By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Forum House Ad Zone

Electronic water softeners.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Mark P.10/01/2016 14:34:41
625 forum posts
8 photos
Does anyone have an experience of these, do they work or are they just snake oil?
Mark P.
Johnboy2510/01/2016 14:55:54
260 forum posts
3 photos

I'm of the optinion there may be some truth to this but I'm at present not convinced. I prefer the method of a strong magnetic field re-polarising the water molecule with its impurities. It evidentially makes the impurities less likely to adhere to pipes and the insider of kettles. I've used them on electric immersion storage tanks with some success. These are install and forget and they don't need batteries or power supplies to run them.

It a device that's cut into the rising main - can't remember what's their called! It's not the smoke and mirrors clamp-on expensive types the homopathic suppliers sell!

when I remember I'll post a link! (Senior moment!)

Edited By Johnboy25 on 10/01/2016 14:58:59

KWIL10/01/2016 15:21:18
3550 forum posts
70 photos

Definately snake oil.

Only 3 viable ones:- Polyphosphate , reverse osmosis and ion exchange.

Tim Stevens10/01/2016 15:31:41
1589 forum posts

One useful way to get de-ionised water (which for many purposes is the same thing) is to use a de-humidifier in the shed, garden room, workshop, etc. The water that these produce is effectively condensed steam.

I have used this water for years in the radiators of old cars, and for topping up the batteries of the same, with no ill effects.

Regards, Tim

Michael Gilligan10/01/2016 15:43:12
20113 forum posts
1044 photos
Posted by Tim Stevens on 10/01/2016 15:31:41:

The water that these produce is effectively condensed steam.


Forgive me asking, Tim ...

Wouldn't that make it distilled rather than de-ionised ?


Paul Barter10/01/2016 15:53:57
109 forum posts
8 photos

Hello Not necessarily snake oil. These devices do not soften water, that means removing calcium and magnesium salts from the "hard" water. This process is as said above, this is usually dealt with by , ion exchange systems in domestic water softeners or reverse osmosis in commercial systems.Putting the supply through a fairly strong magnetic field only makes the aforesaid hard water salts, magnesium and calcium carbonate less able to hang onto their mates and make the crystalline deposits that fur up pipes and make the sandy dross in domestic hot water cylinders. These magnetic or electromagnetic devices are water conditioners, the treated water tastes the same and is safe to drink. Proper softened water is a powerful solvent and leaches all sorts of possible hazards from plumbing systems!

regards Paul, who lives in a lovely healthy hard water area!

Muzzer10/01/2016 16:09:47
2904 forum posts
448 photos

IIR, the ion exchange systems work by swapping the calcium for sodium, hence the need to top them up with salt every so often. The problem with that is that high sodium intake isn't recommended for health reasons. So if you use this kind of softener, it's best used only for non-drinking water.

Clive Hartland10/01/2016 16:11:48
2812 forum posts
40 photos

For some years I had a water softener installed, quite expensive to fit but it definitely softened the water. It was a resin bead type that was cleaned up by salt and took some hours and made a lot of noise during the night, so much so I re-set the timer to work during the day.

In this new house we have a magnetic attachment wrapped around the rising mains, it's effect I cannot tell as the Southern water draw water from the river Medway and also supply water from deep chalk wells and you can tell it when one day the water lathers well and the next it does not. Another fact is that boiled water sometimes smells like a pond water that is stirred up! Also the taste varies.

The other fact is that people who drink hard water have less heart trouble. We use a filter in the kettle to stop scum forming on tea.. This is quite expensive also, at £4. per month for a filter in the kettle.

I would think that the magnetic type does affect the water to stop it furring up the hot water tank.


Edited By Clive Hartland on 10/01/2016 16:13:40

Vic10/01/2016 16:19:46
3062 forum posts
8 photos

I've seen a couple of reports on electromagnetic scale reduction and it seems the better units do indeed work. The problem is knowing which one to buy. At the time the best unit tested was about £160, that was about 8-10 years ago.


Vic10/01/2016 16:26:35
3062 forum posts
8 photos

Another link.


Phil Whitley10/01/2016 18:01:48
1438 forum posts
147 photos

google inline magnetic scale reducer, and nothing more than fifty quid is worth the money! These are recomended for washing machines, water boilers, instantaneous water heaters, electric showers and the like. If you don't fit them, there are usually scale problems within 2 years or so!


JA10/01/2016 18:52:59
1346 forum posts
80 photos

I live in a very hard water area and have had the same washing machine for over 15 years and the same combi boiler for 13 without any scaling problems.

I see this magnet scale reducer business as a way of removing money from people. The article that Vic's post links to has too many mays, perhapses, possiblies etc to have value, in my oppinion.


Mark P.10/01/2016 19:07:18
625 forum posts
8 photos
More or less an open verdict then chaps.
Thanks Mark P.
Clive Hartland10/01/2016 19:08:18
2812 forum posts
40 photos

I remember reading somewhere that the hard water scale only occurs over 50C ? I get scale forming on the hot tap outlet and have once or twice caught the back of my hand on the sharp deposit, I do not see this on any cold tap!


martin perman10/01/2016 19:14:15
2042 forum posts
86 photos

I'm in a hard water area and my boiler is 27 years old and we are only recently on our second washing machine, the first wore out mechanically, no need for a softener hear either.

Martin P

Muzzer10/01/2016 22:17:04
2904 forum posts
448 photos

Our washing machine in Cambridge was absolutely riddled with chalk after about 8 years. The water there was very hard - the kettle was forever rattling with bits of loose chalk. Finally the washing machine stopped working with a jammed pump and I thought I'd simply scrape out the chalk and wash it through with some form of descaler. But by that point it was well beyond redemption. All the hoses, manifolds, pump, valves etc were almost solid with the stuff and of course there were parts you couldn't get to and it would have taken many gallons of acid to dissolve them. Until this point I considered Calgon and salt in dishwashers to be the emperor's new clothes.

I've no experience of these devices but many of them are clearly snake oil pedalled by charlatans. If I end up living in a hard water area again I'd probably fit an ion exchange system for the white appliances and boiler. For the last 6 years we have lived where the water is about as soft as is possible to find - that's one successful solution to the problem.

DMB10/01/2016 22:58:55
1300 forum posts
1 photos
I live in Brighton and the water is very hard. Most of Brighton&hove is supplied from wells under the South Downs which are chalk hills. We use a filter jug to supply the jug kettle. Although it does fur up, I don't think its quite as bad as not using the filter jug. Jug kettle cleans out sparkling with a proprietary cleaner - "Oust." Am thinking of using it in my loco. boiler.
Steven Vine10/01/2016 23:19:11
340 forum posts
30 photos

I encountered a guy in a pub cellar who was installing electronic/magnetic devices on all the beer fluid lines, claiming they 'made everything better'. He was unable to explain why they made things better. He tried to sell me some. He claimed that you can also fit them on fuel lines in cars, to improve fuel economy and that they had been 'scientifically tested by their makers'. I suggested that if they were that good the big car companies would be fitting them to all their vehicles. My argument did not penetrate. He believed what he was preaching. He reminded me of a wild west peddler selling elixirs.

I don't know anything about these devices, but I can't see a coil of wire producing an 'electronic field' having much effect on water flowing by at 2m/s. Convince me please.


jason udall10/01/2016 23:37:33
2031 forum posts
41 photos
I would say Woo Woo to this.

I have seen water divination work.
Have some idea how/what influence is being responded to but can't prove it

On another note .
Water was considered non magnetic...
Well I have seen footage of water/water containing substances. .supported in intense magnetic field...
So despite the unconvincing "evidence" for these softeners ..we may in years to come know differently.
I will say that a chap at work had a magnetic wrist band...for some woo woo new age health benifit.....funny thing never got swarf stuck to it..
Anyway he felt the benifit...curious I got one from same supplier. .took it apart. ..found no magnets..but there was a void for one...guess the makers found they worked just as well without the expensive magnet and saved a few pennies not fitting them

Edited By jason udall on 10/01/2016 23:39:27

Windy11/01/2016 00:22:57
887 forum posts
189 photos

I don't know if this correct but I was told by a person who specialised in water treatment for power plants this is in relation to my flash steamer.

Deionised water replaces the various parts extracted from the water from the stainless 321 generator and I should use proper distilled water ideally the tube should be 316L.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric Engineering
Eccentric July 5 2018
Rapid RC
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest