Which Alkaline Water Ionizer Should I Buy

I get a lot of comments from readers asking me which alkaline water ionizer they should buy. I normally answer the questions with private responses because the answer invariably depends upon the specific needs of the person who asked the question. I decided to publish a reply to a reader today as I think the response may be of interest to others. Here is my reply:

Hi Bentley:

Trying to figure out which alkaline water ionizer to buy has always been tricky because every company claims to be the best. The more research you do, the more confused you get.

Based upon testing most of the leading alkaline water ionizers extensively over the years, I would have to say they pretty much all of the various brands produce alkaline water at similar levels, so it doesn’t really matter which one you buy.

Now for the bad news before I get to the good news

Bad news:

The scientific and medical communities have never backed the claims made by the alkaline water industry. The reason is that alkaline water itself doesn’t offer any benefits beyond the simple fact that drinking water is a smart decision compared to most if not all of the other choices (juices, soft drinks, etc.). The alkaline claims (cancer can’t exist in an alkaline environment, drinking alkaline water will make your body more alkaline, microclustering, etc) are all a marketing hoax that have never been substantiated.

Good news:

Anyone that has been involved in the alkaline water industry knows that many people who begin drinking alkaline water experience benefits, especially in the first few days or weeks. So, if the alkaline water claims are a hoax, why do people who start drinking alkaline water experience benefits? The answer is hydrogen gas, which has been shown to benefit more than 170 diseases from over 700 studies and reviews. Alkaline water ionizers produce hydrogen gas at the cathode during electrolysis.

So….alkaline water ionizers produce hydrogen gas which helps people….no problem….right?
Not so fast. During electrolysis, the water becomes more alkaline. Unfortunately, when water becomes alkaline, the calcium in the source water precipitates out of the water and scales up the cathode. When the cathode gets scaled up, the alkaline water ionizer will continue to produce alkaline water, but the production of hydrogen gas slows down as the scale builds up until the unit doesn’t produce any hydrogen gas at all.

Q. How long does the scaling process take?

A. It depends upon how hard your source water is, which really means how much calcium is in the source water. Hard water (high calcium content) can scale up the cathode side of the plates in as little as a week while soft water (low calcium content) will take longer.

Q. How do you get rid of the scale?

A. You can soak the plates with citric acid or acetic acid (white vinegar) to clean the plates. This can be achieved by learning how to do it yourself which requires purchasing a pump and citric acid or vinegar, or you can typically buy cleaning filters from the company that manufacturers your machine.

Q. How often should the plates be cleaned?

A. To be safe, you should clean the plates once a week. If you have soft water, you might only have to clean the plates every 2 weeks or maybe once per month in really soft water.

Q. Is there any alkaline water ionizer that makes cleaning the plates easier?

A. Most alkaline water ionizers offer cleaning filters. However, they are expensive (usually about $40). As you can see, cleaning the plates gets prohibitively expensive. Enagic/Kangen has the best of the bad solutions as they sell a reusable cleaning filter that allows you to add citric acid (which they sell in pouches for a couple of dollars each). The biggest drawback to cleaning the Enagic machine is that each cleaning takes 5 hours.

Q. Is there a better solution?

A Yes. You can now buy hydrogen generator machines which are designed to produce hydrogen instead of the machines that produce hydrogen gas as a byproduct when the machines are creating alkaline water. These machines are vastly superior to alkaline water machines in terms of producing hydrogen gas because the plates don’t scale up during electrolysis. They are also designed to mix the hydrogen gas produced during electrolysis back into the water as opposed to the gas being lost into the air as soon as the water leaves the alkaline water ionizers.

Q. Is there a “best” hydrogen generator?

A. When the hydrogen generators first hit the market, the units were capable of producing hydrogen enriched water, but the delivery systems had many problems (leaks, insufficient power, etc.) One company in America (see www.tryh2.brilliantz.com) spent a ton of time fixing the problems. Brilliants now offers their HIM2 (above counter) and HIM3 (under counter) units which are very efficient and reliable. They work with virtually every type of potable (safe to drink) water. The “2” in the HIM2 model stands for “second generation” as the reconfigured units effectively represent a new generation even though the units look the same.

Q. What do the HIM units cost?

A. Brilliantz offers both the above counter and under counter units for $2,000. At a price of $2,000, the HIM units are by far the best value on the market in my opinion because they have fixed all the bugs that still plague other copy-cat units that are now appearing on the market. The fact that Brilliantz offers the under counter version at the same price as the above counter unit seems like incredible value in light of the fact that the alkaline water companies all seem to add an upcharge of at $500 to $1,000 for their under counter units. One partial explanation is that the above counter unit comes with water filters while the under counter unit does not include the filters. When I asked about this, the company told me that they wanted to give customers the option to add under counter filters as many customers that already have pre-filters under their kitchen sinks or for their whole house. For those that don’t have a pre-filter system, Brilliants offers what I consider to be an “industry best” pre-filter system for $240 which includes the filters which last for a year and the replacement filters cost $150 (or $180 for the fluoride filter set).

It probably sounds like I’m pitching Brilliantz pretty hard. Well, after writing my blog for 7 years without joining a company (other than on a consulting basis to test and upgrade units for companies) I recently signed up with Brilliantz as a Branch Affiliate. They have a system that is essentially a hybrid of the best of Direct Selling and Franchising. They sell brilliant products at great prices and they are all about educating their people, so I have no problem recommending them.

I hope this long explanation helps.


6 Responses to Which Alkaline Water Ionizer Should I Buy

  1. Hi Rob, thanks for the great wealth of info! One quick question, do you now recommend the HIM2/HIM3 over the Vitev MAXX? I live in a condo and just started reading today on the best bottled spring water brands vs. water filters and came across your blog and have read a few pieces this far. I’m looking for a product that provides healthy and clean water. Thanks in advance for your input!


    • Hi Ethan:

      The HIM units are very different from the Maxx. The HIM units are Hydrogen Infusion Machines (HIM’s) which create hydrogen during electrolysis and then infuse that hydrogen into the drinking water. The HIM’s produce consistent high levels of H2 across virtually all source water conditions of potable (safe) drinking water. The MAXX is a RO system that forces the water produced by the RO membrane through a filter containing magnesium (among other things)which produces lower levels of H2 on a much less consistent and declining basis.

      There is a big difference in price as the HIM’s cost $2,000 and the MAXX costs $795.

      Both systems are exceptionally efficient at removing contaminants from the source water.

      Which is the best unit for you? It really depends upon what you are trying to achieve. If you can afford the HIM, it is far superior to the MAXX at producing hydrogen and both units are great at cleaning the source water. If budget is an issue, the MAXX is cheaper. If you do choose the Vitev solution, my suggestion would be to check out their Flo+ (a two-cannister system that can be installed above or below the counter top which costs $499) as it would save you $300 and give you pretty much the same benefits as the MAXX unless you have seriously bad source water.

  2. Hi rob ive been reading your site for the last few hours and have a few questions about some products you mention.

    First is the GO by brilliantz. Theres really little to nothing for information on the main website so could you tell me how it goes about making hydrogen water? Does it use plates or what? How long does the hydrogen last until it goes into the air?

    Second was about the vitev (really hate the name since i cant ever remember past the vit part haha). So the maxx and also the pitcher versions are all natural hydrogen from magnesium and not from electrolysis. How long do the hydrogen stay concentrated in the water?

    the thing i was wondering about is if hydrogen is generated simply by contact of water with magnesium, cant i put some mineral drops into water and shake it or something and get little amounts of hydrogen?

    Would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

    • Hi Thomas:

      You have asked good questions.

      1) The Brilliantz GO unit creates water via electrolysis. The GO has a state of the art PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) that is far superior to any non-PEM unit and significantly better than the original PEM units. The manufacturer indicated that the half life of the hydrogen content in the water is 2-3 hours if the water is exposed to air. I have found the half life to be much longer in my testing. If the water is not expsosed to air, it seems to last indefinitely.

      The folks at Brilliantz are currently populating their FAQ section which I have been told will include Q&A’s on all of their products this week. They have added a ton of Questions and Answers which are so far appear to be clear and concise. I wish other companies would share their diligence for detail and accuracy because it makes it a lot easier for me when I understand things.

      2) High concentration of hydrogen (nearly 1ppm) in the water from the pitcher can only be created for a few hours after cleaning with vinegar or acetic acid. Beyond a few hours, the concentration drops to about 0.3 ppm for a few days. Beyond that, the pitcher won’t produce detectable amounts of hydrogen until is is cleaned again. Once the hydrogen has been created, it will last a few hours when exposed to open air.

      The MAXX continues to produce hydrogen as water reacts to the magnesium. Therefore, when you turn the tap on you can get almost 1ppm of hydrogen for a very limited amount of water. However, when the water runs a bit, the hydrogen level drops

      The GO is a much better producer of hydrogen than the pitcher or the Maxx, but the Maxx and pitcher are better at filtering the tap water (especially the Maxx).

      3) Hydrogen is created by the reaction of water to elemental magnesium: 2H2O + Mg —> H2 + Mg(OH)2

      The reason units like the pitcher and the Maxx can’t keep up with a hydrogen generator like the GO (or the HIM2 or HIM3) is due to the fact that a reaction of water with elemental Mg produce Mg(OH)2 as a byproduct which coats the Mg. When the Mg gets coated by Mg(OH)2, which forms like layers of onion skins, the water can no longer get to the elemental Mg and which means there is less and less H2 created over time.

      To specifically answer your question, Mg drops are ionic compounds which are not in elemental Mg form which means they won’t react with the water to produce H2. I have read Dr. Carolyn Dean’s “The Magnesium Miracle” book which clearly illustrates the important health benefits of Mg. If you are interested in the benefits of H2 and Mg, you might want to check out: http://www.tryh2.brilliantz.com and click on their SHOP page and then click on the H2 Tablets.

      • Thanks for the replys.

        Well the thing i was wondering about pitcher style products is that they basically store your water for you to drink it anytime, but if you have H2 in that water you cant really store that water in the pitcher can you? Since all the H2 would just go into the air. So it would be pretty inneficient because youd have to wait for it to filter the water and then drink it asap.

        Do the H2 from generators or ones from goin through magnesium stay in water longer than from the alkaline water ionizers before going into the air? I read from your previous posts that it did but im not really sure why that is.

        Could you bottle the H2 water produced by an HIM and that would keep the h2 from going into the air?

  3. Dear Rob,

    First of all, let me tell you how amazing your blog is. I have recently started to look into water filters and water softeners for my house and your blog has been the most useful source on the topic by far. It’s really difficult to make decisions when confronted with the maze of information and claims on the internet by manufacturers of filtering devices. It’s great to be able to read the thoroughly researched views of an independent and experienced individual like you.

    However, in order to make a choice on the products I need to buy for my house, I still have a few questions that I’d like to ask you. I’d love to be able to hear your view.

    I’ll give you a little bit of background on my situation first. I’m renovating my house (an old house from 1913) and turning it into three apartments. I’ve looked into the information available on the quality of the water in the area and I’m listing the relevant values (I’m only listing the values that might be relevant or that might be non-ideal. There are some other minerals in the water, however in negligible amounts, very very far below the legal norm.)

    – Hardness: 38,1 °fH (or 22,2 gr/gal (US) or 21,4 °dH (Germany) or 3,8 mmol/l)
    – Chlorine: 160 μg/l = 160 ppb
    – pH: 7,67
    – Alkalinity: 27,4 °fH
    – Calcium: 123 mg/l = 123,2 ppm
    – Magnesium: 17,2 mg/l = 17 ppm
    – Natrium: 13 mg/l = 13 ppm
    – Sulfate: 60,6 mg/l = 60,1 ppm
    – Nitrate: 24,4 mg/l = 24 ppm
    – Fluoride: 81 μg/l = 81 ppb
    – Chloride: 31,8 mg/l = 31,1 ppm

    Given that our water is rather hard (22,2 gr/gal) and I would like to avoid scale buildup in the water, I would like to install one water softener in our cellar that softens the water for the whole house (all three apartments) since it will get too expensive to install separate water softeners. For the apartment in which I will be living myself, I would like to add a water filtering device so I can enjoy excellent quality drinking water (I’m considering a hydrogen machine as you recommend on your blog because of the very promising health benefits).

    However, I have the following questions:

    A) Regarding the water softener:

    1. You recommend salt free water softeners. Would such a softener be sufficient for softening a whole house with 3 apartments, where the current water hardness is 22,2 gr/gal? Some people on the internet are skeptical about the efficacy of salt free water softeners. Are there any criteria I have to be attentive about when buying a salt free water softener?
    2. What setting for hardness do you recommend? (Water which is too hard is not good, but water which is too soft is not good either.) Where I live, they recommend a water hardness of 15 °fH (in US measurements 8,7 gr/gal). Do you agree with that or do you have another recommendation?
    3. Is there any brand or device you can recommend for the water softener? (taking into account a good price/quality)

    B) Regarding the water filtering device

    1. I realise that Calcium and Magnesium are beneficial in drinking water for health reasons. However, I worry that the water softener will have removed too much of these helpful minerals from the water. What do you suggest I do? I am considering the Brilliantz HIM2 (H2Fx) (which I understand is great for adding hydrogen) or the MAXX Alkaline Water Ioniser (which I understand is great for filtering). I understand that these first filter the water (remove Calcium and Magnesium) and then re-add these beneficial minerals in a later stage. However, if these minerals have already been reduced by the water softener in the cellar, won’t the minerals end up too low? I’d love to know your view. Does that mean that the only option is to add a separate water pipe which delivers unsoftened water only to the filtering device used for drinking water? (In other words, what is not entirely clear to me if whether the minerals which are re-added by the filtering system are the same minerals which it removed in the first stage, or if these are other, new minerals so that it doesn’t matter if the water was too soft in the first place).
    2. I wondered whether you have any idea as to how long the water stays beneficial/healthier after production in these devices (in other words, how long does the H2 stay in the water?). Is there a difference in this respect between the HIM2 and the MAXX device?
    3. What water do you use for making tea, coffee etc., or to cook spaghetti, rice, … ? Do you use the water in the hydrogen machine or do you use warm tap water (unfiltered)? Does the H2 disappear (and thus ends up less useful) in warm water?
    4. Also, the aesthetic side of things is quite important for me. I would like to place the filter device either in a built-in cupboard or under the sink. However, in an installation video on Youtube for the HIM2, I see that they attach the device to the kitchen faucet on the sink (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ogkz8UWU_A). Is this necessary? I would like to keep my sink minimalistic.
    5. I also read about a system that seems interesting: http://www.perrinandrowe.co.uk/perrin-rowe-filtration/. Its advantage is that you can let your filtered water come out of the kitchen faucet (which is not a bulky, less appealing faucet like with other filter devices). From an aesthetic point of view, this certainly looks very good. (See as an example of such faucet: http://www.inderkitchen.co.uk/perrin-and-rowe-phoenician-mains-and-filtered-water-kitchen-tap-7938-p.asp) However, do you think this (“triflow”) filter system is comparable in quality to the systems mentioned above (HIM2 and MAXX), or does it have important disadvantages in your view?
    6. I see that a separate tap is often used for filtered water (see the tap on the left on this photo: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/382102349620041546/) From an aesthetic point of view, I really like such a system (so that the whole filtration system is out of view). Can any of the hydrogen/filtration systems that you recommend be hidden under the sink and work with such a separate filter tap?
    7. I love in the EU. Here, I have only found the HIM and not the HIM2 device from Brilliantz. Do you know where or how I could purchase this device in the EU? Or can you recommend another similar device that is easily available in the EU?
    8. I will probably only buy the hydrogen/filter system(s) in autumn this year. However, the plumbing work will likely take place in July/August already. Is there anything I need to take into account and ask the plumber (in order to avoid having to break things open again when installing the filter system in autumn?)

    Finally, I know that you want to avoid endorsing specific companies (and I fully respect that), but if you could recommend to me what would be the best choice for me personally, taking into account my criteria:
    – Health
    – Current quality of the water
    – Taste of the filtered water
    – Cost and time involved in maintenance (replacement filters, accessories, H2 supplies etc.)
    – Aesthetic qualities (I want to hide the device in a cupboard or put it under the counter of a specific filtration tap)

    If you think that for my personal use and criteria, one machine would be better than the others, I’d of course love to know.

    Thank you so much in advance!! (My sincere apologies if I’m making your life difficult with all my questions…)

    Kind regards,


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