Frequently Asked Questions
About Distilled Water
How pure is distilled water?
Simply stated: Distilled water is the very purest form of drinking water you can get, far better than reverse osmosis or any other water filtration method. (99.99% pure when properly distilled and accurately tested.) If you want to drink only the very purest water, then distillation is the best choice by far. You will not be able to find a more effective method of water purification than distillation.
What makes distilled water better than filtered water?
Water filtering systems cannot eliminate the pollutants and contaminants that are removed through the distillation process. For example; many viruses, heavy metals and pharmaceuticals cannot be removed by filters. Also, if you forget to change your filters, they can become clogged and can turn into breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. If this happens, "filtered" water can actually become MORE contaminated than the source water! Some filtering systems also rely on an activated charcoal filter cartridge, (sometimes exclusively), to get rid of the bad taste and odor of the water. Although charcoal filters can improve the taste and odor of your water, they can also disguise the warning signs that your drinking water may be contaminated. Many people have a false sense of security thinking that since their water tastes and smells fine, it must be okay. But unfortunately, that is not always the case. Since distillation systems do not require filter cartridges, you'll never have to buy or replace messy filters again. That saves you time and money. But most importantly, filtered water IS NOT as pure as water produced using the distillation process.
How does it work?
The unit uses the distillation process. It is filled with ordinary tap water which is heated in the 100% Stainless Steel vaporizing chamber until it becomes sterilized steam. The purified steam vapor is then condensed back into it's original liquid water state, except it has left the chemicals, toxins, pollutants and other contaminants all behind. They have been removed in a way that can only be accomplished in this manner. No other process of water filtration is as effective.
What other uses are handy for distilled water?
In addition to using it for any drink made with water, such as coffee, tea, lemon aid, frozen fruit drinks. etc., it also makes the best, (and clearest) ice. It is great to prepare foods with, such as soups, steamed vegetables, baby formulas, etc. Other uses include; using as a face wash to gently and deep clean the skin; mouth rinse after brushing. (Responsible dentists use it for their patients during treatments to help prevent infections caused from impure water.); use in anything that produces steam to keep it clean such as steam irons, clothes steamers, steam cleaners, humidifiers, etc.; Use to replenish wet cell batteries such as batteries for cars, boats, motorcycles, garden equipment, etc.; photographic film developing; sprouting, aquariums, the list goes on and on. Just about any process involving water can be improved using distilled water.
Do we need the fluoride that is put into the municipal water supplies to prevent cavities?
There is plenty of fluoride in the toothpaste we use to keep away cavities. And there is much controversy about the harmful effects of fluoride in our diets.
Don't we need the minerals that are contained in our drinking water sources?
The best source of minerals is in the foods we eat. 95% of the minerals our bodies absorb, come from the foods we eat, not the water we drink. Multi-mineral supplements, available at any vitamin store, are also a far better source of beneficial minerals than water. It's not worth polluting our bodies with all the other harmful ingredients to get a minimal amount of minerals found in water.
Does distilled water leach minerals from the body?
There are some outrageous claims, usually made by competing water filter companies or scam artists trying to convince people to buy the product they are selling. But there is absolutely no scientific study whatsoever that verifiably demonstrates any leaching of minerals from the body due to drinking distilled water.
Does distilled water taste flat like it does when you buy it at the supermarket in bottles?
No. Since you make your distilled water as you need it, it is FRESHER by weeks and months than water that has been setting in warehouses or on store shelves in plastic bottles.
What does distilled water taste like?
The taste is as neutral as possible as there is nothing left in the purified water to taste in the first place. It will be as close to "not tasting anything" as you can get. Some people may detect a very faint taste or "new smell" in the first couple gallons due to the brand new poly-carbon container, which will dissipate with usage. The Activated Charcoal Sachets also help to eliminate any residual odors or taste. The water will taste as fresh as it can be, because you make it fresh with every batch.
Aren't water distillation systems too expensive?
Our systems are not only affordable, they actually SAVE money. Our systems pay for themselves in just a matter of months with the money you save from NO MORE BOTTLED WATER or FILTER CARTRIDGES to replace. It's more expensive NOT to have one. (See "How much does it cost to operate?" below for operating costs.)
How much does it cost to make operate?
Since you are making your own pure water, you don't pay for bottles, delivery, advertising, store mark ups, etc. Your cost is only for electricity and whatever your municipality charges you for water which is very minimal. These costs are estimated by one of our manufacturers to be only *22 cents per gallon. Compare that with an average retail price of One Dollar or much more you may pay for brand name bottled water. But the convenience of not having to buy the water and lug it from the store in the first place is also something to consider. And more importantly, bottled water is NOT as PURE as distilled water. So why not drink the best and pay less at the same time? (*Model 100 example: 580 watts X 5.5 hours per gallon = 3,190 watts at .095 kilowatt rate, (example utility rate per 1,000 watts) = 30.03 cents per gallon.)
What is the TDS, (total dissolved solids) measured in PPM, (parts per million), of distilled water?
Many TDS meters require precise calibration and can become inaccurate and unreliable especially when testing distilled water. Usually, if the meter is precise and accurate, and if there is absolutely no dust or other infinitesimal pollutants in the water, you may expect to get a reading of 000 unless the meter registers to the 4th decimal. In any event, the TDS of distilled water should be quite low and much lower than drinking water produced by any other method of filtration or purification. Please note that if you are using an activated carbon filter of any type, tiny particles from the activated carbon can cause the TDS to show a higher reading than would otherwise be the case. (We do not guarantee any specific PPM or TDS reading due to testing inconsistencies and other environmental factors.)
What is the PH of distilled water?
The PH of distilled water is as close to neutral as possible, (7.0), as virtually everything has been removed from it that would cause it to be acidic or alkaline. Note, however, that pure water, when exposed to the atmosphere, will take in carbon dioxide, some of which reacts with water to form carbonic acid and H+, thereby lowering the pH to about 5.7. Also, neutral pH at 25 degrees C is not exactly 7. pH is an experimental value, so it has an associated error. The pH of water gets smaller with higher temperatures. For example, at 50 degrees C, pH of water is 6.55 - 0.01. This means that a diluted solution is neutral at 50 degrees C when its pH is around 6.55 and that a pH of 7.00 is basic. In other words, it is difficult to get an accurate pH reading, especially in PURE DISTILLED water. The Environmental Protection Agency says the following: "Pure distilled water would have tested neutral, but pure distilled water is not easily obtained because carbon dioxide in the air around us mixes, or dissolves, in the water, making it somewhat acidic. The pH of distilled water is between 5.6 and 7. To neutralize distilled water, add about 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, stir well, and check the pH of the water with a pH indicator."
Is distilled water acidic?
Because distilled water is so pure, if not stored in an airtight container, it is possible over time to absorb a very low amount of CO2, (carbon dioxide), from the surrounding air. This may cause the results of a ph test to appear acidic. But the reason for this is that because everything, (either alkaline and acidic) has been eliminated from the water, only a very minuscule amount of any acidic substance, (from the surrounding air for example), will cause a ph scale reading to appear acidic. (A ph scale does not measure how much acid is in water, as it only measures the relative amount of acid vs. alkali.) It is very difficult if not impossible to quantify how much actual acid is contained in distilled water because of this, but it is very safe to say that it is a very, very low amount. So even though a ph reading of distilled water may appear to be a little on the acidic side, the actual amount of acidic substances in distilled water is far less than what is contained in a regular glass of tap water.
Are chlorine and other gases removed from the distilled water?
In addition to the solid pollutants that are removed during the process, there is an exhaust vent incorporated into the unit to help eliminate chlorine and other gases that may be formed and rise with the steam. Chlorine and other waste gases are expelled from the exhaust outlet in the upper part of the unit. The Activated Charcoal Pods or Filters, further help remove these gases.
Does the process eliminate 100% of every contaminate contained in the water?
Although water made with our systems is more than 99.999% pure, and the purest water possible that can be made from any other home water purification system, it is virtually impossible to remove minuscule amounts of certain substances. Scientifically speaking, no one can guarantee that absolutely 100% of every non H2O molecule contained in water will be removed. (H2O = 2 Hydrogen atoms + 1 Oxygen atom bonded together.) However we can say that water made with this process will be the cleanest and purest water that is possible to obtain from any other home water purification system, and far cleaner than bottled drinking water from ANY source.
What happens to everything contained in the water before it was purified?
The chemicals, pollutants and other contaminants that were taken out of the water remains in the bottom of the boiling chamber until it is poured down the drain.
What is "Activated Charcoal"?
Activated charcoal is organic material with a high carbon content such as coconut shells, and is harmless, completely inert and safe to use.
Can you still get good quality water without using activated charcoal?
The use of activated charcoal is a personal preference. Some people use the supplied activated charcoal sachets supplied with their new unit for only for a few days to help eliminate any "new" smell and taste from the storage/collection container. Other people prefer the taste a little better using the sachets, which also helps to eliminate any residual gases that may be present.
What is the difference between Distilled and Deionized water?
Distillation and deionization are similar in that both processes remove ionic impurities, but distilled water and deionized water (DI) are not the same and are not interchangeable for many lab purposes. Deionization does not remove molecular species (e.g., sugar) or uncharged organic particles (most bacteria, viruses). Assuming the source water is tap or spring water, distilled water is pure enough for nearly all lab applications. It is used for: autoclaves; solvent to prepare solution; analytical blank; calibration standard; cleaning glassware; in batteries; equipment sterilization; making high purity water. The purity of deionized water depends on the source water. Deionized water is used when a soft solvent is needed. It is used for: cooling applications where it's important to avoid depositing minerals; microbiology autoclaves; many chemistry experiments involving ionic compounds; washing glassware, especially the final rinse; solvent preparation; analytical blanks; calibration standards; in batteries. As you can see, in some situations either distilled or deionized water is fine to use. Because it is corrosive, deionized water is not used in situations involving long-term contact with metals. While it's okay to drink distilled water, you should not drink deionized water. Deionized water is corrosive and can cause damage to tooth enamel and soft tissues. Also, deionization does not remove pathogens, so DI water may not protect against infectious diseases.
About H2o Labs Water Distillers
Why is distilled water made with H2oLabs Systems healthier for you?
Simply because it is more PURE. Pollutants and contaminants are removed more effectively than can be accomplished with any other water purification process, including any other filtering or reverse osmosis system.
What makes an H2oLabs distillation system better than expensive reverse osmosis systems?
Even reverse osmosis cannot eliminate the pollutants and contaminants that are removed through distillation. As with basic water filtering systems, reverse osmosis systems also have filters that can become neglected and clogged and can turn into breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. This could actually make the water WORSE than what it was BEFORE filtering. And since these systems also use activated charcoal filters, any taste and odor warning signs are eliminated so you may not suspect anything is wrong. Contrary to popular conceptions, reverse osmosis does NOT completely remove all viruses and bacteria.
Are H2o Labs water distillers easy to use?
Yes, they are very easy to use. No plumbing is required for our one gallon units. Simply lift off the top, fill it up, plug it in and turn it on. It turns off automatically after one full gallon of pure water has been made. Our automatic units are even easier! They fill automatically, turn on and off as needed automatically. Very easy installation. All that is required is to attach a self-taping valve to any cold water line which is run to the distiller, and plug it in.
What steps are required to make distilled water?
When you are ready to begin making each gallon, unplug and lift off the top. Rinse out the tank in your sink. If any residue remains, sponge with a couple drops of regular dish washing soap and rinse again. While it's still in the sink fill it with water. Set it on the counter and dry. Replace the top and plug it in. Position the collection container under the spout, and push the button to start. That's all there is to it. It only takes a minute.
Do I have to supervise the operation of the unit?
No, you do not have to supervise the process. Just place the storage/collection container under the outlet spout before you turn it on. Just push the single button and forget about it. The unit automatically turns off when it has completed.
How big is the collection container, (carafe), provided with the Models 100, 100SS, 200, 300 or 300SS?
One Full Gallon, (or 4 liters), which is big enough to hold all the water made in one complete cycle. Plenty for you to drink and enjoy all day and then some.
How long does it take to make a gallon of distilled water using the Model 100, 100SS, 200, 300 or 300SS?
It takes approx. 5 to 6 hours to make each gallon. (Altitude, water content and temperature can affect the time.) The process can be expedited if placed in a well ventilated area. Fill with water and push the button just before retiring and in the morning you'll have a fresh gallon of water to use for your coffee and throughout the day. If you want more than one gallon per day, just do it again in the morning or any convenient time during the day.
How can I be sure that the water has been purified, and the unit is operating properly?
You will have no doubt that the water has been purified. It can't get into the collection container unless the water has been turned into steam first. Every time you remove the top to refill the unit, you will see a small amount of residual water left in the bottom, (before you rinse it out). When you see what remains in the left-over residual water, you will have no doubt that the unit is working. You will now be able to pour all those pollutants down the drain instead of drinking them.
How do you know if the unit needs cleaning?
Simply look inside before you fill it up. Depending on how hard your water is to begin with, you will notice some residue, (what's left over after being eliminated from the water), that can be rinsed away after a quick sponging.
How do you clean it?
Give the tank a quick cleaning before refilling it to make the next gallon. Just use a few drops of dish soap and a soft sponge. If stubborn residue remains, use a 1/2 cup of white vinegar and a little warm water, and let set for an hour or so and rinse. In rare cases of extremely hard water, the unit comes with a jar of cleaning crystals to use if the above doesn't do the job.
What is 304 grade stainless steel?
Stainless Steel, Grade 304, (also known as 18/8), is the most widely used and versatile of all the stainless grades. Other ingredients are added to the steel which is what make it “stainless” and durable. ie: Carbon 0.08% max., Silicon 1.00% max., Manganese 2.00% max., Chromium 18.00-20.00%, Phosphorus 0.045% max., Nickel 8.00-10.50%, Sulfur 0.030% max. These ingredients are in all stainless steels. This type of stainless steel in generally non-magnetic.
How much electricity do the Models 100, 100SS, 300 or 300SS require?
Normal household current, (120 volt). The total power consumption is 580 watts. (Similar to two 300 watt light bulbs only when the unit is operating.)
How much electricity does the one gallon unit use and what is the electricity cost?
The electricity cost varies by location, but the unit uses 580 watts, (or .58 kilowatts per hour), and takes approx. 5.5 hours per gallon, (or approx. 3.19 kilowatt hour per gallon.) You can calculate the cost by referring to your electricity cost per kilowatt hour from your utility company and multiply that by 3.19 to obtain the cost per gallon. For example: at a kWh cost of 10 cents multiplied by 3.19 would amount to approx. 31.9 cents per gallon. (It will be far less than the cost of bottled water.)
How much heat do the one gallon units give off?
The heat produced is less heat than boiling a tea kettle. This is because the heating element is enclosed to maximize heat transfer to the boiling chamber and minimize heat loss. But you will still notice some heat from the fan exhaust. We suggest running the unit at night to minimize any noticeable heat.
Does it make any noise?
Although the condensing coil fan is very small, (much smaller than a table fan), it will make a normal "fan" type noise. The effects of any noise can be minimized by turning the unit on in the evening when retiring.
Will the unit work okay with well water?
Yes. However, if your well water is very hard, you may have to pre-filter it, and/or use a water softener unit in order to remove any extreme hardness first. Otherwise the unit may be difficult, (but not impossible), to clean after each use.
What is the difference between Models 100, 100SS, 300 and 300SS?
Our "Best in Class" Models 100, 100SS, 300 and 300SS are identical except for your choice of exterior, White Baked-Enamel metal or Stainless Steel; and the Collection/Serving pitcher, which is Break-Resistant Food-Grade BPA-Free Polypropylene with the Model 100 and 100SS; or a specially designed Glass Carafe and glass nozzle insert with the Model 300 and 300SS. Other than those variations, Models 100, 100SS, 300 and 300SS all share the same top quality features of our tried and true system that has been sold to thousands of satisfied customers.
What comes with the unit?
Everything you need is included with your purchase. Each unit comes with a One Gallon Collection and Storage container; an Activated Charcoal Sachet assembly with a 6 pack of Sachets; and a jar of Cleaning Crystals.
Does the unit take the salt out of softened water?
Yes. Anyone with a home water softener should also use a water distillation unit for all their drinking water in order to eliminate the sodium, (salt), that is present in softened water.
Do you have to buy or replace filter cartridges?
There are no expensive filter cartridges to buy. And with no messy filters to change, you don't have to hassle with replacing them or worry about them becoming contaminated.
Are any parts required to be replaced periodically?
No replaceable parts are required, except for the optional Activated Charcoal Sachets, (see below). You receive a 6 month supply with the unit and additional year's supply is available through the store.
What are the Activated Charcoal Pods?
Models 100, 100SS, 200, 300 or 300SS come with a 6 month supply of "Activated Charcoal Pods" that are recommended to use if you have unusually odorous or bad tasting source water to begin with. They also help to remove any residual gases contained in water that might make it through the distillation process. Some people refer to these as "filters" but they are very small and do not look like regular water filters and work a little differently. They are simply positioned between the unit outlet and the collection container. We offer additional 6 packs through the store.
Where are your systems manufactured?
H2O Labs Water Systems are TOP QUALITY. Our one gallon countertop models are manufactured in Taiwan under exacting specifications and are produced by the same respected manufacturing facility which has specialized in making the highest quality one gallon water distillers for nearly 20 years. Our automatic units are made in the USA or Canada unless specified as "Imports". All models have been rigorously tested by H2O Labs and are shipped directly to customers from our fulfillment warehouse centrally located in Kansas City, "the Heartland of America".
How long does it take to receive my order?
Most orders are shipped UPS 2 day delivery, but please allow up to 5 working days. Alaska, Hawaii and Canada orders may take a little longer.
How do I track the progress of my shipment?
If your unit was shipped via UPS, go to www.UPS.com and enter the tracking number on the confirmation email that we sent to you. If you unit was shipped via USPS, (United States Postal Service), please go to www.USPS.com and click "Track and Confirm" and then enter the USPS tracking number we sent to you.
About Durastill Water Distillers
Can a distillation system be used for all household purposes, (whole house)?
If you mean showers, laundry, dish washing, etc. then the answer is no. It is not practical to use distilled water for those purposes due to the electrical expense required to produce that volume of distilled water. (Not to mention the cost to replumb your entire house and install a pressure pump.) But if you mean ‘can the system deliver pure distilled water to various locations for all drinking and cooking purposes’, (refrigerators, kitchen sink, bar sink, pantry sink, etc.), then yes, that can be done easily and very cost-efficiently.
Can you distill well water or other substandard, highly polluted water?
Using well water or other substandard source water will void warranty. However, we have many customers on well water who use our systems with no issues. These customers normally obtain a heavy duty pre-filtering system, (5-micron rated), to prevent most contamination from entering the distiller, and they also are more diligent in maintaining the system by draining and cleaning the boiler on a more frequent basis. If this is done properly, then your distiller can last many years.
What regular maintenance is required?
Depending on how many gallons you are producing, normally you should drain the boiler weekly. Open the side valve and allow the distiller to drain into a 2 gallon, (8 liter), bucket. Empty bucket and close drain valve. Flush with another gallon or two of fresh tap water. Open valve to drain again, and then close valve and resume operation. Only takes a couple minutes for the draining process and will increase the life-span of the heating element and greatly aid in reducing the necessity of more frequent major cleanings. (We also have auto-drain valves if you want that process done automatically.) When you notice water scale build-up on the heating element, (by inspecting it from the opening on top of the distiller), then it is time to clean it, (approximately every 3 to 6 months depending on your source water quality.) A pre and post filter comes with each new automatic distiller and a post filter comes with each new manual distiller, (no pre filter as manual units do not have an incoming water line to attach a pre filter.) It is recommended to change the filters approx. every 6 months with normal usage. They cost $19.80 each and are available on our website when time to order.
How do you know if the unit needs cleaning?
Depending on your source water quality and volume of water made, you should examine the heating element monthly to see if water scale is present. After the unit has been allowed to cool, open the boiler lid on top of the distiller and, using a flashlight, examine the heating element. If you see considerable water scale build-up, (especially if the entire heating element is covered with it), then it is time to clean. Cleaning is necessary approximately every 3 to 6 months depending on your source water quality and amount of water made.
How do I clean the distiller?
When ready to clean, add the prescribed amount of distiller cleaning crystals to the boiler and allow to set for a couple hours until you see the water scale has dissolved from the heating element. (To speed up the process, while keeping the lid off, bring to a boil and then turn off and allow to set a while.) Then drain and flush the boiler into a 2 gallon, (8 liter), bucket; close the drain valve and resume operation. A bottle of Still-Clean should last at least over a year and the cost is $21. (A sample pack is provided with each new distiller for your first cleaning.)
Are there any plastic parts in a Durastill distiller?
All home water distillers regardless of brand, have a few plastic parts that may come in contact with the distilled water. There are very expensive all-glass distillers used for laboratory purposes that do not have any plastic, but they are not practical for home water consumption use. (And even some glass distillers use plastic or silicone line and/or washers or fittings.) Any plastic used by our systems is food-safe and BPA free. Durastill systems have a MSBH, (polypropylene, food-safe), faucet with stainless steel insert that limits plastic contact and is perfectly safe. (If you want to eliminate even polypropylene from coming into contact with anything you consume, then you will have to give up almost every packaged food available at your grocery store.) You can also replace the standard faucet with a stainless steel faucet if you desire, (available from us), but even stainless steel faucets incorporate a plastic, rubber or silicone washer to prevent leaking. ALL PRE and POST filter cartridges, regardless of brand, are made of plastic. The PRE filter cartridge is optional to use, and the plastic source-water line it attaches to can be replaced with a stainless steel water line. But as all water coming from the source-water line and PRE filter cartridge will be distilled, there is no good reason to eliminate them. The POST filter cartridge, (and the two small plastic lines that connect it), can be bypassed if desired by using the stainless steel bypass tube that comes with all Durastill automatic distillers. However if you eliminate the POST filter, you would miss out on the post filter’s additional VOC removal. (Many customers do that however as our units already have a VOC exhaust vent, and the post filter is only an additional precaution. Note that they also improve the taste however.) All Durastill boiler floats are stainless steel. But the STORAGE tank uses a food-safe plastic float, which we can replace with a stainless steel float if you inform us when ordering so it can be factory installed. It is almost impossible to get 100% away from plastic in today’s world. We would advise you to order and use the system as it is designed. However, if you want to minimize the plastic further, notify us immediately upon ordering, and we can install a stainless steel float in your reserve tank. (Or if you already have your unit, you can order the float kit from our website. You can also order a 3rd party stainless steel faucet from our website or from an alternate source.)
What is the difference between an 8 gallon per day unit and a 12 gallon per day unit, (besides production)?
The ONLY difference between the 2 is that the 8 gallon per day unit has a 1000 watt heating element and the 12 gallon per day unit has a 1500 watt heating element, (and the small difference in cost of the unit). Both units use about the same amount of electricity PER GALLON MADE. So one is not any more efficient than the other. However, the amount of heat generated from the 12 GPD systems is a little more while it is running. (But then it will not run as long to produce an equal amount of water.) (Some people say that it is better to use a smaller heating element when possible because VOCs will have a little more time to escape as the water heats to boiling temp. But this has not been proven.) It really comes down to how much water is required. If you will not be using more than 6 to 8 gallons per day, then it is recommended to use the 8GPD unit.