Non-Chemical Water Softener

flashlite

Enlightened
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May 10, 2004
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385
Location
PA
Can anyone who has a non-chemical water softener recommend it? This would be the electrical type of softener rather than the salt type. Instead of removing the calcium and magnesium from water, like the salt softeners do, the electric softeners change the calcium and magnesium so that they don't form deposits and will actually remove existing deposits over time, so they say. I've been reading conflicting stories on the web on whether they really work or not.
 

HarryN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
3,955
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Pleasanton (Bay Area), CA, USA
Hi, the vast majority of these units are sold with either a "magnet" or "coil of wire" that goes around the pipe. The money goes to them, and the "interesting but useless" parts go to you.

Sorry to say this, but as a chemical engineer, there is no possible way that these can work.

There are some specialized industrial units that use an electric field to help reduce the Na + ion levels in water, by moving this ion toward a membrane. These are supposed to work better than a simple RO system, but they never became popular for a variety of reasons. They are high dollar units.

There are also some ion exchange units out there, that mostly fall into two catagories:
- The beads are pre-charged with Na and Cl ions, which exchange for the Mg ions
- The beads are pre-charged with H and OH ions, which do the same thing

There are a few other methods used industrially, but all require a chemcal process.
 

PapaLumen

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
802
Location
UK
I agree. Magnet / electromagnet hocus pocus. Is there anything someone hasnt tried to sell these things for?

I used to work for British Gas a decade or so ago.., they fitted these things to a huge council estate where everyone had the same water heaters fitted at the same time, hundreds of homes. They claimed to stop limescale forming in the heat exchangers/pipes and even to remove what had already formed.
A year later every single unit had to be removed for descaling, they didnt work AT ALL. Since then they keep popping up with new uses.

Any reason you dont want a normal water softner?
 

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