HoMedics Restore Clean Water System Review

I’m not a huge water drinker, but the person I live with doesn’t go anywhere without a bottle of water. We buy multi-packs of Aquafina and other name brand bottled water when it is on sale. Even though we recycle the empty plastic bottles, I still feel guilty buying them. That’s why I’ve been trying to find a water filter system that can make ordinary tap water taste as good as bottled water. HoMedics agreed to send me their Restore Clean Water System to review. Let’s see how it fared.

What’s in the box?

8 cup capacity pitcher with built-in UV lamp
Replaceable filter
Power adapter
Manual

The Restore System looks similar to other filtered water pitchers on the market such as those by Brita. The main component is a BPA free large plastic pitcher that holds a filter cartridge.

The Restore System is comprised of two parts. The reservoir and the 8 cup capacity pitcher.

The reservoir lifts out for easy cleaning.

With the reservoir removed, you can see the reason why the Restore Clean Water System is different than other water filtering pitchers. This one has an Ultraviolet (UV) light bulb in the bottom that will purify the water to remove 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of viruses, and 99.95% of microbial cysts.

The filter is used to reduce heavy metals, chlorine (taste and odor), and some industrial and agricultural pollutants. According to the manual, the filter will last approximately 2 months before needing a replacement. A look on the HoMedics store site shows that replacements cost about $8, which is about the same as Brita filters.

The base of the pitcher has a socket for the special purifier adapter and there’s a switch on the handle that is used to switch from fill mode to purify mode.

The adapter has a three-prong plug on the back and a retractable cable, control buttons and a filter status indicator on the front.

A button on the side of the adapter retracts the cable back into the housing when it’s not in use.

Purifying a pitcher of water with the Restore system is pretty simple after prepping the carbon filter. Like other filtered pitchers, you have to soak a new filter for about 15 minutes and then run a couple pitchers of water through it and discard. Once that is done, all you have to do is slide the switch on the handle to FILL and then fill the reservoir with water (it can only hold 4 cups at a time), let it filter into the bottom of the pitcher and then do it once more to fill pitcher to the 8 cup capacity. Then make sure you put the lid on the top, slide the switch to the PURIFY setting, plug the adapter into a wall outlet, pull out the cord, plug it into the base of the pitcher and press the PURIFY button on the adapter. The UV in the bottom of the pitcher will glow Pink for a less than a minute and then turn Blue for a few seconds before it turns off. Once the light has turned off, you know the water has been purified and is ready to drink. The whole process takes about a minute. The pitcher can then be placed in a refrigerator.

I decided to conduct a taste test to see if I could tell the difference between water purified with the Restore System, water filtered through my Kenmore refrigerator’s filter and bottled water. I was unable to taste any difference between the water from the Restore pitcher and the water from my refrigerator. The bottled water did taste slightly better to me I don’t think it was all in my head…). I don’t know what it is about bottled water that makes it taste different. I had Jeanne do the same test and she wasn’t able to taste a difference between all of them and said they all tasted fine to her.

So what does that mean? It means that the Restore Clean Water System doesn’t make your water taste significantly better than bottled water or other filtered water. Does that mean that it’s a waste of money? Well, it is pretty expensive at about $100, but the whole selling point with this product is the UV purifier and the ability to remove bacteria, viruses and microbial cysts. I think it really depends on where you live and the quality of your water that you’re starting with in the first place. I’ve been drinking tap water from the Southwestern Bartholomew County, Indiana water for 45 years and haven’t had any issues with it. That said, I can understand how people might want some extra piece of mind given all the talk about H1N1, E. Coli, etc. these days. If you’re one of those people, then I all I can say is go for it. For me, if I’m going to drink water, I want bottled water taste, so I’ll probably stick with Aquafina or Dasani.

 

Product Information

Price:$99.99
Manufacturer:HoMedics
Pros:
  • UV light kills virus, bacteria and microbial cysts
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Did not notice a difference in taste
  • Can't put pitcher in dishwasher
Posted in: Home, Kitchen, Reviews

9 comments… add one

  • ferris209 January 4, 2010, 3:54 am

    My wife and I hug probably two to three gallos of water a day. I just use my fridge spout that is filtered. I don’t care so much about all the snazzy “virus microbial killers”, I trust that the local water is just fine since it regulated way more heavily than any bottled water. Plus, its got flouride!!

    1
  • Hankk January 4, 2010, 8:27 am

    > I don’t know what it is about bottled water that makes
    > it taste different…

    Here’s the deal: the manufacturers of bottled water actually add salts and various other chemicals to flavor the water. This controls its pH, salinity, metallicity, and so forth. Distilled water is 100% pure — nothing but H2O in it — but doesn’t actually have a very pleasing taste to the mouth. Believe it or not, to make the water taste neutral, you want to add chemicals to it to essentially turn the water into spit. You want the same pH as saliva, same salinity, etc. That’s when water will taste the most neutral and pure to your mouth, even if it’s actually not.

    So, water sold as ‘pure’ rarely is — it’s almost always processed. Even bubbly water like Perrier is heavily processed — they take out some of the chemicals, then put them back in, so that it’s a uniform product from day to day.

    You can read all about this in a great book called “The Man Who Ate Everything”, by the food journalist Jeffrey Steingarten. In the Water chapter on p. 64, he goes around to various water manufacturers and chemical supply houses, and tries to come up with the various formulas for Dasani, Aquafina, etc. It’s an excellent read (as is the rest of the book, incl. a very entertaining chapter about him trying to get a sample of Olestra out of the Procter & Gamble labs to do cooking experiments with).

    Since the Homedics device doesn’t add anything back into the water, it’s not going to make it taste like it came from a bottle.

    One more thing to note: the majority of bottled water sold in the US is taken straight from municipal water supplies — not from a ‘private spring’ or anything like that. So when you pay for the bottled stuff, you’re really just paying for the bottle, the marketing, and the chemicals they add to it — it’s the same water! Tap water is of course better regulated, cheaper, and produces far less waste.

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  • Julie January 4, 2010, 8:41 am

    @Hankk I wish there was a way to add your own chemicals to your own filtered tap water to make it taste like bottled water ;) I’d drink it all the time if I could do that. As is, I drink Diet Coke and a lot of tea.

    3
  • Hai January 4, 2010, 11:05 am

    @Hankk: Thanks for your insight. I’ll add that book to my reading list.

    4
  • Mark Adkins January 5, 2010, 1:01 pm

    Ah, the bottled vs. filtered water debate! I know most people in the US, in blind taste tests, prefer their own water- but that depends a lot on the actual taste of it to start with.

    A lot of people have luck adding a drop or so of apple cider vinegar to filtered tap water to add a hint of flavor, while others swear that giving the water a good hard shake to re-aerify it works wonders.

    5
  • Moi Ici January 5, 2010, 9:57 pm

    This maybe controversial, but I do everything to avoid fluoride. I avoid it in both my water and toothpaste and my teeth are great. I just get the water from wholefoods @ 35 cents a gallon.

    6
  • Joanne Gavin September 27, 2010, 12:16 pm

    I got this Restore system at Ross’s on markdown for about 30..about 3 months ago. While I did not care for Brita and the
    other purification systems, I really like this one. Our water
    is very hard and leaves a white film on everything…even has
    visible white particles that are pretty unappealing when you’re
    trying to drink more water. This Homedic’s System filters
    water very quickly. I keep the pitcher on the kitchen counter
    and when I’m in there cooking or cleaning, I also filter water
    at the same time. The end result is very clear, good tasting
    water, and I do not have to buy water anymore!

    7
  • Sam January 12, 2013, 12:07 am

    I’ve been looking for purifier with UV component, for a looong time! I finally found the Restore. It will be mostly for International use, where water can actually kill you!

    8
  • Tim June 29, 2013, 4:32 pm

    I’d like to know how to replace the bulb in this pitcher. The filters are no longer available BUT you CAN (and I did) cut the top off my filter and I now empty and refill the filter with activated carbon I buy at the Pet Store every other month – I put the carbon in a nylon sock and stuff that all back into the filter. The thing I love about this pitcher is the UVC. I also bought a “wand” with UVC that I can stick over a glass of water in my hotel room, too – and they sell “Steripen” for that, too, battery operated. This is a very good technology. Where do I get the bulb?

    9

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