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Thread: electromagnetic water softener (descaler)

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    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Default electromagnetic water softener (descaler)

    Has anybody used these? There are a few different models available. While they don't remove calcium and magnesium compounds, they do keep them in solution while they go through your plumbing and out the showerhead, washing machine, etc. They are claimed to improve the effective 'softness' of the water due to this increased solubility.

    Here are a couple links electromagnetic and another that is electronic/catalytic.

    Before you dismiss it as nonsense, look at the government evaluation of this technology. It does appear the focus is on de-scaling of pipes that build up lime deposits, especially under heat. Kind of like the average home hot water heater . . .

    Lifespeed

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Go ahead and buy it, let us know how well it works.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED View Post
    Go ahead and buy it, let us know how well it works.
    Is that the best you can do?

    Here is another unit, somewhat different technology. Causes the calcium carbonate to form into microscopic scale crystals rather than scale on your pipes. A colloidal suspension, if you will.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I think what he was getting at is that none of these things seem to work. The mind plays big tricks on us, so you can't go by some people's perceptions. Buy it if you want to...take a water sample before it and after it and have them both analyzed. They'll both be identical.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member theelviscerator's Avatar
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    Works as well as an ionic bracelet I imagine.
    The world is a grindstone, whether it wears you down, or polishes you up, is up to you.

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    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theelviscerator View Post
    Works as well as an ionic bracelet I imagine.
    Another clever comment by someone who did not read the analysis of these methods, which were the subject of a thorough evaluation. Perhaps you can post an evaluation of your ionic bracelet in a peer-reviewed industry publication?

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    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Default Template Assisted Crystallization

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    I think what he was getting at is that none of these things seem to work. The mind plays big tricks on us, so you can't go by some people's perceptions. Buy it if you want to...take a water sample before it and after it and have them both analyzed. They'll both be identical.
    I am aware of psychological effects. I agree the water won't be changed in that it will still contain Ca++ and Mg++ .

    However, I posted links that contain empirical results. The claim was not that the minerals are removed, but that they are crystallized "in suspension", rather than crystallizing on your pipes. The additional claim is that this will improve the annoying water hardness problems associated with spots on glass, soap scum and excessive soap use.

    I will also agree that there have been many bad actors in this field, giving it an overall bad reputation. I don't think that means that the concept is completely invalid. It is in use in industry today. Would that be the case were it smoke and mirrors?

    Lastly, a similar technology called "Template Assisted Crystallization" may be a better alternative to electromagnetic methods.

    I understand skepticism, but I also believe it is possible for technology to improve.

    Lifespeed

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
    Is that the best you can do?


    Uuuhm....yes. You're using big words and producing a ton of outlinks to other sites to debate what you already know has substantial opposition.


    I've answered this question too many times on the net; all of them want to debate their validity and my reference points come straight from the top; those qualified as experts that know water treatment best.....


    Not the gooooooogle and yahoo search engine knowledge-based informants.


    Cheeseburger, fries, extra salt and ketchup but I must have a diet coke.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED View Post
    Uuuhm....yes. You're using big words and producing a ton of outlinks to other sites to debate what you already know has substantial opposition.
    Opposition based on what? I agreed that some snake oil has been sold, and this is even acknowledged in the Federal Technology Alert.

    Furd posted a link to a "personal friend and water treatment consultant with over twenty years in the business of water treatment" who agrees it works.

    Despite the big words, I'm just trying to sort the snake oil from what really works. I suspect your blanket dismissal may not be 100% correct, but I am trying to figure it out.

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Can you find anyone that even sells a system that utilizes the technology? I have never seen it for sale by a reputable company.

    NOBODY here is going to recommend it because it smells like snake oil.

    I think you should spend at least $10,000 on this thing including instrumentation to prove that it works.

    If you are going to make an investment in it, then you should write very tight specifications and get an iron-clad warranty. Then if it fails to meet the requirements, if the vendor is still in business, you may get your money back.

    I suspect that any price you get will be at least twice what a reputable vendor will sell you for a proven water softener.

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    Engineer Furd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
    Furd posted a link to a "personal friend and water treatment consultant with over twenty years in the business of water treatment" who agrees it works.
    What my friend stated is that one particular system does work under some very specific circumstances in an industrial environment.

    I was actually involved with this experiment in its early stages but I retired before the conclusions were in. I and my friend would agree that using any kind of magnetic treatment to alleviate the hard water conditions in a residence is not likely to be cost effective nor of much use in combating the problems that will occur.

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    DIY Junior Member williama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED View Post
    Go ahead and buy it, let us know how well it works.
    I agree with you Rugged, he should go get one and report.

  13. #13

    Default

    I have been watching this post for some time and would like to pass along some information for you all about these types of systems. To my knowledge there is only one system on the market that has been tested and certified by UPC IAPMO to work as an ANTI-SCALE appliance. And that is the Sterling ICT series of electronic water conditioners. www.sterlingwatersystems.com
    And yes I am a salesman for the product.
    These systems do not remove any of the hard water elements from the water supply. They do what they are supposed to do and that is preventing scaling of your pipes, fixtures, and plumbing components from hard water deposits. If you want to remove those elements the best way to do that is through filtration. The best way to use this type of a system is to install the unit with a 5 to 10 micron sediment filter down stream of the unit to trap any of the heavy deposits and then a GAC filter after that to answer the issues of odor & taste for your clients. If your clients like the slippery feel that a softener system gives them then this is not for them because the only thing that will give that to you is a Salt based softener.
    Ok, let the bashing begin! LOL!!
    James
    Specified Piping System Sales , LLC.

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    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
    Has anybody used these? There are a few different models available. While they don't remove calcium and magnesium compounds, they do keep them in solution while they go through your plumbing and out the showerhead, washing machine, etc. They are claimed to improve the effective 'softness' of the water due to this increased solubility.

    Here are a couple links electromagnetic and another that is electronic/catalytic.

    Before you dismiss it as nonsense, look at the government evaluation of this technology. It does appear the focus is on de-scaling of pipes that build up lime deposits, especially under heat. Kind of like the average home hot water heater . . .

    Lifespeed

    Admittedly, it's been many years since I took a chemistry class, but the first reference ("electromagnetic") in particular strikes me as pseudo-scientific claptrap.

    Can anyone else make heads or tails of the "information" in that link?

  15. #15

    Default electromagnetic water softener (descaler)

    I guess I might have a little interest in these. I am using one now, and it DOES seem to work. I surfed the net looking into the various units available and found that there are two different modes of operation between the different models available.

    Now, my wife wanted some softener because the calcium in our water was 'drying out her skin'. Now, I have literally traveled all over the world, and there is nothing I find more repulsive than the slimy feel of water from a salt water softening system. No, it is NOT the way water was meant to feel.

    So, I built a dual mode unit to try out. I uses 100khz to 150khz frequency sweeps AND 1 khz to 20 khz frequency sweeps. I used to have to soak my shower head in CLR every 6 to 8 weeks to get the white crust off it. I haven't had to do that in 6 months now.

    I am an electrical engineer and use a digital signal processor to generate the signals I then couple to the pipe via 18 ga. solid copper wire wrapped.

    So... it does seem to work for me. I am in the process of installing 6 other units at friends homes and in our cottage.

    I do honestly believe this might not be very effective in area that have VERY hard water, but I have yet to test some of these.

    Hope this might help to put a damper on the doubters.....but from what I have seem, mine seems to work, (but then again, I designed and built it).

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