Don’t Shoot The Messenger… Water Ionizer Industry Update

I have removed all the negative articles that I have written in the past about the water ionizer industry. Why? I think my message has been delivered and any further efforts would just be rubbing salt on the proverbial wound. The industry is struggling badly these days and needs all the help it can get.

The goal of the articles that I have removed was to expose the misleading business practices and the outrageous profits being made that were holding the growth of the industry back. I’m not against anyone making a profit, but when excessive profits deprive the average consumer of the ability to purchase an important product, something needs to be said.

Where is the Electric Water Ionizer Industry Now?

In a word, it’s a MESS!

The industry has failed to police itself which has resulted in the public losing confidence in the companies and the products. The industry has failed to respond in a meaningful way to unsubstantiated charges made by popular figures such as Dr. Mercola. The industry has failed to deal fairly with the public in terms of pricing their products. Finally, the players in the industry knowingly participate in misleading advertising in regards to the superiority of their products over others. To be blunt, the industry is completely responsible for its own demise.

Electric water ionizers are found in less than 1 out of every 1000 homes in America despite the wonderful health benefits they provide. Is that due to the high price of the machines, or a lack of success in marketing. The answer is that both factors play a role.

The public understands the importance of good water. There is simply no other way to explain the fact that bottled water is a $17 billion per year industry in America. So….the public gets it.

What the public doesn’t understand is all the technical mumbo jumbo used by the water ionizer industry. Nobody cares about pH and ORP and Hydrogen. They also don’t care about plates and power and SMPS’s etc. In other words, the public doesn’t care about the features. What the public does care about is how the machines will make their lives better, and that they are affordable. The entire water ionizer industry seems to have missed the point….especially the part about the affordability.

Can the industry be saved?

YES and NO. The machines work and the public should be drinking purified and ionized water. Unfortunately, that will never happen if the industry doesn’t change in a big way… in a big hurry.

What the electric water ionizer industry has been doing for the past several years is not working. The industry has lost its momentum and the public has sent a clear message that it won’t pay thousands of dollars for water ionizers. The one notable exception to the price issue message is Enagic.

The Enagic Business Opportunity Success Story

Enagic has built its business on offering potential buyers a “business opportunity” of selling machines to others. It is easy to get hooked because the machines work and anyone that has experienced the benefits of the machines thinks that everyone else would want a machine as well. Unfortunately, the percentage of success stories is extremely low. The marketing people trumpet the rare success stories of course, but you never hear about all the failures, where people never recover their investment.

The stock market dropped more than 500 points today. Whatever confidence in the economy that has been rebuilt in the last couple of years may have been destroyed in the last ten days. And yet, water ionizer dealers are still asking people to invest $4,000 so that they can take part in a business opportunity that involves them going out and selling machines to their friends and family for $4,000 in order to earn a $280 commission. So what Enagic is really asking people to make a substantial $4,000 investment for the opportunity to make an incredibly difficult sale to friends and family for a 7% commission.

If the odds are not already stacked high enough against new Enagic dealers, they are also faced with the fact that dealers of equally effective competitive products are now discounting inventory for as little as $1,000. Complicating matters further, the new technology antioxidant filters, which are equally effective and also purify the source water, are selling for $329. Am I the only person that thinks a business model based upon a $4,000 machine with 15 year old technology is insane?

The machines all work. Prices need to come down to $1,000 per unit in order to make the products affordable to the public. Despite all the hard work done by Enagic and its Dealers, their price model doesn’t make sense. People are not going to spend $4,000 for a product when excellent $329 alternatives are available. I remember when 42″ plasma televisions were $9,500 and when laptop computers were $5,000. High priced water ionizers are going to be dinosaurs in the very near future.

What hasn’t changed:

Our tap water is processed to the point that it couldn’t really be any less natural, and the nasty chemicals that are added are bad for us. People need to drink water that is more healthy and natural. Unfortunately, the situation is not going to change as the municipalities are hamstrung with budget restraints. In fact, the GOP is bound and determined to gut the EPA and destroy all the progress that has been made over the years. While budget cuts are going to be inevitable, I hope the EPA is spared any further indignity.

People have turned to bottle water, which is a horrible solution. Paying $0.25 to $2 per liter for water that is essentially free is insane. Drinking dead water that has been undergone a reverse osmosis process because it doesn’t taste like chlorine is insane. Filling our oceans and land fill sites with billions of plastic bottles with a half life of thousands of years is insane.

The diets of Americans are so acidic that obesity and Type II Diabetes are at epidemic levels. People need to stop eating crap and drinking sodas and sugary juices.

People are stressed with lifestyles that have never been experienced by our species. Do you really think that our bodies were “made for this”? Of course not.

The Solution:

There is no magic bullet to regaining good health. What does make sense is to eat and drink healthy things and cut out the garbage. That means eating a diet of primarily alkaline foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds) and drinking alkaline water or better still, ionized alkaline water. It also means that we should be exercising and removing the stress from our lives. Ask anyone who has been told they have cancer how they feel about their life once they receive the “C” news. You will never hear….”I just have to work harder or make more money”.

The Role of Water in the Solution:

Everybody needs to drink plenty of water to replace the water that their bodies use up each day. That means about 8 eight ounce glasses per day….. and more if they are exercising or living in a hot climate.

Ionized water can play a huge role as it helps deliver beneficial hydrogen to the body. The hydrogen helps the mitochondria in your cells produce ATP, which are the packets of energy your cells survive on. Hydrogen also produces antioxidants, which fight off the free radicals that make you sick.

The water ionizer industry needs to educate the public about the importance of replacing the water that our bodies naturally burn off each day. The education process needs to include how and why ionized water is more than just regular water in a number of very important ways. In other words, the industry needs to stop being about egos and start letting the public know what is “in it for them”.

Above all else, the water ionizer industry needs to show the public the cost/benefit value of drinking ionized water. In order to do that, prices must become affordable to the point where a rightfully skeptical public will take a chance. Without making basic changes, the industry is never going to grow and we will all be faced with the horrible realization of the lost opportunity to do a great deal of good.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

13 Responses to Don’t Shoot The Messenger… Water Ionizer Industry Update

  1. Hi, Rob, your comments as usual are on the money with – to my mind – one exception. You mentioned that people aren’t willing to buy $4000 water ionizers when in fact Kangen USA are far more successful in selling their most expensive unit that any other company – up to 5000 a month, which is far beyond their nearest competitor.

    You mentioned that people want to know what a water ionizer can do for them, and I agree completely, but we need to look at the reality. I’ve sat in on those nauseatingly long MLM telecalls and there is only one thing ever being sold, and it’s not water ionizers; it’s wealth. So although you and I would hope that the public only wants to hear what Water Ionizers can do for them, it’s a fact that the most successful WI co doesn’t sell water ionizers. It sells wealth.

    Now I know that this is unpalatable to the majority of industry people, but it’s still a fact of the industry. It’s like the alien that lands in America and speaks Hindi because his probes showed that hindi was the most spoken language on Earth. here we have a similar situation; we can talk all we like about what the industry should be but the predominant language spoken in ionizer-ville is wealth, not health. and as we both know, this is so because Kangen have evolved a selling model that exposes NEW people to water ionizers and closes the deal before they can even compare. The water party is the most successful and emulated sales model in the industry, but even that has a false premise at its heart. It isn’t a water party. it’s a money party. And dammit, it works, supported by a large dollop af competitor slander and methods that simply wouldn’t work in another form of approach.

    I think we are in an amazing time of flux. People are contracting inwards and hardly even leave thir homes at night. They get their info from the TV or the net. they read less than ever before, they are sedated more than ever before and they are more scared than ever before. The task at hand is finding how the water ionizer industry may reach these people. They are out there in their millions and they all need our product, but the infighting, competitor-crushing techie talk methods used by so many in the industry are frankly, childish, or at best, a case of ‘what we’ve always done’. We need to acknowledge that the Kangen guys had the grit to get out, call meetings and present their case. Forget the rest if it. They succeeded in informing more new people than any other company, and there is a lesson there somewhere for other companies.

    Certainly lower pricing is a good goal, but here in Australia we are far from capable of retiring after eleven years in the business. Our margins support our staff, and our year-ends are good because we work hard pursuing what we believe in. Reduced prices have helped us, especially with the AlkaStream and we are selling 5 times as many AlkaStreams as we are selling electronic systems. But my point is that if a call for lower pricing doesn’t line up with the bottom line of the many small businesses that get their living from water ionizers (they CAN’T reduce prices or they will go broke) then the answer is not to work harder, but to work smarter.

    In this economy and environment, EVERYTHING needs reviewing and either jettisoned or given a smart pill. Small ionizer business has to let go of the cliff edge and hope he or more likely she, can actually fly.

    • Hi Ian:

      Good comments as always.

      You pointed out the success of Enagic as they sell up to 5,000 units per month. I agree that they are making a lot of money which makes them a huge commercial success. However, I don’t measure success with money anymore. To me, a huge success would be sales of a million units per month. It would take 10 years of sales of 1 million units per month to put a machine in every home in America. Now that would be a success.

      The low cost antioxidant filters offered by your company and others provide the same health benefits as the $4,000 Enagic machine. They also provide far superior filtration. I don’t know how you are going to do it, but you must find a way to get that information out to the public. It will be difficult to do because you are not paying out thousands of dollars in commissions. That means you will have to rely upon retailers who are comfortable working with smaller numbers and large volumes. I will keep writing about the benefits of the water and how to obtain affordable units.

  2. Ian…you are exactly right. Pairing your comments with Rob’s is probably the best commentary on the industry I think I’ve ever read.

    Enagic has an overpriced average ionizer. But what they really sell is $$$. I’ve lost track of the number of Enagic dealers I’ve talked to who have sold between 0 and 1 ionizer. They believe in their product, but they can’t sell it because most people won’t spend that much for their health unless it’s a last resort.

    What most dealers don’t realize, is that while they may have purchased their SD-501 because it worked and it made them feel good. The real reason they bought it was because they thought they could use it to make a lot of $$. Which is why there is so much anger and emotion across the web anytime someone questions their ionizer. Their connection is deeper than just a product.

    Most of us don’t get angry when someone questions the type of phone or car or house we buy. But change the question to why we spend more than we should have on those things or why we have credit card debt, or why we don’t give to charity and the response is way different.

    $$$ is emotional.

    Those who are most successful in Enagic, or any MLM, are the ones who are most capable of persuading others. They give the best presentation, they are the most comfortable in front of crowds, they look good and others in the room want to be like them. You could pull any of the top sellers in those organizations and plug them into any product line and they would do well.

    Enagic is successful because most of the people who buy an ionizer don’t realize how hard it may be to change WHO they are before they attempt to sell what they have.

    Until they do, companies who market other alkaline, ionized water systems will continue to have potential customers contacting them all because “a friend has been giving me this water which I really like…but I can’t afford it.”

    • Hi Gabe:

      Geez…you Alkastream guys are on the ball today. I suspect that a lot of Enagic people who are truly interested in helping others, as opposed to making this all about the money will end up working with you at some point in time. It won’t be easy for you to get them onside because there is a lot of brain washing to be undone. I have no problem if people buy Enagic machines, as long as they drink the water. For those that can’t afford $4,000 or are unwilling to spend that much money, your filters offer an excellent low cost alternative.

  3. Great reading and on the spot all of you.
    The main issue is to just get the information out there. Enagic´s done it well and kudos to em. But it is the business that gets most people into investing that amount. But it is also the pricetag that is a problem. If something cost 4000 dollars they think it must be something better than a 400 dollar product. Just yesterday a customer used this as a argument to by the enagic insteed. It´s a mind game for some. They just did not wanna listen to facts. More expensive…better product.
    I now focus on educating through ads in health papers to get to people before they are introduced on the subject through others.
    I have also introduced the alkastream to one of Swedens best antioxidant re-searchers. He will perfom tests on persons before and after the use of alkastream. Measuring the levels of free radical and artery flexibility. It will be very interesting to see the results in a couple of months.

    • Hi Robert:

      Thanks for writing in from Sweden. You are the third Alkastream guy that has commented on my blog today….Australia….USA….Sweden

      Are you guys taking over the world?????

      I’m very interested in the research that you and your associate are doing. I would be grateful if you would send me an email at with the details. You can also reach me on Skype at robthewaterguy

      I hope that you will keep everyone posted on your efforts.

  4. Sure will Rob.. Keep up the great work over there.

  5. Hi Rob,

    I agree with you that something must be done to restore the credibility of the water ionizer industry. I have noticed that as an industry, we have some self-inflicted wounds – these things NEED to change:

    1) You cannot ionize water molecules. You can ionize the MINERALS in water, the electrodialytic process used in ionizers does produce molecular dissociation which produces hydroxyl ions that immediately combine with the healthy minerals in alkaline ionized mineral water to produce mineral hydroxide compounds – This is PROVEN, I have industry white sheets that prove this

    2) Ionizers do NOT work by electrolysis – The correct term is Electrodialysis. There is a BIG difference between the outcome of electrolysis and electrodialysis. The difference is that electrodialysis used an ion-permeable membrane which separates alkaline/acidic water. You cannot make alkaline ionized mineral water through electrolysis alone.

    3) We must stop advertising Japanese mythology – Much of the claims about the water produced by our machines (such as Kangen Water) are based on mythology. Until this stops, the industry will continue to receive well-deserved criticism.

    4) All articles/advertising that make health claims MUST include references to the ACTUAL studies they are based on. Saying “There are studies that…” without references to those studies is impugning our credibility as an industry.

    5) As an industry, we must stop making claims about the water that contradict basic laws of chemistry and physics. For example, as Dr. Stephen Lower states: “The term ‘ionized water’ is meaningless to chemists”. He’s right, the correct term is Alkaline ionized mineral water. It is an accepted fact in chemistry that water can contain ionized minerals.

    I hope you will join me in calling for greater scientific integrity in advertising. Ionizers do a lot for our health, but no-one will believe us unless – as an industry – we learn to speak with the utmost of integrity.

    • Hi Leo:

      Outstanding comments. Some of your points will be dismissed by many as to much detail, but the details are important.

  6. Great article, Rob. We’re trying to do something about all of this over on I hope you’ll join us and help change the face of this industry. I think you could add a LOT to the discussions there. We just launched, but expect this site to be #1 in the industry in short order. I will see it to fruition myself.

    Thanks for bringing the subject up!

    • Hi Chris:

      I checked out your site. The site seems to be an advertising “catch-all” to me, but what the heck do I know. I tried setting up a forum on my blog in the past but it ended up being a cheer leading section that didn’t really offer anything new or of added value. Hopefully, you will have more success with yours. Good luck.

  7. Hey Rob – Not sure what you mean by an “advertising catch all”, but we put the site together to give consumers a voice in the water ionizer industry. All we have right now are sites like ionizersreviewed where one man attempts to shove his affiliate offers down your throat. I think this industry needs a place where facts can be presented instead of just 1 way communication with the intention of selling a person one brand of ionizer or another.

    I’ll be back in the office this afternoon if you want to chat. I will email you my number.

    • Hi Chris:

      I guess I’m just really suspicious of agendas because that is all we have ever seen in the industry. What is the goal of your site? How do you profit from it? In other words, what is your agenda?

      I have never had any advertising associated with my site, but I’m just stupid (as in no advertising revenue) and stubborn about it. I admit that I miss the money (or more specifically, my wife misses the money) that I made while selling water ionizers, but until I reach the day where I need the money, I’m happy with what I’m doing.

      I have no problem with people advertising but the sophisticated marketing efforts that “lead” us to make a specific choice while pretending to be unbiased drives me crazy.

      As a follow up to this comment, I never heard back from Chris

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