Customer Reviews: Pioneer Ceramic Drinking Fountain Big Max , 128 oz
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on December 21, 2010
I had been looking for the perfect fountain that wouldn't stand out too much in my room. I've had plastic fountains in the past that would have film grow on them pretty quickly between cleanings so I was unsure that I'd buy one at all. I have three cats and actually bought this one for one of them in particular who loves to knock his water bowl to make waves - and spilled it often. He is very happy with this product. But a pleasant surprise is that one of my other cats is ten years old with a chronic respiratory infection that in his later years has led to high sodium and other bad readings in his blood work. A month prior to getting this fountain he'd been in ICU for a week and after being released I had to administer SubQ fluids nightly. He drank prior to my getting the fountain but once it got here he drank so much more - even sleeps by it sometimes. He's by no means cured but I no longer need to give him the SubQ nightly which is a huge relief. All three cats share the fountain well. Asthetically, it is actually semi decorative and is very quiet. I've cleaned it regularly and the filter is great at stopping the minimal fur that falls in. I have already recommending it to friends and definitely suggest it to anyone looking to purchase it. Hope this helps.
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on December 30, 2010
I did a lot of research for dog fountains. I have a mastiff, a cocker spaniel, a maine coon cat, and a hemingway cat. I'm constantly having to refill their water bowls throughout the day and I feel especially terrible when I'm not home and they run out of water so I wanted to find a fountain that had a large water capacity and would be able to stand up to a mastiff.
First of all, the assembly was easy. Three simple steps and I had it together within a few minutes, running with water and everything.
The ceramic material for this fountain is genius! It's still lightweight, looks phenomenal, and doesn't scratch easily. Plus the mastiff can't shove it around all the over the place. :)
The bix max holds A LOT of water! I was thrilled. Less bending over with my bad back. All I have to do now is pout a pitcher of water in the main bowl. Super easy.
So far haven't had to clean it. Looks easy though. If the assembly was that simple I'm sure the cleanup will be too. The cats absolutely love it, which makes me happy cause I know their getting the water they need throughout the day.
As I've said, I did a lot of research including checking out youtube and different websites. I am seriously impressed by the engineering of this product and would hands down suggest this fountain to anyone in the market for one. :)
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on January 19, 2011
This is THE pet fountain you've been looking for.

We had a plastic fountain for the last two years. Overall, I had no complaints. It *did* have some cleanliness issues though (it needed to be periodically scrubbed for algae, and the filter would clog with fur), and my cat did not help the problem because when she drank, she preferred to let the flow of the fountain flow over the top of her head. It only pooped out recently, and it might have been our own fault for letting it run too dry... but either way, once it pooped out, we started investigating ALL our options, wondering if just buying a new pump was really worth it...

This new fountain does NOT flow in a way where she can get her head wet. It also is whisper-quiet. I hear nothing... the old fountain made a distinct bubbling sound, and even louder if it had a low water level. People were rather grossed-out looking at the algae build-up, which was only removeable to a certain degree.

The new ceramic fountain will NOT be accumulating buildup in the same way, and it makes no bubbling noise at all. Best yet is how easy it is to refill... we just pour more water in, compared to the Drinkwell we had, where we had to remove the tank, refill it, and then carefully realign it without it spilling again. The pieces on this fountain are just so much more practical: two ceramic pieces and an easily-disassembled motor/filter. There were soooo many crevices on our Drinkwell that would clog with fur. Not so on this new fountain.

I LOVE it. It's even attractive, and nobody walks in and says, "Hmmmm....what's that moldy looking plastic thing with all the gurgly water??"

Update: The only criticism I have of this fountain is that it does not fully cycle the water. There are points around the outside of the bowl where there is water that seems to become somewhat stagnant if the bowl is not cleaned routinely. All fountains seem to have a "three week" or so time limit on filters, but on this bowl I would say it is even more vital. The bowl does accumulate algae, hard water deposits, and quite a bit of "floaties" around the outside perimeter of the bowl. When it gets to this point, the only "fresh" looking water is what is coming directly out of the pump.

It is still a better choice than the plastic because it is easier to clean, but it does have some cleaning needs that are inescapable. Keep it clean on a routine basis and there will be no issues... Go longer than your 3 weeks or so, and you will have a pretty gunky looking bowl...

Update-- Almost 2 years later: My pump *just* pooped out. Not too bad. I'm surprised to read reviews of all the bad pumps. I bought a new pump and I'm good to go. I still love it.
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on April 12, 2011
I have tried the Drinkwell 360 (not a very good product) and currently own two Drinkwell Platinums along with this product. Two immediate observations are that the filter is minuscule on this Pioneer compared to the surface area of the Drinkwell Platinum and while the pump is much smaller and seemingly lower flow than the Drinkwell Platinum, it is louder. In fact, while the primary noise comes from the dropping water on the Platinum, on low setting, it is still quieter than the low grinding sound of this product which is also naturally less pleasant. The Drinkwell Platinum has a detachable reservoir on the back to fill it, whereas this product you need to fill up the base which is a bit heavier since its ceramic and is too large for my refrigerator's filtered water dispenser, or use a separate pitcher. The surface of the water on this product can at times develop "slobber foam" from the cats saliva in a stagnant corner, which is not seen on the Drinkwell Platinum.

On the plus side, ceramic is not as porous as plastic, which is beneficial for hygiene. It is less apt to be damaged by a dishwasher, and it is also MUCH simpler (only two main parts) and smaller (no tall towers) to fit in the dish washer as well. It is also far more attractive looking than the odd colored plastic Drinkwell fountain.

After a week now, I can say that my two cats enjoy drinking from this fountain as much as the Drinkwell Platinum with equal frequency.

Update: I have had the pump replaced. The second pump in combination with overfilling the reservoir (fill it to the very top) and giving the tower a little bump until vibration stops, and it is now about the same noise as the Drinkwell Platinum pump which is quiet.
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on September 29, 2012
I have owned several cat fountains, and the biggest problem is always how difficult they are to clean and keep clean. This is is the best I've bought. It's porcelain surface makes cleanup quick and easy. Also, it's bit enough to hold quite a lot of water, which is nice. It's attractive looking. And it runs MUCH more quietly than any other we've had, so we don't have to turn the volume up on the TV to hear over it. :) A good product well worth the price to keep our kitties hydrated and healthy.
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on June 10, 2012
I have 5 indoor cats. I purchased this ceramic fountain last month and placed it in front of my fireplace (on the bricks) in my main family room (that's where the cats like their water for whatever reason). The product is GREAT, and the cats definitely drink more and seem to LOVE this much better than their plain water dish. They drink from the top (where it bubbles), and some drink from where the water falls, then also from the bottom of the dish. It's like a kitty entertainment center too -- sometimes, they just like to sit and watch the water bubble and flow. They do drink a LOT more water though, which is good for them. And, all 5 cats use it.

The ONLY problem for me is that I have to take it apart and clean it about 3 times a week because of dirt and cat hair. Also, it's larger than I thought and therefore quite heavy because of the ceramic. But I purchased the ceramic vs the stainless steel so they cannot move the top portion of the fountain away from the pump and bottom unit. I fear with the lighter stainless steel that I wake up to find the water all over the place. I do have some real curious and playful rascals who like to stick their paws under it (through the 2 pieces), around it, and in it.

It works really well and the kitties love it, but I have no idea about the longevity of the pump. If I were to design this unit for my cats, I would leave everything the same size except to make the bottom portion a little smaller. I've found that only one cat at a time uses this and that would make the ceramic base a wee bit lighter.
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on May 14, 2013
Our 2 cats and 2 dogs love this fountain. The first pet fountain we purchased was the Drinkwell Platinum Pet fountain, but the plastic housing-- despite our cleaning-- soon grew crusty with hard water residue. We really love the large 100% ceramic construction of the Pioneer Pet fountain. It has an attractive design, and it's easier to clean. The 2-piece body is easily assembled, and the plastic pump housing, filter, and pump itself are plastic pieces that are concealed neatly.

I was initially concerned because the pump stopped working after about 3 months. Even though I would remove and rinse the pump and housing for it, I believed running it too much and not cleaning it diligently burned out its little motor. We ordered a second pump directly from Pioneer Pets (great customer service, btw) since we couldn't find one for our model on Amazon. The second pump, too, despite our weekly cleaning, and even unplugging the pump nightly (to let the motor "rest") stopped functioning after three or four months. I was so disappointed, I wrote to Pioneer Pets to express my dismay. Their rep sent me back this video for how to DISASSEMBLE AND CLEAN the PUMP ([...] After following the instructions (just rinsing three small pieces!) the fountain is back in business! I wonder if the first pump would've worked again too!

The pets love the fountain. It's definitely worth the price we paid, and I'm very happy with Pioneer Pets and their customer service folks!
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on November 11, 2010
I purchased this after replacing the DrinkWell fountains every year. The cats love the fresh water of a fountain however replacing them every year due to bacteria growth on them was getting expensive. I was told by the vet that even though you clean the plastic ones, bacteria will continue to grow (that's why it's a good idea to replace litter boxes).

I love that this is ceramic. It's so easy to clean and being that it is ceramic it's better than the plastic ones. I like that it's not so sterile looking also. It fits well in my home.

Well worth the extra money.
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on January 15, 2011
This pet fountain is the best!! It is easier to clean and less parts to take apart to clean than other pet fountains. It is super quiet, you can't hear the water running. It doesn't leave hard water stains. My cats love it. They are drinking more water because they like the bubbling water in the top bowl. If you are trying to decide between this Pioneer and a Drinkwell, I would choose the Pioneer. My previous pet fountain was a Drinkwell. It was a hassle to clean, had hard water stains that I couldn't remove and it leaked.
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on January 23, 2012
Most of the poor reviews for this fountain deal with the motor burning out. I would like to add some cleaning information that might prolong the life of the motor. First and foremost, clean the entire fountain, bowl, and motor at least weekly (I actually recommend cleaning it every 3-4 days). When cleaning the motor, ensure you take off the front plastic filter face, the tiny plastic flow regulator, then remove the propeller protector, then use your fingers (or tweezers/small needle-nose pliers) and carefully pull the yellow propeller straight out of its shaft (it is only held in place by its magnet). Clean the entire propeller and magnet that surrounds it and use a cotton swab to clean the sides and bottom of the propeller shaft. Reason: Even filtered water starts to develop algae and/or muck due to animal saliva, dust, fur, or other impurities that adulterate the water. This muck causes friction which prevents the propeller from spinning freely and ultimately burns out the motor much sooner than it would otherwise. Hopefully this helps. Good luck.
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