An honest opinion
Frankly, alkaline water purifiers and copper water purifiers are marketing tactics to confuse the consumer’s minds. It works on the age-old marketing principle – Confuse them if you can’t convince them. Regular RO water purifiers with mineralizers perform a decent job of purifying water by removing TDS harmful microorganisms and replenishing essential minerals. An alkaline water purifier is a catchy name to attract customers. Similarly, water purifiers with the benefits of copper are tactics to attract customers.
People depending on groundwater or river water for their daily consumption usually invest in RO water purifiers because the TDS levels in water are generally more than 300 ppm. However, many municipalities in India provide RO-purified water to their residents. These users can invest in UV/UF water purifiers.
Choosing the ideal water purifier for your home has become challenging because multiple products are available. The attractive advertising campaigns and catchy phrases used by advertisers can confuse people. For example, people confuse alkaline and mineral water. Technically, they are different products, but they are almost the same for all practical purposes because these appliances work on the same principles.
Similarly, you can find water purifier manufacturers marketing their products as endowed with the benefits of copper. Yes. Copper has antimicrobial properties and has been used for purifying water for ages.
One such example is the Pureit Copper ECO Mineral RO water purifier. Similarly, Eureka Forbes has a similar model, Active MAXX Copper + Zinc Booster. Other water purifier brands using copper purification technology include Aquaguard, Kent, HUL, Bluestar, TTK, and LivPure.
This article discusses the difference between alkaline and copper water purifiers.
Tabular Comparison between alkaline and copper water purifiers
|Parameters||Alkaline water purifier||Copper water purifier|
|pH Level||More than 7, Usually, it is between 8.5 and 9||There is no noticeable change in pH level.|
|Health benefits||Neutralizes acids improves hydration, and has antioxidant properties||It improves immunity and digestion and nourishes skin health|
|Contaminant Removal||It depends on the water purification technologies but removes TDS in all cases.||Depends on the purification technology. Both RO and non-RO water purifiers are available.|
|Budget||It can be relatively expensive||Generally, they cost less than alkaline water purifiers.|
|Environmental impact||Low, because they use electricity for ionization||Low, because these appliances use copper’s natural properties|
|Maintenance||Requires filter replacement and regular maintenance||Requires regular cleaning to remove tarnish|
|Risks of overconsumption||Can cause alkalosis||Can cause copper toxicity|
Copper vs Alkaline water purifiers
First, all alkaline water purifiers work on RO purification technology, whereas cooper water purifiers are available with and without RO water purification.
For example, Eureka Forbes Aquaguard Enhance NXT and Aura models are UV+UF water purifiers. TTK Prestige Tattva 2.0 Copper 16L water purifier does not use RO. At the same time, Kent Supreme Copper, Aquaguard Marvel, Bluestar Aristo, and LivPure Zinger are RO water purifiers with copper purification technology.
On the other hand, Kent Supreme Alkaline is an RO water purifier. Other water purifier brands offering mineral or alkaline water include LivPure Glo Pro++, AO Smith Z5, etc.
Why do Alkaline water purifiers always have RO water purification?
The question arises as to why alkaline water purifiers must have RO water purification technology. The RO water purification process is essential to remove TDS from source water. However, the RO membrane cannot distinguish between good and bad TDS. The process does not allow all compounds with a molecular weight of more than 20 to pass through the membrane. As a result, essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese are eliminated with heavy metal impurities like lead, arsenic, and mercury.
Therefore, RO-purifier water does not have any nutrients and no taste. So, manufacturers replenish the lost minerals using different processes like TDS controllers, alkaline boosters, mineral enhancers, and mineralizers. Alkaline boosters and mineralizers use unique cartridges containing essential mineral granules that leech onto RO-purified water to increase the mineral content. While doing so, it increases the pH of water to make it alkaline.
Can copper water purifiers have RO?
Yes. We have already listed some models above that use RO water purification technology. For example, Kent Supreme Copper uses multiple water purification techniques like RO, UV, UF, Copper, and UV-in-tank. Besides, it uses TDS controllers to replenish lost minerals.
Similarly, the LivPure Zinger Smart IoT-enabled water purifier uses RO, UV, UF, and copper for purifying water. It uses a mineralizer for replenishing essential minerals.
So, the question is whether copper and alkaline water are the same.
No. They are not the same because alkaline water does not contain copper, whereas the water supplied by RO water purifiers using copper technology can have alkaline properties.
How are alkaline and copper water beneficial to users?
Alkaline and copper water offer different health benefits. For example, consuming alkaline water neutralizes excess acidity in our body. It improves hydration and enhances the immune system. Alkaline water is generally recommended to detoxify our bodies and support weight loss.
On the other hand, copper water boosts immunity, aids digestion, promotes good cardiac health, and supports healthy skin. Copper ions kill harmful microbes and provide essential minerals.
Comparison of maintenance costs
Alkaline and copper water purifiers require regular maintenance for optimal functioning. The maintenance costs depend on the components in the individual appliances. This comparison table can prove handy.
|Parameters||Alkaline water purifier||Copper water purifier|
|Pre-filters (if used)||Rs 700 to Rs 1000||Rs 700 to Rs 1000|
|Sediment filter (if used)||Rs 300 to Rs 700||Rs 300 to Rs 700|
|Activated carbon filters||Rs 800 to Rs 2000||In RO machines – Rs 800 to Rs 2000 In non-RO machines – Nil|
|RO membrane||Rs 2000 to Rs 3000||In RO machines – Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 In non-RO machines – Nil|
|Cartridges (Mineralizer/Copper cartridge)||Depends – Rs 1500 to Rs 3000||Between Rs 2000 and Rs 4000|
|Total Cost||Rs 5000 to Rs 9700||In RO machines – Rs 5800 to Rs 10700 In non-RO machines – Rs 3000 to Rs 5700|
These costs are approximate and can vary between different brands.
Is copper beneficial to health?
There is no doubt that copper is beneficial to health. That explains why our forefathers used to drink water stored overnight in copper vessels. Copper has antimicrobial properties to kill bacteria and viruses while enhancing the water’s taste. Ayurveda recommends drinking water stored in copper vessels. However, our sacred texts recommend that water be exposed to copper ions for at least six to eight hours to reap its benefits.
Do our copper water purifiers offer similar facilities?
Surprisingly, the answer is NO. Copper water purifier machines like HUL Pureit or Aquaguard Enhance NXT use Copper Charge and Active Copper technology, respectively. The technologies are the same but have different names. This technology adds copper ions to water before dispensing it. Therefore, the water is not sufficiently exposed to copper to allow the ions to leech into it. Hence, the claims of providing the benefits of copper are questionable.
While water purified by copper water purifiers is safe, we cannot determine whether the water provides all the benefits of copper, as detailed in our sacred texts. They seem more of a marketing gimmick.
Which is the better option – Copper or Alkaline water purifier?
Alkaline water is close to mineral water. You can also call it RO-purified water fortified with essential minerals. Though it does not taste as good as natural mineral water found in the Himalayan mountains, consuming RO-purified water, complete with essential minerals, is good for health. There is not much noticeable change in the taste between regular RO-purified water and water with additional copper purification.