When you assemble your water distiller for its first use, it is important to REMOVE the Charcoal Filter Bag from the Post Carbon Filter Cup (or use an empty Filter Cup) for the first cycle. This allows steam to clean / sterilize the: Boiling Chamber, underside of the Lid, Condenser Coil, Filter Cup and Collector Jug.
Assemble your water distiller and make sure that you have fitted an EMPTY Post Carbon Filter Cup, i.e. with no Carbon Filter Bag or Charcoal inside;
Fill the Boiling Chamber to the full level and run the distiller for its first full cycle;
Discard the water from the Collector Jug and run a second cycle and when complete, keep some water from this cycle, as this water will later be used to activate the charcoal / carbon.
WARNING: the sterilisation cycle is really important to clean everything properly for future use. If the Filter Bag is left in the Filter Cup for the sterilization cycles, the chances are that the carbon may become contaminated and the water may have a slight taste. If this happens, you may have to discard the contaminated Filter Bag and replace it with a new one.
POST CARBON FILTER CUP:
After you have completed the 'sterilization cycle' as above, please do the following:
Put the Carbon Filter Bag back into the Post Filter Cup and slowly pour a glass or two of distilled water (collected from the second sterilization cycle) through the Post Filter Cup, to clear away any dust particles etc;
Now the Filter Cup can be fitted to your water distiller and you can start making pure distilled drinking water. Enjoy!
Note: replace the Carbon Filter Bag after every 6-12 weeks of use; or when you notice a change in 'taste' in the water, which is actually the best indication when it is time to change the Carbon.
Question 1: Why is a Post Carbon Filter Cup used with water distillers?
Answer: Rain water is distilled water that has been produced by nature's
Water distillers simply imitate nature's hydrological cycle, but in a
much smaller area. This is why the Post Carbon Filter is used,
primarily for the 'polishing stage' of the water distillation process,
i.e. it is used as a back up for removing any minute traces of organics and odours that may still be left in the water.
The Post Carbon Filter Cup contains a small amount of
charcoal and is inexpensive to replace.
Question 2: When should I change the Charcoal / Carbon?
Answer: Many variables affect when the charcoal should be changed such as:
source water quality
how many litres you make in a day, week or month etc
The most accurate method for knowing when to change the charcoal, is when you suddenly start to
notice that the water is tasting different.
Question 3: What does distilled water 'taste' like?
Distilled water has a different taste to everyone. Remember that rain water is also distilled water.
Distilled water (or ultra pure water), will always enhance whatever medium it is introduced to e.g. tea and coffee taste much richer; cooking is better etc. However, if you pour pure distilled water into a glass that has residue from the dishwasher detergents, the taste of the residue will be amplified. In this instance you would need to rinse the glass out with distilled water before drinking.
Also, many people's taste buds are used to tea, coffee, sugar laden carbonated drinks, chemical sports drinks and chemical laden tap water etc, and find it unusual to drink pure water. Drinking pure water is an acquired taste and is made easier by drinking in a genuinely cleaned glass and slightly cooled, as most people cannot stomach any form of room temperature / lukewarm water.
Question 4: What about the conductivity / TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) of distilled water and autoclaves?
It is recommended to use charcoal in the Post Carbon Filter Cup when the water is intended for better
taste and drinking purposes. However, the charcoal can add up to 2ppm to the distilled water.
Accordingly, if the distilled water is NOT for drinking purposes, most laboratories omit the charcoal so
that they can obtain a 0ppm TDS reading with their distilled water, for use in autoclaves, dentistry etc.
PUTTING THE LID ON PROPERLY:
After the Carbon Filter Bag / Charcoal has been put back into the Post Filter Cup, and water put through it as above, then do the following:
Fit the Post Carbon Filter Cup back into the Top of your water distiller;
Fill the Boiling Chamber with tap water up to the 'Full' line (usually 4 litres);
Carefully place the Top on the Base. It is important to place the Top on gently, and allow the Silicone Seal / Gasket to seal naturally, i.e. DO NOT use force to push the Top onto the Base, or it will prematurely damage the Silicone Seal and possibly the Top;
Connect the electrical cord from the Top into the Base, and turn your water distiller on;
Do not forget to set up your Collector Jug correctly under the spout of the Post Carbon Filter Cup, otherwise you will end up with water all over your counter.
Do NOT turn the water distiller Top upside down, UNLESS you are refilling the Post Carbon Filter Cup.
After each distillation cycle, when you remove the Distiller Top / Lid, it is important that it is removed and placed on the counter in the same position as it was sitting on the Base, i.e. do NOT turn the distiller Top upside down - like the example picture at right...
..Otherwise it can dislodge the charcoal in the Filter Cup, which can cause:
small particles of charcoal to go into the Collector Jug(depending on the filter type);
the water to spill over the Post Carbon Filter Cup during distillation!
the water to have a slightly burnt or metallic 'taste.'
SNIFFING THE BOILING CHAMBER:
WARNING: Just like you do NOT smell the toilet bowl after using the toilet, please do NOT smell the Boiling Chamber after the distillation process has been completed; as the waste / chemicals / pollutants that have been removed from the water and have now been left behind in the bottom of the Boiling Chamber, usually really STINKS!
Water distillation imitates the hydrological cycle in nature and separates the water from the filth.
The picture at right shows a normal glass of city tap water. The distillation process simply releases the invisible filth that is locked within the water molecules, which in turn is then left behind inside the Boiling Chamber, while the pure water is relocated to the Collector Jug. We then took the sediment (removed from council tap water) that was left over from the distillation cycle, and put it back into the glass of pure distilled water (far right picture), so that you could now see what was in the water all along, but not seen by the naked eye. Thousands of people have duplicated this experiment for themselves, and depending upon the water source and chemicals present, when the residue is put back into the water, it can be one of many colours e.g. brown, white, yellow, orange etc.
Again, do NOT be tempted to smell the contents of the Boiling Chamber after the distillation cycle, as all the filth / waste / toxins / poisons that were present in the original source water, have been left behind - in an extremely concentrated form. After inhaling the toxic fumes, your taste buds are tainted and everything you drink and eat for the next few minutes will taste absolutely disgusting!
1) The glass of water on the left before distillation;
2) After distillation, the residue left behind in the boiling chamber is then added back to the pure distilled water, to show what was 'locked / hidden' inside the original glass of water
CLEANING THE BOILING CHAMBER:
Never use VINEGAR to cleaning the Boiling Chamber of your water distiller. It is highly corrosive and it voids the warranty!
Never use STEEL Pot Scourers to cleaning the Boiling Chamber of your water distiller. It will prematurely wear the Boiling Chamber out!
Cleaning Option #1 - Steel Kleen Stainless Steel Cleaning Solution:
Use STEEL KLEEN Stainless Steel Cleaning Solution instead, which is designed for this purpose. Steel Kleen is a natural product and totally biodegradable. By soaking Steel Kleen and hot water overnight, it will naturally dissolve any hard scale that is forming.
Cleaning Option #2 - Plastic Pot Scourer:
The Boiling Chamber does not need to be absolutely spotless, as it will be dirty again after each use. The main thing is to make sure that no 'scale' builds up in the Boiling Chamber, as this will cause premature wear, inefficiency and will shorten the life span of the machine.
For general slime and dirt residue left after distilling your water, you can simply use a Plastic Pot Scourer to scrub the dirt loose and wipe the stainless steel relatively clean, then rinse and wipe with a clean clothe to finish.
Do NOT allow the Fan or Condenser Coil to gather dust, as it causes the distiller to: become overheated, inefficient, shortens the life of the machine and voids the warranty.
Here are a couple of pictures sent in by a customer who claimed he has always maintained his Water Distiller, but wonders why it is overheating and turning off prematurely. As the photos indicate, the machine has not been reasonably maintained whatsoever and he has in fact voided his warranty due to misuse! Note the heavy build up of dust on the fan blades and especially the disgusting build up of dust and filth on the condenser coil!
Cleaning of the fan and condenser coil is very easy. When dust starts to accumulate on the fan and condenser coil, use compressed air to gently blow the dust away from the machine.
Possible sources of compressed air are as follows:
Some vacuum cleaners have a reverse mode which can be used as a blower,
12 volt car tyre pump,
A compressor from your garage,
Borrow an air gun from a local workshop / mechanic,
Some supermarkets sell cans of compressed air.
CHECKING THE VOLATILE GASEOUS VENT:
All good water distillers have a 'Volatile / Gaseous Vent' incorporated into the beginning of the stainless steel condensing coil, to prevent Volatile Gases contaminating the pure distilled water, by releasing any Volatile Gasses (if present in source water) into the atmosphere.
Please note, if there are Volatile Gasses present in the source / tap water, then these Volatile Gasses are also being released into the air every time a consumer:
and is consumed every time the consumer drinks the water.
If the source / tap water is heavily contaminated with council poisons and subsequent Volatile Gasses, it maybe advisable to vent any room that has hot water from boiling / cooking / showering etc, as well as the distillation area.
If there is a strange taste with the distilled water, it is possible that the Volatile Gaseous Vent (tiny hole at the top of the Condenser Coil) could be blocked. This is a rare phenomena, but it has been a fault in a very few situations and is usually caused by some manufacturing varnish or overspray that is blocking the hole.
If you suspect that this is the problem (blocked Volatile Gaseous Vent) and if you feel competent, you could:
Fully Automatic Models: unplug the machine from the power source, undo the top of the unit and at the top of the stainless steel coil you will find a tiny hole there. Simply put a pin or needle through this hole and make sure that it is open and cleared.
Semi Automatic / Countertop Models: unplug the machine from the power source and locate the hole at the top of the stainless steel condenser coil. Simply poke a pin or needle through this hole and make sure that it is open and cleared.
This problem has occurred with a couple of distillers in the past and clearing the hole with a needle has fixed the problem immediately.
Your body is the most important real estate that you will ever own!