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Understanding Source Water

The output performance of an ionizer can be influenced by three main factors:

1. The natural mineral content of the source water.
2. The voltage used during ionisation.
3. The rate at which water flows through the ionisation chamber.

How These Factors Influence Both pH and ORP

Water ionizers need dissolved minerals in the water in order to ionize the water. It is these dissolved minerals which create the conductivity for ionization to occur, which is why you cannot ionize distilled water or reverse osmosis water because all the natural dissolved minerals have been removed from the water. Tap water varies widely in dissolved mineral content from area to area. Water with a high mineral content (hard water) will achieve a greater level of pH and ORP alteration compared to source water which has few dissolved minerals (soft water).

The Water Cell

Having been filtered to remove harmful chemicals (but leaving healthy natural minerals in), the water passes into the water cell where it passes between electrodes which deliver current to the water and create ionization. The voltage passed to the electrodes is determined by which alkaline setting is selected on the ionised control panel. The higher the alkaline setting the higher the voltage that is passed between the electrodes and the greater the resulting pH and ORP alteration.

Electrode Size

Some manufacturers will tell you that bigger is better when it comes to electrode size. This is simply not the case. Effective conductivity through the water is the primary determinant of ionization - certainly not electrode size. Indeed, generally larger electrodes have poorer conductivity so they have to be larger and use more power to achieve the same result. Jupiter Science ionises achieve ideal pH and ORP alteration in a unit which is compact and energy efficient.

Flow Rate

The rate of flow of water through the water cell determines how long the water is actually in contact with the electrodes and therefore how long the water is ionised for. If you set the flow rate to a high speed then you can fill a glass very quickly but the ionized will have less time to alter the water. Most people find that a medium-fast flow rate provides excellent results which is very similar to the flow rate they would normally choose when filling a glass of water from an ordinary tap.

Most ionizers require you to adjust the flow rate via the tap (ie. in order to reduce the flow rate you have to close the tap until the ideal flow rate is achieved). The down side of this is that it means that every time you use the ionised you need to try and always achieve the same flow rate just by using your eyes - not very easy! Jupiter Science ionises allow you to set the flow rate on the unit itself. This means that, to use the ionised, all you have to do is turn the tap on and the ionised will ensure that the same flow rate is output from the unit every time the machine is used.

Mineral Content

Just to re-cap, it is the mineral content within the source water that is required to achieve ionization. Because mineral contents vary from area to area, if you took the same ionizer with the same settings and tested the output water in a hard water area and then took the same ionizer to a soft water area and tested the water you would achieve very different results. The output water in the soft water area would experience less ionization and therefore less alteration to the pH and ORP compared to the water in the hard water area.

This is where adjusting the alkaline setting and flow rate come into play. To achieve the similar level of alteration in the soft water area you may need to increase the alkaline setting and reduce the flow rate. This will increase the voltage to the electrodes and slow the passage of the water between the electrodes providing more time for ionization to occur.

Should you be one of the very few people who live in such a soft water area that it is difficult to achieve proper levels of ionization, we can supply calcium cartridges which will add calcium to the source water within the ionised and thus provide the mineral content necessary for ionization to occur.

Comparing Ionizers

As we know, we use pH and ORP to gauge the amount of ionization the source water has received. Some manufacturers simply state the highest readings they can in order to prove that their ionised is the 'best'. You can ignore these numbers.

The reason for this is that the overwhelming majority of people cannot drink water with a pH in excess 9.5 because, not only does the water tastes bad, but there is little evidence to suggest that drinking alkaline water at a pH higher than 9.5 provides extra beneficial results.

Therefore, when choosing an ionizer, you want to know how effective the ionizer is at ionizing water at a reasonable flow rate, using little electricity to provide pH 8.5 - 9.5 alkaline water with a good negative ORP.

The only way to test this is to compare ionizers, side by side, in the same room, using the same source water. Any other comparison is meaningless because source water varies from area to area.

In the US a side by side comparison was conducted by a certified EPA technician in a certified EPA laboratory. And the winner was: The Jupiter Science Athena for both quality and performance.