Bedol Water Clock With Alarm Review

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I’ve seen lots of clocks in my day – even a clock that ran on power it somehow got from a raw potato.  Bedol has an alarm clock that runs on tap water.  You don’t have to put anything in the water – no salts or anything – just tap water.  It sounds like a fun novelty item, and I like clocks, so I was happy to give it a try when Julie sent it to me.  We’ll give it a closer look after the jump.

Bedol offers the Water Clock with alarm in blue, charcoal, pink, green, and purple.  I received the green one.  The clock is made of transparent plastic, so you can see the water inside.  The body of the clock is shaped like a water drop – very cute!  The base of the clock unscrews so you can add the water.  The clock stands about 6.5″ tall X 3.5″ wide X 3.5″ deep.  It was a bit hard to measure because of its shape, so those measurements may be a bit off.

Two chambers with metal reaction plates. You can just see the Min and Max fill lines on the back. (Click to enlarge)

The interior of the clock is separated into two chambers by a clear plastic divider.  You can see metal plates in each chamber.  They are attached to the back side of the digital clock display, so they are obviously the power sources.  The Water Clock works by converting ions in the water into energy to run the clock.  Bedol says that running consumer products with water is an important way to reduce our carbon footprint.  This sounds good.

I read the directions to be sure I didn’t need to add anything but water.  The only instructions were to make sure you have water in both chambers and to fill it between the min and max fill lines shown on the back of the clock.  Those fill lines are hard to use because they are upside-down while you’re putting the water in the clock, and the only way to check your level is to screw the base on and turn the clock upright.  I saw that I had exceeded the max line by a small amount, but the clock was already showing the time by the time I got the clock upright to check the fill levels.  I set the time and the month and date using the buttons on the front of the clock. 

Click to enlarge

There are four buttons on the front.  Two are labeled “mode” and two “set”.  I’m not sure why there is two of each, because the two mode buttons seem to do the same thing, and the two set buttons seem to do the same thing.

You can set the clock to display 24- or 12-hour time.  You can set the clock to chime on the hour.  You can also set an alarm for the clock.  There is only one alarm – no dual alarms or weekday/weekend settings.  There’s no snooze, either.  When the alarm sounds, you can turn it off by pressing any of the buttons.  It will stop after 30 seconds if you haven’t stopped it before then.  Both the hour chime and the alarm sound are an electronic beep that sounds once on the hour and repeats for the alarm.

You can press the mode button once to see the alarm time set for the clock.  Press it twice to see the date.  The display returns to showing the time after four seconds.  You can press the mode button three times to see the seconds.  You can even zero the seconds by pressing the set button while seconds are displayed.  I was a little surprised to see this.  I wondered if the clock was going to be accurate enough to require setting the seconds.

The clock has been running for ten days now, and it’s still keeping perfect time.  I will admit I haven’t checked to see if it has lost any seconds, because I didn’t bother zeroing the seconds when I first started it.  However, it is keeping up with the time displayed by my cable box and by my computer.

I was surprised by the alarm.  I have trouble going to sleep, but I sleep like the dead once I fall asleep.  My very loud alarm clock sometimes doesn’t wake me.  There’s no way the Bedol Water Clock could wake me from a very sound sleep, but it’s loud enough to wake my husband.  It’s loud enough that it can be heard a couple of rooms away.  I do wish it would alarm for a longer period of time – say a couple of minutes or so if you don’t turn it off.  After all, the power is free.

Click to enlarge

You can see little bubbles and little clumps of a solid material on the metal plates, and the water is starting to get a little cloudy after 10 days.  The directions indicate the clock will run for 6-12 weeks before you’ll need to change the water.  You’ll know to change it when the display begins to fade.  The clock will keep the time/date/alarm settings for two minutes while you change the water so you won’t have to reset everything.

The directions also warn that you’ll have to clean the metal reaction plates periodically when the clock is no longer rejuvenated by a water change.  You’ll add some vinegar to the water and let it set for a couple of hours with the base off to remove the build-up.  Bedol warns you to not have the Water Clock near an open flame during this time.

I find the Bedol Water Clock with Alarm to be a fun little timepiece.  It keeps great time so far, and the alarm could work for a person who doesn’t sleep as soundly as I do.  It certainly runs on “clean” power – or I hope the drinking water in my town is clean…  There are no batteries to dispose of – just pour the used water down the sink.  I don’t know why they make the clock in those other four colors.  It seems that green is the perfect color for this little “green” clock!


Product Information

  • Runs on water - truly "clean" power!
  • Keeps good time
  • Has an alarm
  • Alarm may not be loud enough - or ring long enough - to wake all sleepers

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18 thoughts on “Bedol Water Clock With Alarm Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Sorry I was late, my alarm clock was thirsty.

    Yeah the cleaning process would generaly result in the release of oxygen, and hydrogen, keeping it away from flame is probably for the best.

  3. While there is no battery to change, water clocks generally use a small amount of zinc to supply power. The water acts as the wiring to complete the circuit. After a while the zinc looses the ability to supply power and the whole clock must be replaced. While it seems like a neat gadget, personally I’d prefer to change batteries than to replace my clock. You can read more about how it works by googling “water powered clock”.

  4. @Mike
    I was thinking the same thing about the zinc. I Googled water powered clock and came up with all sorts of crazy explanations; one even said it’s like a fuel cell! Having once lived on a boat for many years, we used zinc to stop the corrosion of through-hulls due to Electrolysis. The zinc would corrode first and we’d just replace the zinc and not the through-hull. I’m thinking that one chamber of the clock is zinc and the other side is maybe copper. But I’m not sure on this one 🙂

  5. @Bob Deloyd The reaction plates in both chambers look like brushed aluminum. Granted, I no longer have access to laboratory equipment to do a chemical analysis – but I’m pretty sure that neither plate is copper. Unless the copper has been coated with a silvery metal…

  6. One site said :
    “I suspect tiny sea monkeys come to life when you add the water and keep things ticking, but that may not be correct.”
    I thought that kind of funny!

    Best one so far :
    “The power comes from a charge created by the ions in the water when they interact with the two metal poles inside the clock. The ions in the water are turned into electrical current for continuous, clean energy.”

    I believe that there has to be two metals (maybe zinc and aluminum?) to act as anode and cathode. Or maybe the Seamonkey theory is the correct one! 🙂

  7. Well, Bob, now that you mention sea monkeys… I would swear I saw a tiny little face peering out at me one day.

  8. Great concept But the whole electrolytic process caused one plate( I guess zinc) to fall apart after 6 months.While you can replace the water they haven’t designed it to allow the user to replace plates.Bummer.

  9. This junky clock looks cool, until it rusts on the inside and falls apart — in just six months! They ignored my email request for help and when I called them, they said the clock gets no more than 30 days warranty. So buy this only if you want a disposable clock that you will have to replace just a few months later.

  10. Mine has been bubbling for the last 10 years. Changed water two times a year at time change. Never missed a tic or a tac.

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