Water Ionizer Facts

This article has been prompted by a reader who, like so many others that contact me, had spent a great deal of time researching water ionizers online. Every time she was close to making a decision about buying a water ionizer, she would find another article or website that would force her back on the sidelines. She was frustrated and ready to give up on the entire idea. Sound familiar?

Here is what you should know without all the hype

1) All water ionizers work in terms of providing free hydrogen (energy), which is responsible for numerous health benefits
2) There are two kinds of water ionizers…electric and natural
3) The best drinking water is “clean” (contaminants removed) and “healthy” (full of energy)
3) Reverse osmosis “RO” machines are very effective at cleaning the water, but they remove Calcium and Magnesium which are the elements that are responsible for producing energy (the helathy part). Long term consumption of acidic water devoid of essential elements produce by RO machines is very unhealthy according to the World Health Organization.
4) There is a wide range of contaminant removing capability in water ionizers. Many water ionizer companies gloss over this important function. You should not make the same mistake.
5) Electric water machines are good at producing short term “healthy” energized water, but they must rely upon the Calcium and Magnesium content of the source water for longer term (stable) ionizationater. Natural water ionizers increase the content of Calcium and Magnesium in the water which produces stable (long term) ionization.
6) Electric water ionizers produce acidic water which can be used for cleaning purposes. Natural water ionizers don’t produce acidic water.
7) RO machines that remineralize water with controlled release bioceramics produce the best “clean” and “healthy” water.
8)) Some RO companies are now offering low cost (Calcite and Corosex) remineralization solutions to produce alkaline water.
9) Calcite and Corosex filters were never designed to work with the aggressive nature of the acidic water produced by RO systems. The acidic water chews through the filters in two to six weeks instead of the avertised six months that the filters will last for when used with slightly alkaline tap water. The excess amount of calcium or magnesium being introduced into the water by the low cost filters can result in the formation of kidney stones.

The “Best Solution” for you

There is no such thing as one single “best solution” for everyone. Source water conditions play a huge role in the performance of any system, so it is imperative to “know your source water” before buying anything.

If I had to choose one system for myself regardless of price, it would be a well made RO/Remineralization combo unit because they provide clean and healthy drinking water.

If you have hard source water (over 10-12 grains of hardness) a water softener will extend the life of the RO membrane, or there are cost effect point of use water softening solutions. Point of use means where the water is actually dispensed as opposed to point of entry which is where your water enters your house from the municipality or well.

If your source water contains fluoride, you need a Reverse Osmosis system or distiller to remove the fluoride. Don’t believe all the websites that claim to remove fluoride because they don’t in 99% of the applications. Please see an upcoming article on this subject.

If you have chloramines in your water, you need to have a Catalytic carbon pre-filter as opposed to a basic carbon filter. The same applies to Reverse Osmosis systems. There are millions of RO systems in use whose membranes will have a very short life expectancy when municipalities start replacing chlorine with chloramines as a disinfectant.

The water ionizers can be installed above or under your kitchen counter while an RO/Remin system is installed under the counter.

If you live in a rental property that won’t allow you to install an under counter system, your options are limited to electric or natural water ionizers that can be hooked up to your tap, or you can look into more affordable “batch” filters (similar style as a Brita filter) which provide modest filtration and ionization.

4 Responses to Water Ionizer Facts

  1. Hi Rob,

    There’s a lot of misconceptions about the concept of “artificially alkaline” water, I ask that you help me cear it up:

    Any filter that adds substances to water to increase it’s alkalinity has made the water artificially alkaline. It is a common practice in municipal water treatment. Water is usually made artificially alkaline by adding slaked lime to it. Here’s a primer on water treatment in municipal water systems:

    http://www.waterhelp.org/mt/basics/resources/lesson4.pdf

    Please help set the record straight on natural vs “artificial” alkaline water. There is nothing wrong with alkaline water filters (which make water artificially alkaline), nor is there anything wrong with the alkaline water made by an ionizer. Which system is best for you is determined by the mineral content of the source water used:

    1) Alkaline water filters are best with soft water, because it has low mineral content. These filters don’t work as well with hard water, which already has a lot of minerals in it

    2) Water ionizers work best with hard water, because it has adequate mineral content for health. Water ionizers don’t work well with soft water because it doesn’t contain enough minerals for ionization.

    Consumers need to get accurate information to make informed choices. I respect your work, and I wish you the best in 2013. Please help me set the record straight, people need to understand about the importance of the minerals in their water.

    • Hi Leo:

      I agree with you when you speak about the importance of minerals in the water.

      I also agree with you that natural water ionizers are superior to electric water ionizers when the source water is soft.

      When it comes to hard water, electric water ionizers work well, until they don’t. The electrically charged plates in electric water ionizers cause CaCO3 (calcium barbonate) to precipitate out of the water and scale up the plates. As scale builds up on the plates, the ability to produce ionized water diminishes quickly until the plates don’t ionize at all. That means the performance of the machine is changing all the time and the machine has to be descaled on a regular and frequent basis, which is a pain in the butt.

      The performance of natural water ionizers is also affected by the buildup of hardness from the water, but to a much lesser extent than electric water ionizers. The good news with natural water ionizers is that every time you change the filters, you are essentially creating a brand new machine.

      I’m currently researching hard water solutions for water ionizers. I will write an article on the subject when I have completed work.

      You didn’t talk about filtration. While electric machines could use good filters, most of them have inferior filtration systems while the natural water ionizers typically do a much better job.

  2. So If a person were to get a whole house filtration system, would an electric ionizer then be a good bet? I have hard water and we purchased an AquaLiv system at a 40% discount, but I just can’t tell if it works very well. My CFS has improved, but I have seen no change in FMS pain, dizziness associated with FMS, food intolerances, etc., and my general energy level is not that great. My husband had been feeling run down since before we got the machine, and he has noticed no improvement and an itchy rash he always has all over his arms, legs, and sides has seen no improvement. It did get worse for a little while and I hoped that was a detox sign, but it has gone back to normal and hasn’t shown any signs of going away. I would like to think long-term effects might be promising, but I haven’t seen enough of a change in three months of continuous use (1 gallon a day for each of us) for me to me hopeful. Knowing that they also made untrue accusations about electric ionizers makes me increasingly wary. I posted in another forum that was quite old today, as well, wondering about AquaLiv and if a Vollara Living Water System might be better. Or any electric ionizer system, really, as I heard claims of two women who have no signs of Fibromyalgia after three days and 30 days respectively of using the water). How hard is it to descale an artificial machine?

    • Hi Amy:

      Please read my response to your comment on the other thread as I don’t want to repeat all the same stuff.

      Hard water is a killer for water ionizers. The hardness precipitates out of the water during electrolysis when using electric water ionizers which scales up the plates and renders the machine virtually useless.

      Hard water can also wreck havoc on natural water ionizers that use bioceramics. The reason for the problems is that the CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate) coats the bioceramics as the water passes by. When the bioceramics get “coated”, their ability to “time release” magnesium and calcium into the water becomes diminished. The water flow will slow and eventually stop. So, you can’t descale a natural water ionizer…you have to change the filter.

      So what do you do if you have hard water? It depends on how hard your water is and how much water you use because the more you use, the greater the opportunity for scaling. Once the hardness of your water gets up to about 10 grains (170 parts per million), you have to start thinking about a softening solution depending upon usage. As you move up to 12-15 grains of hardness, a softener is recommended. Once you get above those levels, you need a softener or else you hot water tank and appliances will be affected. The problem with water softeners (that use salt) is that they bombard the water with far beyond recommended safe drinking levels for sodium. Therefore, if you have a water softener, you need to get a Reverse Osmosis system to remove the salt from your drinking water. If you do get a Reverse Osmosis system, you need to remineralize the drinking water or it will be unhealthy for you.

      So, your problem with your AquaLiv may be due to water hardness. AquaLiv makes some pretty crazy claims and yet they don’t deal with the basics like water hardness. If you are going to spend a lot of money on any machine, you should first learn about your source water and how to deal with it.

      I would start with doing some research on your source water…but then that is what I tell everyone. It drives me crazy that the entire industry fails to tell people to find out about their source water before buying anything but I guess they are more interested in selling that actually helping.

      Vitev (http://www.vitev.com) has asked me to help them to find a solution for hard water for their natural water ionizers. My research has lead me to what I believe is the best ” filter solutions” guy in the world. He has told me he is 99% sure that he can help and Vitev is currently testing the solution. If the solution works, I will write an article about it on my blog so that everyone can learn.

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