Got a water rower? Lucky you! Water rowers are very popular because they give you a true rowing experience with very little maintenance.
That doesn’t mean that they don’t require any maintenance. Occasionally dusting those water rowers and giving your natural-wood WaterRower a nice polishing now and again are maintenance chores that aren’t time-consuming or difficult at all.
But what do you do if you find that the water inside that pretty water tank has become cloudy or, worse yet, green with algae? Yuck.
In today’s article, I want to offer you my basic maintenance tips on how to clean out the water tank and avoid algae-infested water from happening in the future.
No one loves cleaning, but everyone wants a clean rowing machine, right? So let’s get to it!
What Kind of Water Do You Use in a Water Rower?
You might be thinking that distilled or bottled water is a must for your water tank, but believe it or not, plain old municipal tap water is just fine.
The type of water doesn’t matter as much as what you add to it. Some companies ship their machines with a water purification tablet provided when they install the machine.
The problem is that, over time, the purification tablet degrades and allows the water to create algae.
Of course, you don’t want to add algae-infested water after cleaning your tank, but you will find that if you fill the tank with clean water and add a purification tablet immediately, the water should be crystal clear.
Should I use Distilled Water in My WaterRower?
While distilled or purified water sounds great, when it comes to the tank on your water rower, it’s not a good idea.
When you use ordinary municipal water, it already contains additives that prevent the growth of algae. Adding purification tablets when you add or change the water will go even further to prevent the buildup of algae or water discoloration.
The good news here is that you don’t need to buy any special type of water. What’s more, WaterRower and most manufacturers, including the Ergatta and LIT Strength Machine brands, offer free tablets to registered users/owners for the life of their rowing machines!
It doesn’t get much easier (or cheaper) than that!
How Often Should You Change the Water in a Water Rower?
This would depend on the manufacturer, but most companies, such as Ergatta, suggest that you add a purification tablet every 6 months, even if the water appears to be clean.
One purification tablet will help keep the water crystal clear and avoid that ugly green or cloudy water.
If you should notice cloudy or dirty water and the purification tablet doesn’t clear up the water, it’s probably time to change the water completely.
Always add a purification tablet to the water after you change the water in the tank.
Can I Put Bleach in a Water Rower?
No, no, and NO!
Water rower tanks are made from a polycarbonate type of plastic. If you add bleach, even if you rinse it out right away, you risk damaging your beautiful polycarbonate tank. It may become cloudy or look scratched, and it can’t ever be brought back to “new” looking standards.
Never, ever put chlorine bleach, pool chlorine, ammonia-based fluids, or other harsh chemicals in your water tank! Rubbing alcohol is a safe option for cleaning the tank. You can add a half cup of rubbing alcohol to two liters of water and let it sit for a few minutes in the tank.
Remove the alcohol and water solution, then refill with clean water.
If the tank should still have some algae after you change the water and add a purification tablet, you might need to flush out the tank with a garden hose to loosen the algae.
After flushing, fill the tank with clean water and add a purification tablet.
How Can I Clean a Water Rower Tank?
Most tanks are designed so that you only need to keep adding a purification tablet. However, if the tank does not respond to the purification tablet and the water looks cloudy or green, you should use the pump that came with your machine to remove all the water, then add fresh water and a purification tablet.
Since most manufacturers will provide you with free purification tablets, it might be a good idea to order some (you may need to fill out a request form online) when you notice that you have only one tablet left. This way, you will never run out of purification tablets, even if it takes three or four weeks for the tablets to be shipped to your home.
If you feel that you must remove the entire tank, refer to your owner’s manual as to how you can install and re-install the tank. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you may want to have a professional come to the house to do this task for you.
Water Rower Maintenance Tips
Each water rower is slightly different, but most suggest similar maintenance tips for a long, trouble-free life.
- Never expose the water tank to sunlight. Doing so encourages the growth of algae.
- Once a month, check the tightness of all the connecting bolts and Allen bolts. Gently tighten by hand as needed.
- Dust your water rower every week. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment to help remove dust from tight areas.
- If your water rower monitor uses batteries, replace them when the console lights begin to fade.
- Inspect the clutch and belt mechanism once a month.
- Every 6 months, inspect the handle and strap for signs of wear.
- Add purification tablets to the water every 6 months.
- Take a damp cloth and clean the top and bottom decks.
Simply follow the periodic maintenance that the manufacturer requires, and your machine will last for decades!
The Bottom Line
Of course, everyone has their own ideas as to how often the water should be changed and how the tank can best be cleaned, but I strongly recommend that you follow the advice of the manufacturer. They designed the water rower, so they know the best way to maintain their product.
If you keep the machine out of direct sunlight and religiously add a purification tablet to the water every 6 months, you should never have an issue with cloudy or dirty-looking water.
Water rowers are made to last, and the water in the tank can last for years if the machine is properly maintained and kept in an artificially lit environment.
I hope this article was helpful. Feel free to pass on the information in this article with friends, family members, or anyone who might benefit from it.
Happy rowing my friends!