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Glossary of Water Ionizer Terms

Cathie, at age 67. Cathie is a leading expert in ionized water for 25 years, explains the meanings of words related to water ionizers and hydrogen machines and their importance to health.

A Glossary of Water Ionizer Terms

by Cathleen LoGrasso

To help you understand water ionizers better, I have compiled an alphabetized list of commonly used terms.

Alkaline Ionized Water

Water which has undergone ionization and which has the properties of smaller cluster size, greater alkalinity and increased ORP (oxidation reduction potential). Ionized means charged, and in the case of ionized water it means the water is negatively charged and has spare electrons to donate toward neutralizing free-radicals and keeping the body from cell and tissue damage caused from oxidation. Ionized water helps to fight free radicals while also helping to alkalize your body.


Something is an antioxidant which can fight against the free radical damage caused by oxidation. If a substance has extra electrons that can be donated to the oxygen free radical, then it is said to be an antioxidant.

Body Fluids

Body fluids are different than blood. Blood must maintain an exact pH level [7.365]. If it alters even one little bit you could die. However, the bodily fluids have a bit of a range that could be considered healthy. Keeping your bodily fluids above 7 pH is good for the longevity and health of the cells.


The process of an acidic solution becoming more neutral and suitable for healthy life to flourish.


An alkalizing mineral which is in the water to greater or lesser degree. Calcium is needed for electrolysis and is the main mineral making up the bones in our bodies.


A stable compound of chlorine plus ammonia | Used in water treatment to disinfect water | Unlike chlorine, chloramine is hard to filter out of the water. The old chlorine filters don't work. The best method known is a slow flow [2 liters per min. or less] through a GAC filter.


The condition of not having sufficient water in your diet to keep your cells healthy. Many conditions can be attributed to dehydration, such as: headache, low energy levels, low back pain, digestive problems, constipation, obesity, asthma allergies, arthritis, Type II Diabetes, and hypertension




A diverter is a stainless steel attachment for your faucet. It allows the water to come out of your faucet regularly or with a flip of the lever you can divert the water to the water ionizer.

Filtration Media or Filter Media

Filters have different materials in it used to filter out different substances. These materials are called "media". The better variety of filter media [also called numbers of stages, e.g., 9-stage] makes for a higher quality filtration, because the variety increases the chances of getting all the contaminants out of your water. This day and age, with chloramine and fluoride being added to the water supply and pharmaceuticals (drugs) making their way into our water as well, it is a very good idea to have a variety of filter media in your drinking water filtration system.

  • Activated Alumina Filter Media: Removes chemicals (such as fluoride and arsenic) by chemically bonding them to the filter media itself and thus trapping them in the filter and not allowing that chemical to pass through. Fluoride is a very tiny molecule and can't be filtered out otherwise.
  • Activated Carbon Filter Media: This is a form of carbon that is processed to be more porous. It is effective in water filtration because the great surface area traps many water contaminants and takes them out of the water, but doesn't clog up the water flow.
  • Carbon Filtration: Carbon filtration is very effective in removing a variety of chemicals and other contaminants from the water, especially if a slow flow is used for the water going through the filters. Carbon does not remove salts or dissolved solids from the water. Activated carbon is more effective than solid carbon block filters, because there is more surface area in which to trap the contaminants.
  • Ceramic Filter: A porous filter made of ceramic. Can be effective in cleaning the water at least of elements that are larger than water molecules. Some ceramics have been developed to be fine enough to filter bacteria and viruses. Ceramic filters are completely natural methods of filtering out bacteria and viruses. They need to be handled very carefully, though, because they are breakable. 
  • GAC (Granulated Active Carbon Filter Media): This is filter media that's good for removing chlorine, chloramine, pesticides, organic compounds and other chemicals. Because it's so porous, it can adsorb a large amount of contaminants.
  • KDF Filter Media: KDF stands for Kinetic Degradation Fluxion. This is a sophisticated (and expensive) filter media which will remove chlorine, chloramines, lead, copper, mercury, iron, hydrogen sulfide and will reduce bacteria, lime, scale, fungus and algae. It operates by chemically bonding to contaminants and either changing them to harmless molecules or causing them to become trapped in the filter and thus removed from the water supply.
  • Silver Impregnated Carbon Filter: A carbon filter which is protected against bacterial growth inside the filter by way of the presence of silver, which inhibits bacterial growth.
  • Tourmaline: A crystalline metal added to water filters to reduce the water surface tension and thus improve ionization.


Fluoride is light-weight mineral [hard to filter out] which is a toxin. A water ionizer will filter out about 85% of the Fluoride. Reverse osmosis will filter out up to 93% of the Fluoride. An activated alumina filter will filter out up to 99% of the Fluoride.

Functional Water

Water which has been enhanced in its ability to hydrate and cleanse (get acids out of) your cells, so as to enhance the process of oxygen getting to your cells and bring about better functions within your cells.

Hard Water

Water that has high levels of calcium and magnesium. Water hardness is measured in ppm (parts per million) or gpg (grains per gallon). Water is considered soft or hard according to the ppm or gpg of calcium and magnesium in the water. Most references report the following:

  • Soft: Below 17 ppm (or 0-1 gpg)
  • Medium: 18 – 75 ppm (or 1 - 4 gpg)
  • Medium Hard: 76 – 150 ppm (or 4 - 8 gpg)
  • Hard: 151 – 200 ppm (or 7 – 11 gpg)
  • Very Hard: Over 200 ppm (or over 11 gp) **Very, Very Hard: Over 300 ppm [Note: can go as hard as 500 or more ppm]

See our page on Hard Water to learn more about this.

Hexagonal Water

Water which is in its natural hexagonal shape, not polluted and also not void of all minerals (dead water) either.


A charged particle

Ionized Water

Same as alkaline ionized water or Kangen Water.


ISO is the icon for the International Organization for Standardization, which is the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards for manufacturers. These certifications are the most important to look for in your water ionizer purchase.

Kangen Water

Same as alkaline ionized water or Ionized Water.


By the time you get water from your tap it comes to you in large clusters of around 11 to 16 H20 molecules . After ionization, the water comes out in smaller clusters of molecules [5-8]. Micro-clustering reduces the surface tension of water and makes it easier to absorb into your cells.


A micron is one millionth of a meter. It is an indication of the smallest sized particle allowed through that filter. | .1M stands for 1/10 of a micron or one ten-millionth of a meter. | .01 M is the smallest filtration other than reverse osmosis or nano-filtration. It completely filters out viruses, mold and bacteria. | .01M stands for 1/100 of a micron, or one hundred-millionth of a meter.

Molecular Hydrogen

Molecular hydrogen is the simplest, yet one of the rarest, forms of hydrogen. It is simply two hydrogens bonded together to make a molecule. It is negatively charged and is capable of acting as an antioxidant when the body is in need of it. When the body has no need at the time, there is no effect (the excess hydrogen simply evaporates.) Hydrogen in its simple molecular state (2 bonded hydrogens) is rare, because it's so light it will evaporate at its first opportunity. Molecular hydrogen is very beneficial to the body. Read more.


Oxidation reduction potential. A negative ORP can be explained as having the properties of an antioxidant. ORP is measured in millivolts (mv) as positive [+] or negative [-]. Negative ORP is desired for its anti-oxidizing benefits. Positive ORP (as found in tap and bottled water) causes oxidation.


An oxygen [O2] molecule is often found with a missing electron. When this happens it's called a "free radical". Free radicals look for and rob the needed electron from nearby cells. This causes what is called "oxidation", which is a deterioration of the surface of a cell after an electron has been robbed from it by an invading free radical..


Potential Hydrogen. This signifies the proportion of OH- verses H+ that is present in a solution. OH- [alkaline] is free to take on an H+ [acid] to bring about a neutral within a solution. This process is called "Buffering". The pH of a liquid is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, in which 0 is a theoretical lowest acidity and 14 is the highest alkalinity. The pH of 7 is called neutral. Each progression up the scale signifies ten times the level before it. (Ex. A solution with a pH of 8 is ten times more alkaline [contains ten times more OH- ions] than a solution of pH of 7.)

Reverse Osmosis

A water filtering system that utilizes a membrane which allows only the solvent (water) to pass through but not the dissolved particles.


The term, rH, is "relative Hydrogen". This term is used when comparing ionizers. It basically means how much ORP per unit of pH. RH is a calculation which shows the actual health benefits of the water tested. Many now believe that this is the most important factor contributing to good health. Note: To find rH one uses pH and ORP measurements plugged into a formula. The formula is: rH= ((ORP + 200) / 30) + (2 * pH). On a scale from 0 to 42, above 28 is oxidizing (higher potential to damage the closer it gets to 40) and below 28 is reducing (anti-oxidizing) -- the lower the better.

UL Certification

Underwriters' Laboratories is connected with insurance underwriters. They certify equipment so as to protect consumers from equipment made with faulty designs, which could then potentially burn down their house.

Uses of Acidic Water

Cleaning and disinfecting, astringent, mouthwash, hemorrhoids, foot baths.

Uses of Alkaline Water

Drinking (up to 9.5 or 10 pH); cleaning/degreasing (over 10 pH); and germ-killing [under 4 pH].

Water Ionizer

An electrical device that first filters the water, then reduces the water-cluster size, splits the water into two streams (alkaline and acidic) by electrically activating (charging) the ions in the water.