Consumer Buying Guide and Checklist for Water Ionizers
Water ionizers are not toaster ovens. They are sophisticated electronic appliances which represent a considerable investment and should provide you with many years of high quality, health-promoting alkaline water. There are many manufacturers and models, and an overwhelming amount of information to assimilate. There is also a lot of fluff on the internet, making it harder to decide what is best to do.
We are committed to bringing this technology and alkaline water health benefits to the world. Whether you purchase a Jupiter product or not, we feel a responsibility to provide you with a checklist of points that we consider important.
- What is your main reason for wanting to drink ionized water?
- Do you understand alkalinity? See our articles on alkaline ionic water.
- Do you understand the potential health risks associated with drinking bottled water, R.O. or distilled water? (see article: Why "purified" water is bad for you.)
- What is the quality of your source water? Are you on well water or do you have unusually hard water?
- What type of installation would you prefer?
- Countertop (sits next to your sink and connects to the faucet with a diverter).
- Countertop plumbed into the water main (usually sits close to sink but needs no tap diverter: to control water flow you turn a knob on the front of the unit to get ionized water)
- Undersink (no countertop clutter. Only a small dedicated tap mounted at the sink, with installation by plumber recommended)
- Adaptability to meet changing future needs (can it be converted from counter top to undersink?)
- Fittings: does the manufacturer provide a complete set of high quality fittings that will handle most situations?
- Instructions / Manuals: are there clear instructions for installation and a manual explaining the use of your ionizer? Are they in English? Some recent imports made for Chinese /Taiwan markets are not fully North American market ready neither in collateral materials provided nor in quality control.
- Live support: can you get a qualified technician on the phone to help?
- Manufacturing standards – Is the ionizer manufactured to ISO standards? ISO is the International Organization for Standardization and is a network of the National Standards Institutes from 153 countries. ISO certification represents a considerable investment in time and money. Many companies talk about quality, but have they spent the money and time to have their manufacturing plant certified?
- Technology: While all cars utilize an internal combustion engine, all engines are not created equal. This applies to ionizers as well.
- Filters: All ionizers have them and they are critical to the quality of the output. Look for activated carbon with 1 micron filtration at a minimum. Anything above this will not filter Cryptosporidium and Guardia.
- Electrolysis chamber: again ALL ionizers have them and they are critical. Look for platinum coated titanium electrodes, preferably using polymer ion separation technology. Some manufacturers are employing larger electrodes and claiming they are superior. They hope to fool the consumer into thinking "bigger is better". With electronics generally speaking, quite the opposite is true. The larger electrodes draw 3-4 times more power, decreasing the electrode life with no additional benefit to the output.
- Cleaning: ALL ionizers have a cleaning functionality, essentially reversing the polarity on the electrodes. Where products differ is in what triggers the cleaning cycle (at startup, certain amount of output, certain amount of time etc...). Look for an auto cleaning process that has minimal impact on machine use.
- Control Panel: again, ALL ionizers have them. Look for ease of use (not too many buttons and knobs) yet true functionality. LED displays are intuitive to use and very durable.
- Parts: look for FDA approved food-grade plastic hoses and stainless steel output hoses and fittings.
- How long has the company been in business? Look for an established company who will be around to provide service, filters etc...
- What type of warranty do they offer? Many companies offer only a one year warranty.
- Where is the warranty service provided and by whom?
- What type of money-back guaranty do they offer?
- How easy is it to get live help?
- How much is high quality, healthful and safe water worth to you? What is the net value of your purchase all things considered (quality of output, features, reliability, service etc...)?
- What are the on-going filter replacement costs?
For a comparison of Jupiter water ionizers, click Ionizer Comparison