Filter Tec Air Gap 3 Line Reverse Osmosis Faucet
If you want a faucet that’s functional and good-looking, this faucet is just the right one for you. Unlike your typical RO system faucets, this one resembles a regular kitchen faucet with its high-arched spout, broad base, and stylish handle.
Since it’s an air gap faucet, it won’t allow any minerals or other contaminants into the main supply line in case the faucet is clogged. Besides, the faucet is certified to be free from lead and other toxic elements.
So, according to my experience, it provides safe drinking water even when the sink drain is clogged.
For easier installation, the package includes both ¼” and 3/8″ tubing that quickly connects to your water supply system. Moreover, the connection lines are differently colored so that you can easily identify the drain and main supply lines from the instructions.
However, one major downside of this faucet is that it doesn’t have the necessary supply lines and other tools for installation. The faucet includes a metal-made ball valve to control the water flow.
Besides, it has a sturdy metal body with a durable finish. Brushed nickel and polished chrome are available for this faucet; each looks great on a standard kitchen sink.
Our faucet, which had rusted out after over 20 years, needed a 3 Line Reverse Osmosis Faucet. We had a plumber install this, as all the filters changed. However, I am pleased with this product, and the seller shipped it promptly.
- Suitable for deck mounting with 1/4″ and 3/8″ quick-connect tubing
- Unique arched design with an attractive and long-lasting finish
- Lead- and toxin-free; offers healthier and cleaner drinking water
- A single lever smoothly controls the water flow
- Easy to install with provided instructions
- Package doesn’t include any supply lines
3. Metpure RO Air Gap Faucet Brushed Nickel
A convenient faucet with pre-installed drain pipes, the Metpure air gap faucet is probably the most flexible in the marketplace.
I particularly like this faucet because of the convenience it offers. It comes with pre-installed tubing, so you don’t need to stress about which pipe goes in which thread. Besides, the quick installation couplings ensure a snug fit and prevent water leaks and drips.
The package includes a faucet wrench, washers, nuts and bolts, and all the necessary hardware to mount the faucet on your sink easily. As for the material, the faucet is made of lead-free brass that’s smooth and strong enough to last for decades.
The ceramic disc lever functions smoothly to turn the faucet on or off quickly. Besides, it’s resistant to high temperatures and corrosion. So you can use it up to 500,000 times without worrying about leaks!
A 360-degree swivel spout ensures you can easily reach every corner of the sink. The water flows at a 20 oz/min rate, which is pretty decent for an RO air gap faucet.
One thing I didn’t find very impressive is that the air vent hole of this faucet is pretty noisy. Otherwise, it’s an overall good choice for regular use.
There seems to be no problem with the quality, but only time will tell. A problem may arise from the discharge of brine. Over time, all of the RO systems I’ve had in the past broke down because the brine discharge system backed up. In case this one fails, I have ordered a backup. It should last about three years.
- Made of heavy-duty brass to withstand corrosion for a long time
- Durable ceramic cartridge survives 500,000 uses
- Supply lines are pre-installed
- Includes quick-connect couplings and necessary hardware for easy installation
- Maximum water flow 20 oz/minute
- The faucet is noisy
4. Watts Premier 116093 Monitored Air-Gap Faucet Watts
Want a premium quality faucet with a timer-based monitor? The Watts Premier 116093 is an advanced faucet featuring an air gap and a timer that alerts you whenever it’s time to change your RO filters.
First, we have to talk about the monitoring system of this faucet. This faucet features a timer that monitors how long it has been in position and alerts you every 6 months to change the RO filters. In my experience, it’s a blessing for busy users who often loses track of time.
Since this faucet is compatible with top-mount and under-sink RO systems, you don’t have to worry about the installation process much. Also, the supply lines and required hardware are provided with the faucet. Watts Premier constructed all these elements, ensuring the highest quality.
I have seen that the 4-feet supply lines are of great use for those with larger sinks. Once installed, there won’t be any leaks, thanks to the ceramic cartridge. You can use a dishwasher drain line adapter for alternative installation per your needs.
This monitored faucet is available in chrome and brushed nickel finish.
It is easy to install and well-built. Don’t rush it; take it slow. Be sure to properly seat tubes in connectors and cut them cleanly. People not following directions and running jobs are responsible for most negative reviews. Cleaning them periodically is also necessary. Leaks can occur if waste accumulates in the passages. Clean according to instructions!
- A timer can be set for changing filters every 6 months
- Well-built faucet with chrome or brushed nickel finish resisting rust
- Long supply lines and installation hardware are provided
- Effectively prevents leaks and drips
- Compatible with many different RO systems
- Sometimes, the monitor gives the wrong signal
5. Watts Premier WP116187 Twist Air Gap Faucet
Yet again, we have another top-quality monitored air gap faucet for you. This time we have a super-strong faucet that effectively prevents rust and corrosion for many years while also resisting water wastage.
Thanks to the air gap and leak-free system, backflow and leaks are entirely reduced. In this system, prevention valves are integrated into the internal elements of the faucet. Besides, the cartridge features dual O-rings to stop water leaking.
As per my experience, colored tubing makes the installation process quicker and easier. All the supply lines are resistant to temperature changes. You can refer to the quick fix guide if anything goes wrong during the installation or after mounting the faucet.
I also liked the easy twist lever-style handle that precisely handles water flow. In addition, the bell-shaped base and stylish handle provide a premium look and feel to the faucet. Hence, this faucet easily suits any contemporary kitchen decor.
All the materials and internal components of the faucet meet the US standard plumbing code. Besides, it’s free from lead and other harmful elements in cheap faucets. So you don’t have to worry about the related health risks.
The timer monitor is also of good use for regularly replacing your RO filters. Overall, it’s a stylish pick with many great features and is worth buying, although it’s a bit pricey.
I replaced the little black lever on my leaking RO faucet. I thought I would spend the afternoon replacing it. I found it most challenging to remove the old one. Then, on top of the sink, I installed the faucet. I could not have done it any easier. From start to finish, it took less than half an hour. Over a basic RO faucet, it is worth the extra cost.
- The air gap and leak-free design prevent water drips and backflow
- Quick and easy to install with provided instructions and supply lines
- Features a durable cartridge with double O-rings to stop water leaks
- Stylish design with a durable chrome finish that doesn’t peel off or fade over time
- Possesses no health risks
- Some users complained that the faucet top doesn’t easily fit
6. Hydronix LF-BLRAG-BN Reverse Osmosis Faucet
For those who want a durable faucet without spending much, Hydronix has the most reliable faucet to offer. In addition, this long-reach faucet is perfect for larger sinks as it allows you to control the water flow easily.
From what I’ve experienced, this water faucet has a unique curved design that enhances its looks and makes it functional. In addition, the air gap on the faucet body prevents unwanted minerals from mixing up with clean water.
Besides, the faucet meets the NSF safety standards ensuring that you get pure filtered water without contamination. Another highlight of this faucet is its brushed nickel finish. It protects the inner metal of the faucet from rust, corrosion, and other environmental impacts.
Plus, the finish doesn’t lose its shine or peel off for a long time. The faucet doesn’t require much maintenance because the outer surface is smooth and resistant to fingerprints and dirt. You must wipe the surface with a dry cloth; the finish will last for years.
Although the overall design and quality of the faucet are great, I have one major complaint. The on/off handle is made of plastic, whereas the spout and base are metal. Hence, it might look and feel flimsy to some users.
Also, we can’t rely on plastic for long-lasting performance. However, I’d still say it’s a decent choice for the price.
It works, but I’m not sure how long it will last. There is a wobble to the lever, which is made of plastic. Simple and lovely, just what I was looking for.
- A uniquely designed faucet with a 12″ long-reach spout that is great for sink corners
- Meets the NSF safety standards for its strong build and safe water supply
- Durable finish that resists rust and corrosion over time
- Features an air gap to prevent backflow of water from drain pipes
- Easy to clean and install
- Plastic-made handle might easily break under pressure
Reverse Osmosis Faucets with Air Gaps Buying Guide
Before you purchase the best reverse osmosis faucet with air gap for your RO system, you must know what makes a faucet long-lasting and functional. So, here’s a list of things you must check while buying a RO faucet with an air gap-
Size and Compatibility
RO faucets are available in many styles and sizes. Unfortunately, not all of them will fit perfectly on your kitchen sink. So, you should check whether the faucet is compatible with your sink.
Depending on your sink type, you can choose a deck mount or top mount faucet supporting single-hole installation. For 3-hole configurations, choose faucets that come with a deck plate. Also, ensure your supply system supports 1/4″ and 3/8″ tubing, as most RO faucets require three hooking lines.
The faucet size is another important thing to consider. Check out the spout’s reach, height, and width to find out whether it can cover the whole area of your sink.
Generally, most RO faucets with an air gap are made of metals like stainless steel and brass. Both these materials are strong, solid, and highly durable. However, you should check whether any other toxic elements like lead are mixed with the faucet material.
It’s best if the material meets the NSF safety standards or US plumbing codes. Although plastic is durable, it’s not recommended for use under pressure.
Luckily, numerous different finish types are available for RO faucets. However, for good reasons, brushed nickel and chrome are probably the most common finish types. Both these finishes are durable and stylish and suit both traditional and contemporary kitchen decor.
You can also go for stainless steel, antique bronze, white, matte black, and other finish types if you don’t mind spending extra bucks. Whichever option you choose, it should be long-lasting and resistant to kitchen abuse, rust, and water damage.
Ease of Installation
No one wants to spend hours installing a simple kitchen faucet. The faucet you choose must be easy to install. It should come with clear instructions on installing and mounting the faucet.
Besides, it’s best if the package includes the necessary tools and hardware like bolts, washers, O-rings, etc. Also, RO faucets with air gaps require three supply lines for proper installation.
So, you should pick a faucet with colored supply lines of the right length.
What Is Air Gap Reverse Osmosis Faucet?
An air gap faucet is specially designed for under-sink RO systems to prevent the backflow of wastewater. Without an air gap faucet, the dirty water might siphon back using the drain lines when there is a reverse suction in your RO system.
The accidental backflow of wastewater happens in a fire incident where a large amount of water is sucked from your RO system or when the city water supply is turned off. In this case, the backflow can cause significant health damage.
So, the air gap faucet prevents such incidents and keeps your water clean and free from contaminants.
Do You Need Air Gap for Reverse Osmosis?
In most cases, the standard plumbing code suggests an air gap for any reverse osmosis system to ensure the safety of the users. According to our experience, an air gap must prevent dirty water from returning to your water supply line.
Besides, it’s necessary for cross-connection control of the RO system. However, the system has some disadvantages as well. For example, the air gap is why your RO system might be creating gurgling noises. Although it’s annoying for some, you must have an air gap on your faucet to prevent serious health risks.
What Does An Air Gap Do to Reverse Osmosis?
Instead of a single drain line, air gap faucets feature three lines—two for draining wastewater and one for supplying clean water. The ‘air gap’ is usually placed on the faucet body or the discharge line.
When there is a backflow of dirty water, the air gap creates a vacuum so only air can pass through. So, if the water overflows, only a small amount of air is sucked into the clean water supply line instead of dirty water.
Hence, the water remains clean and uncontaminated, thanks to the air gap.
Why is My Reverse Osmosis Faucet Leaking?
There are several potential reasons why your reverse osmosis faucet may be leaking. Some common causes include:
A damaged or worn out faucet valve: The valve inside the faucet that controls the flow of water may be damaged or worn out, which can cause leaks.
Loose connections: If the connections between the faucet and the reverse osmosis system are loose or not properly tightened, it can cause leaks.
Clogged or blocked aerator: A small screen at the end of the faucet can become clogged with minerals or debris, causing water to leak out.
High water pressure: If the water pressure in your home is too high, it can put extra stress on the faucet, causing leaks.
Worn-out faucet washers: The washers inside the faucet may wear out over time, which can cause leaks.
Why Does My Reverse Osmosis Faucet Gurgle Constantly?
You might have a gurgling reverse osmosis faucet for several reasons. Some common causes include:
Air in the system: Air may be present in the water lines or the storage tank, which can cause gurgling sounds when water flows through the faucet.
Clogged or restricted flow: Water flow through the system may be restricted by clogged filters or a low water pressure, which can cause gurgling sounds.
High water pressure: If the water pressure in your home is too high, it can put extra stress on the faucet, causing gurgling sounds.
Air bubbles in the tank: If the tank of your reverse osmosis system is not properly installed, it can trap air bubbles, which can cause gurgling sounds when water is flowing through the faucet.
Leakage in the system: A leakage in the system can cause the water to flow into the air gap in the faucet, and it causes gurgling sounds.
So, there you have our top picks for the best reverse osmosis faucet with an air gap. Each faucet on our list is completely safe and highly durable. You can choose any according to your requirements.
Among all our picks, Watts Premier WP116001 is undoubtedly the most reliable, thanks to its flexible performance and strong build. Besides, it’s available in many different finish types to meet varied tastes.
If you want a durable faucet with decent water flow, the Metpure RO faucet will be a great choice. Finally, Watts Premier 116093 is the best RO faucet with a timer-based monitor available in the market today.
As the chief content writer, Hassan Al Sarker works as a professional kitchen-based content creator at Kitchen Liker.
In addition to reviewing the content published on Kitchen Liker, he ensures that it is accurate, relevant, and helpful. As a result, all the reviews and information published at Kitchen Liker are neutral and userfriendly.
Hassan Al Sarker has a bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Tourism Management From the Newyork University. Before joining Kitchen Liker, he was a contributor at Kitchen Club, United States.