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. The safety and stability of the water ionizer is dependent on this above all 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, and 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. For these reasons titanium is used in bone and joint replacements. No other metal is better than titanium for these qualities.
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 process [of platinum catalyzing electrolysis] work best. This is why I put such emphasis on the types of plates and types of cleaning systems found in water ionizers [below].
A low voltage current 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 this process the water molecules are broken down into ions. One of the ions is OH-, which is a very simple and healthful antioxidant. This is concentrated in the alkaline water stream.
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 is the most efficient plate 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 have a method of continuously cleaning the plates. Remember from the first section of this article that the 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 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 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.
Number of Plates [Electrodes]
A lot of companies boast about the number of plates, such as 9-11-13 plate water ionizers, or size of plates they have in their water ionizers. Normally 5 to 7 are the better, more effective numbers of plates. Water ionizer effectiveness has more to do with the engineering expertise: using different combination of plates, plating processes, cleaning systems and other engineering/design innovations. There are only so many volts of electricity going through the plates. 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 the ultimate of clean so the water molecules can have direct contact with it as they flow in and around the plates.
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.