Posted by: ionlife | November 5, 2008

Fake Comparison Sites – Beware!


There is some tricky business going on today on the internet. Testing ionizer performance can easily be manipulated, even if they go to great lengths to tell you how they are not. There are basically three ways to manipulate test results: 1) control the performance variables, 2) Doctor the test vessels, 3) play tricks with the camera. BUYER BEWARE of performance tests which carry no certification. You should only trust test results obtained by a third party credible source that is willing to certify the test results.Let’s look at each of the ways tests can appear to be legitimate but are dishonest and manipulated:

Testing where you cannot see the voltage settings on the ionizers: This would be the easiest trick they can play. The scenario is easy: the person performing the test tells you the ionizer is on the highest setting, but the camera does not bother to zoom in on the control panel of the ionizer so you can see it. As you view a performance video pay attention to:

· The close up shots of the control panel of each ionizer.

· Look to ensure the highest setting is selected and that you can actually see this.

Manipulating Flow Rates: You can always achieve higher pH and ORP readings with reduced flow rates. Simply put, speed up flow rate, you get less performance; slow it down and you’ll get more performance.  As you view a performance video pay attention to:

· The individual flow rates on each ionizer – can you see them individually and close up?

· Are all the ionizers running at the same time? If so be suspicious – it would be easy to control flow using an in-line valve. You could slow flow to one ionizer to increase results and speed up flow on another ionizer to decrease results.

Additives: Some units have mineral ports. Additives can be introduced to increase or decrease performance.

· White vinegar can be added to the port of an ionizer to decrease performance

· Mineral additives can be introduced to increase performance

· Again, who did the test? Are they credible?

In the end ask who was controlling the settings? A technician from an Independent EPA Certified Analytical Lab would certainly be the most trustworthy.

DOCTORING TEST VESSELS – Even if they state that the test vessels are brand new. Here a few ways in which they can appear brand new but completely skew results:

· Ammonia or bleach – both liquids are extremely powerful alkaline substances. Both also happen to be clear liquids. Here is a simple an powerful way in which to alter results: Take what appears to be a new cup, swirl some bleach or ammonia in it. Pour it out. Allow to dry. Now your vessel appears brand new – but will powerfully alter the results. Add water and you will have a high pH result.

· White vinegar or muriatic acid – both liquids are extremely powerful acidic substances. Both are also clear liquids. Test results can be doctored to lower results using the same method but substituting an acidic. Add water and you will have a lower pH result.

PLAYING TRICKS WITH THE CAMERA OR NARRATIVE– this form of manipulation is easiest to understand. Through editing you can start or stop a film easily creating results that are falsified. Magic can fool your naked eye; imagine what type of magic can be crafted using a camera! Through deft narrative you can be hypnotized into thinking that a test appears to be performed honestly. This is also the easiest to remove doubt from. Believe only facts that can be certified. As you view a performance video ask:

· Who is making the rating or video? Who actually performed the tests?

· Is the person testing (and standing behind the results) credible? Can they be believed?

· Would you prefer to believe a technician from an Independent EPA Certified Analytical Lab would certainly be the most trustworthy.

Lastly lets look at the motivation. Most of the current comparison sites have top ranking in the “Sponsored Links” section on GoogleTM. Why on earth would an objective review site pay GoogleTM to get to the top billing in the search engine rankings? Could it be they stand to profit? The only criteria they offer you are their homegrown video “performance tests” which attempt to appear unbiased and objective. Again, ask the salient questions. In the end you will find it is a slick, yet essentially dishonest approach to offering a comparison. It is designed to direct you to their specific brand, which of course they rank the highest. Additionally, they focus only on pH and ORP and leave out some other crucial performance considerations. In short, when you look past a clean-cut image and a smooth articulate delivery, where are the facts that you can trust?

WHAT YOU SHOULD BELIEVE – It is especially important when considering performance testing that you trust only facts. There are more and more “comparisons” showing up on the Internet lately; how can you know which to believe? The following criteria will help you distinguish what is truly factual from that which appears to be, but in reality is not.


Is the Test Independent, Third Party? You will want to know the party performing the test has no motivation for a specific outcome. Ideally a test would be performed by a company with absolutely no business ties to any brand. There are tests on the Internet that appear to be objective but in reality are not. In a few short minutes of internet searching, we found an interesting website depicting the ties of one comparison site to a specific brand. A good litmus test to apply is does the entity performing the test make income from the sale of ionizers? Can you verify this?

Is the Test Scientific? Look for good solid scientific testing using:

o Top quality instruments. Measuring pH is relatively common (example: pool and fish tank maintenance) and the equipment to do it is fairly accurate and readily available. Measuring ORP is another story entirely. ORP is expressed in millivolts (1/1000 of a single volt) and measures extremely slight, and highly variable differences in the electrical properties of water. Instruments that measure ORP range in price from $100 for a handheld “tester” to over $3,000 for more sophisticated laboratory equipment. Look for the more sophisticated and expensive laboratory equipment.

o Solid lab protocols and flawless execution. There are many factors which can be manipulated easily in a video. You will want verify that all possible variables that could affect the outcome of testing were strictly controlled such as settings, flow rates, age of the ionizer

Are the Results Certified? You want to see results certified by a credible authority, which will stand behind the fact that it is an Independent Third Party that has employed proper scientific protocols. The litmus test here is easy: would the certifying party have anything to lose if they were caught falsifying certified results? An analytical lab with an EPA certification on the line would be a good bet to provide facts that are verifiable and trustworthy. A guy standing in a kitchen would not.


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