Im a Ph.D student in Chemistry at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. I first came across this forum when I was researching electromagnetic water softeners, thinking it was a complete hoax, but was humoring myself researching it anyway. This thread has proved quite enlightening.
The original start to the thread had this link: http://www.space-age.com/magwater/fta/fta_nonchem.pdf, that reference a Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Technology Alert (FTA). Being a researcher, the DOE is a huge entity that funds a lot of science. I went to the DOE website to see if other FTA's existed; long story shortm, the document in the link wasnt BS. I found many other FTA's that were also quite enlightening, offering a review of some of the best recent technologies for the various topic.
The other link ('electromagnetic' - http://www.santaclaritawaterconditioning.com/hmws.html) also had a lot of insight, talking about the actual science of the technology. It essentially lowers the surface tension of the water, allowing solutes to be dissolved that much easier, i.e. keeping the chemicals of the 'hard' water in solution and not plating the pipes.
What I dont get, is how all of you can bash people who have bought the materials and have personal testimonies supporting the theory and the science. Its all there. I researched this thinking it was BS and spent a lot of time trying to see if its worth investing in, and it seems like it is.
And remember this about magnets and water, Magnetic resonance imaging is a technology (commonly referred to as MRI) that works on the fact that you can align water molecules in a given magnetic field. These water molecules have dipole moments, a positive and negative end of the molecule that interact with ions such as calcium and magnesium (hard water congeners), that could just as easily be influenced by the poles of a magnetic field.
For those naysayers out there
And for this guy: