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.
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.
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.
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!