Please Don’t Call a Plumber!

Please Don’t Call a Plumber!

Most customers get their water ionizers, hook them up and everything is fine.  A few, though, call a plumber.  These result is some of my most frustrating support calls.

Installing any water ionizer is pretty simple.  Too simple, in fact, for some plumbers to grasp.  Before you call a plumber to help install your water ionizer please read this.  If you still prefer to call a professional for the installation there are tips here that will help avoid frustrations that other customers have experienced because they “called a professional.”

Installations Made Easy?

These are the quickest and easiest installations to do.  Once you’ve identified all of the parts you can do a standard ionizer-to-faucet installation in less than five minutes.  Honest.

Water ionizer companies will send you everything you need for a standard faucet installation.  Many are not only aware that some faucets may require a male/female adapter or an additional adapter because of different “standard” faucet sizes but they also include these adapters so you’ve got everything you need right there in the box.

Your key “parts” will be the stainless steel dispenser hose, the water supply hose and the faucet adapter.  Some companies will include a T-adapter so that you can connect your water ionizer directly to the cold water line under the sink.

These T-adapters are designed to fit plumbing that is and has been standard in households  for many years.  I’ve done this type of installation in homes that are both very old and newer constructions.  The T-adapters have fit every time,  although, depending on the size of the adapter that the company sent you may have to go to a different point in the line connection to insert the adapter.

The hose that runs from your cold water line under the sink up to your faucet will have one size connection at one end and a smaller connection at the other.  These T-Adapters will fit one end or the other.

It’s this T-adapter type of installation that seems to throw plumbers – for the life of me I don’t know why.  I’m just a girl, for heaven’s sake – how can I figure this out on my own when plumbers seem to be baffled by making it work?

I’ve had customers call and say that their plumber said the T-adapter wouldn’t fit.  I’ve had other customers call to say that the plumber had to go buy additional parts to make the connection work… and now their water ionizer doesn’t work.  The parts that are sent out by the water ionizer companies are designed to fit plumbing that is standard for bathroom and kitchen sinks.  There should be no need for a plumber to have to purchase anything additional to connect your water ionizer directly to the cold water line under the sink.

Here are the basic steps for installing water ionizers.  I’ll start with the standard faucet connection first, then list the simple steps for connecting your water ionizer directly to the cold water line below the sink.  I’ll walk you through installing an under-counter/faucet style water ionizer in a separate post.

Standard Countertop Installation

  • Step 1: Remove the aerator from your faucet.  Every faucet has (or should have) one.  It’s right there where the water comes out.  Most can be unscrewed without the use of pliers or a wrench.  If yours is on there really tight you may have to break out the pliers to remove it.
  • Step 2: Replace the aerator with the faucet adapter that came with your unit.
  • If it doesn’t fit, go to the additional adapter pieces that came with your unit. One of these should fit.  Once this is in place you should be able to screw the faucet adapter right into the faucet.
  • Step 3: Connect the water supply hose to the faucet adapter.  I recommend soaking the end of the connection hose in hot water while you are connecting the adapter to the faucet.  These hoses are designed for a snug fit and letting them soften in hot water will make it easier to work the hose onto the adapter.
  • Step 4: Work the other end of the hose around to the back of your water ionizer.  Once you’ve got a good idea of how much hose you need to reach the unit make a clean, even cut and connect it to the back or bottom of the unit where it says “input” or “in.”
  • Step 5: Measure the remaining hose from the back of the unit into the sink.  Once you’ve got an ideal length make another clean cut, then connect the hose to the back of the unit where it says “output” or “out.”  The other end of the hose should hang down in your sink.
  • Step 6: Connect the stainless steel dispenser hose to the top of the unit.  With most units this hose screws in for a secure connection.  Because of the length of the dispenser hose this can be a little tricky, just make sure the hose screws into the threads properly and completely and be careful not to over-tighten.  This can cause the plastic to break and you’ll have to wait three to five days for a replacement part.
  • Step 7: Finally, plug the unit into the wall and power it up.  Some water ionizers come with the power cord “built-in-attached” while others have power cords that have to be connected to the unit – like a computer or newer TV’s.  Some units will have a power button on the back or bottom of the unit, others “power up” as soon as they are plugged into the wall.

At this point you’re pretty much ready to go.  You’ll want to turn the water on at your faucet and, depending on the type of faucet diverter you have you will either pull the tab or turn the lever to divert water to the ionizer.  Congratulations, it’s a working water ionizer!

Countertop Water Ionizer to Cold Water Line

If you’ve got a way to bring a 1/4″ hose up from under the sink I strongly recommend this type of installation. This will protect your water ionizer from the possibility of a well-intentioned person running hot water through your unit.  It also means that you have a constant supply of water to the unit – no fumbling with the adapter or tap – just turn the unit on.

Your parts will be almost the same as with the faucet adapter installation only instead of the faucet adapter you will have a T-adapter.  These come in two different sizes.  The T-adapters shipped by the water ionizer companies will be one of these two standard sizes and either of these adapters will fit standard plumbing connections.  I’ve yet to find one that I haven’t been able to connect.

Another thing to have handy for this installation is a towel – no matter how well you drain the line there will be water left that will drip while you are connecting below the sink.

  • Step 1: Run the water supply hose that came with your unit down below the sink.  Some people put a 1/4″ hole in their countertop behind where the water ionizer will sit, some put a hole in the wall somewhere near the water ionizer and fish the hose down through another hole under the sink.  Others will remove a soap dispenser or other sink accessory and use that hole.  Regardless, the hose needs to go from under the sink where your cold water line is back up to the countertop where your water ionizer will sit.  In cases where you have to drill a hole or fish the line from behind the wall, this is the most time consuming part of this installation – it’s pretty easy from here.
  • Step 2: TURN OFF THE COLD WATER – there is a control knob or valve at the cold water line under the sink.  I recommend turning the cold water on at the tap above the sink – you’ll hear when you’ve successfully shut the cold water off at the source and this will allow the line to drain a bit better.
  • Step 3: Find the hose that goes from the cold water main (coming out of the wall) and goes up to the sink – and disconnect it.  Have your towel handy, water will likely drip from that hose at the very least.
  • Step 4: Connect your T-adapter – screw it into the same place you just removed the hose.  If your T-adapter does not fit here, don’t panic.  This hose connects at two points – one below where the pipe comes out of the sink and the other is up high where the hose connects to the faucet above.  If the adapter does not fit the lower hose connection, resecure the hose and move up to the other end where the hose connects to the sink.  Remove that end of the hose and connect your t-adapter there.
  • Step 5: Once your T-adapter is in place, reconnect the hose you just removed by screwing onto the T-adapter that you just put in place.
  • Step 6: Connect the hose that you brought down for your water ionizer to the T-adapter.  This hose is designed to have a tight fit so you may need to  let it soak in hot water for a minute or two – this will soften the hose and make it easier to slip onto the T-adapter.
  • Step 7: Back above the counter you want to make sure you have sufficient hose length to connect the hose to the ionizer.  Once you’ve done that make a clean cut – and secure the hose to the “input” or “in” port on the back or bottom of the water ionizer.  Be sure to cut off enough hose to run from the “output” port into the sink for the acid water drain off.
  • Step 8: Insert the remaining portion of the hose in the “output” or “out” port on the back or bottom of the water ionizer allowing the free end to hang down into the sink.
  • Step 9: Turn the cold water back on at the main under the sink.
  • Step 10: Make sure the lever on the T-adapter is set to allow the water to flow through it.  Most diverters will have a lever that rotate about 90 degrees.
  • Step 11: Plug in your water ionizer and turn the power on at the switch found on either the bottom or back of the unit.

Congratulations – you’ve just completed a “direct cold water connect” installation!  Here’s an example of this type of installation done in a bathroom:

If no water flows through the ionizer, go back under the sink and make sure that the cold water *is* back on – if you left the cold water tap on above the sink you would have heard the water supply restored.  If you have water coming out of your tap but not the ionizer, make sure the T-adapter is set to “on” – simply turn the lever on the diverter the other way and this will open the water flow.

This installation involves a few more steps but in the long run it will be worth it.  You’ll be happy you don’t have a hose running from your faucet to the ionizer, that people aren’t confused when they try to get water from your faucet – and no worries about someone running hot water through your water ionizer!

Still Want to Call a Plumber?

If you still want to call a plumber – or have a “handy” friend or family member install your unit for you – AND you purchased your water ionizer through Water Ionizer Authority – Please call and let me know!  If you can give me a date and approximate time when someone will be there for the installation I will make myself available by phone to answer ANY questions your installer might have.

I have successfully talked my customers through installations over the phone, and have talked to a plumber or two who were baffled by the installation as well.  Don’t hesitate to call.  It’s much easier to address installation questions during the installation process than trying to figure out what might have gone wrong once the unit is installed… and the plumber is long gone.