Air Gap vs Non-Air Gap Faucet – What is Difference?

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A reverse osmosis faucet is used to clean water. For the reverse osmosis system, you get an option for an air gap. You can choose an air-gap or non-air-gap faucet for it. People are confused about whether they choose an air-gap Ro faucet or a non-air-gap RO faucet. The air gap vs non-air gap faucet article will clear all your confusion.

How would you know if the air gap or non-air gap, which is right for you? If you are buying a new reverse osmosis system to filter faucet water then you should know the difference between them.

What is an Air Gap Faucet?

Kingston air gap faucet

Not all water filtration unit comes with a drain assembly. In a reverse osmosis system, you get a drain assembly option. Due to drain assembly in a reverse osmosis system, you can use an air gap faucet for the faucet water filter.

Air gap faucets are built to work with under sink reverse osmosis system. The main work of the air gap is to make sure that all the drain water comes outside from the reverse osmosis system and doesn’t flow back into your filtered water.

What is a Non-Air Gap Faucet?

non air gap faucet

The non-air gap faucet is the same as the air-gap faucet but it doesn’t have any trough. The air-Gap faucet uses a trough to stop water from flowing in the reverse direction.

The size of the non-air gap faucet is small so you can easily put it in the kitchen anywhere. Some countries recommend using non-air gap faucets. Its low price is beneficial for many people.

How Does an Air Gap Work?

The air gap faucet works only under the sink reverse osmosis system. For the filter faucet, you don’t need an air gap faucet. It comes with an air gap feature. Apart from cleaning water, it does other work also.

For many people, an air gap faucet is a piece of must-have equipment for the RO system. The main work of the air gap faucet is to create a vacuum break that will make sure that dirty water doesn’t go back into the RO system.

To prevent water flow back RO system has different tubes. All tubes have different work which we have explained in detail in the below air gap vs non-air gap section. The price of the air gap faucet is high and it makes noise while working so all people don’t like to install it.

Read also – How To Get Rid of Brown Well Water? | Black Water Coming Out of Faucet

Air Gap vs Non-Air Gap Faucet

RO systems, pitchers, and faucet water filters, all are used to clean dirty water.

Some water cleaners absorb impurities in their filter like faucet water filters and give clean water. After a month you need to change the cartridge of the filter. For a small family, a faucet filter is beneficial.

For a big-size family, the Ro system is the best choice. The best thing about the RO system is that it drains out dirty water. The faucet filter works only when you turn on the faucet but the RO system works all day.

When you take out clean water from RO, it starts cleaning water again. The membrane is the main part of RO that cleans water. Another name of the membrane filters. To clean water membrane should clean itself. After cleaning, the membrane sends dirty water to the drain.

Now comes the main part where an air gap or non-air gap faucet is used.

The air gap faucet creates a physical siphon that prevents the flow back of drained water into the RO. To prevent the flow back of drain water air gap faucet uses a small trough. This trough is placed at the base of the faucet.

Through the trough, water goes to the drain pipe. Once water crosses the trough it becomes impossible for water to flow on the reverse side. After through water moves forward with the help of gravity and comes outside of the reverse osmosis system.

In a non-air gap faucet, you won’t find such a mechanism to prevent water flow back. It comes with only one water that is directly connected to the faucet.


The air gap faucet uses 3 tubes. All 3 have different work. One tube is used to drain water in the downside direction. The second tube is used to drain water in an upward direction. The water you get from the RO system is sent by a third tube.

All these tubes combination make it a big unit. You need more space to install the RO system. The best place to install the Ro filter is to install it above the sink so that the dirty water coming out of it goes into the sink.

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Advantages of Air Gap faucet

The main advantage of an air gap faucet is that you always get clean water, no dirty water comes back into the RO system.

Disadvantages of Non-Air Gap Faucet

  • The biggest disadvantage of non-air gap faucets is that they are noisy. When water drops into the trough it makes a gurgling sound.
  • It has a small hole in its body. Water can flow out from it and can make the countertop or sink wet. This will occur due to small pieces of debris.
  • It takes more space for installation and you need to take the help of a plumber to install it. You have to spend extra money on its installation.

Advantages of non-air Gap Faucet

  • The non-air gap faucet is small in size so you won’t find any difficulty installing it.
  • The price of a non-air gap faucet for the RO system is less in comparison to the air gap faucet.
  • Dirty water goes directly into the sink so it doesn’t create any noise like an air-gap faucet.

Disadvantages of Non-Air Gap Faucet

The main disadvantage of a non-air gap faucet is that there is a chance that water flows back into the RO system and makes clean water dirty.

Reason for Water Leaking or Clogging From Air Gap Faucet

Water flows out from the air gap faucet with the help of gravity. Sometimes the water is clogged into the air gap faucet and the main reason for water leaking or clogging is a hole in the air gap faucet. This hole gets jammed due to food or other debris.

Any resistance that works against gravity causes a leakage problem. Due to resistance, water starts flowing back in the reverse direction. Slow water flow would be a reason that debris gets collected into the hole of the air gap.

Final Words

For the RO system, the air gap faucet is a useful thing. It prevents any type of water flows back. The air gap faucet is highly suggested by the plumber for the RO system. You can use other devices to stop the flow back of water but an air gap faucet is the best choice. Who wants dirty water in their RO system so use an air gap faucet for clean water without any issue? Now you know what is the difference between an air gap vs non-air gap faucet.

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