Shocking Water Ionizer Failures and How to Avoid Them

Shocking Water Ionizer Failures and How to Avoid Them

The control panel on your water ionizer goes dark and won’t come on again.  Your water ionizer used to talk to you and now all you hear are “dings” and “chimes.”  Or maybe you just noticed that the filter life indicator on your machine still has the same reading you saw six months ago.

The likely culprit and the cure…. What this is, how to prevent it and “am I covered…”

Okay – well, maybe not the cure  for these “shocking failures” but definitely the ounce of prevention.  (worth far more than a pound of cure)  But first, let’s identify the likely culprit.shocking

The Cause

Control panels going dark, filter life indicators that seem to be “stuck in time,” missing voice functions, new or different sounds coming from your water ionizer – these are all signs that your water ionizer has been zapped by a power surge.  These are just a few – there are more – these are just some of the most common water ionizer glitches caused by power surges.

Power surges are common in every household. Any time an appliance kicks on or shuts off (air conditioner, computer, hair dryer, coffee maker, etc) it can cause a power surge that silently zaps other appliances in your home.

In most cases these power surges are minor and, although they cause no immediate damage or product failure, over time this can cause premature wear on the electrical components, shortening the effective life of the device.  In other cases, power surges are more substantial, damaging electrical components to the extent that an appliance may no longer work properly – or you may not be able to get it to work at all.
surge protector

The Solution

You knew I was going to say “surge protector,” right?

Most homes now have their television and audio/video components all plugged into a surge protector.   Most people also use a surge protector to plug in their computers or other high-end (and usually “high-dollar”) appliances.

Well, your water ionizer falls into that category.

Frequent power outages are a definite sign that you need to have your water ionizer plugged in using a surge protector.  Also, those in areas that are prone to severe weather should use a surge protector with their water ionizers.

But remember, even if you don’t fall into one of these categories, your water ionizer is likely getting mini-zaps every day that, over time, can potentially cause some type of product glitch or failure.  It’s a simple, affordable extra step that you can take to protect your investment.

Choosing a Quality Surge Protector

You can get these cheap but you don’t necessarily want to go cheap on the purchase.  Here are a few guidelines for choosing a good surge protector:

  • Clamping Voltage:  This is all about how much voltage it will take to trigger protection from power surges.  Most recommend choosing a surge protector with a clamping voltage of under 400v.
  • Energy Absportion/Dissipation (Joules):  One of the two key specifications to consider when choosing a good surge protector, joules refers to the amount of energy a surge protector can absorb before failing.  Look for a surge protector with at least 600 joules – but I say, the higher the better – especially if you’re in an area that is prone to power outages or strong storms.
  • Response Time:  Look for a surge protector with a response time of one nanosecond or less.  This is the amount of time it will take for your surge protector to start “protecting” once it senses a surge (or reaches the clamping voltage).
  • Indicator light:  Your surge protector can prove useful as a fancy extension cord for years and years, but it will only be effective at protecting appliances against power surges for a limited time.  You want to know when to replace it.  An indicator light will make sure you know, but you should remember to check that indicator from time to time, especially after the first year of use.

Warranty - Am I covered?

Repair & Warranty – What’s Covered?  Am I?

In most cases, if you have a valid warranty that has not yet expired, the issue will likely be covered by warranty.  At least once.

The warranty is designed to protect the consumer against defects in materials or workmanship/manufacturing.  That could happen with any component in any appliance within the warranty period and should be covered by warranty in most instances.

However, repeated repairs related to the same issue point to “misuse” or “failure to properly maintain.”

If you ever have to send your water ionizer in for repair, make sure the technician tells you what was wrong with your water ionizer, what he knows about the cause of the problem and what, if anything, you can do to prevent future problems.  (Many water ionizer companies now include a note with the repaired machine with this information, or they may send an e-mail.)

While it’s possible for some component of any appliance to fail once during a warranty period, at some point repeated failures will likely be seen as “improper use” or “failure to properly maintain” and may no longer be covered under warranty.

But come on, preventing this is easy.  Just go get a good surge protector.  You can use it to protect other appliances near your water ionizer too.

Related Links and Articles

Understanding Surges & Spikes

Discovery Channel:  What Causes Power Surges

How to Choose a Surge Protector Phys.Org