After four years of research, interviews with professionals such as metallurgists, doctors and engineers, and with consistent follow up field testing of alkaline water machines, we’ve discovered the two most important features to consider when investing in a home water ionizer. These features are not disclosed in online product comparison guides and haven’t been found anywhere else.
The metal. The quality and quantity of the metal plates inside the water ionizer are crucial to the ionizing process. Water ionizers change the physical properties of water by moving the water through electrified metal plates. These metals must be highly conductive or the system won’t provide the desired result. The quality AND quantity of metal is extremely important and will have a direct impact on the price of the ionizer. Less-expensive ionizers may utilize inferior and/or diluted metals. At the end of the day, you truly do get what you pay for!
Our water professionals have uncovered a disturbing reality out in the field. The less-expensive water ionizers have been found to leech heavy metals into the water after a year or more of use. These lower quality, less expensive systems are not using inert medical grade platinum and titanium. Instead, to keep the price point low, both foreign and domestic manufacturers are mixing low grade platinum with cheaper metals. Time and time again, we have discovered water ionizers literally contaminating drinking water with heavy metals such as nickel alloy. Recently, a doctor in Seattle was reported to have been hospitalized for heavy metal toxicity found in her body due to poisoning attributed to her inexpensive water ionizer.
This can be avoided, simply by selecting a product that has certified metal plates. Third party or ISO certification is paramount to ensuring that the investment you’ve made in your ionizing system will benefit your health, not hurt it. Clearly there is a definite need for regulation in the ionizer industry, so be aware, buy with care – purchase only water appliances that are ISO, WQA or NSF certified. Without certification there’s a potential health risk, it’s that simple. If you already own a water ionizer, a toxic metals test is recommended to ensure that the ionized water meets EPA health and safety standards. A certified, third party testing lab must be used. Our water professionals recommend only water ionizers that contain certified medical grade plates inside.
Serviceability: Maintenance of your investment. Ionizers are complex appliances and need routine maintenance as well as factory service. When investing in an appliance, longevity is key to getting your money’s worth. We’ve found only one ionizer on the market designed with adequate serviceability in mind. Internal components are fastened together with screws, rather than being glued in place. Glued units are simply impossible to service properly, preventing adequate cleaning of the plates as well as an inability to inspect or repair the power bus. In other words, if the unit cannot be disassembled, it’s disposable. Don’t waste your money on a disposable water ionizer. A quality unit that is properly maintained and serviced should last 15 or more years.
Side note. Understand your water chemistry. It’s important to know the quality of the water used by the ionizer. Pre-treatment may be necessary and may be very important, especially if you already have contaminants in the water that can’t be removed by the basic, integrated filters found in ionizers. It’s important to understand the limitation of the filter and what the contents of the source water is. Hard water for example, will compromise the operation of a water ionizer within just a few months. For these very reasons, we find almost all ionizers in the field are either not working optimally or in some cases, not at all because of poor incoming water quality and/or lack of maintenance. Be sure to have your water thoroughly tested by a water professional and make sure your water professional is knowledgeable and has experience with ionizers. (We don’t know of any other water professionals in Oregon that offer ionizer products).
In summary. Metal Quality: Evaluate the quality of the metal plates. Serviceability: Understand the unit’s construction/design and whether it is disposable or serviceable. Understand your water chemistry. Have your water tested to determine whether pre-treatment is necessary prior to ionization. If you do these things before spending your hard-earned money on a home water ionizer, one can make an educated, informed decision. If you need assistance or have any questions along the way, let us know, we would be happy to help.
[Shiloh Water Systems is an authorized dealer of Enagic USA. Enagic’s products are ISO and WQA Certified water systems]