So, you’re thinking about buying a magnetic water softener because of hard water problems?
Hard water wreaks havoc on your appliances and plumbing because it contains minerals called ions. Although hard water is not immediately life threatening in any way, it does have a negative impact on your hair and skin.
If you are suffering with hard water then it’s time to get some form of water softening device. If you’re looking for a quick fix option, try a faucet filter. Or if you want a more sustainable long term solution then consider getting a whole house water softening system.
But do they work?
Are they a cost effective form of water softening when compared to the more traditional and more expensive options?
Or is it simply a waste of money and a wasteful way to delay the inevitability of buying something with a proven track record like a whole house water softener?
What Is A Magnetic Water Softener?
The magnetic water softener is also known as Anti-scale Magnetic Treatment or AMT and is considered to be a “safer” alternative to water softening because it doesn’t use chemicals.
How Do Magnetic Water Softeners Work?
The idea is that attaching powerful magnets to your pipe will draw out the hard water ions before that water enters your plumbing system.
Fatal Problems With Magnetic Water Softeners (& Why It’s A Waste Of Money)
It is difficult to know exactly how magnets will affect ions and this type of magnetic approach to water softening is completely unknown to most.
This means that it is almost impossible to work out on your own whether such a system would work for you before you buy.
To make matters worse, there is no standard form of magnetic water softener and they are sold independently.
…Even More Problems with Magnetic Water Softeners
The place one would normally turn to for information in the absence of market data is scientific research. But even though there have been hundreds of studies looking at magnetic water softening, they are mostly inconclusive.
There are some studies showing that magnetic devices do have an effect on water. These studies show that magnetic water softeners produce electrical charges in calcium carbonate particles.
However, the studies that actually looked at the actual claims of magnetic softeners only found minimal effects on pipe scale.
Again, even though some promising trends can be seen, the results are inconclusive.
BETTER Alternatives to Magnetic Softeners?
While some studies show that using a magnetic water softener can have a marginal effect, it does not justify potentially spending hundreds of dollars to buy one.
Yes, they are significantly cheaper than other options but the fact they might not work means it’s not worth your time or money.
You should invest in a system that you know will 100% work if you have hard water.
Here are magnetic softener alternatives with a strong proven track record:
- The traditional, ion-exchange water softener that uses salt, which have proven themselves to completely eradicate hard water.
- Salt-free softeners, if you don’t want to use salt or chemicals. These are sometimes called descalers and also have a strong proven track record of preventing scale buildup in your pipes.
Effects Of Magnetic Treatment On Scaling Power of Hard Waters. Bali Mahmouda, Mabrouk Yosraa, Abdelli Nadiab – Separation and Purification Technology Volume 171, 17 October 2016, Pages 88–92. Magnetic Water Softener.
Smothers, KW; Curtiss, CD; Gard, BT; Strauss, RH; Hock, VF (15 June 2001). “Magnetic Water Treatment” (PDF). Public Works Technical Bulletin 420-49-34. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
MacAdam J PhD Thesis Cranfield University UK. Dept of Water Science and various studies
Coetzee PP, Yacoby M and Howall S (1996) The role of zinc in magnetic and other physical water treatment methods for the prevention of scale. Water SA, 22(4): 319-326.