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What is a water Ionizer?

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water ionizersThe Positive:

  1. A water ionizer is an electrically powered kitchen appliance that employs the process of electrolysis to split ordinary tap water into ‘alkaline’ and acidic water.
  2. Ionized alkaline water is claimed to promote better hydration, neutralize acidity in the body, and aid in the absorption of essential minerals.

Acidic water can be used for various external applications, such as cleaning and disinfecting.

The Negative:

1. The use of electricity to change pH of water is not the same as naturally alkaline water: water containing alkaline minerals. Electrical current passed through water can increase the indicative pH without increasing actual alkaline minerals. Only the alkaline minerals already present in the water are contained in the output ‘alkaline water’. In that sense, it is not a true ‘alkalizer’.

2. Claims of neutralising acid in the body can be made when actual alkaline minerals are ingested, but a water ionizer does not add alkaline minerals to what is already in the water, and so cannot lay claim to an advantage over drinking water with the same amount of alkalis.

3. The claim of aiding absorption of essential minerals has no basis. No studies exist to support this.

4. Acidic water is always produced as a byproduct. This means that unless it is put to use, 50% of the water passing through your prefilter is wasted.

5. There are clear alternatives to the high cost of such machines including a simple alkaline mineral supplement dissolved in water daily, which gives you a balanced mix of the four essential alkaline minerals, Calcium, magnesium, Sodium and Potassium.


The operation of a water ionizer can be broken down into several key stages:

The Positive..


  1. Filtration: Before ionization begins, tap water first passes through a built-in filtration system. This system typically includes activated carbon designed to remove impurities, contaminants, and chlorine from the water.
    By filtering out these unwanted substances, the ionizer ensures that the water entering the electrolysis chamber is as clean and pure as possible. 

    2. Electrolysis: Once the water has been filtered, it passes into the electrolysis chamber, a series of electrodes, or plates. These electrodes are typically made of materials, such as titanium coated with platinum. When an electric current is applied to the electrodes, the water molecules are split into positively charged hydrogen ions (H+) and negatively charged hydroxide ions (OH-).

    3. Ion Separation: As the water undergoes electrolysis, the positively charged ions are attracted to the negatively charged electrode (cathode), while the negatively charged ions are drawn to the positively charged electrode (anode). This separation of ions results in the formation of two distinct types of water: alkaline water (with a higher concentration of hydroxide ions) and acidic water (with a higher concentration of hydrogen ions). This process is also responsible for the production of molecular hydrogen (H2), a potent antioxidant known for its numerous health benefits.
    4. Output: Once the ionization process is complete, the ionizer dispenses the alkaline and acidic water through separate outlets. The user can then choose the desired pH level for the alkaline water, typically ranging from 8 to 9.5, depending on the intended application. The acidic water, which usually has a pH of around 4 to 6, can be collected for external use, such as cleaning or skincare.

    The Negative..

    1.Filtration on most electric water ionizer is basic. This has two problems:
    a) The many contaminants in modern water systems demands more than basic filtration. Most water ionizer buyers resort to the use of external add-on filters to reduce contaminants like heavy metals, chloramines, fluoride, PFAs, and more.
    b) Low quality filtration affects th efficiency of the plates within the water ionizer’s electrolysis chamber. This, in turn affects the ability of the ionizer to create its main benefit: molecular hydrogen infused in the output water. Unless scrupulously cleaned regularly, H2 capability soon dissipates.

    2. Electrolysis.
    a) Electrolysis is a century-old method of separating water. Today there are better, less wasteful technologies (Proton Exchange Membrane, natural water ionizers, H2 tablets and H2 portable bottles).
    As you investigate water ionizers you’ll also begin to understand that the one important benefit is the infusion of molecular hydrogen as a byproduct of the ionization process, and yet there are far more efficient ways to get adequate H2 including inhalation.

    b) As discussed above, electrolysis plates are subject to detritus that passes through inadequate filtration. This has only recently been acknowledged because for many years H2 production was never even talked about. (In fact early makers tried to get rid of it from the electrolysis process, mistakenly seeing it as dangerous.)
    The other difficulty with electrolysis is that at the face of the plates, turbulence causes H2 nanobubbles to combine as they are agitated. This combining causes large bubbles of H2 gas which quickly escape when output. In contrast, a natural water ionizer infuses H2 to such a degree that they are hardly discerible when output, yet have been proven to supply almost 4 x the H2 level.

    3. Ion Separation
    As mentioned earlier, ion separation does not create alkaline minerals. It merely concentrates already present alkaline minerals and outputs them in a separate stream to the acid stream. AS also mentioned, if the object of using a water ionizer is to alkalize the body, a far more effective and less costly method is a daily glass of alkaline mineral infused water.

    4. Output.
    The ability to use strong acid water for cleaning is good. However to be a sanitizer, the water must have a pH below 2.7. To achieve this highly acid level means running the ionizer using a special additive. There are excellent and far simpler more utilitarian methods of creating this water.


A water ionizer is capable of producing ionized water with a wide range of pH levels. Ionized water with a pH of 8.5 is OK for everyday drinking, while water with a pH of 9.5 is better suited for cooking and preparing food.

Just remember:
High pH water does not equal the same water with alkaline minerals in it that gives the same pH. This electrically formed water is known as ‘unbuffered’, meaning it almost immediately neutralises in the body. 

Test your water before considering purchase.
If your water has a low pH it means there are insufficient alkaline minerals already in it that can be utilised by the body. If your water tests at greater than 8.5pH, it means that your ionizer will make it too strong to drink, and may even cause diarrhea.

In summary, a water ionizer is an innovative appliance that employs electrolysis to transform tap water into ionized alkaline and acidic water. It claims numerous health benefits. The process begins with filtration to remove impurities, followed by electrolysis to separate water molecules into ions, and finally, the dispensing of alkaline and acidic water for various applications. By providing access to ionized water, water ionizer vendors claim that the machine contributes to better health, improved hydration, and a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Here at AlkaWay we supplied and sold electric water ionizers for 12 years until we created the UltraStream, a natural water ionizer, filter and H2 system.

External Reference:
We recommend you check The non profit website of the Molecular Hydrogen Institute for excellent and non-biased articles on water ionizers.


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