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Water Ionizer Buying Guide – Features and Options to Look Into

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P roper hydration is of the essence for your well-being. But when it comes to hydration, quality is just as important as quantity. Thus, even if you drink the right amount of water per day, your efforts are in vain if the water does not come with the minerals you need or is contaminated.

The alkaline water produced by water ionizers is a real life-saver from this point of view as it provides the hydrating liquid on demand, passing it first through filtration to clear it of contaminants and then subjecting it to electrolysis to produce high-pH water.

If you are interested in buying a water ionizer, make sure to read until the end as we will provide you with the info you need regarding important specs, features, and options. Considering the high asking price these appliances generally come at, it is of the essence to do your homework beforehand so that your money is spent on a product that complies with your expectations and lasts for years to come.

After you read this article and learn more about the important specs and features these appliances come with, check out our ranking of the best water ionizers. Here, you find the top-tier models available on the market right now to make your search easier.

What to Look For When You Shop

By employing electrolysis on the water that passes through it, the unit separates the stream into components of alkaline and acidic nature. The high-pH water is suited for hydration as it is more easily absorbed by the cells, whereas, the acidic water is used for household disinfection purposes.

What is alkaline water?

The term alkaline refers to the pH level. For water to be classified this way, it must boast a minimum pH 8 level. It must also contain healthy alkaline minerals and have antioxidizing properties. Aside from using the water ionizer or the alkaline water pitcher, alkaline water can be obtained using alkaline sticks, pH drops, baking soda, or lemons.

Learn here how to make your own alkaline water at home. These cheap and easy to follow recipes provide you with the super-hydrating water almost immediately.

What health benefits does drinking it provide?

A hot topic for years is whether ionized water is bad for our health or if it is beneficial. While some claims on both sides are valid, as long as you drink the recommended amount of alkaline water per day, you are in the clear of any unwanted side effects. Turning to the matter at hand, there are quite a few health benefits associated with alkaline water, including:

  • Helps you feel more energized throughout the day as it increases blood oxygen levels.
  • Reduces cellular and DNA damage caused by free radicals due to its antioxidant qualities.
  • Is more easily absorbed by the cells in your body, which leads to quicker, more efficient hydration and ultimately detoxification.
  • Increases body pH to protect you from damaging acids.
  • Reduces body acidity that is caused by pollution, diet, and stress.
  • Accelerates the weight loss process to help you reach your goals quicker.
  • Helps maintain the youthful appearance of your skin for a longer time.

Read here more about the health benefits of alkaline water to better understand how big of a difference switching to an alkaline diet can make for your health.

Now that you know a few things about these machines and the properties of alkaline water, let’s move on to see what are the features and options you need to consider when you make the purchase. While it is not listed in the following, make sure that you don’t overlook the warranty either. With top-tier models like the Tyent UCE-11, the manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty on parts and labor, so you can see why this aspect counts as you are offered free service for as long as you need.

Type

If there is enough space on the counter and you don’t mind the appliance sitting on it, you should choose a countertop unit. The installation procedure is much easier, and when maintenance is due, you won’t have to get on all fours to access it either. However, if free counter space is an issue, it makes more sense to opt for an under-sink installation system that does not take up any usable space.

Plates

A higher amount is the preferable scenario, so the 11 plates provided by models like the Next Generation M11 indicate that you have a fierce alkaline ionizer in front of you. The amount of plates affects the unit lifespan, as well as its efficiency when it comes to the electrolysis process. Bear in mind that this is somewhat of an indicator of the unit’s size too. Models that feature 15 plates, for example, are generally bigger and bulkier in size as well. Another consideration related to plates is the type:

  • Grid plates: Dropped-forged, which makes them suited for hard water areas. They are generally more durable and dependable in the long-run.
  • Flat plates: Simply get the job done without much fuss and are the least expensive of all variants. They lack texture and are generally found in lower-end machines. However, they disappoint when it comes to durability.
  • Slotted plates: Among the most sought-after options for their high efficiency, slotted plates allow the electrical current to have a direction and improve the effectiveness of the ionization process.
  • Mesh plates: The most efficient types of plates available up to now. They allow the most direction of electrical flow and generally provide a larger surface area for the water to enter into contact with.

pH Range

The machine changes the water’s pH, producing either acidic, neutral, or alkaline water. With all units, you get to pick the pH of the water it will output so that it is suited for the purpose you have in mind. The wider the pH range the better as you have multiple selections to pick from.

Want to check the water pH to see if the machine actually provides your selected variant? Then check out our selection of the best alkaline water testers to find out on the spot the pH level, as well as other water quality-related info, depending on the model at hand.

ORP Range

It refers to the machine’s capacity to oxidize and diminish oxidation in the body. The lower the level, the healthier the water outputted is. This is the stat that best indicates the unit’s ability to produce water that fights free radicals, one of the main health benefits related to ionized water consumption.

Filtration

All machines feature built-in water filters, but the filter type and purification efficiency are what matter most when you look into the purchase. They generally last for 6 to 12 months and require replacement when their lifespan ends. The filters also help with water pressure as the purification provided ensures a smooth flow rate. Evidently, their main purpose is to rid the water of contaminants that lurk in it so that you hydrate in a healthy manner.

Automatic Self-Cleaning

With every turning on and off, this feature activates to clean the plates. Maintenance is considerably reduced with machines that come with this feature, and lifespan is generally longer as well. This self-cleaning capability also adds to the efficiency of the water ionization process as the plates are clear to make full contact with the water passing through.

UV Light Technology

Last but not least, the UV light technology feature is a definite must-have for the water ionizer as it purifies the tap water, effectively killing bacteria, fungi, mold, and other microbiological contaminants. Not even chlorine-resistant cysts make it past the UV light, its bactericide properties being undefeated. While for municipality treated water it is not an essential feature for the machine to have, when it comes to well water, it is a definite must-have as microbiological contamination is among the main issues with it.

Best Alkaline Ionizers per Price Category

Photo Products Price
Tyent UCE-11 Image
Best Under $4,000
Tyent UCE-11
  • Type: Under-sink
  • Filtration: Dual ultra-filtration that handles small-size particles
  • Plates: 11, solid/mesh hybrid
  • pH levels: 9
  • ORP value: -1,050mV
  • Automatic self-cleaning: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Check Price at Amazon
Next Generation M11 Image
Best For $1,000-$2,500
Next Generation M11
  • Type: Countertop or under sink
  • Filtration: Custom pre-filter and dual internal filters
  • Plates: 11, platinum-coated titanium
  • pH levels: 8
  • ORP value: -880mV
  • Automatic self-cleaning: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Check Price at Amazon
IONtech IT-580 Image
Best Under $1,000
IONtech IT-580
  • Type: Countertop
  • Filtration: Activated carbon filter
  • Plates: 5, platinum-coated titanium alloy with ceramic membrane
  • pH levels: 4 alkaline, 1 purified, 2 acidic
  • ORP value: -850mV
  • Automatic self-cleaning: Yes
  • Warranty: 2 years
Check Price at Amazon

How to Install an Alkaline Ionizer

There are two variants when it comes to water ionizer installation – countertop or faucet installation, and under sink installation. Beware that with some models, there are separately available under sink installation kits, so you can convert the countertop unit to an under-counter model if this is the setup you prefer.

Countertop Installation

  • Shut off the main water supply at the pipe under the sink.
  • In case the pre-existing faucet features a screw-on aerator, remove it from the tip.
  • If the diverter for the faucet does not fit the faucet tip, use an appropriate-size connector and rubber washer to make it fit.
  • Use Teflon tape to seal the pipe and prevent leaks.
  • Connect the diverter with the right faucet connector.
  • Secure all connections, and you are good to go.

See here the best countertop alkaline water ionizers on the market. Quality machines that you can install with ease and provide ionized water on demand, you are sure to make a smart purchase regardless of the pick you opt for.

Under Sink Installation

  • Shut off the main water supply at the pipe under the sink.
  • Disconnect the faucet cold water supply line from the main cold water pipe.
  • Connect the T-connection to the cold water pipe and use Teflon to prevent leaks.
  • Reconnect the faucet cold water supply like to the T-connection.
  • Secure all connections, and you are good to go.

If you want to free up the counter space yet hydrate with alkaline water whenever you are thirsty in the most convenient manner, see here the best under sink water ionizers the market has to offer at the moment.

Maintenance Considerations

Luckily, with modern appliances that come with automatic self-cleaning, there won’t be much maintenance work asked of you. There are only three basic water ionizer cleaning and maintenance tasks required from you, as follows:

  • Filter replacement: Replace the filters every 6 or 12 months, as instructed in the accompanying manual. Before you insert the new filters, flush them for a few minutes to activate the media. When it comes to the procedure, what you have to do is locate the filter area, access it, take out the old filters, and insert the new ones.
  • Internal cleaning: If you have issues with water hardness, do the procedure every 6 months if you have an automatic self-cleaning machine, and every 3 to 6 months if the appliance does not feature self-cleaning capabilities. Otherwise, you can perform it once every 12 months. You can proceed in one of two ways. For deep cleaning, take out one of the filters, insert a specialty cleaning cartridge, let the machine run for 5 minutes with it inside, turn it off, and let the cartridge in for another hour before you take it out. The other method implies that you insert the cleaning cartridge, and run the appliance at a neutral setting for 20-30 minutes to give it enough time to remove scale buildup.
  • External cleaning: Clean the exterior of the appliance once per week using a soft damp cloth. Simply wipe the machine to remove any dust and dirt to maintain its appearance.

Final Thoughts

With the knowledge you have gained from this article you can rest assured knowing the product you buy will provide you with years of top-notch performance. It is not a cheap purchase to make, so you must make sure to buy quality and invest in a machine that serves you for as many years as possible. Alkaline water is good for your health, and while there are other methods to obtain it, nothing beats this appliance in terms of speed, efficiency, and water purity. Regardless of the specific model you pick, as long as you choose using these guidelines, your acquisition is sure to be a success, and your health will thank you for it after you start your alkaline diet.

Looking for a cheaper alternative to these appliances? Then look here at the best alkaline water pitchers! Considerably cheaper, easy to use, and sufficient to provide hydrating alkaline water each day, these products are the budget option for people who plan on following an alkaline diet.

Tobey Hunter
Tobey Hunter
Tobey is the editor-in-chief at Optima Institute, his prior experience as a niche product reviewer in air quality improvement systems helping shape his path to conduct thorough research toward selecting and analyzing products so that customers are satisfied with the provided recommendations. During his carrier, Tobey also gathered technical input that makes him well versed in understanding advancements in modern systems, helping readers in turn to better understand how modern devices help improve life quality.