Revisiting the Zen Water Vitality 4 Gallon Six Stage Water Purification System
Back in April I wrote about a water purification system I was using from Zen Water. I liked it, but also criticized some design flaws. It has been a few months and I figured I’d recap the issues I saw then, any new issues that have arisen, and give an update on my overall happiness with the product.
- The boxing was flimsy and disintegrating.
- The unit seemed to be somewhat “dirty” when it arrived.
- The instructions were on laminate but included instructions for all models – which was unnecessarily confusing.
- There needs to be some clearer warnings about things you shouldn’t (e.g. washing ceramic filter with hot water).
- The plastic tanks and lids don’t fit perfectly (potentially allowing little nasty airborne things to get in…). I suggested that either making the components fit perfectly or having the lids slide over instead of sit on the tanks would seal out most bacteria, molds, etc.
- The bottom tank is not done with a smooth plastic surface which makes it difficult to tell how much water is left.
- The magnetic faucet fields like plastic junk.
- Another flaw I’ve noticed is that the faucet tap is placed into the bottom tank sidewall, rather than tapping in under the tank – this means that unless you tip the unit (not easy) some water will always stay in there.
- I am unsure what caused this, but the mineral stone container at the bottom eventually got blackish blotches all over it. They washed off simply enough and didn’t appear to be any sort of living organism…my guess is that the minerals tend to accumulate over time on the container.
- In a similar way, I’m unsure if this is an issue but there appears to be some sort of clothish filter in mineral stone dispenser and in the filter which I am concerned may be a breeding ground for things…and which seems to be becoming discolored…but isn’t replaceable without replacing the entire component.
One more feature they could add that would significantly increase, imho, their ongoing profits is a notification program for when things should be replaced/maintained. They have the date of purchase, they can then count off (programmatically) the number of days till a maintenance task needs to be performed or the unit needs a part replaced, and then shoot out an email to the owner informing them of this need (and of course including a link to purchase the replacement part).
I imagine a lot of people either continue using the parts long past when they should have been replaced (and are operating at reduced efficiency) or simply set the unit aside and let it gather dust once it doesn’t perform at its highest standards, not bothering to replace parts…at least, this has been my experience with some products and an experience I have observed in others.
So What About It?
I like it. I really wish they would make the changes I’ve recommended above, most of which are really simple. Still, even with these flaws, I haven’t come across another system I’d prefer to have.
Next step is in a few weeks to borrow a microscope and take a look at the water pre-filter and post-filter. I’m especially interested to see if there are any creatures living in my water. Haha, don’t worry, I’m sure there are creatures in your water!