How to Compare the Various Types of Ionizer Filtration Machines
There are plenty of different ionizers from multiple companies and each model claims to create the best alkaline solution. They are available as tabletop appliances, for installation under the table, or as an attachment for the tap. With so much choice, making the right decision is difficult.
Here are a few suggestions that you can use as a guide when purchasing a new ionizer, or deciding to install one for the first time:
1. A good ionizer brand will have been established in the US market for a considerable time and proven itself to be reliable. It should also be recognized with certificates like the Gold Seal Certification from WQA (Water Quality Association).
2. The best ionizer manufacturers provide the full package to homeowners and offer their services worldwide, not just in the USA. In case of repair, you should not be obliged to ask a local electrician for assistance or have to send it overseas for a fix. A questionable manufacturer, on the other hand, tends to be:
a) A private label manufacturer producing ionizers for various companies, all of which have different names, but use the same technology. The problem here is that the manufacturer does not repair the equipment, but leaves that responsibility to the company which sell it.
b) A private label seller which buys stock from a filtration machine manufacturer and then presents itself as the manufacturer.
c) Authorized resellers that are independent vendors selling ionizers. They will only provide services and repairs as long as they remain in the market. If they have financial problems or fold their business, customers lose the opportunity to get their device serviced or repaired by an expert.
3. A good ionizer comes with a warranty for 3-5 years, but this must be a proper manufacturer's warranty. It should confirm that not only the seller has responsibility for the warranty, but also the manufacturer. This type of warranty allows buyers to contact the manufacturer which is always helpful, as they can offer the most detailed advice on the unit.
4. If the ionizer is good, the pH value can be chosen. Some well-known ionizers offer only ‘stage 1’, ‘stage 2’ or ‘stage 3’ because the units do not maintain a constant pH value. A good ionizer, on the other hand, gives you the option to select a pH value of up to 8.5, then the machine then continuously supplies you with H2O at about pH 8.5 – although slight fluctuations can always occur.
5. A good ionizer filtration machine completes a self-cleaning cycle at certain intervals and also needs to be cleaned manually on regular occasions. This prevents a residue of limestone being built up inside.
6. A good ionizer has platinum-coated titanium plates in its electrolytic chamber, the best versions consist entirely of titanium immersed in platinum. As both titanium and platinum are expensive materials, some manufacturers try to save money by piercing holes through the plates or spraying the plates with platinum instead of dipping them into it for a complete coating. These plates may be called ‘Mesh or Slotted Plate Electrodes’ and manufacturers claim the holes increase the active surface area. They say this results in the plates offering better ionization. If the plates were thick and the holes would really increase the surface area significantly, then their argument would make sense. But this is not the case, the plates are very thin and the holes are not actually drilled to increase the surface area. Instead, cheap ionizers have very thin plates in order to save on the cost of materials. They are perforated and re-sprayed with platinum, just as a method of saving money.
7. Normally, ionizers have filters inside to remove any impurities from the water before it flows into the electrolytic chamber. Most filters contain activated charcoal, which is excellent for removing chlorine. They may also remove other substances, but no filter on the market will add anything harmful to the water. Some less scrupulous traders claim that certain filters may emit harmful substances, but this utter nonsense.
However, there are ionizers which have two filters that water passes through before the electrolysis chamber. These are not designed to filter the water to a higher standard, but to compensate for really bad electrolysis treatment. The second filter adds minerals to the water, such as calcium, which makes it more alkaline, since otherwise, the ionizer would not succeed in the process of electrolysis. As a result, the plates are inclined to fur up faster, which means that the quality of the produced solution can’t be sustained in the long term. So, make sure your ionizer has only one filter located in the system. Of course, ionizers can have pre-filters for filtering out even more pollutants, but there should only be one filter inside and nothing to add extra minerals to the solution.
Automatic Flow Control?
8. A good ionizer does not need an automatic flow control, rather the amount of water which passes through is controlled by how much the water tap is opened up. Some machines have an automatic flow control to manage what enters the electrolytic chamber. If too much liquid flows in constantly, it will be treated as access. The unit will drain it down into the sink together with the acidic waste product, which is not useful at all. The electrolytic chamber should be able to produce a uniform pH, even if the tap is opened up wider. Whilst you cannot always open up every faucet on each device completely, the amount going through should be controlled by the user, not by the device. Therefore, when a device can indicate how much is being treated, this should not be considered a quality feature. Instead, it can indicate a shortcoming, namely the inability to alkalinize larger amounts of water at once.
9. A good ionizer filtration machine does not have to take breaks due to overheating but can be kept in use permanently. Some companies point to the ‘overheating protection’ of their device as a bonus feature, but in reality, it is a failing. Good ionizers will not need breaks to cool down.
10. The two types of power supplies for ionizers are (i) transformers and (ii) SMPS - Switch Mode Power Supply. SMPS are lighter and cheaper but not completely stable. Traditional transformers, on the other hand, use the current continuously at a higher wattage, which means the increased power can be maintained permanently. SMPS is not cutting edge, their only advantage is that they are lighter, but they are less stable and in the long run quite inferior to transformers.
11. With a good ionizer, neither the pH value nor the ORP value strongly fluctuates. You can browse comparison websites online which indicate incredibly high ORP values for some ionizers, but it should be recognized that this value can’t stay uniform. It may be strong in the minus field which is good because that means many free electrons are in the water. However, if it then fluctuates into the plus it means the water steals electrons, which is usually not disclosed by those websites. So, it pays to research the topic into more depth than is possible on water comparison websites.
12. The marketing concepts used by ionizer companies vary greatly. Some will ask you to recommend a device, or introduce yourself as a salesperson and then give a recommendation. Alternatively, some will ask you to introduce yourself to potential customers as an agent, in which case the manufacturer bears all responsibility for their device. By sticking to good marketing concepts, you will have no responsibility for the performance of the device, as that falls to the manufacturer, and you can start earning from your first sale. Many people have already built up a sizable concern using that as a starting point.
Finally, it sounds like common sense but doesn’t forget that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Be sceptical of extremely cheap ionizers, as the high-quality versions with strong titanium plates coated in platinum and unperforated, will always command a heftier price tag.
Before you make a decision, ask a manufacturer more about the following:
1. Are you a full-service manufacturer of ionizers? Do you have a service department in the US?
2. How long have you been in the US market?
3. What certificates do you have? Do you have the Gold Seal Certification of WQA?
4. What are your electrode plates made of? Are they purely composed of titanium immersed in platinum with no holes?
5. How many filters do you have in the machine, and what do they do? Be careful if there are two filters since the second filter often serves to alkalinize the water through adding calcium.
6. How long is the warranty period? At least 3-5 years is considered good.
7. In the case of a guarantee, who will honour this agreement? Is it the agent acting as a seller who shoulders the risk, or is this shared with the manufacturer? Who do I turn to if help is needed?
8. Does the ionizer have an overheating protection feature? Again this might ring alarm bells, as ionizers should be capable of running constantly.
9. Can I select the exact pH value, ideally the answer is ‘yes’. Or am only able to choose ‘Level 1 or ‘Level 2’, which is not so helpful.
10. Does the ionizer have a self-cleaning function which starts automatically? It should do.
11. Is the power supply a transformer, or an SMPS? Always go for a transformer.
12. If the ionizer has ‘automatic flow control’ this is likely to be inferior, as it will not create as much alkaline water in the electrolysis chambers.
13. Ask them to explain their marketing concept - do you earn money from the first device on? Ideally, you should do. And, do you even have to provide the guarantee for the sold device, which can result in problems.