Don’t Call a Plumber Part II – Under Counter Water Ionizer Installation

Don’t Call a Plumber Part II – Under Counter Water Ionizer Installation

Installing an under-counter or “faucet style” water ionizer is just as easy as the above the counter installation when connecting directly to the cold water line below the sink.  No need to call a plumber – most people can do this themselves in 30 minutes or less.

Instead of installing a faucet diverter, you’re installing a t-adapter into the cold water line – the hardest part of the installation is dealing with the drips while putting the T-adapter in place.

Again, you’ll want to have a towel handy for this type of installation – no matter how well you drain the line there will be water left that will drip while you are connecting below the sink.

  • Step 1: You’ll need to have a 1 1/4 inch hole in your sink.  Many people remove their sink sprayer or soap dispenser or other sink-mounted appliance and use that hole – which is typically the standard 1 1/4″ hole.
  • Step 2: TURN OFF THE COLD WATER – there is a control knob or valve at the cold water line under the sink.  I recommend turning the cold water on at the tap above the sink – you’ll hear when you’ve successfully shut the cold water off at the source and this will allow the line to drain a bit better.
  • Step 3: Find the hose that goes from the cold water main (coming out of the wall) and goes up to the sink – and disconnect it.  Have your towel handy, water will likely drip from that hose at the very least.

    Click to view full size image

  • Step 4: Connect your T-adapter – screw it into the same place you just removed the hose.  If your T-adapter does not fit here, don’t panic.  This hose connects at two points – one below where the pipe comes out of the sink and the other is up high where the hose connects to the faucet above.  If the adapter does not fit the lower hose connection, resecure the hose and move up to the other end where the hose connects to the sink.  Remove that end of the hose and connect your t-adapter there.
  • Step 5: Once your T-adapter is in place, reconnect the hose you just removed by screwing onto the T-adapter that you just put in place.
  • Step 6: Connect the hose that came with your water ionizer to the T-Adapter.   This hose is designed to have a tight fit so you may need to  let it soak in hot water for a minute or two – this will soften the hose and make it easier to slip onto the T-adapter.
  • Step 7: Connect the other end of this same hose to your under-counter water ionizer.  You should have a hose running from your cold water line to the water ionizer.
  • Step 8: Mount your faucet!  Most faucets for under-counter water ionizers come with hoses already attached along with a power cord that will connect to the unit under the sink.  Run these hoses and power line through the hole in your sink.
  • Step 9: Below the sink you will slide the nut/ring that came with the unit over the hoses and power line until you meet the bottom of the faucet – there you will screw the ring onto the threads of the faucet that are below the sink to secure the faucet.

    This picture was taken while lying under inside cabinet under the sink looking UP at the sink.

  • Step 10: Connect  the hoses coming from your new faucet to the unit that is under the counter – typically a red tab or mark on the hose means that it is the acid hose, a blue tab or mark means it is the alkaline hose.  Match the acid hose up with the acid port on your water ionizer and the alkaline hose up with the alkaline port on the water ionizer.

    Click on image for larger view

  • Step 11: Connect the power cord that comes from your new faucet to the water ionizer.
  • Step 10: Turn your cold water main back on and make sure the lever on the T-adapter is set to allow the water to flow through it.  Most diverters will have a lever that rotate about 90 degrees.
  • Step 11: Connect your water ionizer to a power source.

Congratulations – you’ve just completed your under-sink/faucet-style water ionizer installation!

One more thing that you should be aware of with under-counter water ionizers.  You have to have a power source.  Plugging the unit in under the sink using the same power outlet as your garbage disposal does not always work.

The switch above your counter that turns your garbage disposal off and on also turns the power to that outlet off and on – which means the garbage disposal has to run to get your water ionizer to work….  If this is how your outlet is wired you will need to run the power cord to another outlet or have an electrician install an additional outlet.  I’ve called around and found that in most cases you’re looking at about $150 to have an additional outlet installed below the sink.

To determine whether or not the outlet below the sink is tied directly to the on/off switch you use for your garbage disposal: Go get a lamp and plug it in there.  If you can turn the lamp on without having to turn on the garbage disposal you’re all set.  If you have to turn the garbage disposal on before the lamp will work – call an electrician.