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Consumer Buying Guide and Checklist

Alkaline water ionizers

Water ionizers are not toaster ovens. They are sophisticated electronic appliances which represent a considerable investment and should provide you with many years of high quality, health producing alkaline water.
There are many manufacturers and models, and an overwhelming amount of information to assimilate. There is also a lot of "fluff" on the internet, making it harder to decide what is best to do.

We are committed to bringing this technology and its health benefits to the world. With that commitment, we feel a sense of responsibility to provide you with a checklist of points that we consider important.

Specific Comments/ Helpful Advice

1. Copy models from China/Taiwan are showing up in the USA. Be careful of products that have not been made for the USA market and have no track record here. These models can disappear as quickly as they have appeared, leaving customers without any backup service, filters or parts.

2. Most ionizer units use only genuine Platinum Titanium. This is because Platinum is by far the most effective and stable element for water ionization. Some models made in Taiwan/ China are using Platinoiridium or Platinum mixed with Iridium. They don't use platinum titanium because platinum titanium is 7 times more expensive than iridium. The Japanese and Korean governments do not allow any company to sell iridium for drinking water applications because it is bad for your health. Models made in Taiwan/China may use iridium.
One entry into the USA market - uses "'white gold' for their plating. This is very misleading as there is no such thing as white gold since gold is always yellow. White gold, in fact, is actually an amalgam and contains at least 62% silver and other minerals. Platinum is about $1250 an ounce while is Silver about $12 an ounce. Obviously all the (Japanese) manufacturers would use "white gold" if it was any good.

3. The Enagic models are very expensive mainly because as a multi-level marketing (MLM) company they require inflated markups in order to be able to pay out all the levels of sales representatives.

4. A few manufactures make a lot of profit from replacement filters. While some brands have reasonable filter prices there are many that don't. But also why buy an ionizer that just has a plain carbon filter when you can buy an ionizer with an UltraWater filter, that has been tested by a USA government certified laboratory, to removes 99.9% of most contaminants? Please consider that ionizers really do alter the water in a positive way, but will also make any heavy metals and chemicals in the water also more bio-available!

5. Some manufacturers are employing larger plating and claiming they are superior. They hope to fool the consumer into thinking "bigger, is better". With electronics quite the opposite is true (consider how the radio, camera, computer and TV have evolved). The larger electrodes draw 3-4 times more power decreasing the electrode life with no additional benefit to the water quality. They are simply a sign of old technology being used.

6. When looking at what brand to buy look also at the level and quality of ongoing support you will be getting.

7. By US tested we mean that the company have been selling in the USA for at least three years. It takes a number of years to show that a water ionizer is reliable (less to show it is not).

8. We do not recommend models that use UV lighting as a means for moving bacteria or viruses. UV light has to shine through a clear surface but in time these surfaces tend to become opaque or dirty (especially where there is hard water). Also the UV bulb may stop working and the UV light may not work well with fast water flow. In comparison anti-bacterial filters will always work at optimum strength as long as they are replaced in time. All ionizers that use filters have a filter counter inbuilt.

9. Some new companies from China, Taiwan and Korea claim to have an inbuilt ORP meter. Although a good idea, this is still only at this stage gimmickry. It is very hard to get an accurate ORP reading and an ORP meter needs to regularly recalibrated and cleaned (since its points quickly gets oxidized). In our tests using ionizers with inbuilt ORP we found that the readings were very inaccurate and misleading when compared to the results from a proper ORP meter.

Personal Considerations

1) What is your main reason for wanting to drink ionized water?

2) Do you understand alkalinity? See >>> "Scientific Article on Water"

3) Do you understand the potential health risks associated with drinking bottled water, R.O. or distilled water? See >>> "Dangers of Distilled Water"

Installation Considerations

1) What is the quality of your source water? Are you on well water or do you have unusually hard water? (You are welcome to contact us for a free water test consultation).

2) What type of installation would you prefer?
a) Countertop (sits next to your sink and connects to faucet with a diverter). Very easy to install.
b) Countertop plumbed into the water main (usually sits close to sink but needs no tap diverter - to control water flow you turn a knob on the front of the unit to get ionized water). Please call Customer Service, at 775-324-2400, with any questions.
c) Undersink for no countertop clutter. Only a small dedicated faucet mounted at the sink (installation by plumber recommended). See our range of faucets for undersink installation - Here
Adaptability to meet changing future needs (can it be converted from counter top to undersink?)

3) Ease of installation

Product Considerations

1) Manufacturing standards - Is the ionizer manufactured to ISO standards? ISO is the International Organization for Standardization and is a network of the National Standards Institutes from 153 countries. ISO certification represents a considerable investment in time and money. A lot of companies talk about quality but have they spent the money and time to have their manufacturing plant certified?

2) Technology - all cars utilize an internal combustion engine; all engines are not created equal. This same analogy applies to ionizers.

3) Filters - ALL ionizers have them and they are critical to the quality of the output. Why invest in an expensive ionizer that does not have test results on their filter from a ceertified, independent source?

4) Electrolysis chamber - again ALL ionizers have them and they are critical. Look for platinum coated titanium electrodes, preferably using polymer ion separation technology. Some manufacturers are employing larger electrodes and claiming they are superior. They hope to fool the consumer into thinking "bigger is better". With electronics generally speaking, quite the opposite is true. The larger electrodes draw 3-4 times more power decreasing the electrode life with no additional benefit to the output.

5) Cleaning - ALL ionizers have a cleaning functionality, essentially reversing the polarity on the electrodes. Where products differ is in what triggers the cleaning cycle (at startup, certain amount of output, certain amount of time etc...). Look for an auto cleaning process that has minimal impact on machine use.

6) Control Panel - yet again, ALL ionizers have them. Look for ease of use (not too many buttons and knobs) yet true functionality. LED displays are intuitive to use and very durable.

7) Parts - look for FDA approved food-grade plastic hoses and stainless steel output hoses and fittings.

Size (personal preference)

1) Quality of design (personal preference)

2) Reliability - how well it performs. Does the product/manufacturer have a solid reputation and track record?

3) Durability - how long it performs. Again, look for a solid reputation and track record.

Service Considerations

1) How long has the company been in business? What is their ranking with the Better Business Bureau? Look for an established company who will be around to provide service, filters etc.

2) What type of warranty do they offer and can you easily read the 'fine print'?

3) Where is the warranty service provided and by whom?

4) What type of money-back guarantee do they offer?

5) How easy is it to get live help?

Value Considerations

1) How important is high quality, healthful and safe water? What is the net value of your purchase all things considered (quality of output, features, reliability, service etc...)?

2) What are the on-going filter replacement costs?

3) Are you sure the ionizer will produce clean and healthy water for many years?

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