The Unbiased Truth about Water Ionizers

The Unbiased Truth about Water Ionizers

UnbiasedIn our attempts to further separate the facts from the fluff with regard to water ionizers, we contacted a water electrolysis expert to ask about some of the claims made by various water ionizer companies about their products.

Each water ionizer company claims superiority in product based on one or more factors. We wanted to establish the true importance of the elements of water ionizers and the “how’s” and “why’s” of the claimed key elements.

We chose electrolysis expert Robert Dopp.  Robert is a Water Electrolysis, Zinc Air, Fuel Cell and Air Electrode expert, holding 36 patents bearing his name with 14 more pending. He has developed the world’s highest rate water electrolysis apparatus and highest rate gas electrode. His company, DoppStein Enterprise, Inc. is an Electrochemical Research Laboratory concentrating on hydrogen generation via water electrolysis, air-breathing batteries and material catalytic evaluation.

The first area we wanted to address was plate size and plate surface area. According to our expert, plate size is one of the two most important factors in the effectivenessPlate Size & Power and efficiency of a water ionizer. It was explained that the plate size and surface area was directly related to the amount of water that could be ionized.

Water, at ph 7.0 (standard tap water) is highly resistant to ions. Our expert actually built electrolysis cells for testing purposes for our interview. He found that the greater the plate surface area, the lower the resistance to ions. Further, the materials used in the plates made a significant difference in performance. Our expert was impressed that the water ionizer industry standard for plate materials was platinum and titanium.

Next, the question of flat plates versus mesh plates. We had questions again about the effectiveness of flat over mesh plates. We found a lot of claims for each being better than the other.

Mesh plates are used to increase surface area. A good analogy of how this works is to imagine a winding mountain road. You may have to drive 5 miles to reach the top of the mountain on the road, but the distance may only be 3 miles “as the crow flies” or if you were to draw a straight line from the bottom to the top. Flat plates, being the straight line and mesh plates being the winding road, the area will be the same but by adding texture, you increase the actual surface area available.

In the water ionizer industry, there are three types of “mesh” plates.  The first is textured mesh, where a screen-like texture is applied or carved into the plates.  Next is “slotted” mesh.  Slotted mesh plates have slots cut into the plates so that water flows through the plates as it passes through the electrolysis chamber.   The other “mesh” technology is “holed.”  Similar to slotted, holed plates have holes cut into them to allow water to flow through the plates as it passes through the electrolysis chamber.

While the textured plates artificially increase surface area allowing water to come into more plate surface area, slotted and holed mesh allows for optimal “flow through” in the electrolysis chamber which also increases the amount of time water is actually contacting the plates.

We also asked about the benefits and drawbacks of each. While our expert agreed that mesh was certainly an effective way of increasing plate surface area and thereby a water ionizers efficiency and effectiveness, the concern would be in the water that was being processed.

Because of the textured/mesh surface, the potential for build-up on “true” mesh plates was greater than the potential for build-up on flat plates. The “true” mesh plates do not drain as effectively as flat plates which increases the potential for build-up. He advised that people living in areas with hard water who did not have some sort of whole-house water filtration system might consider a flat plate machine. Another option to correct the hard water problem would be finding a machine with a dual

Ionizer Armor Plate Protectant

filtration system. Regardless, if you live in a hard water area you will be looking at more frequent filter changes whether you choose a water ionizer with flat or mesh plates.

Scale build up on plates that are slotted or holed is less of an issue – water flows through and there are no mesh “pockets” which are the main areas where mineral scale can build up.  Regardless of the plate design in a water ionizer, if you are in an area with hard water you should consider an appropriate prefilter or plate protectant product to prevent long-term scale buildup.

Another area we questioned our expert on was wattage and power systems. In our own product research we found machines ranging from 80 watts to 230 watts. Such a big difference, why?

We were told that along with plate surface area, wattage was the next most important element effecting the electrolysis process. The greater the power, the greater the effectiveness of the electrolysis process. There was no gray area here. A higher wattage machine with a higher plate surface area was going to produce ionized water more effectively and more efficiently.

What about SMPS versus transformer power systems?    This was another area of manufacturer claims that we were unable to swallow completely without doing more research on our own.

For our expert, there was no question which power system was better. SMPS, or switched mode power supply was simply more effective and more efficient. Because the power is “pulsed,” these machines can operate on as much as 50 percent less power than transformer powered machines. Additionally, each machine is calibrated to work at an optimal voltage level. SMPS power sources are able to maintain voltage levels that are optimal for the machine’s performance. Further, because SMPS is “pulsed” any concerns about the power source overheating and ultimately burning out are eliminated.

The biggest concern with transformer powered machines is the transformer overheating with constant and prolonged use. For most people with regular household/family use this need not be too great an issue. Over time however, and and if you are producing large quantities of ionized water on a daily basis, as the transformer will be at increased risk for burning out or machine performance being affected. Additionally, these machines will use more electricity than the SMPS powered machines.

With so many machines on the market today using mesh plates, we were happy to hear that these machines were no less effective than flat plate machines – and in some cases, more effective. We were also happy to finally have some clarity on the SMPS vs Transformer issue from someone other than companies claiming that there’s was better or just as effective.

In the future we look to see more machines coming out with SMPS power systems. As for us here at Water Ionizer Authority, we plan to begin more research in to the plate cleaning process of mesh plate machines. As more mesh plate machines seem to be on the market than flat plate machines, we will do our best to keep you informed on which mesh plate machines have the most effective cleaning and draining systems. Our research here will continue.

If you have personal experiences with regard to any topic covered here, or have more questions about water ionizers or the water ionization process, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to answer your questions – and any questions we are unable to answer we are happy to put to our panel of experts.

(c) Romi Sink & Marcela DeVivo
2008 – 2010
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