There’s definitely a lot to like about the LARQ bottle. It’s convenient for a hike, you feel a little better about the quality of your water, and not having to always clean the bottle is definitely a plus.
The LARQ uses UV-C lights to sterilize the bottle and purify water, but unfortunately one of the downsides of self-cleaning bottles like the LARQ is that they’re reliant on functioning electronics and sometimes they can stop working without warning and it can be difficult to know why.
If your LARQ has stopped working there are some common causes for this:
There are several problems that can cause your LARQ bottle to stop working, including a depleted battery, a broken UV light possibly due to water ingress, faulty or damaged electronics, or using water that is too contaminated for the bottle to handle.
While some problems with your LARQ might get solved by a quick charge or cleaning, the electronic design of the bottle presents some more complicated issues that may require LARQ’s assistance.
If your LARQ lid isn't working then this also means it's not self cleaning which can lead to your LARQ bottle becoming smelly over time if you don't manually clean it.
This being so, you’ll need to know what indicators to keep an eye out for.
1. Your Battery is Empty
If you’ve noticed that your LARQ hasn’t been automatically cleaning every few hours or if it’s being unresponsive altogether, you might just need to recharge your battery. In order to use the LARQ it must have a charged battery.
The battery lasts up to 1 month depending on how much you use it and while I’d definitely consider that an impressive lifespan it’s still possible to forget to recharge and end up with a drained battery.
Using the Adventure Mode of your LARQ will also use more power than the Normal mode and so your battery can go flat in a matter of days if you're using Adventure mode a lot.
The obvious solution to this problem is to give your LARQ a good charge.
You’ll know it’s properly charging from the breathing green light that appears, and if your bottle was previously not responding to touch, it should regain life.
If your bottle is still unresponsive even after charging, try resetting the bottle by holding the button for 10 seconds.
Even though the LARQ has a long battery life it’s important to regularly charge it, as constantly using the bottle on low power could impact the performance and longevity of the battery altogether.
2. The UV-C LED is Broken (Water Ingress)
If your bottle doesn’t seem to be cleaning properly you’ll want to examine the UV-C light.
This is especially the case if you’ve dropped or caused an impact with the bottle at all, as any damage could cause the light to stop working or lead to water leaking into the electronics.
But sometimes your LARQ can just have issues over time for no known reasons. One of the common problems with LARQ bottles is the Orange safety light being activated when you've got the lid on and are trying to do a cleaning cycle.
If you notice any visible damage or water ingress in the light then this could indicate water damage and you should expect that your bottle is no longer working properly.
Even if you don’t see any damage the light could still be broken, and if you notice a purple light or red light on the cap this is an indication that there’s a malfunction with the lid and it cannot properly perform cleaning cycles. Read more about the different LARQ lights and what they mean.
Unfortunately, problems with the UV light are more than likely going to require LARQ’s assistance to solve, and you’ll want to get in contact with LARQ’s customer support as soon as you can since the process may take some time.
3. Broken Charging Port
There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing your expensive gadgets become useless because of something as silly as a broken charging port.
While the charging port on the LARQ is waterproof and fairly sturdy, water ingress or rough handling could cause it to become damaged.
Signs of a broken charging port include a pushed-in or visibly damaged port, your bottle not responding to the micro-USB being plugged in, or having any trouble inserting the cord into the lid.
This photo is from Dalton R. on the LARQ Review Page, where he explained “It was a good experience until the cap broke maybe a month after my purchase. The plastic twisted past the USB so I can no longer charge it.”
While a situation like that will require a replacement lid, there are a few tricks you can try before resorting to replacing parts.
If the lid doesn’t react to the cord being plugged in (you should see a green light), give a different cord or power source a try.
If that doesn’t do the trick, you can try using a can of compressed air to clean out the port and induce a better connection to the USB.
If the port appears damaged or out of place like the previous example I wouldn’t recommend trying to fix it yourself out of risk of damaging the port or electronics further, and instead would recommend getting in contact with LARQ to see what can be done.
4. Damaged Electronics or Parts
Dropping or bumping your LARQ could lead to damaged parts, and with the LARQ being completely reliant on technology, a broken part means a dysfunctional bottle.
There are several parts on the LARQ that may be a little more susceptible to breaking, such as the rubber seal surrounding the light or the electronic parts controlling the light.
Broken parts, especially the rubber seals, can cause water to get into places that it shouldn’t and damage electronics or the light that’s responsible for cleaning your bottle and water.
Unfortunately this is yet another problem that can only be fixed by a replacement lid or by contacting LARQ.
5. Water is Too Contaminated
Your LARQ won’t clean properly if you’re using water that’s too heavily polluted.
When it comes to the quality of water, LARQ’s FAQ explains:
“Our PureVis technology will eliminate up to 99%* of bio-contaminants such as E. coli from your water and bottle. It will not remove heavy metals or chemicals in the water. We’d recommend filling up from a running stream with water that is clear to the eyes with no heavy sediments.”
Basically, you’re going to want to use clear water to get the best results with the LARQ.
This is because the way the LARQ bottle works is it shines UV-C lights down into your water and this light kills microorganisms. If the water is too murky then the UV-C light can not penetrate through this sediment and so many microorganisms will survive.
Check out my article on UV treatment if you’re looking to get a better understanding of how the process works and what dangers are presented.
While I’d be comfortable with the LARQ’s capability to clean river or stream water while I’m out on a hike, I’d steer clear of using any murky water from a pond or puddle.
While UV light bottles effectively kill bacteria such as E. Coli, they are not designed to filter out or remove anything from your water, so if you feel like your LARQ isn’t properly purifying your water, you might want to double-check your source.
If you are drinking water with particulates, sediments, heavy metals or other chemical compounds that you want to filter out then LARQ does make a Filter bottle which filters out these items.
This filter bottle doesn't rely on a powered cap like the PureVis UV bottle does so a lot of the issues with it not working doesn't occur.
Best in class filtration improves taste and uses a combination of activate charcoal and Nano Zero technology to remove lead, heavy metals, chlorine, PFAS/PFOS and many microplastics from your water.
Long lasting filters and an easy-to-drink low-pressure straw plus a double walled vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle means you'll be drinking cleaner, colder water all day long.