Want to prevent Waterwise 9000 distiller failure? You can, but first, let me explain the causes.
I love my Waterwise 9000 distiller. It delivers pure, healthy water day after day. The distiller and filter system removes added chlorine, excess minerals, and volatile chemicals. I use its pure water for drinking and cooking. But nothing lasts forever.
My first distiller failed, ending like this.
Waterwise 9000 Distiller Failure Begins
It begins with a barely audible whisper. You can hear the momentary sound in a silent room, immediately after pressing the red ON switch. At this early stage, any ambient noise will hide the sound. A refrigerator, desktop computer, or air conditioner will make too much noise. You’ll never notice the faint sound of failure.
Over time, the whisper grows louder. One day, it will make a sizzle instead of a whisper. As more days go by, the sizzle will become longer and louder. The amount of distilled water will decrease.
If you look at the boiler contacts, you will see the three prongs are no longer bright and shiny. They have become dark and dull. In an advanced stage, the ends of the prongs will be blackened. You could scrape the black deposits off. That can fix the problem for a short time, but the slow degradation will continue.
One day, the boiler will fail to start. You can slide it out of the base and shove it back in. You can wiggle it side to side. But nothing will make the red light come on when you press the ON button.
Look at the boiler contacts then and they probably look like the photo above. This is a permanent failure. If your boiler contacts have already failed, you will either need to send it to Waterwise for repair, or fix it yourself. I’m working on an article about opening up the boiler and replacing the contacts.
The good news is that Waterwise has an excellent service department. They will repair the boiler and base for about half the price of a new Waterwise 9000. And if you are handy with tools and know how to disassemble electrical appliances, you can order replacement parts for far less than the cost of a new boiler. I’ve done both, sending the first unit to Waterwise for repair, and fixing the second one myself.
Grease Distiller Electrical Contacts
But the real secret is learning how to prevent this problem for as long as possible. I’ve been using this trick for several years and it works very well.
The secret is dielectric silicone grease (affiliate link).
Silicone is an excellent insulator. In grease form, it is often used to fill voids when joining wires in splices. The grease keeps air and water out so the copper surfaces don’t corrode. In electrical contacts, it has one purpose, to suppress arcs.
When the contacts are just beginning to fail, they make faint and short whispering sounds. The sound comes from tiny electrical arcs. Each arc causes pitting and carbon scoring on the contacts, a form of erosion. As the contact erosion increases, the electricity arcs across longer gaps, which makes a louder sound. The arc also generates extra heat, damaging the plastic that holds the contacts.
Silicone grease prevents the arcs. It does that by coating the electrical contacts. When the electricity is on, the grease surrounds the metal-to-metal connection. It keeps air and moisture away and the electrons flow freely without arcing. Preventing arcs prevents contact erosion. The contact surfaces remain smooth and bright for a much longer time. Smooth contact surfaces make a better electrical connection, which generates less heat while the boiler is operating.
I’ve been using silicone grease on my boiler contacts for several years. They show no visible wear and make no arcing sounds when I turn on the boiler. All I do is apply a tiny dab of grease to the contacts inside the distiller base. Here’s how.
The connector inside the distiller base has little doors over the contacts. The prongs on the boiler push the doors open and then touch the contacts behind the doors. I have tried putting grease on the tips of the boiler prongs. However, the grease touches the doors first and leaves little for the contacts inside.
A better place to apply the grease is directly onto the contacts behind the doors. To expose the contacts, I carved the end of a bamboo takeout chopstick into a thin wedge. It looks a bit like a flat blade screwdriver.
Then I poke the wedge into the middle slot. Holding any one of the plastic doors open holds the all the doors open. I put the wedge into the middle slot because that is the safety ground. It doesn’t carry any electricity during normal operation. It is there to safely ground the circuits if a failure causes an electrical hazard. The photo below shows the doors open over the right and left contacts. I made a composite of two photos to get the best lighting on the metal contacts inside.
Both contacts show some pitting. This is the contact assembly I installed in September 2021, so a bit of wear is to be expected since I run the distiller almost every day. The key point is that both are still fairly bright. If I had not been using silicone grease on these contacts, they would be black and more heavily pitted.
To apply the grease, dip a clean toothpick into the tube of silicone grease. If you want, you can cut off the sharp tip to apply grease over a larger area. Then carefully move the greased toothpick into the open left slot. Try not to touch the sides of the opening. Touch the grease to the metal contact and pull the toothpick out. Repeat for the contact in the other open slot. It is not necessary to grease the safety ground contact (the middle opening with the bamboo wedge).
That’s all you need to do. That’s how to prevent Waterwise 9000 distiller failure.
If you follow the Amazon affiliate links in this article and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. The links to Waterwise parts are for your convenience. At this time, I earn nothing from Waterwise parts purchases.
Super Lube 91003 Silicone High-Dielectric and Vacuum Grease (affiliate link) is perfect for use on electrical contacts. It also has many other applications. Use it to lubricate rubbing metal surfaces, like hinges and locks. I use it on outdoor padlocks to keep water out and for long-lasting lubrication. Unlike automotive grease (lithium grease), silicone grease will not attack plastics or most synthetic rubbers. The manufacturer’s website marks it as incompatible with Buna S, IIR, EPDM, natural rubber, and SBR. For all other rubber formulations, the grease has compatibility ratings of Excellent or Good.