Water Distillers

1st time Consumers water distiler buyers guide

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Brands of  Water Distillers

One water distiller website with a buyers guide goes on to talk about certain water distiller brands having 20 years + experience in manufacturing water distillers and a successful financial record to back it up.  Well, either their water distiller website is outdated, or they don't know what they are talking about.  One water distiller brand they list has had multiple owners in the past few years, and the banks even closed the doors on the one brand they list as being 'financially stable' and the company went bankrupt in 2001.  Another brand they have listed that has been around for many years has ceased being a manufacture, and is farming out their production in an attempt to stay afloat!   Moral of the story, don't believe everything you see online.  Whether the water distiller company has been in business for many years or not, does not prevent them from seeing hard times. 

Here are the major brands of water distillers that we feel are stable as of 2003!

Durastill Water Distillers This is the oldest water distiller manufacture of stainless steel water distillers. Located in the USA. 35 years in business. Many of the water distiller companies in business today were dealers, or had their units produced by Durastill.  One of the few straight shooting companies to deal with in the industry.

American Water Distillers- Unbeatable quality, newest designs on the market.

West Bend Water Distillers  They have been around for at least 25+ years.  West Bend is subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works, Inc.(ITW). a huge corporation, located in the USA.

Norland International They deal in distillers that produce over 100 Gallons per day, and appear to be the industry leader when it comes to larger distillers. 

Be careful, many of the major manufactures do not allow their products to be sold on the internet, while many financially troubled water distiller companies do.  Keep in mind just because you see one brand of water distiller splattered all over the internet, that has little or no bearing on how good the water distiller is, or how large the company is.  I kind of relate it to many of the 'junk' products you see sold on tv infomercials, while it might look good on TV, once you get the product you'll realized you received a cheap pile of junk.  And with the internet, it's easy for someone to throw up a flashy website, and impress people, yet the water distiller company might have only been in business for a week.

Some financially struggling water distiller manufactures are cutting corners, taking shortcuts and using sub-standard components.  It seems the 'certification' agencies that are 'suppose' to protect the consumers do very little but take the thousands of $ they charge to certify a product, rubber stamp the product in many cases, and that is it.

Accessories also tend to be cheaper for water distillers than others.  Don't let the salesman give you a good deal then charge you $200 for a mudflapp!

Price Fixing !

Ohh the dirty little secret in the distiller industry companies don't want you to know about.  Yet consumers ask... why does one water distiller that appears to be as good or better than another distiller cost 1/2 the price?  The answer is simple, price fixing.  In order for the manufactures to motivate local dealers who may only sell 1 distiller per year to stock and sell their water distillers, they keep prices artificially inflated. The fact of the mater is, its much more expensive and time consuming for a local dealer to sell a water distiller,than it is for an internet website to sell you a water distiller, thus driving up the cost to the consumer at the local level dramatically.  A local water distiller may talk to 50 people an hour a piece and only sell one distiller, so the local dealers have a higher operating cost.   Some Manufactures don't want a consumer being quoted a price of $2,500- $5000 on a water distiller by their local distiller dealer, then jumping online and finding the identical unit for $450 (average price a dealer pays for an auto fill water distiller). The consumer feels like he was trying to be ripped off, the local dealer loses the sale, and the motivation to carry that brand so the theory goes, and the local dealer quits stocking distillers. But in today's market the consumers are tired of paying extra $ to support a companies marketing goals.  None the less some manufactures have enforced price fixing, telling internet dealers if they sell a product below a certain price, they will no longer sell to them in an attempt to lure local dealers into becoming rich by selling water distillers at inflated prices.  Remember folks, these are nothing but devices that boil water, its not rocket science, nor should it cost the price of a ticket to the moon to buy a distiller :)  The theory that you get what you pay for does not hold true in the distiller market, you may be just paying to pad someone's wallet, when you could have purchased a better quality product at a lower price. 

Water Distillers Production Rates

Production rates on manual water distillers are usually rated at how many gallons per hour they will do.  Automatic water distillers are usually rated at how many gallons per day they will do.

Production rate figures on water distillers can be manipulated.  There is no standard on the way they test production rates of distillers.  You can take two identical distillers, fill one up with cold water, and the other with hot water, and guess which water distiller produces the fastest?  You guessed it, the water distiller with the hot water in it.  The wattage of the heating element in the water distiller is probably the best indicator of how fast the distiller will make water.  But, there is a catch, if you don't make the water distiller larger, yet increase the wattage of the heating element in the water distiller, you will get a faster production rate, but the purity of the water from the distiller can potentially be lower.

Types of Water Distillers

Water distillers are either 
Manual water distillers
Automatic water distillers.
Manual water  distillers produce one gallon of water at a time due to limitations of the water distiller's boiling chamber size.   While automatic water distillers are connected directly to the water line and can continually produce distilled water.  Only one water distiller brand that I'm aware of has a model that is fully able to function as a manual and automatic water distiller.  Most automatic water distillers go into a shut down mode when the holding tanks are half or 3/4's full, with the exception of the American Water Distillers with electronic sensors.

Water distillers are either water cooled or air cooled.  Water cooled distillers are not very popular with the major water distiller manufactures because they tend to be more trouble prone, and consumer unfriendly.  The water cooling system can many times become plugged up unless a water conditioner is used in conjunction with water cooled water distillers.

Water Purity of Water Distillers
Distillation, the process of removing contaminants from water, removes 98%-99.9% of distilled water contaminants producing pure distilled water. 

Some of the factors that affect a water distillers purity are:

  • Material the Distillation Coil is made out of. 
  • Length of the distillation coil - ( not much of a factor anymore )
  • Number of volatile escape vents on the water distiller.
  • Size of the post carbon filter
  • Type of post carbon filter
  • Rate of distillation
  • Pre Filter capability
  • Some water distiller companies have put 'air filters' on the holding tanks of the distillers claiming it keeps the water fresher.  It's nothing but a gimmick, since there is also an air opening on the top of the glass site tube on all automatic water distillers so the tanks can 'breath' and these holes are not 'filtered.  On top of that, the holding tanks of water distillers are not usually air tight, so the concept of an air filter is a gimmick in my opinion, and serves no purpose except as an added expense for the consumer.

    Also, the post carbon filter is for removing VOC chemicals that might have been pushed over in the distillation process.  Water distillation is the best type of water purification available although it's not perfect, and that is why most water distillers also have post carbon filters.  Some water distiller dealers are uninformed and say the carbon filter is for 'polishing' the water.

    Experts agree, the most effective place for a carbon filter on a water distiller is after the distillation process, and not before it.  A water distiller without a post carbon filter will not produce as pure of water as a water distiller with only a pre filter.

    NSF Certified Water Distillers

    There is a little misunderstanding about what NSF means.  NSF does not recommend, rate, or compare products. Instead, they test and verify that each certified product meets all of the requirements of the specified standard(s) and that the manufacturers' claims (they make in the owners manual) are true, and assures claim of containment reduction are true. The last time we checked, a consumer had to pay to find out what the 'standards' were.  I find it interesting they keep the test criteria off of their website at www.nsf.org

    It does not guarantee that what you read about an NSF certified product on a dealers website is true! Only that what the distiller manufacture publishes is true. Not what Dealers publish, or what manufactures of water distillers verbally state

    That is the loophole.  Many people selling NSF products online, try to convince the consumer that anything they say must be the truth, because their water distiller is NSF certified.  Well, the fact is, any salesman can lie through his teeth while selling an NSF certified product online, produce false and misleading information about a product and put it on their website, whether the product is NSF certified or not.

    We have seen claims by people selling NSF certified distillers state they are made out of 'Surgical Stainless Steel' which is absolutely false.  We'll pay someone $1,000 who can show us a current water distiller that is made out of 'surgical stainless steel'. 

    Also it's interesting to note that a water distiller manufacture can chose and pick what contaminants they want NSF tested for.  They can chose to leave out certain products their water distiller may not be efficient at removing.  Find a water distiller that is NSF certified to remove bacteria!  You won't !

    If you want to find out the truth about what NSF really means, go to their website at nsf.org

    Surgical Stainless Steel

    Sounds impressive doesn't it?  A water distiller built out of surgical stainless steel.  Well, I have personally talked to every major water distiller manufacture ordering department that does the ordering for their stainless steel, and none of them use 'surgical stainless steel' in their water distillers.

    According to experts I have talked to, surgical stainless steel is any stainless steel in the 400 or above grade range.   All consumer water distillers on the market at the present time are primarily made out of 304L stainless steel. One water distiller company does offer water distillers made out of 316 Stainless for specialty applications. (Don't confuse 3/16th" stainless steel with 316 grade... we have found one water distiller dealer that tries to confuse the consumers with this).

    BUT... even among 304L  stainless steel there can be differences.  We have seen distillers come in one week that look ok, then the next week we'll see minor imperfections in the stainless steel on the distiller.  Some water distiller companies apparently have been buying 304L stainless steel at 1/2 price that might have minor imperfections in it.  All of the stainless steel used in distillers on the market comes from the 18-8 family of stainless steels.( 18-8 means the metal is composed of 18% chromium and 8% nickel ).  It is the Chromium in the steel that forms a protective self-healing oxide film, which is why this group of steels have their "stainless" or corrosion resistance.

    Water Distiller Gaskets

    Many people ask me what is the first thing to go out on a water distiller.  Well, that depends on the water distiller.  One of the problems with some larger water distillers is gasket problems.  There seems to be two styles of boiling chamber seals used on water distillers on the market today.  Some water distillers use a 2" by 2" gasket in the boiling chamber of the water distiller, the problem with this is, the gasket material usually cracks after a few years, allowing steam to escape into the electrical parts of the water distiller without the customer knowing about it, resulting in expensive damage.  The other type does not really use a seal, instead the float rod comes into the boiling chamber of the water distiller from the outside of the water distiller, and makes a 90 degree turn, allowing the float to rotate on the rods axis, thus not requiring a large rubber gasket that eventually dries out and cracks, leading to expensive damage to your water distiller.

    Water Distillers with Plastic Parts in them.

    While one water distiller dealer might try to say 'their brand' of water distiller does not have plastic parts in it, while another water distiller brand does, the fact remains that it's very hard to make a product of any kind today without having some plastic in it and most water distillers on the market have some plastic in it, although some will chose to call the plastic by some fancy name!

    Below are the following places I have found plastic in some stainless steel water distillers.

  • Connections on the water distiller after it comes out of the distillation coil
  • Floats & float assemblies inside the holding tanks of water distillers
  • The faucet on the front of all water distillers (also has a rubber plunger inside the assembly)
  • Plastic air filters on top of the holding tank lids on water distillers.
  • The plug on the back of holding tanks on water distillers
  • Rubber gasket on the faucet on the front of most automatic water distillers
  • Rubber Seals in the boiling chamber of the Water Distiller.

  • Water Distillers Post Filters

    Two types of filters are used on water distillers

  • Carbon Block Filter
  • Loose Coconut Charcoal filter

  • It is our opinion that the carbon block filters or cartridge type of filters are used on a lot of distillers for 1 purpose, and that is so they can continue to make money off of you after the sale of the distiller because they are proprietary.   Refillable filters usually offer two things, economical to refill, and the filter housing is usually stainless steel, not a cheap plastic like you would see used in a sewer pipe.  We have seen many post carbon filters with plastic housings MELT right into the holding tanks of distillers.  Also you can select the type and grade of carbon you want to use in a refillable post filter.  Coconut charcoal is the preferred type of carbon, because it allows the water to run through it at a higher rate than other cheap carbons used in most proprietary filter cartridges.  You can refill a refillable filter 100 times for as little as $25, would you want this, or a proprietary plastic filter that is recontamination you water, that cost $25 a shot to replace? 

    Water Distiller Faucets

    Never ever spend a lot of money for an auto fill water distiller with a plastic faucet on the front of it  1) They eventually break, or you strip it putting it on when you buy the machine, and 2) Every time you get a cup of water out of the machine, 2-3 ounces of the first water you get will have been sitting in this cheap plastic faucet, having had hours to leach into the water.  If you must buy a distiller with a plastic faucet, always throw away the first couple of ounces before you drink from it each time

    Parts Availability

    Parts availability has little to do with how long a water distiller company has been in business, but more to do with the suppliers of the internal parts.  None of the distiller manufactures make their own heating elements, or fan motors, or switches, or pumps.  They are all at the mercy of other companies that supply the internal parts for the distillers.  In fact many times the longer a distiller brand has been around, the greater the chance that their suppliers of parts may quit making old style switches and fans for their products.

    Joe Blow Says such and such water distiller or dealer is .... ?

    On the internet you'll find many people selling water distillers bashing other dealers or brands.  Some of it is true, some of it is not.  Short of being a water distiller dealer and having dealt with all the brands, there is no way for the first time consumer to sort through the BS.  Also take into consideration when someone tells the truth about the scam operations by out of country water distiller companies,  they will be attacked like crazy! :)

    Bottom Line: Buy  Water Distillers from  dealers who have a 100% return policy POSTED on their distiller website.  And ask where  you have to send it back to (in your own country?)  should you want to return it.  Many times shipping costs can be more than the price of a water distiller to return.