Shopping for a water ionizer? Be sure to ask these questions before you buy:
Low power means weak electrolysis and difficulty concentrating the minerals in the alkaline water. Very few companies talk about how powerful their ionizers are because most ionizers are under-powered. High Tech Health’s Ionizer Plus® is one of the most powerful available — 200 watts.
Nearly all of the competition would have you believe that the number or size of electrolysis plates is the most important thing when comparing ionizers. Not true. Ionizer companies split their electrolysis plates in half and stack them so that they can fit more conveniently in the enclosure, or just to artificially increase the number of plates to sound more impressive. It is not something required to design an effective product.
These companies almost always introduce minerals into your water either directly or in the filter to compensate for weak electrolysis. The mineral additions make it easier for a weak electrolyzer to achieve a minimum pH. The Ionizer Plus does not add minerals to your water because it is simply not needed with a powerful electrolyzer — we have been selling water electrolyzers in the United States longer by far than most companies and we have the experience to know that very few people actually NEED minerals added to their water.
Platinum-coated titanium is required to make electrolysis plates that will last. Though the Korean manufacturers finally figured out that platinum-coated titanium was necessary to make a product that will last, they built their reputation of disposable products with stainless steel electrodes.
Our Dura-plat™ titanium electrodes use a thick layer of platinum such that they will virtually never wear out.
The High Tech Health Ionizer Plus does NOT require mineral additions to achieve decent electrolysis. Requiring mineral additions is characteristic of under-powered electrolyzers.
More significantly, we think you should avoid mineral additions. They often come in the form of a Calcium Sulfite (CaSO3) filter. When calcium sulfite is run through an ionizer, the electrolysis process ionizes the calcium and the sulfite separating the two, and then increasing the concentration of calcium while decreasing the concentration of sulfite in the water destined for consumption. Electrolysis is never 100% complete and these electrolyzers always have some sulfite in the alkaline water.
Another electrolysis enhancer we have seen is Calcium Glycerophosphate. This will work the same way as the calcium sulfite described above.
Very few companies make a cleaning cartridge for their ionizers. It is critical to be able to really clean the inside of an ionizer because it is what will give the product a long life. Minerals build up everywhere on the inside of an ionizer and eventually they will cause a seal to fail. When that happens water leaks and destroys a circuit board. The built-in cleaning systems just reverse the polarity on the electrolysis plates — this is fine to achieve a certain lifespan to the product, but is insufficient to prevent all mineral buildup.
Our cleaning cartridge is a convenient and easy way to soak the inside of the machine in a natural citric acid solution, removing mineral deposits, and prolonging the life of your investment.
UV is an Ionizer Plus exclusive feature and its built right in so it does not take up any additional space. The only UV we have seen offered by the competition requires a separate additional device.
SMPS stands for Switched Mode Power Supply and it has been a standard feature on the Ionizer Plus since we introduced it in 1997. Some of our competition makes a big deal about their SMPS power supply and apparently some companies still use old-fashioned power supplies. We showed our staff electrical engineer some of the marketing we have seen with regard to these power supplies and he tells us much of it is totally wrong and written by people who have no idea what they are talking about (for instance, these companies usually say that switching power supplies have no transformer….not true, they just have a smaller one).
The Ionizer Plus is made in Japan and manufactured by Akai Electric Company Ltd. The Japanese have built a reputation on unwavering attention to product quality and it shows quite clearly in the Ionizer Plus®. Ask anyone who has one. Why are Korean-made products so often of inferior quality? The drive for quality is most often rooted in cultural values and it just seems to not be a driving force in manufacturing there. Korean companies often face less domestic competition than companies in Japan, the world’s second largest market.
If you see a company claiming 20 or 30 years on their product, you should ask yourself several questions: 1) Why would they possibly think you would believe this when no other electronic or water product makes such a claim? 2) What experience does a 5-year old company (or younger) have to justify this prediction? Yes, it is silly. What other things are they dishonest about?
You can reasonably expect your Ionizer Plus to last 12 to 14 years like any other very well-made appliance. The oldest Ionizer Plus’ are 12 years old in 2009 and they are still in service. We have the experience to know.
Always consider how long a company has been in business before placing any value on their warranty. If the warranty is longer than their history, and considering that most young businesses fail, don’t count on that company being around to service your product later (or sell you a replacement filter).
High Tech Health now offers a 5-year warranty on our Ionizer Plus. We might be the only company actually offering a legitimate one, considering the extremely limited corporate history of the competition.
Filters for the Ionizer Plus last 6000 liters (1583 gallons). In typical use, they will last about 1 year. Look out for ionizers with shorter-life filters — you will be changing them more often and that can get expensive. Another downside to filters that add minerals is that they typically cannot last long and tend to add most of their minerals at the beginning of their life.
Knowing how much water has been through a filter is necessary to know if it is time to replace it. The Ionizer Plus maintains this information even if it gets unplugged, so you will always know exactly when to replace it.