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At first I thought this unit used an ordinary 6W T5 UVC germicidal tube. But it appears to be different from normal tubes, which probably prevents refitting with a commonly available one. That's a shame as I saw these modules being sold for around £55 compared to the equivalent standard germicidal 6W T5 lamp being between £5 and £10.
Interesting construction though, and a neat way of making it easy for users to replace the germicidal tube in seconds without technical knowledge.
When handling UVC tubes, it's important to clean them afterwards with a suitable cleaning alcohol, as the natural skin oils may affect the output of UVC energy in that area.
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This is the uvc module out of a water filter and it was sent by robert who gets a routine replacement for his bench, top his countertop water filter. And if you look at the instructions for these, it's a stretch - water filter, otherwise re-badged as a virgin pure. Where you can sign up to a subscription service and they'll, send you a new tube every year for water clarification, but it's a modular system that this is actually points up the way and you lift the lid in the unit, and you can just grip this. You can pull it out and then you can pop the new tube in turn it until it clicks down and that's you installed.

A new germicidal lamp makes it very easy, but when i was looking at this thinking that looks very much like a standard. Six watt. T5 lamp there and it's an interesting construction. I kind of thought that maybe because this bulky base here that they might have a little electronic ballast in it, because that would be great.

It means that you'd replace all the electronics and the lamp. At the same time, however, this spit at the end i've had this open. Incidentally, this is a take two because i discovered something very interesting. After i'd made the video when i was saying yeah, you could change a tube in this yourself.

I don't think you can. I shall explain why, in a moment, let me see if i can get this out without causing terrible things to happen to fingers. So this minute comes out is pretty much empty. I was kind of hoping it was going to have the electronics ballast in it because that would have just been superb for replacing that one.

But if you pull the end off - and this is not used to get off in the first place - because it's all glued in it - reveals these wires, these little push-on terminals that are uh have wires wrapped around them. So, for instance, this little wire at the top i've already burst, one of them, that's a a little peril of a i'll just cut that because it doesn't really matter anyway now. But it's got these little push-on and these two wires that none up to the end of the tube for the heater are just basically twisted around them, and then this is glued on with some resin. At the other end, this tube pulls out quite a tight fit to reveal the circuit board.

I can pop this out now. Has these two very long kind of split finish type things i'll zoom down this a little bit? It's these two long split, pin type contacts that make connection with the end of the tube it basically slots in like that and uh. If you look down the end of that, it's got a sort of molded in guides for that for separation, and it's got six pins around it. The reason it's got six pins is you get two to the heater at this end, two to the other end, but you've also got a pair that are just linked together.

I think that's a safety circuit and also to indicate to the machine that someone's pulled that out and it can say no water, no uvc lamp in use um. So i thought: well, that's! Okay! It's just a standard six watt, germicidal lamp. You can pick these up for five pounds as opposed to 55 pounds for the module that i saw on ebay, but it turns out that no you could have got the if that had been a normal tube. You could have got the standard one for five pounds.

You could have gone for the branded hose lock, germicidal lamp uvc lamp for um about eight to ten pounds, but you'd have got a prominent lamp. Uh things worth mentioning mentioning about this. This is a special glass that passes uvc light. The uvc light is mostly unnatural.

On earth, it's blocked by the ozone layer, but you, if you part the reason they have this interlock system, is to stop people ever exposing themselves this, because this will cause eye damage that will cause skin burns. It is a germicidal, that's the whole function of it is, it kills living stuff and that's what it does when you you, this probably goes in a quartz sleeve with water passing down the outside, or it's probably a water tank inside maybe, but it allows the uv Seat to pass through and it kills all the bugs in the water. However, i took this tube out, so tantalizingly identical, but not really - and i got the meter and just thought you know just just try this out i'll check the resistance of the heaters just to see if it is a standard tube. So here is a standard tube and the resistance of the heaters is round about, say, 12 to 13 ohms.

This tube is not standard. If i put the meter across the ends of these, it displays. If i can keep the probes on it's only about two or three ohms uh, which means it's a non-standard tube, the heaters are lower voltage, i'm not sure would happen. It might damage the unit if you put a standard tubing which may be their intent um.

That's a shame, i guess it's optimized for some electronic ballast that has auxiliary heater windings, that just put out a lower voltage to uh to the ends of these, to actually keep them hot and in the missive state. But it does unfortunately rule out the idea of putting just a cheap five pound tube in it means you're going to have to splash out your 50 quid or so for the official thing. But it's an interesting construction. It's reasonable! I'm not sure that most houses need uvc sterilization of the water in their kitchen, certainly not in the isle of man.

In scotland, the water is extremely pure. It's like basically bottled water, comes out the tap um, but uh yeah. It's an interesting approach. It's certainly in places where the water is contaminated.

It definitely has an effect it's. It kills all sorts of bacteria in the water, but that was interesting. It was worth taking apart and seeing the construction. It's quite neat a very expensive implementation, though of a six-watt germicidal lamp.

Having said that, it does you know it does tick the box of being able to be installed by absolutely anybody without the technical knowledge of how the lamps work or the how to connect end caps things and avoid exposing themselves. It's just a foolproof way of actually putting a new lamp in so in that sense, it's actually quite interesting as a product.

9 thoughts on “UVC module for home water purifier has non-standard tube”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Evens says:

    It's amazing just how clean a lot of water sources are. Here in Canada there used to be a brand of bottled water called Aberfoyle Springs (in 2002 and 2003 this brand became Nestlé Pure Life). This brand was definitely popular in the city of Guelph (at least among the students at the university there, which is where I was a university student), where it was also known as…tap water. The city of Guelph obtained and still obtains their municipal water supply from the exact same source in the village of Aberfoyle that the water bottling companies did and still do.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars tiger12506 says:

    I bought a UVC lamp after one of your early videos on the subject, and it seems to have been made for water purification as well, but I can't wrap my head around how they seal out the water from the electrodes. I'd really enjoy a teardown of a complete unit some time, including the water cavity…

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sean Not-telling says:

    Clive as I understand it if you expose chlorinated water to UV light it will lower the chlorine level in the water. This is what also happens in outdoor pools that use chlorine as the sanitizing agent.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars liavhe says:

    The big white empty part actually has a function.
    It has a notch to allow insert it only in the right orientation.
    In addition, different water filter systems use the same UVC module, but the notch is located in a different place, so you cannot swap between them.
    This is probably intentional…

    You were right about the extra pins, the system knows when the UVC module is plugged in, and count the number of days for the replacement date.

    This kind of UVC module is widely spread in home water filter systems in Israel.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars kevan hubbard says:

    I have a similar one but a bit dated as it uses batteries rather than USB charging as power.The UVC exposure from these are very slight so are probably safe enough but might be best not to look at it as it's working? Unlike UVA and UVB UVC doesn't come this far down the planets gravity well so we haven't developed bodies to deal with it .

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Fada Te says:

    You can bypass their system and rig your own tube inside the casing for a standard tube, run your power lines thru the plastic and let the spoof contacts say "TUBE INSERTED" while you separately power your replacement via known means. Glue the power supply to the water filter case accordingly.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ted McFadden says:

    Maybe a 4:1 transformer could be put in that empty cap for impedance matching? Need not be large — only 6 watts, right? If it's an electronic ballast, it might already work with standard lamps. Probably not though. 😁👍

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kevin Poore says:

    I have a question for you I have been tasked with making an analog 80 light incandescent low voltage bulb bingo sign work try doing cheap using a doorbell transformer and fried it in like 3 minutes what would be your suggestion for a proper power supply for a 24 volt DC unit just wondering I know you're on the other side of the pond and I'm in the US

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars bigjd2k says:

    Might be like the Philips facial solariums, they look like 8W tubes but are rated at 15W and 2 run in series on a 30W choke!
    A standard tube would almost certainly work, but probably not for long!

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