Stefani Water Purifier: Frequently Asked Questions

Maintenance & Assembly

How do I set up my new Water Purifier?

Before use rinse out the top and bottom chambers of the purifier to remove any dust that may have settled.

Soak the candle in the kitchen sink for 2 hours; this gets rid of any fibre or loose particles. Fit the tap into the hole in the lower chamber with a seal on each side of the terracotta chamber. Wet the seals first to create a tighter fit.

Hold the locking nut in place and tighten it by turning the tap from the outside.
Install the filter candle in the top chamber (sits vertically in the top unit with the spout flowing down into the lower chamber).

Attach the float valve (if provided with model).

Then, simply fill the top chamber with water, which will drip through the purifying candle to the bottom chamber – Gravity flow will purify about 1 litre per hour. When you are first setting it up it does seem like an eternity but this is most noticeable when you are starting it up.

The reason for the 2 chambers is to keep the water flowing from top to bottom. You don’t have to worry about waiting for the top chamber to completely empty as the flow valve in the bottom unit below the filter takes care of shutting off the flow and stopping any overflow.

How do I maintain my new Water Purifier?

The cleaning routine is quite simple:

Daily: Wipe down the exterior of the chambers and where the two chambers meet. I do this when I wipe my counters down for the night.

Periodically: Check under the top chamber to make sure the float valve is clean.

Every 6 months when changing the filter(s): Disassemble the tap, floats and filtres. Wash the tap, floats, washers and nut under running water. I like to then soak the flats and tap and pieces in vinegar while I replace the filtres.

Discard the filtres. Do not recycle or compost them as they have trapped the chemicals and contaminants.

Wash the upper and lower chambers under running water. I like to scrub using a stiff coconut brush.

Opinions on "disinfecting" your water purifier.

DRYING AND SUNLIGHT I scrub my terra cotta compartments with a stiff coconut brush under running water and then leave them out to dry in the sun every six months when I exchange my water filtres. If there's no sun out, I preheat my oven to 250F, then turn the heat OFF. I then place my upper and lower compartments to dry out completely in the oven with the door slightly ajar. You could use a UV sterilizing wand, too if you liked. http://www.anarreshealth.ca/product/sanitizer-disinfectant-portable-uv-t...

RUNNING WATER & A STIFF BRUSH Stefani company says to wash your terra cotta compartments under running water only and to NEVER use a cleaner except for a stiff brush.

VINEGAR??? Some advise cleaning the upper and lower chambers using vinegar as a natural disinfectant. This can affect the taste of the water if the vinegar is absorbed into the terra cotta.

OTHER STUFF??? Some advise spraying the exterior quarterly with concrobium, a non-toxic anti-mildew or mould product as added protection. I do not advise this!

I rinsed the unit out several times and the water still has a clay taste?

The clay taste will eventually disappear and it can take up to 21 days. However, you might want to try the following to accelerate the process:

Soak the units overnight;

Allow the water to flow through the entire unit for about a week. I put my purifier on the edge of the sink and just left the tap open and kept filling the top with water.
Feedback from Brazilians suggests that you scrub the ceramic filter with sugar and it will remove the clay taste faster.

If you are a user and know of other helpful techniques, please share these with us using our contact form.

“I had to flush the water through the filter about 10 or so times. In other words, I had to let the water drip through, which took many hours, and then do it again about 10 times. At first, I too was disappointed because the water tasted strange but after flushing it through (and it did take about a week), it tasted really fine. I hope your clients are very cool and appreciate the simplicity of the Stefani but they have to be patient. The filter has lasted about six months and the water tastes great. I really like the look of the Stefani and the water stays cool.” — D. Turnbull, May 25, 2007

Filter Maintenance

How do I maintain the Ceramic Filters?

If filtration slows down, the ceramic filter candle needs to be removed and scrubbed clean under running water. How often you need to clean the outside of the filter candle will depend on the hardness of the water and the condition of your water supply. This can change even in the same kitchen. When work is being done on the water pipes near my home, the water is dirtier and I may need to clean my filtres every month.

The filtres should be replaced at least every 6 months or 700 Litres of water consumption. I suggest that you write on the inside of the purifiers lid the two months in which you need to change your filtres. I suggest that you keep a replacement supply at home so that you don't delay changing the filtres as needed.

How do I clean the filter?

First, remove it from the purifier unit.

Hold the filtre candle under gently running water and using a stiff brush removes the visible impurities from the surface of the filtre candle.

Running water briefly in reverse through the filter candle will remove any possible blockage.

Never use soap or detergents on the filtre candle.

Why is the water filtration really slow?

A reduced flow of water into the bottom chamber is an indication that cleaning is necessary. Solid contaminants in the water are blocking the fine pores on the surface of the ceramic candle and must be cleaned off.

Why has water stopped flowing through the filter?

The Filter is blocked with impurities and needs cleaning. Follow the cleaning instructions above.

How do I know the filter needs replacing?

The activated charcoals in the purifying filter over time, will eventually get saturated and become ineffective. This is an indication that the purifying candle needs replacing.

Each filter should have a life of around 4-6 months or 700 Litres capacity (depending on water usage). Replacement filters are readily available from us in the marketplace.

The Stefani Water Purifiers are designed for use with municipally treated tap or well water. Anarres Natural Health, the distributor, makes no claims beyond the manufacturers and available tests done by laboratories.

The Manufacturer Ceramica Stefani is a founding member of the US Water Quality Association and is currently in process for an application for certification with NSF (the authority on water standards in North America).
Q: I bought a Stefani San Joao water filter from you a couple of years ago. I have had another Stefani in Costa Rica for a few years.

The one in Canada needs to be cleaned on the outside more than once a week because a dusty mouldy coat grows on it. I’m worried that the water might not be healthy to drink and was wondering if you can contact the supplier to see if this is common, what can be done to prevent it and more importantly if the water is healthy.

A: Per the maintenance instructions, we recommend that you wipe down the outside of the filter daily as you would wipe down your kitchen counters daily. The white stuff is minerals from efflorescence, the constant evaporation of water through the porous terra cotta walls leaves some mineral sediment behind. This evaporation is what keeps the water in the lower Chan ear cool and fresh.

Left unchecked, mould may grow feeding off the mineral deposits. What's on the outside will not infect the water inside, however. Your water should taste just fine.

If you leave for a week or more, please empty your water purifier and let it dry out to prevent mood or the degradation of your filter candies.

Q: The water seems to be filtering slowly now - much less than before. What should I do?

Briefly:
If 6 months have passed, change the candle/filtre.
If 6 months have not passed, then scrub your filter!

The details...

Candle Maintenance:
For Best Results, the ceramic candle needs to be cleaned regularly and should be replaced periodically. The frequency will depend on the condition of the water supply. A reduced flow of water into the bottom chamber is an indication that cleaning is necessary. To clean the candle, first, remove it from the purifier unit. Hold the candle under gently running water and using a stiff brush or the back of a butter knife removes the visible impurities from the surface of the candle. Scrub off the outer layer of the ceramic filter with a kitchen-type scourer (e.g. back of a butter knife) scrubbing it in an up and down motion under a running tap. Never use soap or detergents on the candle.

Replacing the Candle:
The activated charcoals in the purifying candle will eventually become saturated and therefore not take out any unpleasant tastes and odours in the water. This is an indication that the purifying candle needs replacing. Each candle should have a life of around 6 months (depending on water usage).

Trouble Shooting:
Slow Filtration?
1) Run water briefly in reverse through the filter candle to remove any possible blockage.
2) Soak the candle in the kitchen sink for 2 hours, this gets rid of any fibre or loose particles.
3) See above candle/filtre Maintenance for cleaning instructions.


I have used Nimbus reverse osmosis since 1996. Is there a good reason to change to this system? Thanks.

Some reasons why people choose gravity filtering clay crocks are:

~ Environmental concerns: the Stefani system does not waste water, or concentrate toxins in wastewater, while reverse osmosis does. In addition, the filtres are compact with very little plastic and are inert in landfills.

~ Ongoing costs: the Stefani system costs $60 a year to operate based on changing filtres every 6 months. 1 filtres processes 700 litres. Reverse osmosis systems typically cost more to operate.

~ Upfront costs: Stefani crocks are up to 10x more affordable to buy.

~ Filtration: Stefani Systems filtre using ceramic, silver and activated charcoal. They also sterilize water and keep it cool.

~ Installation: No plumbing or electricity is required to install a Stefani System. They assemble without tools in minutes.

~ Old fashioned values: I like the idea of water cleansed and cooled in terra cotta clay. It makes sense to me and I believe produces the healthiest, most "alive" water. I am a big fan of simple technologies. like the fact that the Stefani crocks are used all over the world, especially to purify water in places where water is otherwise undrinkable.

You can read this FAQ in order to learn more about the water crocks.
And How It Works http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/1340

Does the Stefani water crock produce alkalinized water like the Kangen system?

No, it does not, and nor should it. Read Dr. Ben Kim's explanation: http://www.drbenkim.com/ph-body-blood-foods-acid-alkaline.htm

In a nutshell, spending thousands of dollars on a machine that changes the pH of the water that you consume or on any number of products that are marketed to change your blood pH won't lead to a significant difference in the acid/base balance of your
blood.

Your body has buffering systems in place to keep your blood pH within a tight window (about 7.35 to 7.45). If your blood pH goes above or below this range for
more than a few minutes, you'll experience central nervous system depression or go into a coma. This is why your body won't allow your blood pH to deviate very much no matter what you eat or drink.

Is Stefani the name of the product or the manufacturer?

Stefani is the family name of the four brothers who founded the company, Ceramica Stefani in Brazil, 60 years ago.

How long have Stefani water crocks been used?

The Stefani Water Purifiers are in use in many parts of the world like Australia, South Africa, East Africa and now England and the US. The products have been in longer use in the warmer countries as the cooling and filtration process are welcome in countries where “refrigeration space” is prime.

The products were launched in the Canadian Marketplace at the Green Living Show on April 27, 28, 29 of 2007 by LifeSpices the exclusive distributors in Canada. Now, Anarres Natural Health is the only Canadian source for terra cotta water purifiers!

Filtration & Comparison with other systems

How effective is the filtration process?

Please see the How It Works page http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/1340. For additional information, request the Independent Laboratory Results for Stefani Candle Filtration (PDF) from me by email at anarreshealth at gmail.com .

How does the Stefani Purification System Compare to other Counter-top Filters?

The Stefani Purification System has a more effective particle retention membrane, therefore filters the water more finely;

They are longer lasting than other commonly used filters. Each Stefani candle lasts 700 litres while some of the others only support 151 litres;

Besides filtering and dechlorinating the water, the Stefani purifiers also sterilize the water through the properties of colloidal silver;

They have a higher biodegradable composition percentage;

They cool the water naturally using the natural evaporative properties of terracotta;

They are handmade by Brazilian artists, being considered an artistic expression of the Brazilian culture, and are therefore also used as decorative products.

For additional information click here.

Is there a risk of any lead in the clay reservoirs?

None. The clay is cleaned, then sterilized, before use.

Is there any risk of mildew or mould?

Not with proper maintenance and cleaning. The purifiers are coated with mildew retardant. Also, the bottom chambers for all the models in Canada are coated with Silver colloidal providing further protection against bacteria. We recommend you place the unit on a rigid, water-resistant grid to create aeration around the unit.

We have received a few complaints/inquiries from people about “white deposits or white powdery stuff” on the surface and are concerned whether it was “mould.” We had this condition tested in November 2008 on two different units at various stages of use and the results were negative and were reported as “No fungal spores observed“. Please follow the cleaning routine described below.

See sample pictures. This will not be a condition for return.

Comments

#1 traceytf : machine that changes the pH of the water

http://www.drbenkim.com/ph-body-blood-foods-acid-alkaline.htm

In a nutshell, spending thousands of dollars on a
machine that changes the pH of the water that you
consume or on any number of products that are
marketed to change your blood pH won't lead to a
significant difference in the acid/base balance of your
blood.

Your body has buffering systems in place to keep your
blood pH within a tight window (about 7.35 to 7.45).
If your blood pH goes above or below this range for
more than a few minutes, you'll experience central
nervous system depression or go into a coma. This is why your
body won't allow your blood pH to deviate very much no
matter what you eat or drink.

#2 traceytf : The Truth About Alkalizing Your Blood

The Truth About Alkalizing Your Blood

Posted By Dr. Ben Kim Natural Health Care
Read the whole article here: http://www.drbenkim.com/ph-body-blood-foods-acid-alkaline.htm

Is it true that the foods and beverages you consume cause your blood to become more alkaline or acidic?

Contrary to popular hype, the answer is: not to any significant degree.

The pH of your blood is tightly regulated by a complex system of buffers that are continuously at work to maintain a range of 7.35 to 7.45, which is slightly more alkaline than pure water.

If the pH of your blood falls below 7.35, the result is a condition called acidosis, a state that leads to central nervous system depression. Severe acidosis - where blood pH falls below 7.00 - can lead to a coma and even death.

If the pH of your blood rises above 7.45, the result is alkalosis. Severe alkalosis can also lead to death, but through a different mechanism; alkalosis causes all of the nerves in your body to become hypersensitive and over-excitable, often resulting in muscle spasms, nervousness, and convulsions; it's usually the convulsions that cause death in severe cases.

The bottom line is that if you're breathing and going about your daily activities, your body is doing an adequate job of keeping your blood pH somewhere between 7.35 to 7.45, and the foods that you are eating are not causing any wild deviations of your blood pH.

Posted By Dr. Ben Kim Natural Health Care
Read the whole article here: http://www.drbenkim.com/ph-body-blood-foods-acid-alkaline.htm