Standard Countertop Water Ionizer Installation

Standard Countertop Water Ionizer Installation

This guide explains the basic installation of a counter top water ionizer using the standard “faucet adapter-to-water ionizer” connection method.  This standard water ionizer installation method  will be the same for almost all counter top water ionizers but the parts may vary somewhat from company to company.

Installing a counter-top water ionizer should only take a few minutes once you’ve identified all of the parts.  The process is relatively simple and the majority of water ionizer customers never feel the need to call a plumber or “handyman” to complete the installation. 

Installation parts included with every counter top water ionizer:

Faucet Adapter
This is what will connect to your faucet allowing you to divert water to your ionizer.  There are several types of faucet adapters that you might receive – all serve the same basic function – diverting water to the ionizer – some operate with a lever, some have a “pull-plug” and others have a “pull-down” function.

Different Types of Faucet Adapters

Dispenser Hose

Dispenser Hose
This is the hose that will dispense water from your ionizer based on the setting you select.

Size Adapters

“Size Adapters”
Because standard faucets can have either a male or female option requiring different size adapters, most water ionizer will come with extra adapter rings to designed to fit the most  common faucet threads.  If your faucet adapter does not fit your faucet “as is” you will have a few adapter ring options which will allow for connection to the faucet adapter.

1/4″ or 3/8″ hosing
All water ionizers will come with a length of hosing for supplying water to your ionizer and allowing the waste water to drain into the sink.  Most water ionizers will take either a 1/4″ or 3/8″ hose – the company will supply the size that required for use with the water ionizer you purchased.

Clamps used with 3/8" hosing

Clamps
These are only used with water ionizers using 3/8″ hosing.

Seals/O-rings
These are used between the faucet and the adapter to ensure a tight seal.

O-rings or "seal"

Other Things You’ll Want Handy

Pliers – often necessary for removing the aerator from your faucet and tightening the faucet adapter connection.

Wash cloth or small towel – used to prevent scratching your faucet and adapter when using pliers.

Teflon Tape – optional but recommended.  Also called “plumbers tape.”  Ensures a water-tight seal.  This is available at any local home improvement store and is usually less than $5.

Teflon Tape, Pliers & Cloth

Getting Started

You’ll want to clear the area where you will be working and place the water ionizer where you want it to be after installation.

Next, lay the parts out so that you can see what you’ve got and easily reach it.

I recommend installing the dispenser hose first and re-placing the water ionizer where you’d like it to be.  You want to make sure unit is close enough to the sink for the dispenser hose to hang over it.  During cleaning cycles, water will flow through this hose and you will want it to be close enough to the sink for the water to go there, not all over your counter.

Once you’ve installed the dispenser hose, re-place the unit where you expect it to be once the installation is complete to ensure the dispenser hose does hang into/over the sink.

Make sure the hose reaches over the sink

Installing the Faucet Adapter

If you stick your finger into the tap you will run into a screen.  This is an aerator that helps the water flow evenly from the tap.  Every faucet has one – or should – it helps

Removing Aerator from Faucet

water flow evenly from the tap.  This is easily removed by unscrewing it from the end of your faucet.

Once you find what you need to unscrew, grasp it firmly with the pliers and unscrew – Remember:  “Lefty-loosey, righty-tighty”  Most plumbing follows the rule that turning to the left will loosen an attachment, turning to the right will tighten/secure it.

I recommend placing a wash cloth over the faucet the part you are unscrewing before grasping it with the pliers to prevent scratching the finish.

Aerator Removed

Once removed, set the aerator to the side – storing it in the “parts box” of your water ionizer is a good idea so you know where to find it.

Next, place an O-ring seal in the top of the faucet adapter and, using your fingers only,  screw it back in the same place that your aerator was attached to check the fit.

If it does not fit, try the other size rings that came with the water ionizer until you find one that does.  Be sure to use the O-ring/seal to ensure a good fit.  If you are using plumbing tape you’ll want to wrap the “male” threads with the plumbing tape to ensure a water-tight seal.

Tighten slightly using pliers.

Now attach the faucet adapter, with O-ring/seal in place to the faucet – again, if you’re using plumbing tape, wrap the threads.

Screw the faucet adapter in place by hand first, then tighten with pliers using a wash cloth to avoid scratching the finish of the adapter or your faucet.

Screw the faucet adapter in place, then tighten using pliers.

For now, if you’re using a “lever” activated faucet diverter, be sure the lever is is pointed down towards the sink.  This will allow water to flow through the tap and into the sink.

Connecting the Hoses

Take the full length of hose and run it down the path you expect it to follow to your water ionizer.  Allow enough slack for moving your faucet from left to right and be sure the other end measures out to reach where it will connect to your water ionizer.

Cut the length of hose that you feel is sufficient.

When cutting the hose you want to make sure the end is flat and the cut is clean.  This will ensure a good connection.  Sometimes getting a flat cut on the 1/4″ hose can be difficult – trim off any “points” or you can use a nail file to even out the cut and smooth out rough edges that may prevent a good connection.

When cutting the hose you want it to be as even as possible - no "points" or angles or "bumps" that might prevent a tight seal

You’ll see a “post” sticking out of the side of the faucet adapter – this is where the hose connects.

1/4″ hose connections will have a screw/seal on this post – you want to unscrew this cap/seal and slide it onto the hose.

Next, slip the hose onto the post.  This can be difficult because the connection needs to be tight to ensure a good seal.  If you have difficulty getting the hose onto the post the easiest thing to do is heat up a cup of water and soak the end of the hose in hot water for a few seconds.  This will soften the hose enough for you to easily slip it onto the post.

Once the hose is on the post, slide the screw/ring up to the post and screw it back in place to secure the hose connection.

Now you’re ready to connect the other end of the hose to your water ionizer.

I recommend placing a towel on your counter and laying the unit down for easier access to the hose in/out ports.

The ports will labeled “in” and “out” or “inflow/outflow”  BE SURE YOU THE HOSE CONNECTED TO YOUR FAUCET ADAPTER IS PLACED IN THE “IN” PORT.

"In" and "Out" ports will be labeled on your water ionizer

"In" and "Out" ports will be labeled on your water ionizer

1/4″ inch hoses will connect by simply pressing the hose into the port.  Be sure you press the hose all the way in – even if you think you’ve got it all the way in, press it in

Be sure to press firmly to make sure the hose is all the way in!

again.  As many installations as I’ve done myself I still have incidents where I’m sure I’ve pressed the hose in all the way and find out later that I was mistaken when water started leaking from the connection.

3/8″ in hose connections will use a “clamp” – using your pliers, squeeze the “wings” of the clamp to open it enough so that you can slip it one and a half to two inches onto the hose.

Slip the hose over the “in” port.  Again, if the hose does not easily slip over the port/post, soak it in hot water to soften it.  NEVER USE OIL OR LUBRICANT TO SLIP HOSES INTO PLACE.

Once your hose is on the post, using pliers, work the clamp up over the hose/post connection – squeezing the “wings” to open the clamp and working it up over the hose/post connection.

Proper connection for water ionizers using 3/8" hose connections

YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!

Now it’s time to connect the acid drain hose.

You should see an “out” or “outflow” port near the “in/inflow” port.  Following the same directions used to connect the “in” hose, connect the remaining length of hose to the “out” port.

If using a 1/4″ hose, be sure the cut is flat and even and that the hose is pushed all the way in.

If using a 3/8″ hose, don’t forget the clamp and soaking the end of the hose in hot water for a few seconds will soften the hose enough to let it slip onto the post more easily – be sure to secure the hose to the post by moving the clamp up over the hose/post connection.

Pre-run Check

While all water ionizer should come with the filter(s) already installed, it’s not a bad idea to open the door to the filter area to ensure the filter is there.

Next, loosen the filter slightly and then re-tighten – this is to ensure the filter was installed properly with a good seal.

Once you’re sure your water ionizers have filters properly installed, if you’re unit uses 1/4″ hosing it’s not a bad idea to check one more time to ensure those hoses have been pressed in all the way.  If the connection is uses an elbow joint, you’ll want to brace the elbow with one finger while pressing the hose in firmly.

The open end of the drain hose should hang down into the sink.  You can cut this hose to length if it is hanging down too far.

Some water ionizer companies will include suction cups that can be worked onto the hose and used to hold it in place.  Some people are okay with the hose just hanging into the sink, others will want to secure it to the side of the sink.  Get your drain hose where you want it, trimming it to the desired length – you may want to wait on cutting off extra length – you may decide you want it to hang into a jar to collect the acid water run off or make other adjustments – after a few days of use you’ll have a good idea of how you want that hose and whether or not you really want to cut it.  If it’s long enough, some people will actually place it down into the sink drain.

Filters in, connections made – get ready to power up!

Most water ionizers will have a “power” switch on the back or bottom of the unit.  Go ahead and flip that to the “on” position.

Set your water ionizer in place – where you plan for it to “live” on your counter, making sure the dispenser hose can reach into the sink and the acid drain hose is draining into the sink.

Plug in your water ionizer….

Once it lights up, turn on the COLD water (NEVER USE HOT WATER WITH YOUR IONIZER)….

Divert water to your ionizer….

If using a “lever” action, turn the lever 90 degrees – if using a “pull-plug” style adapter, pull the plug out – if you’re using a “pull down” style faucet adapter, pull the bottom of the adapter down.  With the “plug” and “pull-down” adapters, the water pressure will keep the diverter “open” and sending water to the unit until you turn the water off.

At its first use, the first thing your water ionizer will want to do is run a cleaning cycle.

If you’ve got a “flow through” water ionizer – where water flows through the unit as soon as water flows to it, your water ionizer will “wake up” on it’s own and the cleaning cycle will start – some models will let the water flow through but the unit itself won’t “wake up” until you make a pH selection.

Most water ionizers using a 1/4″ water supply line have an internal mechanism that won’t let water flow through the unit until you press the on/off button on the front of the unit or make a pH selection.  Go ahead – turn it on, make a selection.

Again, the first thing your water ionizer will want to do is run a cleaning cycle.  Some water ionizers will shut off immediately after the cleaning cycle is over – others will default to either a safe drinking setting or to the pH selection you made to turn it on.  You want to let your water ionizer run for a few minutes until the water runs clear.

If you see black, gray or blue-ish water coming out, don’t panic.  This is normal and will clear up as the filter media becomes fully saturated.

If you feel that there’s more water going to the unit than is coming out, turn the unit off for a few seconds then restart it.  Until the filter media is fully saturated you will see discolored water and in some cases dry filter media can slow the flow rate.  By turning the unit off, by either stopping the water flow or turning the unit off, it will allow water to “settle” into the filters a bit.

Once you’re water is running clear you’re ready to start drinking or testing!

While you’re doing the initial filter flush, be sure to keep an eye on the base of the unit to check for leaks.  If a hose is not connected properly you’ll see water pooling at the base of the unit.

If you see leaks, stop the water flow at the faucet, unplug the unit and recheck your connections.

Testing the alkalinity of the water at each of the presets is recommended.  Most water ionizers now allow you to micro-adjust within each of the presets so that you can fine tune based on your source water.

If you’re water ionizer is flowing clear and leak free – go ahead, you know you want it – pour yourself a glass at the first or second alkaline setting.  Enjoy.  Now back to business – test your water ionizer to make sure you’re getting water at the pH you’re expecting at each of the presets.

You’ll find just about all the information you’ll need for testing your water ionizer at each of the presets here:

Tips for Testing Your Water Ionizer