To keep anything working properly for a long time you have to take care of it. For the PiMag Waterfall, that means cleaning it up and changing out the components regularly.
Let’s start out with a little transparency. I am a distributor for the Nikken products, including the PiMag Waterfall. While I don’t work for Nikken, I do earn my income by generating orders which Nikken then fulfills and compensates me for later.
I am also my own best customer and I have and use many of Nikken’s products, including the PiMag Waterfall. All of the water that we drink, cook with, and give our pets is filtered through the Waterfall, and has been for about 10 years. Before that I used the Aqua Pour, the Waterfall’s predecessor, and we started using that back in 2006.
So it’s time to change the filter cartridge in my Waterfall. Oh, another point of honesty here. The manual says to change the filter cartridge every 3 months and the rocks every 12. I change my filter cartridge every 9 months. My water comes from a well and doesn’t have chlorine and all of the other chemicals that a municipal water source has. If it did then I would change my filter cartridge more frequently.
People often ask me how often they need to change their filter cartridge. I have to say every 3 months because that’s what the manual says. Based on some of the news stories I have seen I could bear some liability if I say anything different and something happens. Ultimately you get to decide how often to change it. Only you know what you need filtered and how much you can afford. If you ask me I will tell you 3 months, because that is what I have to tell you.
Back to changing my filter. I set a reminder to add the cartridge to my monthly autoship order for this month. Getting it on an autoship order is great because it takes 10% off the price. Then after the order shipped I took the cartridge back off so it doesn’t come again next month. The cartridge arrived yesterday, but I can’t just put it straight in. I have to prepare it first. So I set it aside until just before I went to bed.
Preparing the PiMag Waterfall Cartridge
Preparing the filter is easy, it just takes some time. Before bed, I took the pitcher I use to fill my Waterfall and filled it with cold water about half way up. Then I unboxed and unwrapped the new cartridge, took off the top, removed the 2 layers of white sponges, and placed the cartridge into the water. I topped off the water to about level with the top of the filtration material in the cartridge. And finally, I gave a little squeeze to each piece of the sponge as I dropped them into the pitcher next to the cartridge. The idea is to let everything soak overnight so that water can fill all the spaces and let the trapped air escape before installing it.
This morning, once I got around to it, I removed the old cartridge from my Waterfall and dropped it into the trash. I wish there was some way to recycle it but we can barely recycle paper and cardboard where I live. I cleaned out the top tank with a little soap and water, rinsed it real good with cold water, then put the new cartridge in place. Then I reinstalled the sponge pieces. To not waste any water, I poured the water the cartridge soaked in into the Waterfall and topped it off.
That’s the entire process for me. Nikken also recommends flushing the filter cartridge. Sometimes a little bit of the filtration material can shake loose during shipping. I don’t do that because I don’t want to waste the water. The loose material isn’t harmful at all but it can make your filtered water taste a little off for a day or two. It isn’t a big deal.
Let me be clear about this before I move on. Only use cold water on any of the filtration components, whether for Waterfall or the older Aqua Pour. Soak in cold water, clean with cold water, and fill with cold water. I might use warm water to clean the tanks after I remove the filter cartridge and rocks, but then I will rinse it with cold water. Warm water will encourage undesirable things to grow inside your Waterfall and ruin your filter cartridge. Cold water only.
Don’t Forget the Mineral Stones
I’ve talked a lot about the filter cartridge, but there is another component that you need to replace regularly – the mineral stones. Nikken recommends that you change them every 12 months.
A question I get a lot is, “do I really need to change out the rocks?” Yes, you really should. When the water comes out the bottom of the filter cartridge it is clean and ready to absorb stuff, and it will absorb the most convenient thing it comes in contact with. Usually that is the carbon dioxide in the air, which makes the water acidic. That happens when you open a bottle of purified water. For the Waterfall, the mineral rocks give up their minerals so the water will stay alkaline.
Preparing the rocks is easy. Take them out of the bag they come in, rinse them off with cold water to get rid of loose dust, then put them around the edge of the bottom tank of your Waterfall. That’s all.
Enjoy Clean Water
If you take care of your PiMag Waterfall it will continue to serve you for a long time. Water moves through the cartridge pretty quickly when you take the time to prepare it properly. Sure, there are times every now and then when it seems slower. I think air pressure or something has an effect on it. Most of the time it works fast.
Also, unless you want to turn your Waterfall into a terrarium, only use cold water to soak, clean and fill any parts of your system.
If you have any questions about your Waterfall, or questions before you buy a new one, drop a comment below and I will reply.