2018 Guide to Buying a Water Ionizer
16 Key Criteria to Consider When Purchasing a Water Ionizer
We encourage anyone considering purchasing a water ionizer to read this detailed guide in full. We have been selling water ionizers for over 10 years, we’ve learnt a thing or two along the way. Purchasing a water ionizer can be a life changing investment. There are many important points to consider and much misinformation to cut through; as such we have produced this 16 point guide sharing our experience to help you make an informed decision.
1) Countertop or Under Sink installation?
The first thing to consider is how you will install your Water Ionizer. Water Ionizers are available in a Countertop or Under Sink configuration. A Countertop Water Ionizer will sit right beside your sink and will be either connected to your tap our plumbed in directly to your cold water supply (a very neat option). Countertop Water Ionizers are quick and easy to install and require no specialist skills to install.
An Under Sink Water Ionizer as its name suggests will have the body of your water ionizer under your sink and plumbed into your cold water supply, while a dedicated Water Ionizer faucet will be fitted on the counter top over the sink (it will not replace your existing faucet so you will have 2 faucets), the Water Ionizer faucet will have controls to control the pH alkaline/acidic settings and much more. Under Sink Water Ionizer are generally more expensive to purchase and more expensive to install as you will require the skills of plumber however it is a very neat and clutter free option favoured by many premium kitchen owners.
2) Is the Ionizer produced by one of the top 5 Water Ionizer Brands Globally ?
This is very important, there are really only 5 Water Ionizer Brands that you should everconsider purchasing from, all of these companies have a proven track record of reliability, performance and strong warranty support. We consistently see new water ionizer brands come and go with poor manufacturing standards, little or no support, and customers having great difficulties getting machines repaired or purchasing replacement filters.
The quality and production standards of cheaper machines is also questionable, in the past some cheaper Chinese imports were known to deteriorate quickly and leach lead and other harmful chemicals into the water making it far more harmful to drink than regular tap water. Make sure to purchase a machine produced by one of the top 5 Water Ionizer brands; Alkaviva, Chanson, Life, Kangen and Tyent.
3) What H2 or Molecular Hydrogen levels are produced at drinking water alkaline range 8.5pH to 9.5pH?
The H2 or Molecular Hydrogen content of water has been scientifically and medically shown to be the most important benefit in drinking Alkaline water. In fact many scientists will say that ALL of the benefit in drinking Alkaline water comes from its H2 content and nothing else. Not all Water Ionizers produce good quality H2 levels or they can only do so at very high pH ranges which is not palatable or indeed recommended to drink. Ionizers should be judged on the H2 levels they can produce at recommend drinking water range 8.5pH to 9.5pH. The new AlkaViva H2 range are the world’s top water ionizers for H2 production. Read more about the importance of Molecular Hydrogen >>
4) Water Filtration Quality
If you are going to spend over £1,000 on a water ionizer you want to make sure that all impurities are filtered from your water so you are getting the very best quality filtered water for you and your family. The AlkaViva H2 range Ultrawater filters for example remove 99% of impurities including chlorine, chloramine, pharma, heavy metals, fluoride and resilient contaminants like chromium VI and arsenic to non-detectable levels, the filters in Tyent Ionizers are also excellent dual filter Water Ionizers, surprisingly much more expensive water Ionizers such as all the Kangen Models feature a very basic single charcoal filter that remove only moderate levels of impurities and do not remove chlorine, fluoride or heavy metals to effective levels.
5) Warranty length and is there a UK service centre
Some Water Ionizers come with full 5 year warranties some with only 1 or 2 years. Some companies have dedicated UK service centres while others insist that machines must be sent to Germany or the USA for repair often at the customer’s expense and risk. Speak us today to ensure you understand the warranty process and what is and what is not covered under warranty before making a large investment.
Water Ionizers are not cheap, as with most products as price increases so does quality, reliability, performance, customer service and warranty. Expect to pay between £1,000 and £2,500 for a high quality Water Ionizer. Water Ionizer brands normally categorise their models on the number of Electrode Plates the machine has. Typically 5 Plate Water Ionizers are at the entry level price range £1,000 - £1,400, with 7 Plate machines at the £1,400 - £1,800 price range, with premium 9 & 11 Plate Water ionizers producing the best metrics ranging from £1,700 for Countertop Units to £2,500 for Under Sink systems.
We have not tested any water Ionizer presently on the market for under £1,000 that is a really solid, reliable investment with a good warranty as per point 2, equally any water Ionizer sold in excess of £2,500 is generally done so as part of pyramid selling scheme.
A well-known company operating a pyramid selling scheme for water Ionizers in the UK and throughout Europe is Kangen Water also known as Enagic. Generally with every Kangen Water Ionizer sold there can be 5-10 people on the Pyramid scheme that receive a commission payment, that’s a lot of mouths to feed! As such the price of Kangen Water Ionizers are highly inflated. Kangen’s 5, 7 and 8 Plate water ionizers are generally between 2 and 3 times more expensive, use dated technology and perform poorly on the most important metrics with comparable premium 5, 7 and 9 Plate water Ionizers from the other leading brands such Alkaviva and Tyent Water Ionizers.
7) Ongoing Costs
Most water ionizers require filters to be changed every 6 to 12 months. Most premium water ionizers are dual filter machines and so require 2 filters to be changed regularly. Filter costs can vary considerably from £40 to £99 with annual running costs from £40 to £180. However filter quality can vary greatly, generally dual filter water ionizers will remove more impurities than single filter water ionizers. For example AlkaViva filters are the most expensive but by far the top performing water filters available for a water ionizer.
8) What negative –ORP Levels can the water ionizer produce at drinking water alkaline range 8.5pH to 9.5pH?
One of the characteristics of water containing dissolved Molecular Hydrogen is that it exhibits a negative oxidation reduction potential or -ORP. The negative -ORP levels your Water Ionizer can produce are an indicator of the performance of your Water Ionizer in producing anti-oxidant water. Higher levels of –ORP exhibit higher levels of H2. Higher negative ORP is produced by decreasing the H+ concentration and increasing the dissolved H2 or Molecular Hydrogen concentration, this is normally achieved by increasing the pH. Comparing the -ORP Levels Water Ionizers can produce is a good way to compare performance however studies suggest that when the pH goes above 10pH –ORP is not a good measurement of the anti-oxidant quality of water as other factors come into play that distort the –ORP readings and can make the water unsafe to drink.
9) pH Performance
What is the strongest Acidic pH and strongest Alkaline pH levels achievable- As of 2018 all of the top Water Ionizer brands have products that can produce strong Alkaline water; 11-12pH and strong Acidic water; 2-4pH. In the past the highest pH and lowest levels of pH a water ionizer could achieve was seen as the key benchmark for the quality of the Water Ionizer, however as mentioned earlier in this article the H2 production quality at drinking water range 8.5-9.5pH is now the key metric. However pH is still very important, a Water Ionizer that produces very strong Acidic pH and strong Alkaline pH water has a number of health and household benefits , for example water with very strong Acidic pH has a number of health benefits including being used as an antiseptic and for skin conditions and for gardening, while water with very high Alkaline levels is excellent for cleaning and disinfecting. Read more about how to use Acidic and Alkaline water >>
10) Design Appeal
This is an important consideration for many people, if you have invested in a beautiful kitchen you want to make sure your water ionizer looks the part. Many outdated Ionizers and indeed some of the newer models from Kangen for example feature quite dated clunky designs, while the newer batch of water ionizers from AlkaViva and Tyent especially, feature stunning contemporary designs with smartphone inspired touchscreen interfaces that will be the highlight of any kitchens. While many people opt for an under sink water ionizer for a minimal clutter free aesthetic.
11) Ionizer Footprint
Some Ionizers can be bulky and are not suitable for small spaces so make sure to review the width, height and depth before purchase to ensure it will fit in your kitchen.
12) How many Electrode Plates does the Ionizer have?
Ionizer plates are the engine of a water ionizer, in the past it was assumed that by simply having more plates that a water ionizer was better, there was also an assumption that larger plates meant better performance, this was a heavily pushed marketing tactic used by companies such as Life Ionizers. Water Ionizer technology has evolved considerably in the past 5 years, all the leading companies now use either titanium plates or titanium coated with platinum plates for optimum performance and longevity. Much like mobile phones and other consumer electronics; technology has become smaller and more efficient. The optimum number of plates is now considered to be 9 plates using 150w of power.
7 Plate water ionizers generally give 10-15% better H2 and –ORP readings than 5 plate water ionizers at drinking water range 8.5-9.5 pH, while 9 Plate water ionizers generally give 10-15% better H2 and –ORP readings than 7 plate water ionizers at drinking water 8.5-9.5 pH.
Some 11 Plate water ionizers outperform 9 Plate water ionizers marginally at drinking water levels and produce less waste acidic water, however they consume much more power and there is a concern about long term plate degradation. A focus on more plates and larger plate size is often an indication of dated technology, larger plates require more power and as a result plates have been known to degrade after 12 to 18 months, we have spoken to a number of Life Ionizer customers in the UK who have purchased 11 and 13 plate water ionizer only to see the performance of these machines degrade rapidly, some as quickly as 3 months. In addition many water ionizers with 11 or 13 plates show no performance improvement over water Ionizers with 9 plates, some can achieve slightly higher and lower pH levels which has some benefits but at drinking water range (8.5-9.5pH) the result are negligible and often lower than 9 Plate water ionizers, also 11 and 13 plate Water ionizers can be more prone to limescale build-up due to high power use.
If your budget can stretch we recommend opting for a 9 plate water ionizer such as the world’s top performing H2 Ionizer the AlkaViva Vesta H2 Countertop Ionizer or the Tyent UCE 9000 Under Sink Ionizer. The new Tyent UCE 11 and Tyent ACE 11 are excellent 2nd generation 11 plate ionizers exhibiting excellent power to plate ratios with no concern over degradation; in fact the Tyent UCE 11 is certainly the best Under Sink Ionizer available in the world today.
13) Certifications -does the ionizer have CE certification, is the Ionizer produced in a factory that is ISO 9001:2008 compliant?
This is important, Ionizers should have at least a CE certification, this means the product conforms to EU directives regarding health and safety. Alkaviva, Tyent and Chanson Water Ionizers are all CE certified and all three factories have achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification ensuring the very best manufacturing standards and process used in the production of their water ionizers.
14) Avoid companies trying to sell you ‘Registered Medical Device’s
We include this here because it’s a marketing scare tactic commonly used by some Ionizer companies. Alkaviva and Tyent Water Ionizers are registered Medical Devices in South Korea, Kangen Ionizers are registered Medical Devices in Japan, Chanson Ionizers are registered Medical Devices in Twain, but you will not see this highlighted on our product pages, why? – Because none are registered medical devices in the UK, the USA or by any EU directive. See the problem here?
All the companies are registered as medical devices in the country they are produced but not anywhere else. Claiming to be a registered medical device in one country but not in the country where you are selling the water ionizer is highly questionable sales tactic that should raise alarm bells for you if someone tries to sell you a water ionizer on this merit. This marketing scare tactic is used by some Ionizer brands to avoid focusing on key performance metrics, first and foremost Ionizers should bench-marked on H2, -ORP, PH, and filtration performance and product warranty. Avoid companies trying to sell you registered medical devices. If the ionizer has CE certification it then conforms to strict EU health and safety directives, then focus on the quality of the water!
15) Do I live in a hard or soft water area and how will this impact my machine?
When purchasing your water ionizer make sure you check to see if you live in a hard or soft water area, you should be able to get a hard water reading from your local water supply board. Generally water ionizers give the best results when there is a slightly higher mineral content in the water (normally hard water areas) however if the water is very hard you should also take precaution to ensure that limescale will not damage your machine in the future by including a limescale inhibitor filter in your ionizer set up. Conversely if you live in a very soft water area with little or no minerals in the water you may need to add a remineralizing filter to your ionizer configuration to get the best H2, -ORP and PH levels.
16) Is the company you are buying from an authorised dealer? Are they a long established, VAT registered Ionizer company with their own dedicated UK service centre?
Clearly we are trying to promote our own USP’s here but we feel these points are very important. We have been selling water ionizers for over 10 years and have a wealth of knowledge about the different products on the market. We are authorized to sell 3 of the top 5 water ionizer brands in the world, the other 2 brands we have chosen not to sell for reasons detailed in this guide. We are a VAT registered company, this means we pay VAT on all sales to HMRC but this also shows that we are a large business whose turnover makes us legally obliged to be VAT registered. Many small retailers selling water ionizers are individuals who are not VAT registered or registered as a company and so do not afford you the same consumer rights as you have when purchasing from a company such as ours. Buy with confidence from WaterIonizers.co.uk.
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