Saturday, June 26, 2010

Waterpik W-360 – Product Review

Waterpik I bought this unit a little over a year ago because I wanted a quick way to dislodge items prior to flossing and brushing.

The WP-360E2 that I have (bought in Europe) has a water reservoir (5) that is too small. Luckily I could do with one filling but not spending 5 seconds on every tooth. At the beginning I had to watch out not to get that pulsating jet into my eye (would cause eye damage).
It also has two sets (high and low power) replaceable nozzles (3) that you should rotate with your finger (4) while doing the job but be careful not to accidentally point the water jet at your eye unless you want to cause your eyes some serious damage. The on/off button (2) is very conveniently placed. The electrical charger plug (1) has a rubber cover to prevent water from entering.

This device is fantastic for everybody, especially us, brace wearers and even more if you have a power chain installed on your braces.  It is also tubeless (I wouldn't call it wireless) because there is no rubber tube between the device and the reservoir, something present in other units with larger reservoir but that might prove annoying.

A couple of days ago I went to use it after a couple of days and it quickly discharged half way. I found that strange and put it to charge. Let it 8 hours and when I went to turn it on it did nothing. I put it to charge another 12 because unfortunately this unit also lacks a charge indicator (red/green) how can something so basic be missing from an expensive device?

Well, after two consecutive charges I got the same result. The diagnostic appeared final, this unit, still relatively new and with not that many charge cycles on it, has become an expensive paper weight! or so I thought!. I was getting ready to dump it and decided to do some forensics, got my voltmeter and decided to check the charger/adapter and then I noticed it was 220V input and here we have 110V !!! no wonder, it was not getting enough voltage. But was it damaged? well, I checked the voltage and it said 4.3V (nominal 3.0V) so all was good. This time it charged properly as I had a low wattage 110V/220V step up/down converter.

The battery compartment is sealed and it cannot be replaced. Something to look for next time because once that NiCad gets Alzheimer (memory effect) my Waterpik truly becomes an expensive paper weight!

So in summary, while it works it serves its purpose with the pulsating water jet, especially if you choose the high power nozzle. Unfortunately the electrical design leaves some things to be desired and the reservoir is too small.