Customer Reviews: Waterwise 8800 Water Distiller Purifier (Water Wise) Distill
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on July 15, 2009
I purchased this a few weeks ago for my girlfriend, who only drinks distilled water.

The water tastes great
Making distilled water at home is easy and SO convenient.
Easy to clean, design is nice and contemporary.
When you see what's left in the kettle, you may never drink tap water again. There is about a teaspoon of chemicals (fluoride, chlorine, etc.) and salts left after each gallon I distill (Los Angeles city water...)

The carafe is annoying to pour from when full. Almost impossible to not spill a little- I have now gotten in the habit of immediately moving the distilled water into another jug and starting a new pot right away.

I would give this product 5 stars except for the carafe issue.

Note: I agree with other posters that suggest that you start with hot water in the kettle. This saves at least 20-30 minutes in the process.

Update: 2 years later. Steam pipe broken, small hairline cracks in base, kettle basically done and needing replacement. We run this about 2 times per day, so I'd say for a 300-400 distiller it should have held up better in less than 1000 uses. Rating changed to 3 stars...
I contacted Waterwise and asked about help. They told me that my warranty was good for 12 months and now it's on me to replace parts as needed. This is true and understandable, but it got me heated anyway (no pun intended).
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on April 7, 2011
Waterwise 8800 Water Distiller Purifier (Water Wise) Distill
This very same product( Waterwise 8800 ) was marketed by Sears as their Kenmore Brand Water Distiller at $99.95 five years ago, and was an OK product at a fair price. Using it to make a gallon a day, it would last for 2-3 years, then break down. The most vulnerable part was and is the cooling coil tube above the distiller jug, which would begin to leak, also dust and debris collect outside and inside the cooling fan, which are impossible to remove. This is designed to be virtually or actually impossible for a mechanically apt person to dismantle and repair, necessitating upwards of or multiples of $80 to ship and repair.
When Waterwise took over this product, they jacked up the price to $600 plus, with Waterwise themselves and secondary marketers selling it at "discounted" prices between $399.99 and $499.99. If you buy steam distilled water from the Water Store (in CA) @ 60c a gallon, and use 1-2 gallons a day, you still come out ahead if the $400 unit lasts the average of 2-3 years (not considering the cost of electricity or supplies - see following:)
Instead of using slightly or moderately toxic descaling solutions, use distilled white vinegar (available for 99c a quart at discount stores)after every use, 1/8 cup left in the container after mild scrubbing with a green Scotchgard-type scrubber for 1 hr +, then scrubbed out and rinsed with tap water; fill with hot water before distilling. Before shelling out $35 for filters, use a $2 pack of Aquarium charcoal filter inserts (also contain pharmaceutical grade charcoal), or simmer the old filter in 2 cups of tapwater with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes, then rinse with 2 cups of distilled water before using.
The polycarbonate collecting jug is hard plastic which contains tiny amounts of Bisphenyl A plasticizer. This has a minimal androgen-mimic action, compared to the significant estrogen-mimic ('feminine-izing') action of the dimethyl or methyl-ethyl phthalates used in most other softer plastics, not to speak of the cancer-inducing vinyl chloride leached from PVC containing plastics. The WW 9000 and newer models have glass collection containers. As regards the "plastic" taste, this comes from polyethylene or PVC storage containers. Distilled water is, well, tasteless: for drinking, this can be remedied by adding a tiny amount (a "pinch" or 100mg) of Calcium Carbonate or Sulfate, or Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) food grade, or a pinch of baking soda, which in a gallon of distilled water adds a trivial amount of Sodium. The soda also alkalinizes the water as will a pinch of Calcium Hydroxide (lime). Of course, you may wish to pay $5000 for some highly touted "Kangaroo Water Maker" with which you can "dial-up to an alkaline pH" and obtain incredibly-hyped but scientifically dubious health benefits.
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on June 2, 2008
I purchased this unit in 2006 (from Waterwise) and I make 2-3 gallons of water PER DAY for my family. It is EXCELLENT. (Make sure and read my tip below if you do buy one).
(UPDATE: Waterwise now has BPA-free storage containers)
To comment on the previous reviewer's statement that there's no point in distilling water and then keeping it in a plastic container -- the water doesn't stay in the container for any significant length of time to contaminate it. If there is a concern, the water can be easily poured into a glass jug and stored that way. With water this pure, I've found we drink more than ever and feel great about the health advantages and cost savings. The pitcher holds a gallon and that amount is easily used by most people within a day, given the amount we drink and cook with (i.e. water added in cooking to make oatmeal, rice, etc.).

2015 UPDATE:
I purchased two 1/2 gallon glass pitchers at Target and I transfer the water immediately from the plastic pitchers to the glass ones. Great way to preserve the clean taste of the water as soon as it is done.

The main reason we purchased this unit to begin with was that we moved into a home that has a water softener unit which automatically deposits salt and chemicals into the main water system. I watered houseplants with that water and within a week the plants died!! We simply didn't want to drink that water, but we like our water softener for other reasons (no hard water deposits) and didn't want to remove it.

The cost to produce the water in this distiller has not made any significant difference in our electricity bill, and we've found it to be cheaper and much more convenient than purchasing bottled water (who even knows what impurities bottled water contains!).

One TIP that I would recommend which allows the water to distill a lot faster: FILL THE KETTLE WITH THE HOTTEST POSSIBLE WATER INSTEAD OF COLD WATER. It will cut down on the time it takes to make a gallon, as the unit won't have to work as long to bring the kettle to the boiling temperature required. This unit is easy to us -just fill the kettle with hot water and press a button.

I put my distiller in the garage during summer months. During the winter, the warm air helps heat up a cold room a bit.

I've found the Waterwise company to be very helpful with my questions, etc. over the phone. I would highly recommend this product. I can't imagine a glass of any other kind of water now!

We purchased a second unit in 2008 (from Health Nut Alternatives) as we had more people living in our home at the time, and we had no problems with it after a few years of daily use. When our kids went away to college, we went back to using just the first original unit purchased in 2006. My updates below are for that original unit. The second unit still works, but I keep it as a back-up and don't use it daily.

UPDATE 6/13/2013
We are still using the distiller daily. Sometimes twice per day. It still works great after 7 years!!!

UPDATE 10/24/13
I just found out that Waterwise sells BPA-free pitchers for use with this machine. I just bought two. Ordered them and they shipped out later that same day. I still use my distiller DAILY and have had no problems with it whatsoever.

UPDATE 2/24/14
Still using this unit daily and it works fine.

UPDATE 11/21/14
Still using this unit daily and it is working fine.

UPDATE 1/22/2016
Still using the unit daily and it's working fine.

UPDATE 3/9/2016
I purchased a countertop distiller with glass pitcher to compare with this model. I find I like this one better, for ease of use. I find myself not wanting to deal with taking the top off the other one. I prefer the kettle with handle on this one, as to me it's easier to manage.
I do find that I enjoy the glass pitcher, though, as I know if the water sits there overnight it won't take on any plastic taste. I find if the water sits in the plastic pitcher for extended periods, it begins to taste like plastic to me (my husband doesn't seem to be as sensitive to that, though). I just make sure and empty the water from this plastic pitcher and put it into a glass pitcher for storage.
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on February 8, 2008
I have wanted a water distiller for a long time, as it is the best drinking water available. Found this one on Amazon for a great price. I was interested in this one because of the water production in a gallon, not smaller quantities.
Quick shipping, quality packaging. Just remove from box, insert filter, and you're ready to operate. Makes 1 gallon of clean, odorless, drinkable water in 4 hours. I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything!

I have previously written a review for this item. However, after reading the one comment that wasn't so eloquently stated about the carafe being plastic and contaminating the water is rediculous. Had the rating customer read the information the carafe is made of #5 plastic which does not leach (break down and create toxins) when heated.

I use this distiller nearly ever day. I love it, it's a great product for the size of production. The water is clean and the results are very clear when you reopen your stainless steel container and see the reminantes of what didn't go into your drinking water after distilling!

I only give my dogs and cats distilled water now as well. I'm sure after seeing what's left in the distiller there is no doubt that would contribute to a shorter life span for man and beast alike!
updated 7/22/08
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on December 17, 2011
I've had 3 8800's. All three died after a little over a year. The water this unit makes is great but the unit itself is a total pile of junk.

The problem was the same for all three units. The kettle is the part of the unit in which you put the water. Under the kettle there are two plastic slide rails where you insert the kettle. Over time the plastic slide rails turn yellow from the kettle's heat. Eventually the plastic melts under the kettle so the under side looks like a pothole. Finally the unit stops working altogether.

At 400 bucks a pop you'd think these things would last longer. The Waterwise people have a tough-luck-attitude about all this.

We averaged about 3 gallons per day for our needs. While the specs say you can make up to 6 gallons a day, the unit is really not suited for that because the heat melts the plastic of the unit and eventually makes it unusable.

In reality you can make probably one gallon a day and would have no problem keeping the unit longer. At one gallon a day there are competitors who can provide alternatives for much much less. To say it is designed for 6 untis is true in the sense that it takes a gallon to complete in 4 hours but that level of use even 3 gallons a day simply is too much for this unit.

It is a total piece of junk. I can tell you this. There is a competitor that makes a unit that makes water in the same amount of time, for half the price and the water drips in a glass container and is made of stainless steel inside and plastic outside. Just google a bit and you'll find it. This is what I have now.

After 3 8800's I would not recommend this unit in any way. It is a pile of junk that makes great water but you can get much, much better for a lot less.
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on February 18, 2008
I knew we needed to drink clean water. Our water has so many minerals in it and it took them all out. I had no idea the difference in taste. My coffee and tea taste a world of difference. I also use it for cooking. The food even tastes better. No more buying plastic tasting bottled water!!! I will never be without this machine. I am even taking it in our motorhome. One thing I learned, a rinse between distilling with vinegar keeps the unit just like new.
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on August 4, 2008
I've had to replace the steam pipe six times in the past 4 years 2 months. Currently, the distiller is leaking/losing equal to 1 inch of water in carafe. Water accumulates in the upper chamber above the kettle/boiler where the fan is located. Water and electricity don't mix. Not a good sign. Pain in the neck to ship for repairs.
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on April 30, 2009
Waterwise has an awful customer service and does not stand by their products. I spent hundreds of dollars on this distiller just 4 years ago and it broke down twice, costing me 80 dollars each time for repair and shipping. The second time they actually sent it back broken and leaking. They did not agree to repair it for free after they made it worse.I am not giving them another cent, so it's going into the trash.I'll now buy one from another company. A while back their shower filter cracked on me after just 2 years and they wouldn't stand by that either. So I bought from another company.They don't value my business, so I am done with them.
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on May 3, 2010
I've owned the 8800 for a little over a year and use it on average every other day to make a gallon of distilled water . I've had no problems with the unit and have found Waterwise customer service to be very helpful and well-informed. As I say, I've had no problems so far. My unit has not turned pink as one reviewer reported and I cannot imagine how this could have happened unless that reviewer tried to distill bubble gum :). My unit fits comfortably under the kitchen cabinets and when I use it, I just slide the unit out so that it vents away from the overhead wood -- after all, it is a steam distiller! As far as it heating up the whole room is concerned, I don't find that to be the case. Yes, it does give off heat because it boils water for hours; what would you expect? But it does not give off a crazy amount of heat. I live in Palm Springs, California which is not known for its cool summer weather. Since the 8800 has a timer feature, I usually set the distiller to run at bedtime (when the electric rates are lower and the ambient temperature cooler) and thus avoid any heat issues since I don't usually sleep in the kitchen!

Yes, the carafe drips. I don't think I've ever poured water from it without dripping some. It is definitely annoying -- but, after all, life is a veil of tears...

The water I distill doesn't taste of plastic, or anything else. The carafe does not impart any flavor whatsoever to the water in my experience. I change the carbon filter regularly and the water is the purest-tasting I have ever had. Very wonderful to taste something this pure and refreshing. I wish you could see the gunk that is left in the boiling kettle after distillation -- to think that I used to drink that -- it's unbelievable what's in your drinking water! You have no idea how messed up your water is until you've used a distiller like this. I now use distilled water for all my drinking and cooking needs -- and even my big fat excellent cat gets distilled water. I am a big tea drinker and oatmeal eater and you cannot imagine how much better drinks and food taste with pure, uncontaminated water. Once you've gotten used to using distilled water, you won't ever want to cook or make tea or coffee or hot chocolate (if you don't use milk) with anything else!

I agree with another reviewer that starting with hot water in the kettle does reduce the distillation time somewhat. I also find that Waterwise's claim that you can produce 6 gallons of distilled water in 24 hours is way off the mark. This is because they recommend descaling the boiling kettle after each use, which I do. The junk that the distiller removes from the tap water is a hard mineral/gunk deposit (scientific jargon :)) that cakes on the bottom of the boiler and needs to be removed between distillation cycles. I can't imagine what the bottom of the kettle would look like if you actually distilled six gallons without descaling it; it would probably be like cement! Using the Kleenwise descaler (I don't have any affiliation with Waterwise!!), I find it takes about four hours to let the stuff soak in and make the deposits easy to remove. So, if it takes four hours to distill the water and four hours to descale, my calculations indicate I could make 3 gallons of water in a 24-hour time period (if I really wanted to stay up 24 hours/day making distilled water!). So, realistically and practically I will generally do 1-2 cycles per day, usually one. This is sufficient for my needs. If you want to provide distilled water for a family, you might need a larger-capacity distiller... I keep two five-gallon jugs, three 1.75 liter bottles, and a 3 liter hot water dispenser filled with distilled water. I live in earthquake country and it's good to have plenty of pure water on hand in case of emergency.

One more beef: if you accidentally dislodge the plug, the clock and the timer setting go to heaven -- there's no battery backup. Inconvenient, yes. Big horrible deal, no.

I think this is a great product and I'm sure the health benefits are considerable. I loves my tea and for the way it improves the flavor of teas and soups and everything else -- in my book it's well worth the price!
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on May 31, 2011
I bought mine a year ago, and started noticing a burn mark on the base below the kettle six months later. Then the base start cracking. Weeks later, the whole thing just stop working. I am lucky that the distiller broke down 2 wks before the warranty expired, so I e-mailed them and shipped it back immediately. I have to say the costumer service is great. Two weeks after I shipped it to them, I received a new one. They didn't explain to me what happened to my previous one, but just sent me a brand new one. Sounds good right?! Now, with this new one without any warranty... I just hope it will last longer than the previous one. To most of you thinking about buying this, you also need to consider if the one-year warranty really can justify the cost. To me, it's not worthy. It's cost me almost $90 to send it back. Even though I got a new replacement, but if it break in a week, I have nowhere to go. If it lasts for another year... still too expensive to spend almost $500 for two years of "good water". I will give my new replacement a try, and hopefully, I will return in 2 years and edit this review and give more stars.
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