Water ionizers are simply devices that introduce ions to the water to alter its properties. An ionizer can change the pH of the water by adding ions that will increase the concentration of hydrogen or hydroxide ions in the water. Changing the chemical nature of water to some extent can be achieved through a number of processes. Manufacturers of water ionizers claim, though, that water can be rendered acidic or basic through electrolysis, a process that dissociates the H+ and OH- ions, which make up a water molecule. According to proponents of water ionizers, electrolysis results in the generation of acidic water and alkaline water. The latter is tagged as the healthy water, which is ideal for drinking.
A typical water ionizing apparatus can be connected directly to the faucet, and water coming from it is processed in two ways. The first process removes unwanted impurities from water. These impurities include chlorine, sediments, odors, bacteria, and organic waste. Then water undergoes electrolysis, and the resulting two types of water are streamed into different tubes. Some water ionizers work slightly differently by allowing you to produce alkaline water or acidic water in separate occasions.
There are water ionizers that can produce water with varying pH, ranging from strong acidic water to neutral water to strong alkaline water. The different types of water produced can be used in different ways according to manufacturers. For instance, strong acidic and strong alkaline water can be used for cleaning purposes. Acidic water is good for skin care applications. Neutral water is good for drinking and for laboratory purposes. However, alkaline water is said to be better than neutral water for human consumption, although some scientists doubt it. Some manufacturers have a special name for alkaline water. They call it Kangen water, whose pH is anywhere around 9.
A water ionizer operates through the use of electricity. The passage of electricity through the platinum-coated titanium electrodes causes the dissociation of water molecules. Alkaline water is generated at the negative electrode, where positive metal ions gather to reduce water, leaving OH- ions free. Hence, alkaline water actually has some metallic ions present at trace quantities. These ions are calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Their inherent positive charges shall keep the negatively charged hydroxide ions from combining with hydrogen ions to form H2O molecules again.
On the other hand, the positive electrode produces acidic water with the presence of negatively-charged ions (sulfides, bicarbonates, and chlorides). The resulting water will have greater concentration of hydrogen ions (H+), making it acidic.
The rate at which an ionizing machine produces alkaline or acidic water depends on its technology. Modern machines make a glass of alkaline water in seconds. But these machines are quite expensive. Not everyone can afford them. Moreover, they have to be properly installed. If you want to properly connect a water ionizer directly to the main pipe, you would need a plumber, unless you have reliable plumbing skills.
Not all people buy water ionizers though for the reason stated previously. First, they are expensive. Another thing is that many people are skeptic about the true benefits of ionizers. Using one adds up to your electric bill. If you are not ready for an added expenditure, you probably would still be drinking water from your faucet or buying bottled alkaline water.