Magnetic Water Descaling / Conditioning
What are Magnetic de-scalers?
Magnetic scale preventers are placed "in-line" on your water pipes. As the name suggests they consist of strong magnets that create a magnetic field.
As water flows past the magnetic unit the microscopic crystals - that cause scale buildup - bond together.
This prevents them from sticking to the sides of your pipes, boilers and kettles etc.
What is Electrolytic Water Treatment?This is similar to magnetic treatment except that instead of a magnet an electrolytic unit has a zinc body which reacts with the copper in the pipe to produce a charge.
This charge acts in a very similar way to that outlined above - ie a charge is produced which results in no scale build up in your pipes and equipment and "scum" free tea and coffee.
What's the Difference Between Them?
With both types the charge effect wears off after a while - so they don't work as well if you are storing the water for long periods.
Magnetic units are generally less powerful and, therefore, considered best for point of use water treatment eg near your boiler and kitchen water pipes.
Electrolytic units are more powerful and, therefore, can treat all the water in your house.
In both cases the cheaper the unit, the shorter the charge time.
A high quality electrolytic unit should last for 24 hours - compared with only 3 or 4 hours for a poor performing brand.
Because most UK properties that have storage tanks operate on a 24 hour water tank storage turnover time a quality electrolytic unit will theoretically more than suffice to prevent scale build up.
We get a lot of calls from people who have fitted both electrolytic and magnetic units who report that they don't work.
This might only be because of their local water chemistry. But for many people they just don't do the job.
Benefits of Magnetic / Electrolytic Water Anti-Scale Conditioning
- They don't require a power source
- Good value for money
- Easy to fit
- No maintenance hassle. Fit and forget
- Can drink the treated water
- No plumbing required. Easy DIY fitting kit.
- Running costs: £ none
- Eco friendly
What to watch out for
There's controversy over whether they work properly
Our Recommended Best Buy
Owing to the controversy about whether they work reliably we don't recommend any particular model.
For reliable limescale treatment we'd recommend either a traditional salt softener or, even better, one of the new salt free softeners