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But compared with most water ionizers, it’s still a high-end model and that’s very apparent in its price tag.
If you are looking for a budget water ionizer, this is not it.
But if you want a high-performance system that will produce water with low ORP and a wide pH range, the MXL-9 is a great choice.
To make sure the water is biologically safe, the MXL-9 includes dual filters plus UV sterilization.
The MXL-9 is designed for DIY countertop installation. But if you don’t have space on your counter, the manufacturer sells a conversion kit separately for undercounter installation.
Keep reading for our full review.
To see how the MXL-9 stacks up against other brands like Tyent and Air Water Life, read our best water ionizer reviews.
This is one of the more powerful water ionizers in the market. It’s not quite as good as the Tyent UCE-11 or the MXL-13 and MXL-15 but it comes close.
The number of plates greatly determines ionization performance. The MXL-9 has plenty of them; nine to be precise.
This is not the highest number of plates among water ionizers (the MXL-15 has a whopping 15) but it’s enough to deliver healthy antioxidant-filled alkaline water.
The minimum ORP it can achieve is -800.
ORP or oxidation-reduction potential is a measure of water’s antioxidant power.
Acidic water has high ORP and causes oxidation, a cell-damaging process that’s linked to cancer, inflammation and other health problems.
Alkaline ionized water has negative ORP. The more negative it is the more antioxidant power it has.
An ORP value of -800 is pretty good. Cheaper water ionizers can only get to -600.
Another area where the MXL-9 shines is in the pH range.
It can produce strong acidic water with a pH of 2 and strong alkaline water with a pH of 11.5.
Water at these two extremes are not ideal for drinking. But they have other uses. Highly acidic water is an effective disinfectant while strong alkaline water is good for cooking and removing stains from fabric.
Between the 2 and 11.5 pH, the MXL-9 allows you to select from eight water settings.
3 levels acidic water: Good for disinfecting surfaces, sterilizing wounds and skin cleansing. Also great for cleaning glassware, laundry and upholstery.
Purified water: This is water that has not undergone ionization. It has simply passed through the filters to remove impurities. Otherwise, it’s the same water as the one coming directly from your tap. It’s good for taking medicine and making baby food.
4 levels alkaline water: Start at level 1 for initial drinking and slowly work your way to level to for daily drinking. For an extra boost of antioxidants, drink level 3 alkaline water. Reserve the highest level for removing stains from upholstery and fabric.
I love the tablet-style control panel and the cool selection dial on the Tyent UCE-11.
The control panel is not as intuitive or as fancy as that one but it’s still easy enough to master on your first try.
Everything is well laid out with buttons for alkaline and acidic water settings, filter reset and advanced settings access.
Below the buttons is an LCD screen.
The buttons are arranged at the top of the unit so you don’t have to bend down to select the water you want.
Only some advanced settings like flow rate and amperage adjustment are a bit tedious to access and change.
They have no dedicated buttons and since there is no touch screen, you have to press a combination of buttons to set your preferences. I suggest keeping the user manual close for quick reference.
One of the secret behind the MXL-9’s excellent ionization performance is the power supply system it uses.
Instead of a traditional transformer system that is inefficient, it uses a switched-mode power supply or SMPS circuit.
It provides steady current supply, which improves ionization performance. It also uses less power than a traditional circuit.
So even though the MXL-9 has a lower power rating than most high-end models (450 watts vs. 700+ watts of expensive brands), it still manages to achieve ultra-low ORP and a wide pH range.
Life Ionizers is the only brand we know that uses UV light in their water ionizers.
This is a big deal when it comes to filtering performance. Most water ionizers use only an activated carbon filter that removes sediment, certain organic chemicals and chlorine.
But it cannot remove harmful bacteria and germs.
The MXL-9 combines dual filters plus a UV sterilizer to make your water cleaner and safer.
The two initial filters are a combination of different media.
The first consists of a sediment filter, a scale filter for hard water and an activated carbon filter.
The second consists of a sediment filter, a vitamin C ceramic filter, an activated carbon filter and a KDF filter.
Combined, these two filters remove chemicals, some heavy metals, chlorine, chloramine, sediment and rust from water.
In the final filtration stage, the UV lamp neutralizes any microbes present in the water.
The filters need to be replaced annually. You can monitor the life remaining on the LCD display.
The MXL-9 will notify you when there is an upcoming filter change.
Be ready to spend quite a bit on the replacement filters. They are pricey.
I also recommend buying IV filters ahead of time to make sure they arrive on time before your current filter life runs out. Some customers experienced shipping delays after ordering new filters.
The Life Ionizer MXL-9 is a convertible countertop water ionizer. That means you can set it up on your counter or install it under the sink.
But the latter requires a separate kit, so the easiest option is to position it next to the sink and connect it directly to the faucet.
Everything you need is included along with the ionizer including the acid and alkaline water tubes, the diverter valve, pH test drops and a suction cup for attaching the acid water tubing to the inside of the sink.
Overall, installation takes less than 15 minutes.
What takes a bit of time is adjusting various settings and preferences. The buttons on the MXL-9 are not as convenient as Tyent’s touch screen.
The MXL-9 has an auto-cleaning feature but you still need to occasionally do a manual clean to remove excess mineral buildup.
There are two types of cleanings the manufacturer recommends.
The first uses acid water from the water ionizer. Select acid level 3 and let the water flow for 15 seconds and then turn off the water ionizer and leave it off overnight.
This will leave the acid water in the chamber to soak away the scale on the plates. In the morning, run the acid water for 3-5 minutes to complete the cleaning.
Do an acid water cleaning once a week.
The second type of cleaning uses a citric acid cleaning filter that you have to buy separately.
Use the filter 3-4 times a year to clean the internal components of the ionizer.
Note: You must use the citric acid cleaning filter at least 3 times a year for the warranty to remain valid.
Despite its slightly lower price tag, the MXL-9 still performs impressively. Its pH range and ORP are almost on par with high-end water ionizers.
If you are looking for a high performance water ionizer for under $3,000, this is the best choice.
In addition to its ionization performance, we also love the filtration system. The addition of a UV lamp is great for your family’s safety and health.
You don’t have to worry about waterborne microorganisms, which most other water ionizers leave untouched.
We also love the easy installation process and the fact that you can install it undercounter if the default countertop setup doesn’t work for you.
The MXL-9 is great value for money but it’s still on the pricier end of the scale. If you are looking for a budget water filter, this is not it.
The expensive filters make it even more expensive in the long term.
We are also not big fans of the control panel. Basic features and settings are easy enough to navigate through but the advanced settings are tedious to access.
A full touchscreen like the one in the Tyent UCE-11 would have made things so much easier.
The MXL-9 is one of the best and most powerful systems from Life Ionizers.
For less money than most other high-end water ionizers it provides excellent ionization performance, bacteria-proof filtration and years of rock solid reliability.
No wonder it is one of the top rated water ionizers on Amazon.
Ed is a water specialist in Tampa, FL. He built CleanerSofterWater.com to help his friends and family learn about DIY solutions to common water quality issues in the home.
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