How Do Steam Water Distiller Systems Work?

Did you know that less than 1% of the Earth’s water can be used by humans? The rest of the water is salt water. So why don’t we run out of water?

Earth Water Cycle

The Earth has its own water recycling system called the hydrologic cycle. As the animation shows, water gets recycled, keeping our flow of fresh water going. First, the sun heats the water in oceans, rivers, and lakes. This causes the water to heat up, evaporating into the air leaving behind sediment and salts. Air currents will carry the vapor into the atmosphere, where it cools and condenses into clouds. As the clouds move, the water molecules collide, grow, and then fall as precipitation.

Water Distiller Cycle

Steam water distillers take that same process and use it to produce fresh water that is 99.99% free of contaminants and impurities. Water distillation systems can be the size of a coffee maker (small countertop water distillers) or a larger, free-standing automatic machine.

Water distiller machines first heat or boil the water, much like the sun heats the Earth’s waters. This kills bacteria and viruses that may be present in the water. Then, the purified water vapor rises, leaving behind contaminants. Like a mini-cloud, water then condenses into drops and falls into the clean container, ready for your use.

What Contaminants Does the Water Distiller Remove?

Water distillers are the only water system that most completely and consistently removes the widest variety of contaminants. Water distillers can remove pollutants and contaminants that carbon filters or pitcher filters may not. Instead of filtering the contaminants, a water distiller removes the water, leaving the impurities behind. Here’s a comparison chart outlining the contaminants that various systems can reduce:

Carbon Reverse Osmosis Distillation Comparison

What Does Distilled Water Taste Like?

Most people are used to tasting regular tap water which may have contaminants in it like chlorine or lead. These contaminants can change the taste of the water. Since distilled water doesn't have these contaminants, the water may taste “bland” or “flat.” One way to polish the water and improve the taste is to use a carbon postfilter. These small, easy to use filters will add good minerals back into the water, which will restore the clean, pure taste.

What Can Distilled Water Be Used For?

Plants and Pets

Water Plants with Distilled Water

Chlorine and chloramine are used in all municipal water supplies as disinfectants. While these chemicals can often be effective, they can have harmful side effects for plants, animals, and fish. Leaves can turn brown on potted plants. Dogs and cats can get skin reactions, causing itching or patchy coats. Pouring tap water into an aquarium can kill fish and aquatic plants. Using distilled water on plants, in pet bowls, and in aquariums will assure no adverse side effects from the disinfectants. A water distiller machine will remove these contaminants from the water, producing clean, pure water.

Household Appliances

Manufacturers of small appliances including humidifiers, espresso makers, clothes irons, and cigar humidors all suggest using distilled water. Using distilled water in these appliances will reduce scale and mineral build-up. It will also discourage bacteria growth.


Medical and Dental

CPAP Machine Uses Distilled Water

CPAP, oxygen, and dialysis machines should all use distilled water. This will limit bacteria growth and help keep machine parts sterile. Many dentist offices use water distillation machines, as well. Autoclaves and sterilizing machines need pure, distilled water to work properly and to extend the life of the machine. Dental offices also have tools that utilize streams of water for rinsing out patient's mouths. These tools push the water through narrow tubing. If contaminated water is used in these waterlines green or brown bacterial slime can form called a “bio-film.” These bacteria may not be harmful to the healthy patient, but a person with a compromised immune system will be more susceptible to illness and dangerous fungal infections. Using distilled water in the dental office can prevent these health risks.

Cooking and Drinking

Using distilled water as drinking water and in cooking will enhance flavors and provide almost completely contaminant-free water. Without the chlorine, lead, chloramines, and other contaminants in the water soups, smoothies, shakes, coffee, tea, and other recipes will taste even better.

Steam Water Distiller Buyer’s Guide and Comparison Chart

Choosing the Best Water Distiller for Your Needs


Manual water distillers usually produce a gallon at a time. Once the water has gone through, the holding tank should be refilled manually. Automatic water distillers are attached to a water line to continually produce pure water.

Production Rates

Production rates will differ based on the type, the size of the boiling tank, and the size of the storage tank. Manual distiller’s production rates are based on how many gallons of water the machine will produce in an hour. The automatic system's rate is based on the production capacity per day.

Holding Capacity

The amount of water that can be stored after distillation. Manual machines generally use a glass or plastic jar. Automatic systems will store 3-25 gallons in a stainless steel reservoir.


All of our water distillers use 304L food grade stainless steel. The interior condensation coil is made out of 316L stainless steel. Some countertop machines will have plastic exteriors with a stainless steel boiler tank.


Total Holding 
Materials Retail
Origin Distiller
Certifi-cations Warranty
Pure Water Inc Distiller Systems – Recommended by Fresh Water Systems
West Bend Water Systems – Recommended by Fresh Water Systems
Nautilus Countertop 5 1 Polycarbonate $379.00 NA Manual USA Counter WQA S-400 1 yr
Dol-fyn AR18 9 3.75 304L SS $1,249 Optional Auto USA Auto WQA S-400 1 yr
Dol-fyn ARS 2000 9 7 304L SS $1,399 Optional Auto USA Auto WQA S-400 1 yr
Dol-fyn ARS 3000 9 12 304L SS $1,649 Optional Auto USA Auto WQA S-400 1 yr
American Water Distillers
Model 9HC 16 6 (cold), 1 (hot) 304L SS $699 Optional Manual China Auto None None
Model 9C 15 6 304L SS $499 Optional Manual China Auto None None
Model 12C 23 11 304L SS $799 Optional Manual China Auto None None
Durastill Distillers
30J-20 8 4 304L SS $1,250 Optional Manual USA Auto None 1 yr
46C/4 12 4 304L SS $1,309 Optional Manual USA Auto None 1 yr
46C-40L 12 10 304L SS $1,875 Optional Manual USA Auto None 1 yr
46C-96L 12 25 304L SS $2,149 Optional Manual USA Auto None 1 yr
Megahome Distillers
MH-943 1 1 Polycarbonate $159 Optional Manual Taiwan Counter None 1 yr
MH-501 8 6 304L SS $799 Optional Manual Taiwan Auto None 1 yr
MH-502 10 8 304L SS n/a Optional Manual Taiwan Auto None 1 yr
MH-503 13 10 304L SS $995 Optional Manual Taiwan Auto None 1 yr
Model 5A 18 5 304L SS $1,365 Optional Manual USA Auto None 1 yr
Polar Bear Distillers
26-M 1 2.75 (optional) 304L SS $800 Optional Manual Canada Auto None 1 yr
26-CT 8 5.5 304L SS $1,700 Optional Manual Canada Auto None 1 yr
26-D8 8 8 304L SS $1,995 Optional Manual USA Auto None 1 yr
42D-10 12 10 304L SS $2,250 Optional Manual Canada Auto None 1 yr
42D-25 12 25 304L SS $2,550 Optional Manual Canada Auto None 1 yr
Waterwise® Distiller Systems
Waterwise® 8800 6 1 Polypropylene $499 Optional Manual China Counter None 1 yr
Waterwise® 9000 5 1 Copolyester $499 Optional Manual USA Counter WQA S-400 1 yr
Waterwise® 7024 9 3 304L SS $1,749 Optional Auto USA Auto WQA S-400 2 yr
Waterwise® 7029 9 8 304L SS $1,979 Optional Auto USA Auto WQA S-400 2 yr
Waterwise® 7022 9 12 304L SS $2,249 Optional Auto USA Auto WQA S-400 2 yr

Waterwise® is a registered owner of Waterwise, Inc., a Florida corporation which is not affiliated or otherwise associated with Fresh Water Systems, Inc. or this site. Fresh Water Systems, Inc. acknowledges and confirms that it has not been granted any license or authority from Waterwise, Inc. to use the Mark, and further confirms that any and all use of the mark on this site is for indentification and descriptive purposes only and such use is not intended to, does not, and shall not be deemed to imply any association or affiliation between Waterwise, Inc. and Fresh Water Systems, Inc. of any nature whatsoever.

Using Distilled Water Does Not Have to Cost Extra!

Distilled water will taste better and be better for you than bottled water. In the United States, many bottled water manufacturers simply filter tap water and repackage it. Distilled water is a better and cheaper choice than bottled water.

Bottled Water vs. Water Distiller Savings
1 Year 3 Years 5 Years
Bottled Water* $520 $1560 $2600
Home Water Distiller** $156 $468 $780
You Save ($)* $364 $1092 $1820
You Save (%)* 70% 70% 70%

* Based on $1.00 per gallon at 10 gallons a week

** Based on national average energy cost of 9.4¢ kwh

Data Source: Waterwise

1 comment

  • I need a water distiller however I live offgrit on solar power I need a destiller to use on a stove can you supply

    Erich on

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