What Is a Water Ionizer?

a glass of water from a water ionizer

A water ionizer is a device that turns regular water into alkaline and acidic water. It takes regular tap water and transforms it into two separate streams of alkaline water and acidic water. They are also known as alkaline water machines. Alkaline and acidic water are used for a range of household applications. And, many believe alkaline water comes with several health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at – What is a Water Ionizer?

Alkaline Water Machine vs Water Ionizer

What is an alkaline water machine? And, what is a water ionizer? Water ionizers are sometimes referred to as alkaline water machines. It can get a little confusing, but the two terms refer to the same thing and can be used interchangeably. People that use a water ionizer machine solely to make alkaline water tend to refer to an ionizer as an alkaline water machine.

alkaline water in a glass with ice

A water ionizer machine is used to generate alkaline and acidic water. They use an electrical process known as electrolysis to separate water into two groups based on ionic charge. Water is fed through a central chamber that contains positive and negative electrodes. These electrodes ionize the water by separating it into its constituent ions.

Positively charged water ions are attracted towards the negative electrode and negatively charged ions to the positive electrode. Opposites attract! This effectively separates the water into two different streams of alkaline and acidic water. The two streams are then collected separately. The alkaline water has a higher pH value and the acidic water a lower pH. More on this below.

How Does a Water Ionizer Work?

A water ionizer functions in three distinct stages – filtration, electrolysis, and water collection. That’s right, the best water ionizers not only ionize water they also filter it before it even enters the device’s central chamber. This means many harmful toxins and pollutants are removed in the process – creating clean, freshly filtered water. Here’s how a water ionizer works.

man drinking a glass of alkaline water

1: Filtration

Water filtration is the first step in a water ionizer. Regular domestic water is fed into the back of the water ionizer machine via an inlet tube. The water then passes through a filter to remove contaminants before it enters the electrolysis chamber. The best water ionizer machines use a two-step dual filtration system consisting of a standard carbon block filter and a ceramic ultra-filtration filter.

2: Electrolysis

Once the water has been filtered it passes through to the central electrolysis chamber. This is the beating heart of the alkaline water machine. The chamber contains a positive and negative electrode. When an electrical current is applied to these electrodes the water inside the chamber is ionized into positive and negative ions.

The positive water ions are drawn towards the negative electrode and the negative ions to the positive electrode. This creates two separate streams of water – alkaline water with a negative oxidation-reduction potential and a higher pH. And, acidic water with a positive oxidation-reduction potential and a lower pH.

3: Alkaline Water & Acidic Water Collection

Once alkaline and acidic water have been created they are then collected separately. The user can choose to collect either acidic or alkaline water depending on their needs. The unwanted water is usually discarded as wastewater. Care should be taken when handling alkaline and acidic water. Acidic water should never be consumed. And, only mildly alkaline water can be drank.

Check out How Does a Water Ionizer Work for more information.


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What Is pH?

PH stands for potential of hydrogen and is a scale used to measure how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The pH scale runs from 0-14. The most acidic substances have a pH of 0, and the most alkaline a pH of 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral and is the central mark on the scale. Baking soda has a pH of about 9 and orange juice a pH of about 3.5.

test ph of water color codes

Alkaline water has a pH above 7.0. Water ionizers produce drinking alkaline water with a pH of 7.5-9.0. Anything above 9.0 is considered strong alkaline water and is not safe for consumption. Check out What Is Alkaline Water for more info. Water with a pH below 7.0 is acidic water. Understanding pH and how it works has many everyday practical applications.

What Is a Water Ionizer FAQ

lady smiling and making a hand gesture

What’s the difference between a water ionizer and an alkaline water machine?

A water ionizer and an alkaline water machine are the same thing. Some people refer to a water ionizer as an alkaline water machine as they use it only to produce alkaline water.

Are water ionizers worth it?

Water ionizers are worth it if you plan on making and using alkaline or acidic water at home. Despite an initial outlay investment, you will soon recuperate your money by no longer having to buy expensive bottles of alkaline water. You can instead ionize your regular tap water.

What does a water ionizer do to water?

Water ionizers perform two functions. Firstly, they filter water to remove potential contaminants and pollutants. And, secondly, they ionize the water to transform regular tap water into alkaline water and acidic water.

What does ionized water taste like?

Ionized water tastes just like regular water. Water ionizers produce alkaline and acidic water but only mild alkaline water (pH 7.5-9.0) is suitable for consumption.

Do water ionizers filter tap water?

Yes, water ionizers filter tap water. The water is filtered before it enters the central chamber of the ionizer. This removes pollutants and contaminants to produce cleaner safer water.


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