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An Explanation and Comparison of Water Ionizer Plates

Published by Alkaline Water Plus

All water ionizers should have platinum coated titanium plates. This is the basis of sound and safe electrolysis. Never accept any water ionizer that has plates made of anything else. If the advertisement says “Gold-Plated” don’t get it. The problem with gold is it is 1) too soft, and 2) not as effective in catalyzing the ionization process as platinum. Also if it says any kind of “alloy”, definitely don’t get it. The safety and stability of the water ionizer is dependent on this as well as other factors. Do not accept “platinum-titanium alloys”. The word alloy means that metals are mixed with other metals, and you do not want this with a water ionizer’s plates. The water you drink will be passing over these plates for years and years and years, so it is important to ensure that the metals used are pure titanium coated with pure platinum…both for safety and efficiency.

Why Titanium? The reason for titanium is its safety, strength, hardness, and ability to resist erosion. Using Titanium allows for a strong, durable, erosion-resistant plate with the least possible mass [i.e., thin, yet super strong]. For these reasons titanium is used in bone and joint replacements. Titanium is also used in space shuttles. No other metal is better than titanium for use with water ionizer plate construction. Do not choose an ionizer that uses a titanium alloy.

Why Platinum? The reason for platinum is that every single other metal, including gold, has been tested for efficiency in ionizing water. Platinum exceeds all other metals in the ability to catalyze [speed up] electrolysis. It is absolutely essential to catalyze electrolysis in water ionizers. Water ionizers “instantly” provide you with ionized water. There are old-style water ionizers that “brew” the water for 20 or so minutes, and even these don’t work well without the assistance of platinum. The water molecule needs to actually be in contact with the platinum to have the water ionization process work best.

Electricity is passed through these plates which creates poles. These poles separate out the water into two streams. One is positively charged and the other is negatively charged.

During the water ionization process the water molecules are broken down into ions. Ions are positively or negatively charged particles. OH- ions, which are very simple and healthful antioxidants, are concentrated in the alkaline water stream. H+ ions are concentrated in the acidic stream.

We do not sell any water ionizer which does not have plates made of platinum coated titanium on our main website: alkalinewaterplus.com .

Structure and Number of Water-Ionizer-Plates

Claims about larger or more plates in water ionizers do not always equal better ionization. First of all, there are only so many volts of electricity that can go through the water ionizer’s plates. It is a combination of several key factors that makes for a good water ionizer design.

  • The actual surface area that the water at any given second is able to contact has an effect up to a point. If creating more surface area increases the mass of the electrode, then that negatively effects the ionization outcome.
  • Therefore, reducing the mass of the plates positively affects the outcome of water ionization.
  • Using pure platinum [NOT AN ALLOY] positively affects water ionization. Platinum, of all metals, will speed up the ionization process as long as the water is actually allowed to come in contact with it.
  • Therefore, the cleaning of the plates becomes a crucial factor in getting the best water ionization.  Some water ionizers have periodic automatic cleaning that is pre-set to be the same for all water sources. Others are a little more sophisticated and allow the customer to program in more or less frequency cleanings according to the hardness of the source water. The best kind of water ionizer cleaning system is the kind that automatically continuously cleans [behind the scenes.] This ensures the platinum will always be able to contact the water directly, give far better and more consistent water ionization, and will preserve the life of the water ionizer as well.
  • The actual physical shape and design of the water ionizer plates effects the water ionizer’s ability to ionize efficiently. Mesh is a very good design, however watch out for water ionizers which have mesh plates without the best quality of automatic cleaning. This is explained more in the Plate Cleaning Systems section, below.

It is an engineering-design combination: of concentration of the electricity, concentration and strict control of the water flow, and ensuring the platinum is pure and kept continuously clean so the water molecules can have direct contact with it as they flow in and around the plates evenly which we look for in choosing our own water ionizer. After testing dozens of water ionizers, we can safely say that the water ionizer’s overall design is key to getting the best results of both drinking levels and acid-water levels of alkaline ionized water.

Solid Water Ionizer Plates

Solid-plates are the most common type of plate. The way that this works is the electricity will concentrate in certain parts of the the plate. Although this plate does work it is not the most efficient way to ionize.


Slotted plates are one step above the solid plates. This gives the electric current a direction and allows for more efficient ionization.


Careful. Sometimes this is also called holed mesh and can be easily misinterpreted to mean a mesh plate. This has a handful of holes in it and does allow for more direction of the electric flow. However, it does not compare to the mesh plate


Mesh-plates are the most efficient plates in use in water ionization. There is the most direction of electric flow and also more surface area able to make contact with the water.

The only down side to having mesh plates would happen if the water ionizer does not use a method of continuous-cleaning inside the water cell. Platinum has to have direct contact with the water molecule [for the most efficient electrolysis]. If the water ionizer self-cleans as you are ionizing then the platinum will always have this direct contact with the water molecule. So, while mesh is definitely the most efficient type of plate to use, please keep in mind that combining mesh plates with a water ionizer that uses a continuous cleaning system is best. The reason is that mesh-plates will very easily scale without the continuous self-cleaning, and scaling reduces the plates efficiency down to the solid-plate-level.

Methods of Plating


This is the most common type of plating process used in water ionizers.  Dipping the plates creates a smooth surface. Note: If your water ionizer doesn’t have a continuous self-cleaning system, dipped plates would be the preferable choice [because scale won’t stick as easily to a smooth surface].

Nano-Plating or Electroplating

The terms nano-plating and electroplating are used by water ionizer manufacturers to describe a newer technology in plating. It is more costly, and allows for a less smooth surface [peaks and valleys on the surface of the plate], which allows for more surface area and more efficient ionization, provided the water ionizer has a method of continuously cleaning the plates.

Plate Cleaning Systems

Acid Wash

Acid washing [reversing the polarity of the two streams of water for several seconds every so often] is the most common type of water ionizer plate cleaning. Most people just wait several seconds while their water ionizer is performing this function and let the water which is produced at this time go down their drain. This type of system works with water ionizers which have solid plates. The problems with this method are: 1) waste of ionized water during the periods of acid washing, 2) waste of time for the consumer, and 3) the plates are only really clean for a very short while, and the performance of the water ionizer will start to drop off until finally they are acid-washed again.

Continuous Cleaning

Continuous cleaning means that the water ionizer design incorporates a system of reversing polarity as you are pouring. This allows you to not waste time or water, but more importantly allows the plates to remain free of calcuim [scale] build-up …which allows for the most efficient water ionization.

There are varying degrees of continuous cleaning, and the ionizers which do best [as of today’s date] in this area are in this order: the Vesta, the Jupiter Athena, the Jupiter Melody, and the KYK. All other common US-marketed water ionizers have acid-wash systems.

How to Pick the Best Water Ionizer?

First thing is read this entire article [above]. This article provides the basics for choosing the best water ionizer. Then browse our water ionizer comparison chart to get more information about the different types of water ionizers.

Cathleen Lograsso

Cathleen LoGrasso

My background is in physiology, teaching, nutrition and weight loss. I have raised 5 children who are all grown now. I have a masters degree in education and was a teacher/principal for 24 years. I created Alkaline Water Plus in 2009 to educate people about the benefits of ionized water.

The very best thing I have ever purchased is a WATER IONIZER, and I've been in perfect health ever since I started drinking ionized water 25 years ago! Understanding and knowing how to control and manage my own body's pH and antioxidant levels at the cellular level has made all the difference in the world in my life, my family's lives and in a countless number of my friends and associates over the years.

Cathie LoGrasso Owner, Alkaline Water Plus

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