Flow through ionizers: Connection methods
Every counter top ionizer is delivered with a diverter valve (aerator valve) and with a few easy maneuverers it is connected to the water tap, like a table top water filter.
This is the minimum equipment, even with older models.
By turning the swivel you switch the tap from its normal cold/hot function over to water from the ionizer.
When using the ionizer you should only use cold water.
Also,the diverter valve should not be connected to a tap that is fed with water from an unpressurized boiler.
Almost all modern flow-through ionizers have a control for the water supply, either with a solenoid valve (magnetic valve) at the push of a button or with a mechanical dial.
They can be under constant pressure from the cold water supply.
An alternative would be, like with an under sink filter already described on page 19, to connect to the cold water angle valve with the help of an angle shut off valve.
The connecting hose is led to the water ionizer and connected to the water inlet.
An undersink ionizer, like the Aquavolta® Revelation II, has the device under the sink and the control faucet above.
This means drilling a relatively large hole into the counter or into the rim of the sink.
Flow through ionizers: Internal filters
Often there is limited space in a kitchen so smaller counter top devices are preferred, like the above left pictured KYK® Hisha (AquaVolta® Basic) with only one filter cartridge.
Yet since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, sensitivity has risen and the range of devices with two filters has increased.
In some places in central Europe the tap water quality is so good that a second filter cartridge is not really needed. The device pictured on the right is the Tyent® Elite 999 Turbo and due to the two integrated filters is slightly wider than a device with one filter.
The disposable filters of water ionizers, like good household filters, remove practically all existing contaminants, such as heavy metals, remnants from agriculture like hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and natural germs of all kinds. It is very important to change the filters according to the producer‘s instructions. The filter cartridges are usually found behind the back panel inside the device.
Leveluk® SD 501 (Kangen water) counter top device with 1 internal exchange filter
Aquavolta® Revelation II under the counter device with 2 internal exchange filters
Flow through ionizers: Inner structure
In the flowchart on the left you see the individual stages of water treatment of a flow-through water ionizer.
In the first step tap water is elevated from drinking water quality to ionizing quality with the exchangeable pre filter cartridges. 50 to 99% of existing residual contaminants are removed.
This can be achieved with a single, multi-layer filter depending on the specifications of the output water.
The Aquion Premium Filters, left, show how water passes through diverse filter media. The pores of the filter media become narrower.
The main material is activated carbon. Other filter media is sometimes used, such as antibacterial ceramic, heavy metal filters with special materials like KDF filter media, activated aluminum which is a fluoride catcher, as well as the silver steamed activated carbon filters to remove germs. Many devices offer enough space for two filters.
If the filters can be bridged, then the process is also possible with an external pre filter. Also with a reverse osmosis system, as long as this distilled water is then enriched with a calcium cartridge which gives the water enough minerals to make it conductive, this allows for effective electrolysis. (Pure reverse osmosis water is not conductive enough).
To have activated carbon steamed with silver is pretty much standard. Since the silver quantity is so low, there is no risk of having a too high silver intake.
The germ danger of filters without silver steaming is assessed much more reliably. Some producers nevertheless offer filters without this.
They have to be reliably changed every six months.
Flow through ionizers: Electrolysis cells
After the filtering process, water flows through parallel chambers consisting of up to 3 - 11 electrolysis cells.
They are separated by a diaphragm and depending on the setting can be used as an anode or a cathode.
There are also electrolytic cells with serial chambers or with a circular “disc” design.
These don’t have much of a chance on the market that isn’t the East Asian soft water area due to poor performance.
The electrodes are usually made of titanium which are coated with platinum. The durability of the electrodes depends on the galvanizing quality.
The bigger the total electrode surface is, the bigger the contact surface for the water to be processed.
Below you see the formation of hydrogen bubbles on the inside of a smooth platinum cathode, 100 times magnified.
On the outside, which is averted by the anode, almost no hydrogen formation takes place because the electric field is not that great.
Nowadays predominantly grid pattern electrodes are used, or ones with slits or holes to be able to use the back for H2 production.
Flow through ionizers: Electricity supply
Every water ionizer has a unit to treat water electrolytically.
The alternate 220 V current from the socket is converted to a direct current with a voltage of mostly 20 – 30 V.
The theoretical minimum decomposition voltage of water (1.23 V) is not sufficient for flow through ionizers.
There are various philosophies: Some producers use a classic transformer power supply, others use a SMTS switch mode power supply which are popular with computers nowadays.
Which is better?
Electric and magnetic fields from power supplies have been given the catchphrase “electro smog”. This is a term which has a ubiquitous presence today. The question is: can negative effects occur on us or on water with this way of producing a direct current? Water molecules are, nevertheless, a dipole which can align themselves to this field.
A transformer works with a low frequency current of 50 Hz. These kinds of electric fields cannot intrude into our bodies since our skin protects us like a “Faraday cage”. Yet the magnetic fields produced simultaneously do penetrate the skin. I have measured magnetic flux densities with water ionizers that have transformers with up to 150 Milligauss.
A switch mode power supply uses a significantly smaller transformer which chops up the voltage (50 Hz) into a high frequency. Therefore, outside the ionizer in its flux density, a high frequency magnetic field is hardly measurable.
Electric high frequency fields can certainly penetrate the body. What the lesser of the two evils is, is debated. Electro smog is ever present and certainly problematic if under prolonged exposure.
On the other hand, a flow-through ionizer that is used for a few minutes is not considered prolonged exposure.
The water itself is not influenced by the power supply. The prevalent fields in the electrolysis cell from the electrodes are much stronger than the fields from any power supply. The high frequency from switching power supplies does not reach over 100 KHz which is a nondescript frequency for water. The lowest resonance frequency of flowing water lies at 22 Gigahertz.
A disadvantage is the heating up of the transformer power supply. Inside the ionizer this can form condensed water and in the long term can lead to rusting, something found in older transformers. Also, the much higher electricity consumption.
Flow through ionizers: Operation
AquaVolta® EOS Touch. Counter top device with 2 built in exchangeable filters
It is intuitive with a touchscreen, a multiple language voice prompt and a retrievable help menu. The current communications technology has, like with water ionizers, kept with the times: like with the Aquavolta ® EOS Touch above.Other devices function with sensors or with classic buttons. Reading the book of instructions will not only inform you about the installation and service instructions; often you will find great tips on how to use activated water.
AquaVolta® Revelation II undersink water ionizer. Control faucet with a multi-color display.
The Aquavolta Revelation II can also be made to talk under the sink when you operate the touch screen on the faucet.
You will see the different pH values with the changing colours of the screen and it will inform you of the set water type. Here you see 4 alkaline types, 4 acidic types and 1 neutral type. That is when only filtered water flows out, it is not ionized.
A good water ionizer should display the water flow/minute and alongside that the electrolytic setting as well as the remaining capacity of the filters.
Colour displays, pictures, pH or ORP values are dispensable. They tend to display misleading symbols and values which are only accurate in soft water areas. Value displays have to always be calibrated to the source water.
Excerpt from the book “Karl Heinz Asenbaum: Electrically activated water – An invention with extraordinary potential.”
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