Why Bigger is NOT Better

Why Bigger is NOT Better

To buy an ionizer based on the size and number of electrodes is to fall under the sway of macho advertising.

According to Ian Hamilton, author of The Untold Truth about the Causes of Disease,

We all know (especially in electronics) that bigger isn’t necessarily better and that the cost in power and wear for a bit more pH and flow rate is absurd — especially when the high pH means the b….stuff is undrinkable!”

“Most of the better smaller ionizers with 4-5 electrodes can easily get the 9-9.5 pH and ORP of -300 to -400 that is the ideal range recommended by alkalizing experts such as Dr. Ted Baroody (Alkalize or Die), Sang Whang (Reverse Aging) and the Japanese and Korean Ministries of Health.”

The “bigger electrode is better” conversation is one created by some importers trying to justify the high price of their older style ionizers, which side-by-side independent lab tests show to be false. Specifically, what is better from these machines with more electrode surface area, other than flow rate? The answer is, sadly: nothing. Bigger is just more clutter on your kitchen counter, not better.


Did you know?…In the 30 years that Emco Tech has been manufacturing AlkaViva water ionizers, the size of the water electrolysis cells has actually decreased, through continual improvement in quality!! For example, Only AlkaViva ionizers use a patented 1:1 cleaning ratio that ensures your ionizer electrodes are kept clean and at top efficiency for years to come. Other brands have a 15:1 (or worse) ratio. The result? Calcium and mineral build-up over time, reducing efficiency.

Large size ionizers use at least twice the power of AlkaViva ionizers yet fail to create water that has better pH or –ORP

All ionizers in North America operate on the same input voltage (PSI) at 120 VAC. This can be compared with a garden’s water hose – everyone starts with the same water pressure (voltage) coming out of the spigot (the power outlet in the wall).
The AlkaViva Athena employs five plates that total 110 square inches. Our competitor uses seven plates that total 466 square inches. In our analogy, the AlkaViva garden is approximately 110 squares and our competitor’s garden is 466 squares. We each have the same pressure (120 volts). To the untrained eye, it would seem as though they’ve got us beat simply because their number is greater. But not so fast! Simple math will show us the efficiency of both and the truth that bigger is not better:

AlkaViva Athena: 110 sq in / 120v = .916″2 per volt. This reveals that each of the 120 volts is applied to .916 sq inches of plate, or more than 1 available volt per 1 square inch. The Athena uses 110 watts at peak operating power. In relation to square area, this would be 110w / 110sq inches or 1 watt per square inch. Each of these simple equations show an efficient saturation in your garden and an effective use of the available water – especially when compared to our “bigger is better” competitor below.

Enagic SD-501: 466 sq in /120v = 3.88″2 per volt. This shows us that that each of the 120 volts is applied to 3.88 sq inches of plate, or about ¼ the voltage per square inch when compared to the Athena. The SD-501 uses 230 watts at peak power which would be 230w / 466sq inches or .49 watts per square inch. This means that our competitor is consuming almost twice the amount of power and delivering a quarter of the energy! After all, watts are the measurement of how much power it takes to deliver the same amount of electrons. Each of these equations shows a much less effective saturation rate in your garden and a dramatic decrease in the use of available water (or electrical current).

When comparing the voltage in relation to plate size, the advantage of using smaller, more efficient plates is clearly seen. There’s more power in greater concentration where it’s needed with less resistance, which creates a deeper alteration to the water. This is precisely why the Athena outperforms our competitor in independent laboratory testing.

Now let’s look at how amps effect ionization. Remember, amps are the speed at which electrons flow through a circuit, or how fast water flows through a garden hose. The Athena operates at 1 amp; the SD-501 operates at 2 amps. The competition uses about twice the amperage, but as shown in the table above, their 2 amps have to saturate about four times the amount of surface area as in the Athena. In addition, there’s a problem with moving electrical current too fast in that it when it meets resistance (the plate), it can generate heat. This generated heat can cause a loss of power, which can, over time, stress the surface of the plates. This can cause rapid degradation, decreasing the plates’ ability to create the alteration we’re after. Running a slower 1 amp current allows the Athena use its power in a much more consistent and efficient way. We saturate the electrodes with clean-running, consistent, usable power which is distributed evenly over the plate. This is one reason why AlkaViva ionizers consistently beats its competitors when run side-by-side without the use of caustic sodium enhancers. We’ve all seen how slowing the flow on an ionizer increases its alkaline production; in slowing the electrical current we also get a greater alteration. This would be like turning the hose to our sprinkler up too fast; we would over shoot our garden and not be able to saturate it as efficiently!

Let’s take a look at solid versus mesh plates in relation to the power delivery inside of the cell. Both types of plates can deliver the necessary current to the water, but why does AlkaViva use mesh plates when other models use flat, solid plates? Electrical current is just like water flow-it takes the path of least resistance. A flat plate has no way to channel the current delivered. In other words, a flat plate has an inconsistent saturation of electrons (they could be anywhere on a solid, flat plate), often channeled together, and not effectively or evenly dispersed. The result is an inconsistent delivery of power with less efficient and effective ionization results.

Using the mesh plates, we create a reliable grid on which the electrons can travel in predictable directions, effectively distributing the power in a consistent pattern. The result is a consistent running power, evenly saturating the plate, and increasing the amount of surface area receiving the electrical current used to create the alteration in your water. When a garden is tilled into rows and irrigated, the water is channeled directly to the roots, right where it’s needed the most! Mesh plate technology is just like that-power is channeled and delivered right where it’s needed the most.

In summary, bigger plates use more watts and amps, but don’t have the available voltage to deliver it efficiently and, because the plate size is so much bigger, it adds over four times the resistance. Larger plates require a faster flow of electrons but operate with less predictability and efficiency. This actually creates more stress on the plating, causing rapid degradation over time. Now you can see that, in truth, bigger is not better! History has shown that when technology advances, it results in smaller, more powerful devices. Why would ionizers be any different?

Last updated: Aug 2, 2016

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