Trouble Shooting Guide - H2o Labs Models 100, 100SS, 300, 300SS, 300SSE and 300SSF

Cooling fan does not operate or operates but stops prematurely:

  • The most common problem that new users have is that the fan cord, (the cord attached to the head, or top of the unit), is not completely pushed into the outlet socket on the body, (bottom part of the unit). It may feel and appear to be plugged in, but if it is not pushed all the way in, then the fan will operate intermittently or not at all, and very little, if any, distilled water will be made. (The plug and outlet are intentionally designed to fit snugly in order to reduce the possibility of water entering the socket.) If the fan is working until the cycle has completed, then it is plugged in correctly.

Note: To verify if the fan is working or not, plug the fan cord directly into the main power cord, bypassing the body of the unit.

Water is very hot and steam is accumulating in the carafe:

  • Cooling fan cord is not plugged in all the way. See above.

The nozzle cannot be removed from the head of the distiller:

  • To remove the nozzle, press the middle tabs on each side of the nozzle and TILT it out of the slots. (See illustration in instruction manual.) Use force if necessary when pulling the nozzle. It may be helpful to hold the top of the unit firmly with one hand while tilting and pulling the nozzle up and away from the unit with the other hand. Or if you prefer, you may position the head up-side-down on a table top and then push the nozzle off:
     
    See Video

The nozzle drops out of the head of the distiller:

  • The nozzle is designed to "hang" from the outlet which may cause it to appear to be a little loose. If the tabs are not seated properly, the nozzle could fall out. Please make sure the tabs are locked in place when installing the nozzle. It might also be helpful to bend the tabs out a little before inserting to help the tabs lock in place. But if the tabs are worn and you continue to have problems, a new nozzle can be obtained from our parts department.

The glass insert cannot be removed from the nozzle for cleaning:

  • The glass insert that houses the filter pod can be cleaned without removing it from the nozzle. However, when necessary to remove it, gently press the top of the nozzle and insert a small flat-tipped screw driver under the release tab while sliding the glass insert out. Pictures of this procedure can be found in the instruction manual. It may be helpful to have someone assist you by pushing the tab out of the way with a small screwdriver, while you pull the glass insert out of the nozzle. Take care to prevent breakage.

The unit is not working at all, (fan or boiler):

    Note: To verify that the boiler is not working you must check to see if it begins heating after 5 minutes.

    1. Check the wall outlet to be sure it is working, and that a circuit breaker has not tripped or fuse has blown. Note that on some home outlets, a GFI reset button, (usually a small button between the 2 outlets), may have to be pushed to reset it. If a power strip is used, be sure it is on and working properly.
    2. Replace the fuse. (See "Parts and Supplies" to order the fuse.) Click "Customer Service", then "Instruction Manuals", then "Fuse Replacement Instructions". You may have any appliance repair shop do that for you, or return the bottom part of the unit to us for repair, (service charges will apply.)

The fan is working when plugged into the boiler, but the boiler is not:

  • Please allow 20 minutes for the boiler to heat up, after which, distilled water should begin dripping into the carafe.
  • If after 20 minutes the boiler continues not to heat up, replace the heating element. Contact Technical Support for service information.

The boiler is working but the fan is not:

  • The fan cord, (the cord attached to the head, or top of the unit), is not completely pushed into the outlet socket on the body, (bottom part of the unit). Please push the plug very firmly into the socket.
  • Replace the distiller head assembly, (complete top part of the unit.) Before doing so, plug the fan cord directly into the main power cord, bypassing the body of the unit, to verify that the fan is not working.

Distiller works for a while but consistently turns off before a cycle has completed:

  • Check to see if there is water scale buildup in the bottom of the boiler. The boiler must be cleaned of water scale or the thermal switch will shut down the unit as a protective measure. Damage to the distiller could occur if the unit is not properly maintained.
  • Check to see if fan cord is firmly pushed all the way in.
  • If fan cord is plugged in properly, replace the thermal switch. Contact Technical Support for parts and service information.

Steam is escaping along the seam between the head and body of the unit:

  • The fan cord is not plugged all the way in. Push extra hard, (especially on new units), so that the fan cord plug is completely inserted into the socket.
  • The fan cord could be vibrating loose during a cycle. Monitor the unit during a cycle to see if the fan is running at the same time steam is seen leaking from the seam. If the fan is not running at that specific time, then push the fan cord in all the way until the fan resumes operating.
  • If the silicone gasket between the head and body has been recently removed, it may have been reinstalled up-side-down. If so, remove and reinstall properly.
  • If the fan and/or cooling coil has accumulated a lot of dust, the steam may not be condensing efficiently which could result in steam escaping from the seam. Clean the inside of the head using air pressure or vacuum.

The unit is making loud noises or "banging" sounds or is vibrating excessively.

  • Excessive noise or vibration is caused from pressure building up due to the fan cord not being plugged in all the way. When the fan is not running, the steam will not cool and condense properly and pressure will build up causing noise and vibration. Please be sure that the fan cord is plugged in all the way and the fan is operating anytime the unit is running.

The unit is only distilling a small amount of water or no water:

  • Check to see if air is exhausting from the top of the unit. If not, then the fan cord is not plugged all the way in. -If the fan is working, please allow 20 minutes for the unit to heat up sufficiently in order to begin making water. It takes approx. 5 to 6 hours to make a full gallon of distilled water depending on altitude.
  • If fan cord is plugged in properly, replace the thermal switch. Contact Technical Support for parts and service information.

Unit comes on automatically before the reset button has been pushed:

  • If the reset button was pushed in during shipping or assembly, the unit will begin operating as soon as it is plugged in. If you are not ready to begin making distilled water, simply unplug the unit, and then plug it in when you are ready to make distilled water. The unit will turn off automatically when the cycle has finished. After that, simply press the reset button to begin each cycle.

Unit will not turn OFF when pressing the reset button:

  • This is proper as the reset button does not turn the unit off. It only turns it on. The unit must run until the cycle has completed, at which time the thermal switch will turn it off automatically. If you want to turn off the unit before it has completed a cycle, simply unplug it and when ready to resume, plug it back in to your household outlet.

Unit will not turn ON when pressing the reset button:

  • See above "The unit is not working at all, (fan or boiler)"

Unit turns on only while reset button is being pressed:

  • Replace the thermal switch. Contact Technical Support for parts and service information.

Reset button frame has broken:

  • Replace button assembly. Click "Customer Service", then "Instruction Manuals", then "Reset Button Replacement". This is an easy repair, but you can have any appliance repair shop do it for you, or return it to us for repair. (Service charges will apply.)

Water leaking onto countertop:

    First, identify exactly where the leak is coming from by monitoring the unit closely during a cycle.
  • If, when you notice the leak, the fan is not running, then push the fan cord plug VERY FIRMLY into the socket on the bottom of the unit until the fan begins running again. Or if you notice that water is leaking along the seam between the top and bottom of the unit, the fan cord plug could be vibrating in and out of connection due to it not being plugged in firmly enough to be locked in place. (This is the most common cause of leaking.)
  • If water is leaking along the side of the carafe, reposition the activated charcoal pod so it does not block the hole at the bottom of the nozzle.
  • If the water is leaking from inside the bottom of the unit, immediately unplug and discontinue using the unit. Examine the inside of the boiling chamber for small pin holes, (which are extremely rare), but if found, replace entire bottom assembly.

Water has a slight but noticeable smell and/or taste:

  • Due to the brand new stainless steel in the boiling tank, you may perceive a "new smell" or slight taste from the first couple cycles or so. However, the distilled water is completely pure and safe to consume. As the unit is cleaned after each cycle, the stainless steel will lose the ability to retain any new smell or taste. After the first few cycles there should be hardly any taste at all and in fact at that point it will "taste" better than any other filtered or bottled water.

Water continues to have a significantly unpleasant smell and/or taste:

  • The distiller has VOC, (volatile organic compound), venting in the condensing coil that is usually sufficient to exhaust any VOCs before they can enter the distilled water. Also the activated carbon pod is a secondary defense in removing any residual VOC smell or taste. However in some parts of the country the pollutants and VOCs are so bad that they can boil off towards the end of a distillation cycle and it is possible that the resulting vapor can get into the distilled water. This can cause a very noticeable smell and/or taste. Although the distilled water is much purer than the original source water, some people may find the taste and odor objectionable. There are 2 ways to deal with this problem:
     
    #1-Turn the unit off early by unplugging it from the wall outlet approx. 30 minutes to an hour before the cycle has completed. (The distiller can also be plugged into an inexpensive timer so that it will turn off automatically.) Although a full gallon of distilled water will not be produced, the contaminants will be confined in the water that remains in the boiling chamber to be discarded.
     
    #2-Although carbon filters do not remove very many contaminants from the water, they are very effective in eliminating VOCs and improving the taste and smell of water. Therefore it would be appropriate to use a good quality carbon filter to pre-filter the source water before distilling it, which will help to reduce the stubborn VOCs and improve the taste and smell of the distilled water.

Water has a higher than expected TDS, (PPM), reading:

  • Many TDS meters require precise calibration and can become inaccurate and unreliable especially when testing distilled water.

    However, if you are also using the supplied activated carbon pod, (which is used to remove VOC gases), it is very possible that very small dust-like particles could end up in the distilled water and cause a higher than normal TDS meter reading. (Any activated carbon dust that could end up in the distilled water is inert and harmless.)

    If you are NOT using the activated carbon pod, then it is very rarely possible, (through cleaning or the manufacturing process), that a small amount of dust or other material got into the condensing coil. If that is the case, then running the unit a couple more times should remedy the problem.

    If you must use a TDS meter to test your water, please remove the activated carbon pod and then wash the nozzle, glass insert and carafe very well and try again. Your TDS reading should greatly improve. If it doesn't, then you might want to try a more reliable TDS meter.