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Water Ionizer Cleaning and Maintenance Guide

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J ust like with air purifier maintenance where you have to clean the filter routinely or replace it as often as required, you need to follow through with water ionizer cleaning and maintenance following specific schedules and procedures to keep the machine up and running in top-notch shape for as many years as possible.

Luckily, the electrolysis process machine does not require all that much in the way of upkeep and the process is simplistic so that you follow through with it on your own, not requiring professional help. Just proceed as instructed in the following lines, and you will drink health-boosting ionized water for years to come, maximizing the system’s lifespan as you protect your investment from preventable damage and underperformance.

If you have not gotten around to buying an alkaline ionizer yet or you want to replace your old machine with a newer, better model, check out the best water ionizers available to pick for a selection of the top-rated machines the market has to offer right now.

Internal Cleaning System Types

Most modern alkaline ionizers clean themselves, some products having better quality self-cleaning systems than others, and automatically requiring reduced attention on your part when it comes to upkeep. According to the cleaning system, you have four different types of machines, which include automatic, single, period, and manual.

  • Self-cleaning: What it implies is that with every shutting on and off of the machine, the self-cleaning feature with activates. This means that you won’t have to do much in the way of maintenance work. Moreover, alkaline ionizers with automatic self-cleaning have the most efficient water ionization process even with the passing of time, and their lifespan is considerably longer as opposed to that of other models.
  • The top-rated Tyent UCE-11 is an automatic self-cleaning type that ensures the plates are kept clean and smooth for full contact with the water for the electrolysis process to be a success every time, without requiring upkeep on your behalf.

  • Single & periodic: As instructed in the accompanying user manual, you will have to perform manual cleaning of the machine to keep the water ionization process at a high level. It is not required all that often though, so rest assured that maintenance is not time-consuming.
  • Manual: These machines require that you use a cleaning cartridge every 3 to 6 months to clean their interior and impede mold and scale buildup. They are the most demanding when it comes to upkeep, and can pose issues related to functioning in the long-run. However, if you follow closely the instructions we will later provide regarding manual internal cleaning, you will successfully follow through with the chore every time.

Cleaning and Routine Maintenance Signs

From time to time, even automatic self-cleaning water ionizers like the Next Generation M11 require a hearty deep cleaning or maintenance work done on them. The secret is to know what the signs alerting you of the occurrence are, signs that apply to all machine types:

  • Hard water area: If you live in this sort of area, make sure that you routinely inspect the water ionizer for scale buildup clogs in the tubes and pipes. Any type of failure on the machine’s part must alert you to first check for this issue if you know that the system has to filter hard water.
  • pH levels start to drop: Use pH test strips to check the alkalinity level of the water. If the pH is not within the normal parameters, it means that immediate cleaning is required. This is a common issue with manual cleaning systems.
  • Water testes or smells unusual: This is usually an indicator of the fact that the filter cartridges are not doing their job right anymore and require replacement. Their role is to remove contaminants and when they start to fail, it is normal for the water to smell or taste funny as chlorine, chloramines, and other contaminants lurk in it.
  • Water flow is slowed down: Clean it and do the routine maintenance work you haven’t gotten around to on time. If this does not work, contact the manufacturer as it might need to be serviced.
  • Water bubbles start disappearing: Thousands of small hydrogen bubbles are supposed to be in the glass of water each time. If you notice that they are gone, clean it ASAP as the ionization process is not performed properly.
  • The machine shuts off while operating: It is a clear indicator that assistance is needed immediately. If what you learn in the following fails, call in a professional to take a look at it.

Is alkaline water bad for your health? When you drink the right amount per day and make sure to perform routine cleaning and maintenance, there are no dangers associated with alkaline water. Thus, you can confidently switch to an alkaline diet if you look into the signs that the machine requires your attention and follow through with the actions demanded on your part so that the high-pH water that comes out is beneficial for your health.

Cleaning and Maintenance Guide

Making sure that you abide by the following instructions and perform upkeep as often as needed ensures long-term performance on the machine’s part. Moreover, the benefits you reap when drinking alkaline water are amplified as the water is always kept clean and free of impurities and potentially health-threatening contaminants.

If you fancy a more simplistic and less demanding system to produce ionized water, check out the best alkaline water pitchers here. Much easier to care for and cheaper upfront (and in the long-run), while not as appealing as systems that produce the water on demand, the pitchers are the next best thing for those who want to follow an alkaline diet.

Internal Cleaning

Question #1: How often is it required?

Answer: If you have an automatic self-cleaning machine, it is recommended that you perform this deep cleaning task every 12 months. You should do it every 6 months or even more often if needed in case you live in a hard water area. However, if you have a manual cleaning system, follow through with the procedure every 3 to 6 months to prevent scale buildup, as well as bacteria and mold growth inside of the machine.

Question #2: How do you proceed?

Answer: First off, you need to acquire a cleaning cartridge. Buy it online or from a specialty store. There are two types of cleaning cartridges you will encounter – one-time-use models that are used every 6 or 12 months (frequency depends on water hardness), and reusable cartridges that are used every month as their cleaning efficiency is not as effective. You should opt for one-time-use models for obvious reasons.

What you must do is replace one of the internal filters of the machine with the cleaning cartridge. Then, run the system at the neutral setting for about half an hour so that the cleansing crystals inside it remove scale from the dispenser and electrodes. This is the routine maintenance task that you need to perform at specific time intervals as we previously instructed.

However, if you consider that the time has come for a deep cleaning session, no matter how much time has passed since you last used a cleaning cartridge on the system, what you should do is let the cartridge run for about 5 minutes, shut the machine off, and let the electrodes drench in the solution for another hour.

External Cleaning

Question #1: How often is it required?

Answer: Clean the exterior at least once per week. With countertop alkaline ionizers the aspect of the machine can make or break the décor of the kitchen, so you can see why you should not skip on this task.

Question #2: How do you proceed?

Answer: Use a damp cloth (make sure that it is damp, not wet, as it could damage the machine if the water gets to internal parts) and simply wipe down the exterior. Make sure that the cloth you use is soft so that you won’t scratch the finish or rub away panel indicators. Never use cleaners as these could damage the finish.

Filter Replacement

Question #1: How often is it required?

Answer: Depending on the model, how often you use it, and the pre-filtration options it features, filter replacement is generally required every 6 to 12 months. Modern machines feature filter lifespan indicators that make this part of the process easier as they tell you when replacement is due, some even warning you several liters beforehand that maintenance is needed so that you get the new filters on time.

Question #2: How do you proceed?

Answer: Filter replacement usually does not take longer than 5 minutes, and it is a simple procedure that you should not have any trouble with. Access the filter area (it is either on the front or back of the machine, check the user manual to see what the directions for your specific model are), remove the old filters, and insert the new ones. As you do this, the filter life indicator of the machine will reset automatically.

Before you insert the new filters, take a few minutes to flush any dirt and dust that might lay on them. This also helps saturate the media inside and provides sufficient time for particles to bond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question #1: Does it still need cleaning if it features self-cleaning technology?

Answer: While you can perform internal cleaning less frequently, even once per year, your attention is still needed when it comes to this upkeep task. Skipping on a minimal annual internal cleaning can lead to mold and bacteria growth inside the machine, which evidently means that the water you need will be tainted and might pose a health threat.

Question #2: Does filter replacement improve water taste?

Answer: Yes, it improves the taste and even the smell of your drinking water as the filters are responsible for trapping pollutants in tap water. Some of these contaminations, like chlorine and chloramines that are found in abundance in municipality sourced water, alter water taste and smell, making it less desirable for hydration.

See here the best alkaline water testers, digital testers that you can use to check the pH, and much more, some even testing it for TDS and other purity issues. With the tester’s help, you can more easily figure out the source of the altered taste or smell of your drinking water.

Question #3: Does it need professional servicing on a routine basis?

Answer: Aside from when malfunctions appear, you won’t need to call in a professional to look at the machine or do any maintenance work on it. Filter replacement is a simple procedure with all models, so you won’t need intervention to perform it. The same goes for internal and external routine cleaning.

Question #4: Is there another purpose for cleaning the exterior aside from aesthetic upkeep?

Answer: No, cleaning the exterior does not serve any other purpose aside from keeping the machine looking brand new for a long time. However, with countertop systems, this is an important maintenance aspect to follow through with as the machine might end up standing out like an eyesore if you let dirt and dust accumulate on it, or if you use scratchy materials to clean it.

Question #5: Why does the water smell fishy?

Answer: The cause for the peculiar smell is chloramine used to disinfect the water source by the municipality, the compound that has the property of removing naturally occurring organic material leaving behind a foul odor. After installing the alkaline ionizer, you won’t notice it anymore. A carbon water filter might be needed if the smell persists though.

Final Thoughts

Regardless if you opt for a countertop or an under-sink alkaline ionizer, cleaning and maintenance tasks must be performed on time, as instructed previously. This way, you maximize the lifespan of the machine and make sure that the filtration and electrolysis processes are followed through with in top-notch conditions for the alkaline water that is produced to benefit your health with each sip.

As you can see, cleaning does not take long and there are no complicated tasks required either, so you likely won’t need extra explanations to go through with upkeep on your own. If you do have additional questions, however, make sure that you read the accompanying instructions manual as it should include all the details that you seek.

Before you head out, check out our article on how much alkaline water you should drink. With this information at your disposal, you are sure to use the machine optimally and only reap benefits from the super-hydrating water it generates.

Tobey Hunter
Tobey Hunter
Tobey is the editor-in-chief at Optima Institute, his prior experience as a niche product reviewer in air quality improvement systems helping shape his path to conduct thorough research toward selecting and analyzing products so that customers are satisfied with the provided recommendations. During his carrier, Tobey also gathered technical input that makes him well versed in understanding advancements in modern systems, helping readers in turn to better understand how modern devices help improve life quality.