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Thread: electromagnetic water softener (descaler)

  1. #1
    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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    Default

    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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    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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    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?

  8. #8
    Engineer Furd's Avatar
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    Under some conditions magnetic treat DOES work.

    Here is a report from a personal friend and water treatment consultant with over twenty years in the business of water treatment.

    http://water-treatment-consulting.bl...in-system.html

  9. #9
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
    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?
    Lifespeed; please tell us if you have any affiliation or financial interest in these products, or in the research associated with them. What are your connections in these things?

    I looked at the first link and didn't see anything that looked like a product. It was the kind of article that anyone could cite but there was no indication about how any product would relate to the article.

    Bob NH; PE

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    Lifespeed; please tell us if you have any affiliation or financial interest in these products, or in the research associated with them. What are your connections in these things?

    I looked at the first link and didn't see anything that looked like a product. It was the kind of article that anyone could cite but there was no indication about how any product would relate to the article.

    Bob NH; PE
    Some equipment manufacturers are listed on page 17 of the .PDF file. The evaluation was focused on the energy savings associated with improving boiler efficiency by virtue of removing the thermal barrier caused by scale buildup, hence the government interest. As an independent evaluation of the technology, I would not expect them to promote any specific brand. I would also expect that some products work, and some do not work much at all.

    As a homeowner and (possible) consumer I am interested in both the scale removal and hard-water mitigation aspects. I don't sell them.

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    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.

  12. #12
    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?

  13. #13
    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.

  14. #14
    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.

  15. #15

    Default

    If anyone here actually believes that moving water perhaps 80 feet per second past a small magnet is going to significantly alter the composition of the water, I'm having a special sale on bridges today - two for one sale.

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