How to Take Good Care of Your Water Ionizer
Posted by Alkaline Water Plus on 9th Feb 2011
One of the biggest enemies of a water ionizer [or any water related device is hard water.
Hard water can deposit anywhere from a whitish film to full-blown scaling and clogging, depending on your water hardness, the water ionizer model you purchase, the prefiltration you set up, the hardness reduction devices you use and the everyday care you give it.
There is a fairly simple method of cleaning your water ionizer of its scale build-up that I’m going to teach you about in this post. In high school I once did an experiment where I took a hardboiled egg and placed it in vinegar over night. I was amazed that the next day I could bounce that egg like a rubber ball. What happened was the calcium, which made the egg shell hard, was eaten away by the vinegar. Vinegar [soaked overnight] will react with the calcium clogging up your water ionizer and will loosen it up and allow you to then flush it away.
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 either time to change to a new filter, time to clean [vinegar wash] your water ionizer or both.
- If you see a whitish film forming around your alkaline spout [flexi-hose] it’s a sign that it’s close to 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 a good time to clean it just for good measure!
Why Would a Water Ionizer Need a Vinegar Wash?
- Water ionizers do a good job of cleaning themselves with their acid washes, especially the Jupiter models, with their continuous cleaning methods. So, inside the water cell your electrodes would or should be squeaky clean, but there are lots of hoses & connectors inside a water ionizer that may get clogged. Calcium is a good mineral, and you need it for ionization, but at times you can have too much calcium in your water. The problem with calcium is (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.
- Even if you don’t live in a hard water area, with extra calcium in your water, you may need to do these periodic cleanings to keep your water ionizer clean inside. But, particularly if you know your water is hard, plan on doing periodic cleanings or get yourself a device or two to prevent hard water build-up. You can find out the hardness (calcium levels) in your water by calling the number on your water bill.
- To reduce the amount of calcium damage to the inside of a water ionizer we recommend doing one or all of the following:
- the EOS (Elimination of Scaling) device.
- You can pro-actively increase the frequency of acid washes in a way that doesn’t waste the water with this idea: 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 or twice 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 (total dissolved solids) 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 of too much hardness.
- If you use a sodium exchange water softener, because excess sodium is unhealthy for you and not good for the water ionizer [tends to corrode], we also suggest using the reverse osmosis remineralizer system.
It’s up to you to take care of your water ionizer and keep it safe and protected against scaling.
How to do a Vinegar Wash
What you will need:
- About 10 oz white vinegar.
Beginning Your Water Ionizers Vinegar Wash:
- Unplug the water ionizer.
- Take the acid hose and raise it to a position higher than the water ionizer. Tape or tie it there somehow.
- Curve the flex-spout upwards.
- Using a funnel pour vinegar down the hose or spout [whichever is more convenient], until it starts pouring out the other [spout or hose]. [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.
- Using the flex-spout as a straw, blow into it and suck [suction it] to agitate the vinegar inside the ionizer. Try not to spill too much vinegar out the hose.
- If you feel there is still excessive clogging, repeat step 6 over the course of several hours or a day.
- When you think you’ve done enough, return the water ionizer hose and spout to their normal positions.
- Run water through the ionizer to flush it.
- Turn it back on, and if it’s not clogged anymore test the pH at the highest level [both acid and alkaline]. If all looks good, you’re done.
- Repeat process [steps 1-11] if the ionizer is still clogged or if the pH ranges are not satisfactory yet.
[Note: Even if you have a very clogged water ionizer…don’t worry. The calcium build-up will eventually dissolve with this technique.]
The steps outlined in this blog are steps you can use with any water ionizer to clean it. However, 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 manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re not sure if your water ionizer company has a cleaning cartridge or not, contact us and we'll let you know.