What You Get for the Money – $1,000 to $1,999
This is the second most popular price point for customers looking to purchase a water ionizer for use in their home.
You can find a lot of good products around the middle of this price range if you’re willing to sacrifice a little in plate size, power, warranty and overall performance. Still, any of these water ionizers will be able to produce good quality ionized water for drinking and other common household uses.
We’ll go through the most popular starting with the most expensive and working our way down. Remember, this article is based on the full retail price for these products. You may be able to find some of these models at special sale pricing.
For $1,999 you can get Watershed’s under counter water ionizer – the Odyssey. The price seems pretty attractive, especially for an under counter model, but let’s take a closer look at what you’re really getting for the money….
The Odyssey is a 4-plate water ionizer operating at a maximum of 130 watts at full power. Watershed water ionizers use flat/solid electrodes with SMPS power.
The most unique feature of this model is the triple filtration system. The first filter removes sediment and particulates up to .5 microns. The second filter removes sulfur, chlorine and other contaminants and the third filter provides additional removal of contaminants and particulates with a .1 micron carbon filter.
Like other true under-counter water ionizers, the user has full control over all of the presets and available adjustments through a control panel built into the faucet. There is no display but voice alerts let you know the level of water you are producing with warning chimes when you are producing water that is not suitable for drinking.
Each time you use the Odyssey, the unit remembers the last setting you used that was safe for drinking and defaults back to that setting the next time you use it. That means if you need acidic water this time, the next time you turn the unit on it will produce alkaline water at level one, two or three – whichever was used most recently.
As far as performance, the Odyssey can produce water with a pH range of 4.5 to 9.5-10.0 in most parts of the country. This is the basic “acceptable” range for any water ionizer – providing 9.5 pH water for drinking and 4.5 pH water for use as a mouthwash or skin toner.
Advanced features on this model include adjustable power for alkaline and acidic performance, voice alerts indicating the level of water being produced, cleaning cycle and filter change.
The automated cleaning cycle is based on an internal timer. When the unit needs to run a cleaning cycle, it will be activated at your next use. That means, you turn the unit on and you’ll hear a warning chime regardless of the level you may have selected. The cleaning cycle will run for 15 – 20 seconds and then audio warning will stop and the Odyssey will start producing water at the level you selected.
Watershed has a cleaning protocol that they recommend running at least once a year – it can be a little complicated with the under-counter design. The company is looking at developing an internal cleaning cartridge or you can choose to send the main unit under the sink back to the company for cleaning and service.
You’ll need to replace the unit’s filtration system every nine to twelve months, depending on your usage and the quality of your source water.
All Watershed water ionizers come with a 5 year warranty covering both parts and labor.
KYK Generation II
This is one of the two best selling water ionizers in this price class. An upgraded version of the original KYK Genesis, the KYK Generation two uses seven slotted mesh electrodes operating at a maximum of 250 watts of SMPS power.
Your $1,995 investment in a KYK Generation II water ionizer gives you a dual filtration system, for alkaline, four acidic and one neutral preset and the ability to adjust the performance of the unit within the individual alkaline presets.
The KYK Generation II – or “G2” water ionizer – can produce quality ionized water with a pH range of 4.0 to 10.0 depending on your source water. Users have the ability to adjust the amount of power used for ionization within each of the alkaline presets to improve performance based on the mineral content of their source water.
The automated cleaning cycle runs after each use and KYK has a cleaning cartridge available to remove any remaining scale buildup. The company recommends using the cleaning cartridge every six to nine months in hard water areas or ever 12 to 18 months in other source water areas.
Every operation is monitored by an advanced computer system that displays any errors on the LCD screen. If there is ever an issue with the unit, a code will display on the screen and the manual will let you know what action to take to resolve the issue.
You have the choice to display either pH or ORP on the display screen. Remaining filter life, water flow rate and performance status are always available on screen when the unit is in operation.
The dual filtration system removes common contaminants and filter life is accurately monitored using electrodes that transmit information from the filter to the unit’s control system. The filters typically last seven to nine months, depending on your use and the quality of your source water.
As far as styling and design, the KYK Generation II’s clean lines and silver face minimize the visual impact of the unit. It blends in nicely with most kitchen décors and is a step up from the original model which had a red and black front panel standing out against the white case. Very clean, modern look.
KYK offers a “better than industry standard” warranty on the Generation II water ionizer. The company stands behind this product with a 7-year warranty covering both parts and labor.
This has been one of the best selling water ionizers for the past three years – customers like the dual filtration, adjustability and number of available presets they get for their money with the KYK.
For $1,695 the Alkalux gives you 7 hybrid-mesh electrodes (plates) operating at a maximum of 250 watts of SMPS power all backed by a 7-year warranty covering both parts and labor.
This unit performs very well producing pH ranges between 3.0 and 11.0 in many areas with results varying based on source water.
The Alkalux is tall to accommodate the larger filters but slim – which means it leaves plenty of usable counter space in front of the unit. A big plus in smaller kitchens with limited countertop workspace.
The dual filtration system filters out common contaminants and preconditions the water for optimal ionization. The filters last between six and nine months depending on your usage and the quality of your source water. The filter life is always visible on the LCD display and voice alerts let you know when it’s time to change the filters.
One of the advanced features that makes the Alkalux comparable to some higher priced models is the ability to adjust the power at all of the alkaline and acidic presets. This is done through the advanced settings mode accessible through the intuitive control panel.
Every alkaline and acidic preset can be individually adjusted, allowing you to customize the settings based on your source water and how you’ll use the machine on a daily basis.
Day to day use is easy with the same “one-touch-operation” found in some higher price models. No “default” settings. The on/off mechanism for the Alkallux is your level selection on the control panel. Touch the icon for the type of water you want to produce and that’s what you get – no defaulting back to the last setting used, no toggling through the presets to get to the level of water you want to produce.
The Alkalux has a timer-based automated cleaning cycle. When the control panel flashes you’ll know that the next time you use the unit it will run a 15 – 20 second cleaning cycle before it begins giving you water at the level you’ve selected.
In addition to the automated cleaning cycle there is a cleaning cartridge available to remove long-term scale buildup. The company recommends running the cleaning cartridge once every six to nine months in hard water areas and once every 12 – 18 months in other areas.
Built-in safety features include an automated timed shutoff to prevent overflow and wasted filter life. After 15 minutes of continuous operation the unit will assume you’ve forgotten it’s running and automatically shut itself off. You can turn the unit back on anytime by touching an icon on the control panel.
The Alkalux warranty is above the industry standard. The company stands behind this unit with a 7 year warranty covering both parts and labor.
The Melody water ionizer has been one of the best sellers for IonWays at $1,595 based on price. Customers who don’t have the budget for an Athena or Delphi but want to stick with the IonWays brand usually end up here.
It’s a good basic 5-plate water ionizer capable of producing ionized water between 4.0 and 10.5 pH. The Melody doesn’t have the same DARC cleaning system you find in higher end IonWays models but it will run a brief cleaning after each use. At this time the company does not have any available cleaning cartridge or other cleaning protocol for users.
For your investment in the 5-plate Melody you’ll get four alkaline, four acidic and one neutral preset with a “memory default.” Each time you use the unit it remembers that setting – the next time you turn it on it will default back to that last setting, whether that setting was alkaline or acidic.
The control panel lights up blue when you’re at an alkaline setting and red if you’re using an acidic setting so you’ll have visual indicators as to whether or not the water you’re producing is recommended for drinking. The “Melody Function” on the control panel is the voice alert system which can be turned off.
The single Biostone filter effectively removes most common contaminants – you’ll need to replace the filter about every six to nine months depending on your use and the quality of your source water.
A good basic 5-plate water ionizer – no frills, performs well when it comes to producing ionized water for drinking. You’re dropping down in price here so you’re dropping down in features as well. You do have an onboard mineral port with this model. Adding minerals can boost performance if you need stronger water than the machine produces on its own.
IonWays backs the Melody water ionizer with a 5 year warranty covering both parts and labor – after the first five years the company stands behind the parts for as long as you own the unit with customers paying shipping and labor costs.
At the bottom of this price range is another Watershed model – the company’s 5-plate water ionizer the AQ500.
Your $1,100 investment in the AQ500 will get you another good basic water ionizer capable of producing ionized water for drinking and acidic water for other uses. pH range will be between 4.0 and 10.0 but will vary based on your source water.
The AQ500 also has an onboard mineral port that can be used to boost performance. Another plus with this model is the ability to adjust the power settings. Accessing the power settings isn’t as easy as with the higher end models but it can be done. Not “preset specific” adjustments but you can make the machine use more or less power during the ionization process.
The single filter will last 9 to 12 months. The AQ 700 comes standard with a carbon filter but the company does offer filter upgrades to either Biostone or .01 micron carbon filtration.
The cleaning cycle is timer based. When the unit needs to run a cleaning cycle you’ll know when you turn it on – instead of getting the water you selected the cleaning cycle will run for about 20 seconds, then it will start producing water based on your control panel selection.
You do get the “safe default” feature with the AQ500. This model will remember the last alkaline setting you used that was considered safe for drinking. Whether you get purified water at the neutral setting or acidic water this time, the next time you turn the unit on it will default back to the last alkaline level used that was safe for drinking.
There is no available internal cleaning cartridge for this unit at this time. The company recommends running a vinegar or citric acid flush on the unit at least once a year. The flush involves using a small pump, like you would use for a fish tank, to circulate vinegar through the unit for about an hour to remove scale buildup.
Watershed has a 5-year warranty on the AQ500 that covers both parts and labor. Repairs are made here in the United States.
There are a few other water ionizers in this same price range but these are the most popular based on “bang for your buck.” You should be able to get a good basic water ionizer in this price range but don’t look for a lot of extras and don’t look to get the stronger pH levels that can be good returns on your extra investment.
You should be able to count on good quality ionized water at the basic levels for drinking or use as a skin toner. And you should be able to find a decent 7-plate water ionizer in this price range.
As always, do your homework, check for special pricing – and beware of deals that seem to be ‘better than the rest’ or you may find that your savings today may cost you in the longrun.