Following is a recent (January 2006) conversation I had with Mrs. Jones (not her real name, by request) that took place over several days by email. Mrs. Jones contacted me after I made a comment in the Curezone forum. I am still considering buying a John E., Crystal Clear Energized Water Machine:
Mrs. Jones: I have found that it works well when used correctly and produces bad water when used incorrectly. It is as simple as that. Everyone on this forum is telling the truth - both good and bad.
Among my circle of friends, I know six people who own this machine. Five of us make miraculously wonderful water, and one makes a slimy green mess. The difference is all in the way the machine is used - and it is not a user-friendly machine.
John E. is an eccentric genius who is not interested in helping customers who are having trouble, so if you buy one - you are on your own. It doesn't surprise me that several people here have had unpleasant exchanges with him. He has no people skills. Personally, when I know I am going to talk to him, I spend about 3 days preparing myself emotionally not to blow my top when he gets on my nerves. But putting up with Mr. Ellis is a small price to pay for the benefits of his wonderful water.
If you are smart enough to make it work, be prepared for the best water on the planet, AND I AM NOT KIDDING ABOUT THIS. If you can't get the hang of it, be prepared to waste your money.
Personally, I think it is worth the investment in time and money to get the good water, but you must make the attempt to understand the technology and be your own repairman.
The good news is that the machine works. The bad news is that you have to make it work correctly, and John E. will be very little help. AND YES, YES, YES, THIS WATER IS THE REAL DEAL.
P.S. I don't work for, sell, deal, nor am I in any way associated with John E., his company, or any other company or person selling the LWM 4. I don't even know anyone who sells it - I got mine directly from John E., himself.
Me: I appreciate this response indicating that there is a right and wrong way to install and use the machine. With scientific equipment, the way that it is used is often the reason for inaccurate results. I have read this entire line of comment threads and have concluded that probably all dissatisfactions are real to the actual user of the equipment. As you can see there are several who have had great results. In view of all the negative comments, my question is, what about those people who have been very satisfied with the results and not felt obligated to spend their time trying to convince the general public that they made a great decision. I would like to hear their comments, if I could contact them.
Mrs. Jones, do you have any idea why the one friend is getting such bad results from his machine?
PS. I have not purchased a machine yet and consider this dialog as part of my due diligence. I too do not work for, sell, deal, nor am I associated in any way with John E., his company, or any other company or person selling the LWM 4.
Mrs. Jones: Yes, it is very easy to tell why my friend is not making good water. If you have ever seen an LWM4 you will know that it is composed of two main units - the cooling tank and the boiling chamber. The cooling tank is designed to operate about 3/4 full and NO FULLER - it has an overflow valve that drains excess water from the machine. This overflow valve is a poorly designed part, but is essential to the proper operation of the LWM4. If the overflow valve doesn't work correctly, OR if water is allowed to flow into the machine too fast, the machine will fill to the brim, forcing plain tap water rapidly through the system with no time to either treat, energize, or even distill the water. The result is that the machine puts out plain tap water that has in no way been treated at all - not even heated to kill microorganisms. My friend runs his machine fast and full. He cannot understand that running the LWM4 this way is of no use, and in his case, this is doubly bad, because he lives in large city where the untreated tap water is not safe to drink. His house and plumbing are very old, with all the biological and heavy metal contamination that implies. In addition to that, he has chosen to ignore the warning he got from John E., that the machine is not designed to take care of heavy metal contamination even when used properly. Now he is drinking tap water that he would never have dared to drink before, and because he is stubborn will not admit that it is unsafe. Even though several of his friends who also own the machine have expressed concern that his misuse of it can be dangerous, he considers these warnings to be criticism, and will not listen to good advice. Among our acquaintances, those of us who have a machine each share our water with someone who can't afford one - but no one will take water from this man. He is wasting a valuable resource and endangering his own health.
If my friend had followed the instructions correctly, he would have installed his LWM4 with a carbon block pre-filter (which is a good idea for anyone in a large city with chlorinated water) and he would realize that this machine is only capable of treating around 10 gallons per day. In addition to undermining the operation of the machine, running the cooling tank when it is full to the brim causes the LWM4 to overflow, and this man has also had to contend regular flooding and damage to his house. In the face of all this evidence, (his flooded kitchen, the green slime floating on the surface of his water) it boggles my mind that he will not listen to reason. He rents a spare room to a college student and she regularly tries to correct the settings on his machine in order to prevent flooding and make the machine run correctly (her parents also own a LWM4 and she knows how to run it). When he discovers her alterations, he gets angry and re-sets the machine so that it runs full speed and completely full. Go Figure.
The design flaw in the overflow valve is easy to correct, but the machine's owner may have to replace that whole fitting with a new and larger overflow valve. John E. and his company will be of no help here - the labor and expense involved are all the responsibility of the owner. In my case, replacing the drain tube was enough. Even so, I still keep a sharp eye on it to make sure that valve is allowing the water to drain instead of backing up. It is a real mess when that happens and one of the main problems I have had to correct.
The LWM4's technology actually works, but it is made of inferior materials, and (like the faulty overflow valve) there are several other design flaws that must be corrected by the buyer, because John E. is mostly unwilling to help once you have spent your money to purchase the machine. The real key is in understanding how it is supposed to work, and figuring out how to make that happen. It is like all those stories you hear about the first automobiles - and how they arrived on the purchaser's doorstep as a box of parts waiting to be assembled. The LWM4 is not that extreme, but close to it - and anyone who is used to expecting purchases to arrive in good working order with manufacturer's back up is in for a big shock. When you refer to 50,000 satisfied customers, I have to tell you that I suspect anyone who is satisfied with the LWM4 has taken the trouble to repair leaks and redesign certain key elements to get proper operation.
This may make some people angry, but that is the sad fact when it comes to John E. and his machine. I don't regret buying mine, but I hesitate recommending this purchase to others unless they completely understand what they will have to contend with. One word of warning, these machines have been known to be sold with substandard wiring. I think the company has corrected this, but just in case, anyone buying a new one should have it looked at by an electrician before using it. If there is anything wrong in this area, you should contact the company immediately and politely but firmly insist that they deal with it.
In a lot of ways, running the LWM4 is as much of an art as a science. A lot can go wrong. Other things that will keep the LWM4 from producing good water, would be:
· The boiling chamber not hot enough - thermostats are the heart of the machine, and must be in working order - if the boiling chamber is not hot enough the machine will not alter the bond angle of the water molecule and the machine will make ordinary distilled water. You can tell when this happens, because the taste and properties of the water will not be extraordinary. When my family begins to complain that the water is not sweet, I know to check out the temp of the boiling chamber. You must understand that simple boiling point is too cool. Many people think that if the water in the boiling chamber boils, it is hot enough, but this is not so. Boiling the water only produces distilled water. To change the bond angle the water must be super heated. A warning sign in this area is that the water distills more slowly than usual. 10 gallons a day is a rule of thumb that I go by. Any more or less is a sign of trouble.
· The cooling tank not cool enough - there muse be enough of a temp difference to widen the bond angle. The water in the cooling tank does not have to be cold (it can be warm or even hot to the touch) but it should be at least 80 degrees cooler than the boiling chamber. This is not usually a big problem because the cooling tank has no direct contact with the heating elements. Cold water intake, air, and the lid fan all work together to keep this area cool enough. If you think it is too hot, you can increase the cold water intake.
· Dirty heating elements - the machine MUST be cleaned regularly, especially in areas where the water is hard. A mineral buildup on the heating elements will cause the boiling chamber to run too cool. Again, this is not easy to spot, because the water will still be boiling and distilling. You will have to judge by how clean the elements are, and by the taste and properties of the water.
Hope this helps. One other bit of information you might want to know: John E. has a business partner named Phil. Phil is much easier to talk to than John and has actually been considerable help to me when I can get him on the phone. If you call the company, ask for Phil.
There are several other minor issues with the LWM4 that can prevent proper operation. If you would like information on those issues or have any other questions I will be happy to hear from you.
Me: I really appreciate your comments.
Mrs. Jones: I am very pleased to be of help.
Me: I have not seen this machine, but could not help but think of the benefits when I was trying to sleep last night. I found out about this machine yesterday from Ellis' ad in the Mother Earth News, Oct-Nov 05.
Mrs. Jones: Before purchasing a machine for yourself, please let me reply to your letter paragraph by paragraph. This machine is a lot of money and you have a right to know as much as possible so you can make an informed decision. There are some very good reasons to make this purchase, but please be aware that there are some very good reasons to pass on it as well. Don't forget that there are some people who have bought this machine and are extremely unhappy with it. I am not sorry I bought it, but you need to know up front that my husband and I had already planned to buy a distiller, and had saved enough money so that we could afford to play around with $1700.00. Sometimes we like to take a chance with something offbeat and decided to do that with the LWM4. We knew up front that this machine would at least distill water, and most distillers are in this price range. Since we had owned distillers in the past, we knew that they could be difficult machines. We also knew that there were other claims, but didn’t know much about the machine itself until after we bought ours. I don't mind sharing my experience if it will help you make a good choice.
Me: The sales pitch is very impressive! It is also not hard to believe that an engineer would be short tempered with folks that did not appreciate his genius.
Mrs. Jones: Yes, the sales pitch is impressive, but we never heard of John E., nor had we ever heard his sales pitch or any of his claims before purchasing our machine. In fact, I consider his website to be a tad weird, and if we had seen it beforehand, we would have had second thoughts about our purchase. Instead, we had the advantage of seeing the machine in action and trying the water for ourselves before buying. And in the end, it boiled down to us praying about it and feeling that from a spiritual standpoint that it was the right thing to do. Let me give you a history of how we ended up with a LWM4.
GOOD REASONS TO BUY
Two years ago, we took a vacation in Hawaii. On our way to the airport, we stopped at a friend's house to drop off some Christmas gifts and say goodbye. While there, they told us about a water purification system they had been reading about. I thought very little about it, because this couple has a vast range of interests and is always reading about something or other. The wife is an avid orchid grower and has a green thumb with many other plants as well. Her house looks like a jungle! When we were there, she was showing us some of her plants that were ailing. She didn't know what the problem was, but she was sure to lose several of them.
After being in Hawaii for a couple of weeks, we were on the last day of our vacation when our Cell Phone rang. It was our friends on the other end, wanting us to come by their house on the way home from the airport. They had bought the water machine and had made 10 gallons of "runoff" for us. (Later on you will understand what "runoff" is.) We live in a semi-rural community, and in our area there is no city water or sewer service. Everyone in the neighborhood is on wells and septic tanks. Our friends wanted us to take this 10 gallons of water and pour it into our well to see if it had any effect on our water supply. Of course, we were curious, and agreed to do it.
So, on the day we arrived home, we stopped by their house to pick up the 10 gallons of "runoff water". The first thing I noticed upon entering their house was that her plants were bigger, and greener than when I had left two weeks earlier. And the plants that had been ailing had made a remarkable recovery.
We took our 10 gallons of runoff water home, and the next day we poured it down our well. That is when the fun began. By the next morning, when we turned on our tap, loads of dirt and debris came out with the water! This "runoff water" that we had added to our well had so energized our well water that it had performed a massive cleansing on the well itself, the well pump, and the pipes to our house! In fact, there was so much gunk unearthed that we were obliged to call a plumber to unclog our faucets. We were amazed that our well could have been so dirty without our knowing it. The plumber asked us what had happened, and we found ourselves explaining about this crazy water. Just on that experience alone, he expressed an interest in buying a machine for himself! He showed us how to clean our own faucets for next time, and before the week was out, we put another 10 gallons of "runoff" down our well, and had another huge cleansing. After the third round, our well water began to run clean, and we noticed that our daily showers were more refreshing and our clothes came out of the wash cleaner. Needless to say, our interest was peaked.
Later that week we were visiting our friends’ house. While we were there, they gave us each a glass of water to drink. Our first impression of the water was that it had a toxic, metallic taste. I didn't like it at all. They explained to us that the water tastes different to each individual, and reflects the state of the drinker's health. Now here is the strange part. We drank that glass of water just before we left their house around rush hour. It is a 45-minute drive from their house in the suburbs , to our house out of town. About 20 minutes into our drive, the water began to affect my body in much the same way that it had affected our well - massive cleansing. It acted both as a diuretic, and as a laxative. The trip home was extremely uncomfortable - I would never advise anyone to drink it for the first time and immediately start a lengthy drive! These initial effects are temporary, but they did serve to convince us that there was something unusual about this water. We decided to buy one, having never even seen the ads, or understood the concept. We were able to get up and running because our friends had experience with it.
My husband has had a skin disorder called Keratonisis, since we married 30 years ago. It was on his face and neck in 3 patches. Within a week of purchasing our own machine, the first patch disappeared. Within 3 weeks, the second patch disappeared. Within 6 weeks, the last of it was gone. 3 months after starting the water, I had a physical and found that my blood pressure was down, and my pulse rate had dropped from 80 BPM to 60 BPM. Both of us had better energy levels. My husband, at 54 years old, says he feels better than he did at 24. As for the taste, it was toxic at first, but water gradually became purer and sweeter over a period of weeks. In time, we were convinced that this was unusually sweet water.
The reaction of our pets was interesting. Our cat, who is young and extremely healthy loves the water from the LWM4, and has from the start. Our dog, who is elderly, unhealthy and epileptic cannot stand it. It clearly repulses her, and if she can find rainwater, snow, or toilet water, she will choose that instead of the LWM4 water. She only drinks the good water because mostly that is all that is available to her. Unfortunately, she cannot understand the concept of cleansing, and so she continues to believe that the bad taste is in the water and not in her. Sometimes she goes too long without drinking anything at all, and I am forced to offer her "regular" water. After two years, she is gradually accepting the pure water, but it has been a long time in coming. By the way, her seizures have improved dramatically - both in frequency, length, and severity. And she is no longer plagued by chronic ear infections.
Our friends gave a 5-gallon bottle to our massage therapist, and she had the same reaction when she took her first drink of it. Because of the taste, she was convinced that the water was toxic, until her 8-year-old daughter took a sip from her glass when she wasn't looking. The child immediately asked her if she had put Sugar into the water! It was obvious that the child was less toxic than the adult. In fact, the water itself is neither toxic nor sugary. It merely reflects the level of toxins in the drinker's body. Many people think the water tastes bad at first, many people like it from the start. And many people never detect a difference in the taste of this water and any other water.
The water itself has some other curious properties besides taste. It appears at first to be normal water, but after awhile you start noticing things. Like it's behavior when frozen. I don't know why (this does not always happen when the water freezes), but about a year ago, we had a hard freeze. One morning, I went outside and noticed that the water in the dog's bowl had frozen into a number of tall columns, rising out of the dish. It was so peculiar! Mind you, I had seen this water frozen before, and had not noticed this phenomenon, but since then I have observed it several times. It looks like the ice castle from the movie, SUPERMAN. That fascinates me - and when I told my husband, he said that was something that John E. talked about, and that it was due to the altered molecular structure of the water. The fact that it doesn't always happen makes me wonder if the results of the water treatment are always consistent.
Also, I have a butter bell. You may have seen them- you put a stick of butter up into a bell shaped lid and immerse it into water. This keeps the butter fresh at room temp. However, if I use my good water for this purpose, it will sometimes dissolve the butter and make a mess! I wonder if this water does the same to fat deposits in our blood, because my cholesterol has steadily gotten lower since getting the machine.
I have not tried the famous "hot tub test", but have had a large amount of this water in an outdoor pet dispenser for 6 months, and it is still not green, even though both our animals as well as the wildlife drink from it. Also, living in a rural area, we sometimes loose electrical power and therefore our water pump will not always work. I used to store chlorinated water in my basement in case of emergency, but have replaced it with non-chlorinated good water which has not turned green in 2 years. I have to say, though, that I have seen my friend's water turn green eventually, but that does not bother me too much. Even before I bought my machine, I was of the opinion that if water will not turn green sooner or later, there is something wrong with it, because it will not support life. I only want water that is lively enough to resist purification longer than ordinary. If I had a hot tub or pool, I would not use toxic chemicals, but would still install some sort of treatment system, such as ozone. Mr. Ellis claims that this is not necessary, but in all honesty I have my doubts about it.
The water tastes good. One of my friends who owns the machine has noticed no health benefits at all, but is satisfied because the water tastes so good to her and her family. After a year, her family refuses to drink any other water. Every now and then, something goes wrong with our machine and we begin getting simple distilled water. My first warning to check out the operations, is when my family starts complaining that the water is not sweet anymore. Normal water has become intolerable to them. My husband travels extensively in his work, and these days his suitcase is full of water as well as clothes! He doesn't like to be without it. He thinks it makes him sleep better, and helps him deal with jetlag.
Me: I think the fact that the basic premise is demonstrable in even a poor model is remarkable. It bothers me that the company never worked to overcome the deficiencies.
Mrs. Jones: It bothers me, too. And a lot of other things bother me as well. Here are a few:
GOOD REASONS NOT TO BUY
I have given you a detailed and glowing report about how good the water is, and how our health has benefited from it. Now that I have said all that, I have to let you know that this "miraculous" water has not cured all our ills. Our daughter has severe acne, and when we first got the machine, her face cleared up. But this did not last, and in the long run we have had to add other treatments to control this problem. I have issues with both with my weight, and my blood Sugar - neither of which has responded much to my drinking good water. I lose weight and control my blood Sugar only when I eat a balanced diet and exercise moderately. About 4 months ago, I began experiencing some very strange and severe health problems. The water neither prevented nor cured these symptoms. In the end it turned out that I had some severe food allergies that would not go away until I eliminated certain foods from my diet. No matter how good, this water by itself cannot control health problems that need proper diet, rest, exercise, etc. To what extent these issues would have been worse without the water, I will never know. Even as I write this, I have a cold that will clear up in 10 to 14 days as is usual with all colds. I am drinking plenty of water, but I still have a cold. We all still get sick from time to time, and I expect that if the world doesn't come to an end, we will eventually die. This may not be a reason to avoid this machine, but in all fairness you should know that it has real but limited health benefits.
In addition to this, Mr. Ellis (although he is a genius who has invented a very cool piece of technology) is at best, a poor businessman, and at worst, dishonest. I can't figure out which it is, but I can say that this is probably the most difficult company I have ever had the misery of dealing with. I could write pages and pages about my misadventures with Crystal Clear. Substandard materials. Dangerous wiring. Orders that take months to fill. Warranties not honored. Wrong parts sent - again and again and again! Phone calls not returned. You get the picture. How he has stayed in business for so long without being sued mystifies me. The angry posts on CureZone were really no surprise to me at all. I would have thought that at least the awful wiring that was in some of the models (mine included) would have started a fire and burned down someone's house, or even killed someone by now.
I won't bore you with all the details, but let me give you just one example of my latest exchange with them:
Me: You sent me the wrong part.
Ellis: What do you mean I sent you the wrong part?
Me: I paid you for a $20.00 clamp and you sent me a set of 50-cent clips.
Ellis: Well why do you want the clamp anyway? The clips will work, too!
Me: (beginning to yell) Yes, but I paid for the clamp! I want you to send it!
Ellis: (beginning to yell back) The clips will do the job just as well as the clamp! (he hands the phone to Phil)
Phil: (laughing) but of course you want the clamp! The clips get lost... Why did you want the clamp, anyway?
Me: The clips don't fit the new heater module. I NEED the clamp!!!
Phil: Well, you can MAKE them fit if you take couple of pipe wrenches and a pair of needle nosed pliers to compress the new gasket. Just get a couple of friends to help. No problem at all!
Me: I want it because I paid for it. I already have clips - I ordered the clamp because the clips don't work well! I ordered this three months ago! This is the third time you have sent the wrong part. I want the clamp in the mail today! Is that clear?
Phil: OK - goodbye. Click
AAARRGGHH!!! I received the clamp four days later. This is what your future will be like if you buy a machine from these guys!
A lot of repairs you will be able to do yourself, but there are certain parts that you can only get from them. Some of these parts are essential to the operation of the machine - you will not be able to use the LWM4 until they get around to sending them to you. And when you need them, you will be at their mercy. To protect myself from a broken machine that will take months to repair, I have purchased a second heater module for $85.00. This way I have a back up in case I have to send the first in for repair and not see it again for awhile. The heater module is the most important part of the machine, and without it you cannot make good water. If you purchase a LWM4, get the second heater module - you will be glad you did.
They are also difficult to get a hold of. They only operate between the hours of 10 am - 4-pm M-F eastern time. The parts and repair department has even shorter hours; 10:30 am - 12:30 pm Monday-Thursday eastern time. With a time zone difference, that means that if I don't call them before 10:30 AM in my time zone, it is too late! And they don't return calls, letters, or faxes.
Another thing about parts and repairs. All of the LWM models operate around two central parts. INSIDE THE BOILING CHAMBER IS A HEATER MODULE WITH TWO HEATING ELEMENTS THAT ARE CONTROLLED BY TWO SMALL THERMOSTATS. THESE THERMOSTATS ARE THE HEART OF THE MACHINE, AND IF THEY MALFUNCTION, THE MACHINE WILL NOT MAKE GOOD WATER - EVER. The thermostats are about the size and shape of black cat firecrackers, but they are white. These simple little parts are cheap, and Mr. Ellis used to sell them for around $5.00 apiece. I always had a few extras on hand. Now he requires that you send in your heater module for a $65.00 repair instead of allowing you to easily and cheaply replace these two small parts. I do not like this development and suspect it is motivated by greed, but if you want your machine to work it is important that this element be functional. Be prepared to pay for this repair when needed. He says there is a warranty, but it apparently does not cover this.
Me: I do not understand," ...running the cooling tank when it is full to the brim causes the LWM4 to overflow". Did you mean 'running the boiling chamber when the cooling tank is full causes the cooling tank to overflow?' It sounds like there is no flow or pressure metering device such as is used on an irrigation drip system to prevent filling too fast.
Mrs Jones: No, I actually meant what I said. And your are right - there is no flow and pressure-metering device on this machine. To understand that statement you would have to see the machine, but here is the best explanation I can give:
The body of this machine consists of two parts - a boiling chamber, and a cooling tank that are connected by a small pipe. It is actually very simple - no moving parts, except the cooling fan, which is entirely optional and not even functional on some machines. The cooling tank is nothing more than a small open stainless steel bucket - about a gallon in size. It is connected to the water source and the water flows into the cooling tank as a point of origin. Gravity takes the water into the boiling chamber through the little pipe. The reason it works has to do with the interaction of the water passing back and forth between these two tanks. It is really very simple; the water becomes what it is because of the rapid and repeated cooling and heating action. You can actually look into the machine while it is operating, and see this happening. Mr. Ellis suggests that when you first get your machine, you should watch this exchange as it occurs, because it is essential to understand what is supposed to be happening in order to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong. The water originally goes from the tap into cooling tank, and from the cooling tank through the small pipe into the boiling chamber. In the boiling chamber, the water is heated to such a high temp that it expands and the boiling chamber eventually cannot hold the water. The building pressure then shoots the boiling water/steam back into the cooling tank, where it is instantly cooled. As it cools, it contracts and flows back into the boiling chamber. It is almost like an inhale and exhale action - the machine seems to be breathing water. This back and forth action is what changes the bond angle. After a number of cycles like this, the steam rises to the top of the boiling chamber where it enters the condensation tube. The condensation tube winds it's way through the cooler water in the cooling tank - down and down as it condenses in the cooler environment. Then the water falls out the spout that is connected to the condensation tube, into a waiting glass bottle below. IN ORDER FOR THE MACHINE TO WORK, THE BOILING CHAMBER MUST GET HOT ENOUGH and the cooling chamber must stay cool enough! IF IT DOES NOT GET TO THE PROPER TEMPERATURE, YOU WILL MAKE NOTHING MORE THAN DISTILLED WATER. The temp of the cooling chamber can be controlled by the rate of fresh water allowed to flow in. More fresh water means a cooler tank. The water in the cooling tank does not have to be cold or even warm. It can also be quite hot and still work well. But there does need to be at least an 80-degree difference between the two chambers. You will not need a thermometer - the taste and properties of the water will let you know if the machine is working. Mr. Ellis claims that this process is the only way to make this kind of altered water, but I personally believe that there are naturally occurring deep hot springs that can create this kind of water as well.
In any case, the reason that running the machine full and fast will prevent proper operation is this: For the boiling chamber to work properly, it must have time to super heat the water sufficiently, and IT CANNOT BE FULL! This is because it needs a space for steam to form and rise into the condensation tube, which starts at the top of the boiling chamber. If the machine is constantly full of fast moving cold tap water that goes all the way to the top, no steam is created, and the machine is full of cold tap water that flows directly into the condensation tube and out into your bottle - no heating, no distillation, no change of the bond angle, no energizing! The result is only tap water. This is the problem with my friend's machine who makes bad water.
Me: Have you determined an optimal location in your home to operate the "machine"? It sounds like the amount of service required is considerable and often.
Mrs. Jones: The location is important, and this is awkward. Your wife may not appreciate your spending $1700.00 on this machine, especially if you bring it home and set it up over the kitchen sink - which is where most people have to put theirs. This is really a poorly designed, awkward machine that will take over your whole kitchen - and will sometimes flood it to boot! Some of my friends run theirs from the kitchen sink, but I could not tolerate this. It makes the kitchen unusable for anything else because it has so many pipes and wires extending from the main body. YIKES! Fortunately, I have in my kitchen an old laundry closet that I have converted into a large pantry. I had my washer and dryer moved to the basement, but the plumbing in that closet is still operational. I devised a way to set my LWM in that closet - out of the way, but handy for maintenance. I have a friend who had her husband attach a diverter to her washing machine faucet and has hers connected in the laundry room. Because the machine is portable, you might even consider setting up a summer site outside under a covered patio with access to outside plumbing. The machine runs hot, which is nice in winter, but will be miserable in summer. This is not a problem for me since I live in the mountains where it is seldom ever hot, but my friends have a real rough time in summer. Oh yes, this machine uses a lot of electricity, so be prepared for higher energy bills.
However, the ideal is to connect the water machine into the main water source of the house. I am planning a kitchen remodel, and when that happens, one of the things I will do is have my machine hooked up this way. One other thing to be aware of is this: The LWM has a drain valve that we discussed earlier. Excess water is drained from the water machine at a rate of about 5 gallons of runoff to every 1 gallon of distilled, but that ratio can be altered depending on how you set your machine. This “runoff” is also good energized, charged, open bond angle water, but it is not distilled. Do you remember the water we put down our well? It was this “runoff”. I use it for my plants, cleaning, etc. When I have my machine hooked into the main water source for my house, I plan to have the runoff automatically pumped back into my well. Cool idea, huh?
The boiling chamber also has a corning crystal light bulb that energizes and ozonates the water as it heats to the proper temp. In my opinion, this adds to the other action, but is both separate and secondary to the central concept of widening the bond angle of the water. This kind of energizing can be accomplished in several ways and some of them are discussed on “CureZone”. One simple way is to expose the water to sunlight for a day. In other words, the crystal light bulb in the water machine does a simple function that can be duplicated - It is just more convenient to do it as you treat your water. I like that it is a part of the machine, but it is not essential.
Me: I do not think that my wife will appreciate my paying $1,700 for an item
that has to be repaired before it will work, but if it does what it is purported to do, I think that I may buy it anyway.
Mrs. Jones: LOL! I don't blame her!
Me: If you wouldn't mind, I would be interested in the other observations you have made that must be considered in order to make it work. I was interested in your comment about having extra thermostats on hand. What has been your experience with thermostat failure? I would imagine that they wear out eventually, but how long do they last? I am also concerned about the future availability of parts. Does the extra module you purchased come with the thermostats installed?
Mrs. Jones: The thermostats are one of the few things on the machine that almost cannot fail if they do not suffer damage from another source. They are good quality, and seem to work well, provided nothing "happens" to them. In my case, they burned out because of faulty wiring in the machine. It was not because there was anything wrong with the thermostats themselves, but only that they were damaged by other things. In case I didn't say this before, the company has remedied the faulty wiring problem. If you buy a machine today, that should not be an issue for you. Mr. Ellis told me that the thermostats should not fail if everything else is right with the machine. That is why he will not sell the thermostats alone anymore - if they fail, he requires the whole heater module to be repaired.
Yes, the extra module does come with thermostats and is in working order out of the box. It is an extremely easy part to interchange. It is actually the core of the machine, and so if you have two heater modules, you almost have two machines. They highly recommend that customers have an extra heater module. It is a VERY good idea.
Me: One of the comments on the Curezone was that the machine was noisy.
Have you experienced this?
Mrs. Jones: Noisy is a relative term. Yes, my machine makes noise, but it is not annoying. It is actually a kind of pleasant hum, but I am the kind who likes to sleep with a running fan in the room, so maybe one person's "pleasant hum" is another's "irritating racket". The heating and cooling exchange makes a sort of boiling/breathing, or "bubbling" noise, however that part is not loud. I find it relaxing. The noisiest part of the machine is the optional cooling lid with the built in fan and stirring mechanism. This part is supposed to add a little extra coolness to the cooling tank while agitating the water to get more oxygen into it. Its nice, but extra and nonessential. Some people opt not to use it at all - I didn't for the first 18 months, because I was having trouble with my overflow valve, and I needed to watch the water levels closely. With the lid on, it is difficult to spot a problem before it is too late. Now that I have resolved that problem I use the lid all the time - not only because of the benefits involved, but for the simple fact that it protects the machine from any debris that might fall in. Mine is good quality and works well, but some of my friends have received poor versions of this part. Sometimes they make loud screeching noises, and sometimes they simply don't work at all. One friend of mine called Mr. Ellis to complain about hers, and (true to form) he asked her, "Why do you want to use it, anyway? The machine works fine without it!" LOL! One thing to be aware of is that there is a right way and a wrong way to put the lid on. The first time I used mine, it made the most horrible din you can imagine! I thought the machine was falling apart! Then I realized that it is important to place that lid so that the stirring mechanism does not collide with the condensation tube that winds it's way through the cooling tank. I just learned to place the lid in the correct position and the noise problem was solved. Now, just a pleasant hummmmm! By the way, if I had paid attention, I would have noticed that the lid is marked with a big red arrow telling EXACTLY where to position it! DOH!
Me: What is the process you use to clean the machine? Is a mineral or calcium solvent required to clean the chamber?
Mrs. Jones: Simple white vinegar does the trick. First, I empty the water, and take the machine apart to remove as much scale as I can. Then I reassemble the empty machine on my kitchen counter with the spout over the sink. At that point I fill it with white vinegar (this is the one time the cooling tank should be almost full). Making sure all drain hoses are secured, and the light hole closed, plug in your heater module and begin distilling the vinegar. Put a jar under the drain spout to catch the hot vinegar, and when the jar is full, pour the vinegar back into the cooling tank until it is full again. Do this a couple of times before unplugging it to soak. This process takes about 10 or 15 minutes.
IMPORTANT! DO NOT WALK OFF AND LEAVE IT WHILE IT IS PLUGGED IN!!!!!
If you forget to watch this process, all the vinegar will distill and empty the machine, and YOU DON'T WANT THE MACHINE TO RUN DRY WHEN IT IS PLUGGED IN. THIS IS THE OTHER THING THAT WILL DAMAGE THE THERMOSTATS. My friend did this and had to replace his thermostats. That was in the days that Mr. Ellis would sell thermostats alone for $5.00. Now days you would have to send in your heater module for a $65.00 repair!
After filling a few quart jars with vinegar and repeatedly pouring the vinegar back into the cooling tank, you have started the chemical reaction that will clean the machine. Unplug your LWM4 and let it soak for 24 hours. Then, pour out the vinegar, disassemble the machine and wipe all surfaces clean. During the cleaning process, it is important to be careful not to let any liquid get into the electrical system - the electric unit has cooling holes for proper air circulation during operation. It is easy to let liquid into those holes, but this will cause damage! If you suspect that the electric system has gotten wet, then open it carefully and remove the liquid with a paper towel. If it is very wet, then let it dry thoroughly before using it.
Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble the machine, hook it up and begin making water again. The whole process takes about 24 hours. Wear rubber gloves.
I have been able to recycle my vinegar a couple of times before disposing of it.
Me: Regarding the setup, I think that I could make a cabinet that would house the machine above a run-off "bottle" next to a drinking water "bottle". There are several improvements that I could make that would automate the machine to turn on when the water level in the bottle is low and then turn it off when it reaches the top of the bottle. I think that I would then run a line from the drinking water bottle to a dispenser like they use over a bar sink to dispense the water through a small water pump. My hobby is to take a great idea and see if I can improve on it mechanically or make it easier to use.
Mrs. Jones: It sounds like you might be a good candidate for making this work well. The Clear Water machine lends itself to improvements and people with ingenuity make great owners. Actually, for all his crustiness, Mr. Ellis seems to respect people who are creative enough to make adjustments, and might be willing to give you some pointers if you approach him in the right way. Mostly he is pressed for time, but he has been known to have long conversations with people who called to get advice instead of to complain. If you design any improvements, please take photos and send me a detailed explanation as to what you did and how you did it. When I do my kitchen remodel, I plan to implement several improvements and would appreciate any ideas you can offer.
Some people don't like to drink distilled water, and drain both the distilled and runoff water into the same bottle. The process goes far faster this way and the water is still good. We used to do this, but switched to distilled drinking water when we tried it once and thought it tasted better. Now we use the runoff for watering plants, cleaning, etc. I have even filled the bathtub with warm runoff on occasion. AHHH!
Me: Thank you for a very informative response. What you are sharing is probably the only "handbook" information that is available. I think that it would be great to make these questions and answers available to whoever is looking for information.
I had an interesting conversation with John E. this morning. As you said, he is more than helpful and informative when approached as an interested person. I told him that I saw his ad in Mother Earth News. He spent about 20 minutes with me on the phone. He assured me that the machine and business would be carried on by his son. There will be
parts available whenever needed for many years to come. He was unwilling to give references to any previous buyers for privacy reasons. He spent most of his time talking about the hundreds of people who have sent him success stories and how the process works.
I think that it is interesting that no one on Ebay or in the Curezone has wanted to sell their machine. That speaks volumes to me!