73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2009
I noticed I felt better drinking distilled water (and get minerals in salads) so after purchasing bottled brands for a time I decided to distill myself. I purchased the Mini-Classic II water distiller through Amazon.com after researching a variety of countertop models. This model appeared a more lasting investment. I've had it about a month and can say it is fantastic! The parts are metal, it arrives fully assembled, it's well constructed and durable, easy to clean, the size is well suited to my counter, the jar is glass with a plastic pour lid, it's simple to operate (no electronics), it shuts itself off when finished with a batch, maintenance is minimal and it works great. There is no metal taste whatsoever to my distilled water. Even guests notice how uniquely sweet and clean this water tastes. A valued purchase. And it is made in America.
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2010
I tried one of the plastic ones, the temp sensor broke after one year and since replacement parts were not sold I had to throw it away.
I then purchased the Mini Classic II because it is stainless steel and you can purchase replacement parts. It served me well for 7 years, then the over temp sensor went bad. Strix made the sensor and the stainless steel heating element and quit making them without warning. I sent the distiller back and for around $250 which included parts, the extra parts, repairs, and shipping, they modified the distiller for the new heating element (around $110) and sensor and I got 2 spare heating elements, a fan motor in case mine dies as he said it was getting worn, and 2 boxes of filters. I should be good for another 15 years. The ones sold now should have the new otter element so if it goes bad you can purchase the otter style heating element kit for under $40.00.
Google: Mini Classic 2 - Online Store for parts.
The new heating elements are nickel plated copper and should last at least 3 to 5 years, longer if you have a softener.
When I first got my distiller it also had a funny taste, but I believe I fixed the problem by cleaning it with white vinegar. If you have a water softener the distiller will not build up scale, otherwise you will have to clean it when the scale builds. I live in Florida, the bad water state, and when my softener stopped working I was amazed how fast the scale built up.
I am impressed with how well this distiller works, I am very impressed with the repairman, and most of all I enjoy the water.
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2008
I have been using my Mini Classic II distiller for about 6 months now in Los Angeles, CA. The water tastes pure and clean. There is no residual taste using the distiller and the carbon filter. I recommend this distiller as the construction is good and the materials are excellent. You can't beat stainless steel for the mechanism and there is no better container than glass for the receptacle. Plastic containers are awful as they can leach chemicals into your water. I spent several months researching water purifiers and this product won me over.
59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2011
March 25, 2013 ... I was previously very pleased with this item which appears to be make of quality materials and even bought two of them. So as an update, one of the units I bought actually almost caused a house fire. The seller just referred us to the manufacturer who charged us $100 to refurbish the unit ... and then a year later it stopped working again. Kind of annoying. Trying to get seller to address issue but waiting to see if I have to file a claim with Amazon on this. The unit itself actually melted the electrical and started smoking. Fortunately someone was home and no one was hurt. This could have turned out really bad!
I was not sure what to expect of this product since there were complaints about metallic taste in the water and it is very pricey. I decided to undertake the Gerson Therapy and this meets the bill for a very good quality distiller. If you are not sure what distiller to get and can afford this one I strongly recommend it to some cheap plastic made in China item that will likely break down quickly.
To clarify on my ability to thoroughly assess for quality, I am an engineer who performs quality oversight and inspection on rockets, radars and other critical hardware. Needless to say I am a professional nitpicker and rarely take the time to comment/review items I purchase on amazon (of which there are many things I purchase with few reviews). The quality of stainless steel on this distiller surpasses some of the fielded hardware I have seen for connectors constantly exposed to the elements. This unit is heavy duty (and even I was surprised by the physical weight of the unit), high quality and very well built. I see why it has a 15 year warranty, as I doubt I will need to use the warranty since it is so well built. There is quality stainless steel, and then there is the stainless steel that comes from China. If you understand metals, you will see that this is the better version. Plus it is made in the USA (which unfortunately not everything made in USA has a high quality of standard).
As for the claim about metallic taste ... I washed the water tank and glass jar with soap and water before the initial use as I suspected that might have contributed to one person's review claiming there was metallic taste to the water. I have very sensitive taste and there was not even a hint of metallic taste to the water. Perhaps if they cleaned the unit before use they would not have experienced a metallic taste.
So when I thought about the cost, I figured using distilled water is the ONLY way to completely remove fluoride from water as well as other impurities. If I buy one gallon a day at about $1, that is $30 a month. Thus this unit pays for itself in 20 months (and that is if you only use one gallon of purified water a day, which I use much more than that).
I am very pleased with this product. So much so I ordered another one the day after I received mine for my sister.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2011
I am writing this review after owning my machine for more than two years and averaging two batches of water per day. I love this water distiller! It is built like a Sherman Tank and should last many years. It is well designed, including a valve that releases any bad gases that might have been vaporized along with the water (not all distillers include this feature). The purified water never comes into contact with plastic - only food grade stainless steel and glass. I believe this is very important as plastic can contain toxins that could potentially leach into the water. You don't have to worry about messing with plumbing like some of the machines that are automatic. Automatic might sound nice, but you lose the portability of the machine and the machine is more complex, which means there is more that could go wrong with it. Here are a few important tips that I have learned through research and experience: Starting with soft water or, even better, water that has been run through a reverse osmosis filter will keep your boiling tank clean and maintenance-free. Be sure to remineralize your water after it is distilled - this is very important! Although the best minerals for your body are organic (from plant and animal sources) distilled water is highly reactive and slightly acidic. Our bodies run much better on water that is alkaline. To correct this, I remineralize my water with a natural liquid mineral supplement called "Concentrace by Trace Minerals Research". It raises the ph and contains many trace minerals that are beneficial to good health. Approximately 40 drops per batch is about right. Be sure to buy a couple of extra glass containers like the one provided so that you can always have a cold one in your refrigerator while a new one is brewing. I would also buy extra carbon filters and change regularly as this is an important final step to remove any contaminants that may have made their way through the distillation process. Be sure to buy some klean canteen stainless steel water bottles from amazon or a similar trusted product to carry your purified water with you wherever you go. My family's health has noticably improved since using distilled (and remineralized water) from this machine. I highly recommend the Pure Water mini-classic II. It is my favorite machine, by far, and well worth the one-time investment.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
I had a hard time spending $600 for this but after all my research, I thought it was probably the best unit on the market for a home distiller. The construction quality is very good. Most all the parts are made of stainless steel. All the parts are serviceable / replaceable. I wish it made a full gallon of water. I have had it for several months now and would not want to do without it. I have four people in my household and we are making water 3-4 times a day. We find it difficult to keep up with our demand. However, as a result, everyone is drinking more water and we no longer buy bottled water. We have purchased several stainless steel water bottles to take water with us on the go.
We now find it hard to drink water at a restaurant somewhere because of the chlorine taste. Call me crazy, but I would swear that since drinking nothing but distilled water, my joint pain is pretty much gone. I wish we had two of these. My father liked ours so well that he purchased one for himself. The only complaint I have is that it makes about 3/4 gallon of water and I wish it made a full gallon or a little more. However, if the unit was any larger it probably would be too big to sit on our kitchen counter. I would definitely purchase this again and wish I had a second one to keep up with our household demand.
Also, here is something I would like to point out to everyone. I purchased extra charcoal filters with the unit. I noticed right away that the filter that came with the unit was stitched up using cotton thread around the outside edge. The extra filters I purchased were obviously made by another company because the outside edges had been glued. It concerns me that we go to all this trouble to purify the water and then the filters have been glued with who knows what kind of glue. They also did not contain as much charcoal as the original filter. Therefore, I will be only purchasing my replacement filters from the manufacturer since there is a definite quality difference between filters. The unit also puts out a lot of heat and makes it hot in our kitchen. This is a negative in the summer but should be a positive in the winter time. Our power bill has been unusually high but I can't say if it was caused by all the water we have been making or just because it has been so hot outside and our A/C is working overtime. One reviewer said that it cost $3 to make a gallon of water. I seriously doubt it is that much. If it was, my power bill would have gone up about $315 a month. It has been running about $50-$100 higher than normal, but again, I think it is probably due to all the record setting temps we have been having.
I was also concerned about all the internet hype and mis-information that is out there about drinking distilled water. We tried adding the minerals and himalayan salt to the water to put minerals back into it but we did not like the taste it added and the additional salt was unhealthy so now we just do plain distilled water. I think it it is more important to drink pure clean water and lots of it and to get your minerals from a healthy diet. It seems to me that most of the people claiming how distilled water is bad for you, because it takes out the minerals, are in the business of selling water filters instead of water distillers. In my opinion the distiller is a superior product over filtration and probably a less expensive alternative to water filters in the long run.
Shortly after writing my review above, a critical part on the distiller broke. There is a threaded post in the boiling chamber that serves as a water level indicator. You are supposed to fill the water up until it touches the bottom of the post. This post also acts as a stop for the lid mechanisim to not spin inside the tank when you are twisting the knob closed. Well the post broke off and was loose in the bottom of the chamber after making a batch of water. Further inspection shows that this post was either poorly welded or soldered into the boiling chamber. I sent an email first thing to customer service explaining my issue. By 4:30pm I had not received a response back and I called. I spoke to "Sue" who advised me she read my email but not had time to respond back. I explained to her the situation and she told me to ship the boiling chamber and post back to them. I would have to pay the shipping. She stated that my unit was outside the 90 day warranty and the repair would be free but that I would have to pay shipping. I have had the unit approximately 115 days. I expressed my displeasure in paying shipping for what is clearly a manufacturers defect and she replied that they do not make those in house and they are outsourced. I took this to mean "China" but do not know for certain that is what she meant. She further stated that since the boiling chamber is outsourced they do not have control over the quality of that part as if that gave some sort of justification as to why they would not pay for shipping on a defective item. Neverless, mine was outside of 90 days and if I wanted it repaired, I would have to pay the shipping. It was clear that I would not get anywhere. I boxed it up and sent it back and it cost me $17 in shipping to return the boiling chamber. I will be without use of the distiller for at least a week to ten days.
After spending $600 for this distiller, the fact that my father also purchased one, and I have told everyone about how great it is, and to have an issue such as this for what is clearly a manufacturer's defect it is very frustrating. I am then told they do not have quality control over this particular part. I promptly looked at my printed warranty and read the fine print which states it will be shipped back to me "freight collect." Not to mention we are now back to drinking tap water because of this issue. Yes, I am slightly pissed. The degree to how pissed I get is going to be determined by how quickly they repair it and ship it back to me. I also went back to the website to where I purchased the distiller and it clearly says "15 year warranty." None of the literature that came with unit says anything about a "90 day" warranty against defects. So it appears that the warranty against defects changes depending on what website you are on, what owner's manual receive, and who answers the phone in customer service. So pending the outcome of this, I am reducing my rating to three stars. I will post back when I receive the boiling chamber back. Hopefully, someone at PureWater will read this and do the right thing by reimbursing my shipping charges and not charging me shipping for what is clearly a defect on an "outsourced" part.
I recieved the boiling chamber back today. They did make the repair. However, the repair does not look very professional. It left a sharp edge that sticks out beyond the rim. I wonder how long it will take for my wife to cut her finger on it. I would guess the stem is soldered in place and not welded. The question in my mind is not if, but when it will break again. If it breaks again, I will not return it to Pure Water for repair. I will seek out a local company to either weld or re-solder it in place. There was no labor charge but they called asking for a credit card to charge me the return shipping. I protested and voiced my displeasure. I was told it would have to be approved by the boss before they would pay the return shipping to me. It took several days to get the boss's approval. When it was all said and done, it cost me $17 for shipping and two weeks without the use of my distiller. At no time did anyone say "We are sorry for the inconvenience."
I would have been totally satisfied had Pure Water asked for me to pay the shipping and upon inspection if they determined it was in fact a defect, they would have reimbursed me for the shipping and paid the return shipping. But instead I was called and asked to pay the shipping to send the unit back to me. Ultimately, they did pay the return shipping, but that isn't the point. Maybe I just expect too much after spending $600 for their distiller when other countertop distillers sell for $200.
Pure Water needs to pay attention to how some other companies stand behind their products. I could understand if I had the unit for several years and some part, like the fan, gave out. I would expect to have to either order a new fan and repair it myself or send the whole unit back for repair. However, I don't expect to have a hassle on something that was clearly defective. Also, Pure Water needs to clarify exactly what it's warranty is to consumers before they make their purchase. What I have seen says two years, another website says 15 years, and Pure Water themselves say 90 days when you call with a problem. If they would just offer a "No B.S. warranty" they would have a superior product. I am making my final grade at four stars and hoping for no more problems.
Still using it everyday. Wish I had another one.
This thing runs all the time. We can't keep up with our demand and make 4-5 batches of water per day. I have found that every few months I am having to remove the screws and take the top cover off due to dust build up around the fins and the fan blades. It isn't difficult, I just remove the screws and use some compressed air to blow all the dust out. I do this outside so I don't spread the dust inside the house. I recently had a need to test some water for another project and I purchased a water tester here off Amazon that tells how many parts per million of solids are contained in the water. I tested some of the distilled water from this machine and it read "000" on the meter every time I tested. You just can't get cleaner water than that. I have a water filter that is factory installed in the refrigerator that filters the ice and water through the door. I tested that water and it consistently reads 27-29 parts per million. Water from the tap tests much higher and seems to change frequently on the quality according to the tester. So that tells me the $50 refrigerator filter works but just is not even close to the quality of the water from the distiller. I have already decided that if this unit ever quits, I will be buying a bigger one.
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2010
I have owned the Pure Water Mini-Classic ll for about 3 years now.
The machine does the job and looks good, no frills and very utilitarian, which I like. It is is sturdily built although the timer dial came loose within a few weeks of use.
Also, it is very noisy compared to previous distillers I have owned and not the fastest distiller in its category and will only make approx. 3 liters per cycle rather than the 4 of many competing brands.
My biggest gripe has got to be Pure Water's customer service, which is not only bad but actually non existent. I e-mailed them 20 times over a period of many months (to the contact addresses on their website) and yet I received not a single reply. Not one! A bizarre way to treat your customers.
If and when this unit does wear out I shall certainly take my custom elsewhere.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2013
In 2010 we purchased the Mini-Classic II water distiller from smemory on Amazon. This unit worked great until about 2/15/2013 at which time the heating unit stopped working. I contacted Pure Water and ordered another heater. When it arrived I discovered that it would not fit in our Mini-Classic II unit. I called Pure Water again and asked what gives. They told me that I had an out-dated unit that they had not manufactured for many years. They told me if I wanted to send the entire unit back to their factory they would give it a retro-fit to bring it up to date for a cost of about $350.00 When I told them that I purchased the unit from Amazon they suggested that I contact the seller and see if they would make it right since they were the ones that sold us an older unit. When I contacted smemory via Amazon email they told me they were really sorry for the problem and that they would contact Pure Water and see what could be done. That was 2 months ago. I wrote to smemory again about 2 weeks ago to let them know that if I didn't get some kind of reply from them that I would write a review and let the world know the type of business they run. I still have not heard from smemory as of this date. ***BUYER BE WARE*** This seller has cost me a great deal of time and money. Buy from someone else and make sure you have a up dated model. Now I sit here with a broken unit and refuse to pay $350 more to get what I should have gotten in the first place.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2010
Never had a problem with taste or smell with this unit. Don't know what the other reviewer's household environment/starting water quality is like, maybe he should run some hydrogen peroxide through it. Mine gets run daily. People that I've had over, and drank mine, said it was some of the best water they've ever tasted. Distilling removes chlorine, arsenic, and fluoride, but not some of the poisonous organic compounds because they will re-condense. Therefore, I also run it through a "commercial" brand carbon filter after distilling and then put it in the fridge. Add 1/4 tsp of Celtic sea or Himalayan pink salt and aluminum free baking soda to re-mineralize in a 2L jug.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2011
I have had my Mini Classic II for nearly three months now, and it has performed flawlessly. This product is made of High Quality stainless steel, comes with a glass jar (which is absolutely Essential when it comes to distilled water), and has a post carbon filter to remove any VOCs that may have evaporated along with the water vapor and condensed back to a liquid state. I have done a TON of research on water as well as the types of filtration methods. The bottom line is this: Yes there are many different ways to filter water, and yes it is true that no ONE method can remove all the bad things (hence the need for a Post carbon filter in the Mini Classic); however, distillation will provide you with the CLOSEST thing to PURE WATER. Do not be afraid that you will not be getting enough minerals if you drink distilled water. Simply put, this is a myth. That being said, if you feel that strongly about it, feel free to add some Unrefined Sea Salt to your water after it has been distilled. I could go on and on about water and the methods of purifying it! In conclusion, distillation is a GREAT way to ENSURE clean drinking water; and with Mini Classic's II superior quality, it is quite capable of producing such water. The price may be high, but like all things in life, you get what you pay for!
******UPDATE****** November 28, 2012*******
After nearly two years of Constant/Everyday use, my mini classic distiller is still going strong. Since buying the post carbon filters has gotten to be a bit pricey, I have bought my own carbon in bulk from a website and make my own "post carbon filters", using activated carbon and cheese cloth, which works like a charm. Furthermore, cleaning the heating element inside your distiller is paramount due to the build up of calcium and magnesium from hard water. Instead of buying the cleaning material that they sell, which works really well by the way, I have been using 2 tablespoons of 100% pure Citric Acid. Be careful not to use too much, because it may be too corrosive for the heating element inside. This has been getting the job done at a fraction of the cost. I normally let it soak overnight and shake/rinse several times the next morning. I love this distiller and plan on using it for many years to come.