How Does an Alkaline Water Machine Work?

man drinking a glass of alkaline water from a water ionizer

How does a water ionizer work? An alkaline water machine is a home device that turns regular tap water into alkaline water. It works by using a process known as electrolysis to separate water into two streams – alkaline water and acidic water. The two streams are collected separately to produce alkaline water and acidic water. Below we explain everything you need to know about – How Does an Alkaline Water Machine Work?

How Does a Water Ionizer Work?

How do water ionizers work? Alkaline water machines are also known as water ionizers. The two terms are used interchangeably. So, how does a water ionizer work? It’s simple – it uses a process called electrolysis. Electrolysis is a chemical process that involves applying an electric charge to a substance to effect a change.

In an alkaline water machine, this involves passing an electrical current through water to separate it into two groups. Water contains small charged molecules called ions. And, by applying an electric charge to the water it can be separated into two groups based on the charge of these ion molecules.

Water Ionizer Electrolysis Chamber

How do water ionizers work?  And, what is a water ionizer electrolysis chamber? This is where the magic happens. The electrolysis chamber is the beating heart of an alkaline water machine. This is the central chamber of the machine and it is here that regular tap water is converted into – acidic and alkaline water.

flow of water from a clean water ionizer

The electrolysis chamber contains a positive and negative electrode. When an electrical charge is applied across the electrodes, they ionize the soluble minerals that are naturally found in tap water. The positively charged ions are attracted to the negative electrode and move toward it. And, the negatively charged ions are attracted to the positive electrode and are drawn towards it.

Alkaline & Acidic Water Collection

But, how does a water ionizer make alkaline and acidic water? It comes down to how the source water is separated using the electrical charge on the two electrodes. A membrane is used to capture the ionically charged water as it moves toward an electrode. Here’s how an alkaline water machine works.

woman drinking water filtered

The positively charged ions pass through an ion-permeable membrane as they make their way to the negative electrode. This water is then collected and dispensed by the machine as alkaline water. Similarly, the negatively charged ions pass through a membrane as they make their way to the positive electrode. This water is collected in a reservoir and dispensed as acidic water.

Ionizing Plates & Ion-Permeable Membranes

Now that we’ve answered the question – how does an alkaline water machine work – we need to take a closer look at ionizing plates and ion-permeable membranes. The electrodes used in a water ionizer are known as ionizing plates. It’s these plates that are electronically charged to create positive and negative electrodes.

pouring a glass of alkaline water

The best water ionizers use platinum-dipped titanium plates for optimal performance. They can be built as solid metal plates or constructed using a mesh design. Some alkaline water machines use a combination of the two types – known as hybrid plates. Hybrid plates contain a series of solid plates and mesh plates stacked close together in an electrode array.

The ionizing plates are surrounded by ion-permeable membranes. These membranes allow charged molecules to pass through and make their way toward the electrodes. And, they exclude neural water molecules that have no electrical charge. This has the effect of selectively separating the source water into two groups and allowing them to be collected separately – alkaline water and acidic water.

Water Filtration

The Best Alkaline Water Machines not only ionize water – they also filter it. They are fitted with high performance water filtration systems that filter your tap water before it enters the device. This helps protect the electrolysis chamber and prolong its life. It also removes contaminants and chemicals from tap water to make it safer, cleaner, and improve its taste.

The most popular filtration setup is a two-step system that employs primary and secondary filters that work in tandem to remove up to 200 common water contaminants and toxins. The primary filter will be a carbon block that acts as the first line of defense. These filters contain a special medium that locks pollutants in place as the water passes through the cartridge.

The secondary filter will be a high-performance device that removes the smallest particles and impurities from your source water. These filters use a ceramic medium and are known as ultrafilters. They can remove impurities as small as 0.01 microns in size. These filters have a similar performance to those used in kidney dialysis machines.


What Is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water is water that has a pH higher than 7. It is the opposite of acidic water. Most alkaline water that is bottled and consumed has a pH of 7.5-8.0. The pH runs from 0-14. And, anything above 7 is alkaline. However, you should never drink strong alkaline water as it may harm your health.

glass of water from an alkaline water machine

Alkaline water has become incredibly popular in recent years as many people believe it can improve overall health. However, there is little scientific research to confirm these claims. Installing a home water ionizer allows you to create alkaline water at home using your regular tap water supply. And, it eliminates the need to buy expensive bottled alkaline water. For more, check out our full guide – What Is Alkaline Water?

What Is Acidic Water?

Acidic water is any water that has a pH lower than 7. It is the opposite of alkaline water. When an ionizer is used to create alkaline water you can collect the acidic by-product water and make use of its unique properties. Acidic water is often used for household cleaning and food preparation. It can also be used to water plants, sterilize surfaces, and neutralize microbes.  Now you know how does an alkaline water machine work, how does a water ionizer work, and what alkaline and acidic water are used for.


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