Water Ionizer Owners: How do you know it’s time to clean your water ionizer?
- If your water ionizer’s pH is dropping over time it’s time to clean.
- If your water ionizer’s flow-rate is slowing down it’s time to clean.
- If you see a whitish film forming around your alkaline spout [flexi-hose] it’s time to clean.
- If it’s been a year, and/or you’re getting ready to change your filters [and you’ve not given your water ionizer a good cleaning yet], it could be the best time to clean! [Please Note: Using the EOS (Elimination of Scaling) device may prolong or even eliminate the necessity for the cleaning that is described below.]
Why Would a Water Ionizer Need a Vinegar Wash?
- Water ionizers do a good job of cleaning themselves, with their acid washes or in the case of Jupiter, alternating polarity inside the water cell, your electrodes will be squeaky clean, but there are lots of hoses & connectors inside a water ionizer that may get clogged. Even if you’re using RO [reverse osmosis] remineralized water to ionize with, you still have calcium in your source water and a concentration of calcium coming out of your alkaline spout. Calcium is a crystalline mineral and because of its crystal shape — it collects, sticks & clogs. That’s what calcium does. You need calcium though, because you can’t ionize water that’s too soft.
- Basically the minimum amount of TDS [total dissolved solids] to ionize well is 100 ppm [parts per million]. So even with soft or non-hard water, when you have a water ionizer a little periodic washing [maybe annually] may be needed from time to time.
- If you live in a hard water area [over 320 ppm of TDS or over 19 grains], with extra calcium in your water, you may need to do these periodic cleanings even more often [perhaps monthly] to keep your water ionizer clean inside. You can find out the hardness [TDS & Calcium levels in your water] by calling the number on your water bill.
- If you’re noticing the need to do these periodic cleanings more than twice a year, you may want to consider purchasing an EOS or “scale-block prefilter” or just do more acid washes [push the acid water button more often].
- If you have the Chanson model, it can be programmed to your water hardness and set to a customized frequency of acid washes.
- Let’s say you drink your alkaline water at 9.5 pH (or Level 3), there is absolutely no reason why you couldn’t push the acid water level 3 button and get your drinking water out of the bottom hose once a day. This may be a smart thing to do if you’re finding your hard water build-up to be too frequent.
- If your TDS is way too high [over 625ppm] you may even be smart to consider hooking in a reverse-osmosis-remineralizer, which would then bring your TDS down to the proper range for ionization without the over-kill.
- Another possibility for handling TDS that is way-out above the “appliance kill range” is a whole house [natural-sodium-free] water filter & softener. Never use a sodium exchange water softener.
- It’s unhealthy for you [too much sodium]
- It’s not good for the water ionizer [tends to corrode]
- It gets concentrated in your alkaline drinking water [so it’s double unhealthy when ionized]
- It’s bad for the environment [where does all that salt-water go?]
It’s up to you to take care of your water ionizer and keep it safe and protected against scaling. The rest of this post is explaining a basic procedure that can help de-scale a clogged up water ionizer or just help any water ionizer by giving it the periodic cleaning that it wants:
Here is the Vinegar Wash Procedure:
A vinegar wash is probably the cheapest and most effective type of special cleaning you can do. Here are the steps: [Note: I have not personally used this technique, because I’ve not had any of the symptoms saying I need to do it. These steps have been supplied by a water ionizer technician, and I believe they should work. When it’s time for me to change my filters in my Athena water ionizer, I’ll do a video of it and re-post this blog with the video-demo at that time.]
What you will need:
- You should save your old used-up filters in the refrigerator in a plastic zip-lock bag to use for your vinegar washes. This procedure will ruin your filter for anything but another vinegar wash.
- 1 gallon white vinegar.
Beginning Your Water Ionizers Vinegar Wash:
- Take the acid hose and raise it to a position where the water won’t run out. Tape it there, temporarily for the Wash.
- Make sure your water ionizer has the old [used up] and drained filters in it.
- If these have been used recently, make sure they’ve been drained. [Take them out and drain them for 2 hours in a dish drain (standing upright). then replace them.]
- Open the calcium port [if there is one] and if it’s full of water — empty it. Remove the calcium basket. Then fill the chamber with vinegar. Replace lid.
- Curve the spout upwards and pour vinegar down the spout until full. [If spout is clogged, remove it and let it sit immersed in vinegar for a few hours before you get to this step.
- Let sit overnight or until unclogged/cleaned inside out.
- Lower the acid hose to the normal position.
- Run water through the ionizer.
- Repeat process if the ionizer is still clogged.
[Note: If you have a very clogged water ionizer…don’t worry if it is very slow-flowing or a trickle at first. The calcium build-up will eventually dissolve with this technique.]
Rinsing the Water Ionizer:
Some water ionizer companies have their own cleaning cartridge they sell you to clean your water ionizer annually or semi-annually [as needed]. If this is the case, I would suggest to do the periodic cleaning according to your water ionizer’s manufacturer, however the steps outlined in this blog are steps you can use with any water ionizer to clean it. If you’re not sure if your water ionizer company has a cleaning cartridge or not, call 1-888-MY-ALKALINE [Cathie] and I’ll let you know.