Alkaline water machines are designed to increase the pH of water to produce alkaline water. The devices have become increasingly popular with many people claiming they provide a wide range of health benefits. However, as with any new emerging technology, there are always dangers and risks. This article explores the question – are alkaline water machines dangerous? We aim to provide you with the information you need to draw your own conclusion.
Disclaimer: The following article is for informational purposes only. It does not represent professional medical advice. If you have any concerns related to the use of an alkaline water machine or the consumption of alkaline water – you should consult a medical professional for advice.
What Is an Alkaline Water Machine?
First up, let’s take a look at – what is an alkaline water machine? An alkaline water machine is a device designed to increase the pH of regular water to create alkaline water. These machines use an electrochemical process known as electrolysis to ionize the water and separate it into two streams – alkaline water and acidic water.
The alkaline water is then collected separately and dispensed through a dedicated faucet for collection. However, the effectiveness and safety of alkaline water machines is subject to ongoing debate and research. This article will take a look at the potential dangers of using an alkaline water machine – also known as a water ionizer.
What Are the Dangers of an Alkaline Water Machine?
The dangers of an alkaline water machine are largely associated with the improper use of the device. Assuming you purchase a machine from a reputable dealer and choose a well-known and trusted brand, the device should perform as expected without issue. Any dangers encountered using an alkaline water machine are largely a result of improper use. Let’s take a closer look.
Strong Alkaline Water
One of the key dangers of an alkaline water machine is the improper use of strong alkaline water. The best water ionizer machines are capable of producing highly alkaline water. This means they can generate alkaline water with a pH value higher than that of water that is suitable for drinking.
Strong alkaline water is water that has very high alkalinity. This water is not safe for consumption. Alkaline water for drinking typically has a pH between 7.5 and 9.0. The precise pH is open to debate but many bottled alkaline water products have a pH of 8.5-8.8. However, anything with a pH above 9 can be considered strong alkaline water.
Strong alkaline water should not be drunk as it can disrupt the body’s natural pH balance. This could eventually lead to a condition known as alkalosis. This occurs when blood becomes overly alkaline and can lead to symptoms of nausea, muscle twitching, and even vomiting. For more see our full guide – What Is Strong Alkaline Water?
Another danger of a water ionizer machine is the incorrect use of acidic water, especially strong acidic water. When a water ionizer electrolysis water it creates two water streams – alkaline water and acidic water. While the alkaline water is collected for consumption, the acidic water stream is often discarded as wastewater.
However, some people collect this water and use it for specific cleaning and household sterilization tasks. One danger associated with a water ionizer is that this water gets accidentally mixed up with alkaline water. If this happens acidic water could be consumed. And acidic water should never be consumed. It is not suitable for drinking – especially strong acidic water.
The top water alkaline machines (aka water ionizers) come equipped with high-end water filters. They don’t just ionize water to create alkaline water, they also filter your source water to remove harmful contaminants. But, what happens if the filters fail? Or, they’re not replaced when they reach the end of their lifecycle.
This is another potential issue that needs to be considered when exploring the question – are alkaline water machines dangerous? Water filters make an excellent addition to any home water supply. But if these filters fail and you are relying on them to purify your water you could be drinking unsafe tap water.
Did you know, water filters have a finite lifecycle? They need to be replaced either when they reach the end of a specific time period, or when they have filtered a certain volume of source water. If you keep on top of this requirement you have nothing to worry about. However, if water ionizer filters are not replaced when they need to be – this could lead to improper water filtration and unsafe source water entering the device.
Potential Water Leak
Alkaline water machines are hard-wired into your domestic water supply. This means they are directly connected to your kitchen tap water inlet – generally beneath your sink. Any device that is connected to your water supply in this way has the danger of springing a leak. And, an alkaline water machine is no different.
Most water ionizer devices can be easily installed if you have a little DIY know-how. They come with a set of easy-to-follow instructions. However, if you want to eliminate the risk of water leaks you should enlist the professional services of a plumber when having a device installed. This greatly reduces the chances you will encounter an unwanted water leak.
Another potential danger of a water ionizer machine is its production of wastewater. Specifically, acidic wastewater. When a water ionizer gets to work on source water it creates two water streams. One is alkaline water and the other is acidic water. While the alkaline water is collected for consumption, the acidic water is usually discarded as wastewater.
This means every time alkaline water is produced there is a potential discarding of acidic water back into the system. This can put a strain on domestic water supplies and in the long term could have an environmental impact. However, many people collect the acidic water produced and use it for home cleaning purposes.
Source Water Can Limit Performance
Another danger of an alkaline water machine is the fact that its performance is limited by the quality of the source water supplied to the device. In truth, this one is less of a danger and more of a performance inhibitor. When you purchase an alkaline water machine it will be advertised as being able to ionize water within a certain pH range.
For example, a machine may be listed as being able to produce alkaline water with a pH as high as 11.0. However, this all depends on the source water you supply to the machine. It all comes down to mineral content and the initial alkalinity of your tap water. Some regions have source water that is more difficult to ionize than others. And, this can negatively impact a water ionizer machine’s ability to hit the high pH numbers listed on the side of the box.
Alkaline water machines are electrically powered devices. They plug into your regular home electrical supply – just like a kettle or a microwave. This means there’s a chance of electric shock if the device is handled improperly, submerged in water, or suffers damage to its wiring or electrical circuitry.
Electric shock is highly unlikely – if you handle your water ionizer with care and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Nonetheless, it’s a relevant point of note when addressing the question – are alkaline water machines dangerous? If you were to get an electric shock from an exposed wire you would be in for a nasty surprise. Home electrical circuits are high voltage and something you do not want to come into contact with, see below.
- US 120 volts
- Canada 120 volts
- Europe 220 volts
- UK 240 volts
- Australia 240 volts
- New Zealand 230 volts
Alkaline water machines are not cheap. They represent a significant investment. Especially the best devices on the market that offer the highest levels of performance. Although, price is not a danger – it’s something we decided to include in this list as the machine represents a significant investment for most home budgets.
Any damage to an alkaline water machine that results in the device no longer functioning as required with be a financial blow. The best advice is to treat the machine with care and protect your investment. You don’t want to encounter the ‘danger’ of having to fork out for a new machine.
How Does an Alkaline Water Machine Work?
An alkaline water machine works using an electrochemical process called electrolysis. The device uses two electrodes to electrolyze the water and create two water streams – alkaline water and acidic water. The alkaline water is then collected separately and dispensed through a dedicated faucet. For more, check out our full guide – How Does an Alkaline Water Machine Work?
Advantages of Alkaline Water Machine
Alkaline water machines come with a wide range of benefits including round-the-clock access to alkaline water, saving money on having to buy expensive bottled alkaline water, and they filter your tap water.
Access to Alkaline Water: 24-hour access to alkaline water with the push of a button.
Save Money Over Time: You’ll save money by not having to buy expensive bottled alkaline water anymore.
Water Filtration: The leading alkaline water machines come with water filters that remove contaminants from your tap water, making it safer to drink.
For more see our full guide on the Advantages of an Alkaline Water Machine
Is an Alkaline Water Machine a Good or Bad Idea?
Should you buy an alkaline water machine? Now that we’ve covered “are alkaline water machines dangerous” you may need some more information to help you decide if the device is right for you. You can check out our guide that weighs up the good and bad points of investing in a water ionizer and installing it in your home. We cover everything you need to know before you commit to a purchase, check out – Alkaline Water Machine – Good or Bad?