How water distiller technology works
So how does a water distiller work? We’ll go through the process in a moment, but first here’s a bit about the inspiration behind them.
One of life’s essentials, water is used by every one of us regularly. In the home and at work, in medical procedures and in machinery, it’s ubiquitous. However, as much of our water originates as groundwater, there are always impurities, no matter how many treatment solutions it has been through. This is why many homes and businesses use water distillers. What is distilled water, how does such a machine work, and why might you need one? We’ll answer these questions in the following article.
What is a Water Distiller?
A water distiller is a device you can install in the home or other property that purifies the water entering the building. Some are permanent fixtures, and others are portable. We’ll explain how they work in a moment and suggest you check out some models reviewed here at Water Filter Base to get an idea of the different models available. So how does a water distiller work? We’ll go through the process in a moment, but first here’s a bit about the inspiration behind them.
What is Distillation?
A water distiller takes the water as it comes out of the faucet and converts it into a purer version. In fact, the way a distiller works directly replicates the way the sun helps purify our water initially. Let us explain.
Let’s start with seawater, which is naturally replete with salt and other organisms. The sun heats seawater on a constant basis, over and over again. Each time, the surface water will be evaporated – that is it becomes vapor, a gas form – and rises. This also happens in lakes and rivers and other water sources. Now, although the water can be turned into gas form, the salt in seawater cannot, so it is left behind as are any other contaminants that cannot become gas through evaporation.
The evaporated water rises and, as it cools, becomes a cloud as it condenses. It then falls back to earth as rain, in a much purer form of water than before. This is why rain waters are among the purest of all when it falls to earth. So, at some point, a clever scientist or inventor took the concept of natural distillation and applied it to a device to do the same with our water supplies – the water distiller was born.
How the Water Distiller Works
Many people make the mistake of thinking a water distiller is simply a fancy kettle. A kettle boils water, and that’s all. The distiller uses an extension of that process to do what the sun does as described above. Put simply; this is what happens:
- Step 1 – the water is put into the reservoir or boiling chamber, of the distiller.
- Step 2 – the distiller is fitted with a heating element that boils the water, turning it into steam.
- Step 3 – the top of the boiling chamber features vents through which the steam escapes into the condenser section.
- Step 4 – the steam is condensed into water, with all organisms and impurities that cannot be turned to gas left behind.
That’s it in simple terms, now let’s have a look at each step in detail, although we’ll skip over step 1 as that’s simply filling the chamber, as you would your kettle!
The Boiling Process
The boiling chamber is effectively a kettle in that it contains a heating element. However, it sits beneath the condensing sector, which we shall look at next. The water is boiled by the element and turns to steam. As the steam rises, it is directed through vents into the condensing section. Now, what we have to remember here is that – as we have already mentioned – only the water can turn to gas. Any contaminants in the water remain in the boiling chamber as a result.
So, we now have no water in the boiling chamber and all the steam up above in the condenser. Here’s what happens next.
The Condensing Process
The condenser itself is a stainless-steel coiled tube. At the top of the condensing chamber is a cooling fan. Combined, the tubes and fan rapidly cool the steam and turn it back into the water. But that’s not all, for there is an additional process that takes place at this point. The droplets pass down the tubes and are put through an activated carbon postfilter.
The carbon filter is designed to collect any contaminants that, rare as they are, may have survived the distillation process. These are known as ‘Volatile Organic Compounds’ – VOC’s – and they are often the by-product of household products such as aerosol sprays and paints. They can be evaporated, so will evade the process. The carbon filter is the final stage of filtration and will catch these.
After this, the droplets are caught in a glass container or bottle, and ready to drink as distilled purified water. It’s a simple process, and it’s also worth reading up on the benefits of distilled water in the home and workplace for more information.
How Long Does it Take?
Your average tabletop water distiller will take between 4 to 6 hours to produce a gallon of distilled water. It is a slow process as distillation produces a single pure drop at a time. The wait is worth it, however, especially if you live in an area of poor or hard water, as the difference will be instantly noticeable. If you have another look at the reviews we directed you to you’ll see there are many to choose from across a wide range of budgets, so there’s certain to be one that suits your needs.
There will always be certain impurities in water supplies as groundwater can be contaminated by natural elements such as heavy metals as well as man-made contaminants such as pesticides and fertilizers, and bacteria can also be present in water. Using a water distiller results in the purest form of water you can have, and we recommend you check these useful devices further and see how they can work for you.
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