Do electronic limescale inhibitors work?

I’ve been intermittently toying with the idea of fitting an Anti-Limescale device to the water supply in our home.

Today, with the delivery of a new phone book, I got a flyer describing a product called ScaleWatcher which reminded me of my occasional curiosity with the subject. It’s a nice convincing-looking flyer, with a money back guarantee, so I’m tempted to give it a go.

We have a nice glass sided kettle so it’ll be really obvious if it actually works.

I may be forced to try a little experiment and take daily pictures of my kettle, so please spare me from the madness and give me some definite answers:

  • Has anyone I know actually used a household electric water softener?
  • Was the experience worthwhile?
  • Are they any better than the magnetic or salt based ones?
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419 thoughts on “Do electronic limescale inhibitors work?”

    1. Vulcan Electronic Anti Scale systems are manufactured in Gemany and generally found in commercial and industrial applications used in 35 countries worldwide. They also do a residential unit and with approvals, reports and studies to back up the system. Installed at bars, major hotels, restaurants, swimming pools, spas ships, etc.
      Vulcan uses over 300 high frequency electronic pulses to changes the calcium crystal to a mono crystal so it does not stick, in addition the change releases cordon-dioxide into the water changing the balance of the carbonic acid as well as the water tension.
      The effect of this is that the limescale does not stick but is washed away in the water, the change in balance helps to dissolve previous deposits of scale and the water feels softer.
      Moreover the whole process is Eco-friendly.
      Check out more information on http://www.cwtpartners.co.uk and watch the information video to answer all your questions. It is now available in the UK.

      1. I bought one of these 3 months ago. At first I thought it made no difference but I now notice that the toilets have been scale free, my washing feels better and the water feels softer. Any water left to dry on the sinks leaves a powder like substance and easy to wipe away.
        I used to descale my kettle every 3 to 4 weeks but I am now thinking of descaling after 3 months. Wouldn’t want to part with my Vulcan 5000 ever.

  1. Thanks for that link Nick, it’s a good example of why things get ambiguous when science and marketing hold hands. I have a couple of minor observations.

    Firstly, the actual report is unpublished, so although I can be certain that the Water-Imp was tested (because I checked with the Bath Uni. CE Dept.), it’s not possible for other people to repeat the experiments (e.g. on different water supplies with different mineral composition) or to understand exactly what was tested. It’s also impossible to re-interpret the results as more is learned about the subject area.

    Secondly, I notice that the page calls the device a “Super Imp Limescale remover” when it’s apparent, even from the limited text on the page, that the tests were only conducted to discover whether the device would inhibit the formation of limescale – the tests do not seek to prove whether the device can or cannot remove limescale.

    The second thing is a small but vital point. It illustrates how the tests for this product do not reflect the way it is being marketed by the company. There are very specific claims on the front page of the website as follows:

    “Extensive trials and laboratory testing [i.e. "the report"] … has shown the Water Imp system to excel at …[reversing] the damage caused by furring up and blocking of water pipes, while also increasing the water flow throughout the entire household”

    The tests do not appear to show this at all.

    The good news, therefore, is that for inhibiting limescale, this particular product has been proven.

    The bad news is that the product was altered a year later and the tests have not been repeated – and what’s more – because the report wasn’t published, nobody else can repeat the tests.

    1. Wondering if that ‘s true then, it begs the question as to, what they’ve got to hide (maybe it doesn’t work after all)!

  2. I’ve got a Scalewatcher, one of the electronic things where you wrap the wires round the pipes so there’s no plumbing involved. If it does anything at all then I have to say that either it’s minimal or our water has got much harder since it’s been installed as we still have bad limescale problems.

    This thing cost £300 odd and to be honest, I wouldn’t bother again.

  3. I decided to look on the internet for information about these electronic water conditioners after watching a very convincing commercial on that Ideal World satellite channel. I think the general concensus is that they don`t work, its just a good marketing ploy. I live in a hard water area and about four years ago, I replaced the hot water tank. It had been in the house for at least 30 years and the limescale build up inside was nowhere near the ludicrous amount that was inside the one on the TV commercial. Until there is concrete scientific evidence to support these claims, I would recommend that you give them a wide berth.

  4. I am a distributor of the Ecoflow h2flow product. I sell by mail order from my website into hardwater areas. H2flow is easily fitted using cable ties to the incoming mains pipe. It features a patented design of strontium ceramic magnet with six polarity changes along its length. No power is needed, no chemicals and no cutting. The product is guaranteed ten years and comes with a 90-day 100% money back performance guarantee. The magnet is guaranteed not to lose more than 1% of its magnetism in 100 years. This product works – I promise.

    1. So why are you “discontinuing the product”?

      “H2Flow magnetic water conditioner manufactured in rare earth Strontium Ceramic, poled tri-axially, contained in ABS shell. Weight: 467 grammes. Size: 130 x 65 x 30 mm.”

      RRP £65. – Last few remaining. Bioflow are discontinuing the product

  5. As a provider of technical training to the plumbing industry one of the questions we are often asked is, Do the wire wrap lime sacle inhibitor work? My answer has always been – I don’t know.

    The reason that I do not know is that there is very little hard scientific evidence to suggest HOW they might work.

    For example, there is good evidence that if you heat up hard water (ie water with disolved Calicium Carbonate CaCO3 & Magnesium Carbonate MgCO3) above about 63C it will start to percipitate out and lead to limescale build-up. This by the way is one of the reasons for keeping the water temp in your hot water storage cylinder between 55C and 60c.

    Using a salt (NaCl) based water softener results in the Ca & Mg ions being ‘exchanged’ for Na ions in Zeolite filter inside the water softener. The Resulting NaCO3 (Sodium Carbonate) remains soluable in the water at higher temp thus preventing the build up of lime scale and the water feels softer. Over time the Zeolite filter becomes full or clogged with CaCl and MgCl which must be removed and replenished with NaCl – this is done during the regeneration cylce. So there are clearly understood chemical and physical changes taking place in the water and scientific evidence to back it up.

    I would VERY much like to see – as I am really interested to know – the scientific explanation as to how passing an EMF or a permanent magnetic field through the water changes the chemical and physical properties of the Ca & Mg carbonates so that they do not percipitate out at 63C. To the best of my knowledge (and I’m happy to be proved wrong) CaCO3 and MgCO3 are only very, very, very weakly magnetic – unlike many ferric and colbolt compounds.

    Your very curious – Jim

  6. Comment – I bought and installed a water imp about a year ago. fitted it to the rising main in the kitchen. We have an aluminium saucepan that has been our ‘egg boiling’ pan for years. It had a considerable amount of limescale inside (we live in kent and have very hard water) built up over the years and large bits would flake off as I was boiling eggs. Since I fitted the water imp about a year ago the saucepan appears to have cleaned itself somewhat of scale to the extent that I never see a bit floating round in the water. I think our kettle is cleaner but wife is not so sure. Our shower cabinet (that I have just finished regrouting and descaling) showed no benefits.

    As I understand the claims for water conditioners it is the high frequency radio wave action on the structure of the calcium particules that allegedy inhibits the propensity of the calcium particles to form scale.

    However I am still not sure – I would like to believe it because the hassle and cost of a water softener is not attractive – any one else comment???

  7. I had a shower that required the head to be dismantled every other day to flush out the crud. I saw these magnets being advertised on e-bay and decided at that price it would be worth a trial. I purchased and fitted one. 2 weeks later there is no need to dismantle the shower head. It worked, but how I still don’t know.

  8. Looking for a limescale remover for the cold water supply. asked the same question myself “do these filters work” very interesting text from Jim. Hope we get an accurate answer from somewon in the know?. Eddy

  9. Yes electronic water descalers do work.

    Limescale is a crystalline form of Calcium carbonate.

    Calcium carbonate is unusual in that it has a variety of crystal forms including Marble, very hard but brittle, Chalk, very soft and crumbly, and Limescale, very hard and very difficult to break.

    Limescale, deposited from untreated water, forms as long thread like crystals, called dentrices. These dentrices weave together, which is the reason why Limescale is so hard and difficult to break.

    The right electromagnetic field can modify the crystal forming characteristics of Limescale. The crystals formed are small, round and smooth so they do not cling together and wash through the water system. They do not collect in the pipes, in the boiler or in places like the shower head.

    All of the water which passes through the electromagnetic field is treated. The effect lasts around 2-3 days.

    Our web site describes an electronic water descaler to fit a 15 mm (half inch) pipe. For larger units, the principle of operation is the same but larger units may be required.

  10. Bought an ECOflow magnetic descaler which is fitted to the mains. No it does not work I have had a new self-condensing combi boiler & brand new central heating system also brand new taps fitted throughout the house. I keep the hot temperature at a temperature of only 50C and there are deposits of limescale on all taps and the shower head. This system has been installed for nearly 2 years (July05). I have to confess the shower head has only just been removed to be descaled probably only twice but I think that is more to do with the temperature I have the hot water at though. Incidentally, the kitchen tap (closest to the magnetic de-scaler)is the worst, forming deposits actually on the swan neck of the tap itself. I am sorry but I wouldn’t recommend wasting your hard-earned money. I think I would rather pay extra to the water authorities to do something on a national basis then everybody would benefit.

  11. Thanks Ann, that’s interesting to hear. I wonder if anyone else with electronic devices has been similarly disappointed.

    I’ve now had an electro-magnetic water softener installed for 12 months and I can confirm similarly lackluster results.

    The bathroom sink plughole still gets a calcium rim that has to be removed manually, and the kettle is still edged with a thin but incredibly tough calcium sheet.

    1. Guys why don’t you go and get a whole house purification unit with cation resin,it will descale ur home,you will have soft water and you can even drink it,not to mention the cleaning qualities of pure water…so no chemicals will need to be used like bleach or lime busters..

      i have one and yes they are expensive,but what i saved on soap and my heating bills alone has paid for the system after 3 yrs,and i don’t get dry skin or have smelly bleach in my water…
      i also have the calcium and mag added to my drinking water too
      good luck..

  12. I’m sure they work, so I have bought a box of them which I store in the spare room next to the crate of spin drier balls I bought off those caring folk at JML last week.

  13. I have tried a Scalewatcher in a hard water area in Italy – it didn’t work. I have tried an Imp in a hard water area in England – didn’t work. They returned my money as promised. I too would love to believe that this method works, but in my experience it doesn’t

  14. I too would like to see some evidence that electronic water conditioners really worked because, if they did, I would fit one in my house which is in a hard water area. Unfortunately anecdotal evidence is virtually worthless for proving anything and I have not been able to find any published results of properly controlled independant tests. More importantly, if these units do work, there must be a scientific explanation as to why they work, and this is something which I have never seen. The explanations given by the manufacturers are pseudo-science at best and gibberish at worst. The explanation in Kathy’s mail might sound reasonable at first, but if you think about it you will realise that the impurities in the water will have an even larger total surface area before they bond together, and therefore the electronic conditioning would make the situation worse and not better!
    Finally, I work with electronics systems for satellites and the sort of electronics which these units probably contain could be made for pounds, but the manufacturers charge hundreds of pounds for the completed units. I therefore think they would be vastly over-priced even if they did work.

  15. Similarly I have an interest in these items, as I sell water filters and would really like to be able to add these to our range.

    Every one I have tried here in Bath, has not worked in back to back tests. Our water is hard (398mg/l).

    Wessex Water have improved the quality of the water here, but I now have a “proper” softener.

    That works, but it does need looking after and costs money to run (salt).

  16. Rich,

    I, too, was just about to fit a water “conditioner” to augment the rather lame/expensive performance of our water softener, but thanks to your blog I’ve saved myself at least £100.

    Where do I send the cheque….

    Thanks!!!!

  17. :D £100? That would be a monster bit of kit given that our local B&Q used to do them for £30. The amp on that baby must go all the way to eleven.

    Perhaps Water Aid could do something more appropriate with it than I!

  18. I’ve been making and selling our Little Plumbers for years and so far we have had nothing but praise. It’s really important to know if your plumbing system is VENTED or UNVENTED because if it’s vented you’ll need TWO units. One on the riser and one on the cold down pipe from the loft tank to the hot water cylinder. It shows you on my site.

    It is also really important to speak to someone who “knows” what they are talking about because some Companies marketing electronic de-scalers simply don’t have a clue how they work. Also be sure you get one with a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE so if it doesn’t work you can get your money back.

    We are proud of our Little Plumber range (www.littleplumber.com) and are happy to help anyone who needs to know a bit more.

  19. It seems like they work for some people but not for others, so it’s very hit and miss. I am still considering buying a water imp. If it doesn’t work I can always send it back for a refund…

  20. Having read thru the previous replies I am reasonably (not completely) convinced that these items are of little (if any) value.The lack of consistent evidence, scientific and anecdotal, would tend to suggest that the only parties who see positive results are parties who have a commercial interest in plugging the product/s. As with many ‘dubious’ products the more one pays the easier it becomes to identify the benefits. I’m looking to pay as much as possible.

  21. Several years ago – probably about 10 years ago – I bought and installed a Scalewatcher. I have to say that it did not work in anything like the way I had expected. That is to say, we continued to get limescale. The lack of success continued despite me being persuaded to try fitting on the outlet from our plastic coldwater storage tank.

    However, I have encountered another product which promises to eradicate limescale. It is a CEPI Magnetic Conditioner produced by a Belgian company Vero Magnetics. The device is actually plumbed into the inlet water supply. It is said to work by causing the water to pass through what is in effect a magnetised funnel. Thereafter, the formation of hard and adherent scale is diminished or prevented – that is what the literature promises. The warranty promises replacement with another unit or complete reimbursement of the net invoiced sum within 2 years.

    Why am I subjecting myself to manufacturer’s claims? First and foremost, I accept I have been influenced by a very persuasive salesman – a engineering friend of 30 years standing who works in the production of water features and who now has the distribution rights on the CEPI system in the UK. To be fair, he was not trying to sell me the product when the subject came up: we happened to be chatting on a social occasion and he did not know I had a prior interest in the subject.

    From him I have gleaned the following facts: the CEPI device was developed by the man behing Vero Magnetics in the decade starting 1934. After the war, he patented his product worldwide. It has been used in a number of establishments where its very success has a curious effect. Go to, apparently, Rolls Royce and ask about their limescale problem. The answer will come that they do not have one. The reason is that many moons (and managers) ago, the CEPI units were installed and, because they require no maintenance or power, they have remained in place doing their job while those responsible for the decision to install them have moved on. Their legacy is perception that the factory has not got a limescale problem.

    From my friend, I understand that the system is mandatory in Belgian households and that the Kent County Council is expressing interest.

    As for me, well – I installed it into my rising main on Easter Saturday. I will wait and see. I have yet to install an additional unit, one between the pump of a power shower and the shower head, that is called for because the action of the pump removes the magnetising effect on the water.

    I will keep you posted.

    1. Hi,
      Here in Austin,TX visiting with a family, already concerned about scaling problems. A user of http://www.dogpile.com for decades, I confidently told our hosts about the EverPure HD clamp, wired electrically with extremely low voltage, that was attached to the water main as it enters our residence 10 years ago–zero maintenance 10 years and going in Pasadena, CA, where water is known to be hard. No crystallization at faucet heads, showers (4bathrooms, 2 if which are 4-piece home), 2 large water heaters, or dishwasher, laundry is soft without fabric softener which is not good for dryer motors, and water tastes as it should. Unfortunately, it seems EverPure was bought out by another company who will only state over the phone:”give us the product number”. I will do so, on our return to CA. Compulsive in nature, I did save the EverPure product box! As I read your description for the CEPI Magnetic Conditioner by Vero Magnetics, it functions just like our unit –which did not require any de-magnetizing, and to repeat– NO MAINTENANCE. Did you ever install and find distributed in the U.S. this Belgian product/company? We love Belgium by the way after visiting there for three weeks/seeing the country in its entirety.
      Interested to hear from you PLEASE. Thanks, in advance.

  22. There are some products available that really do work. I use and have become a dealer for the Soo-Soft Digital Water Softener line of products. You can view considerable material at my web site at softwatersite.com, including the ability to see and contact reference customers. On a comparative basis to products like scale watcher, the Soo-Soft units are much more powerful as measured by output power to the coil. To be effective, the product needs to be digital rather than analog, needs to have the ability to produce a range of wave frequencies, and need to be properly installed on either copper or plastic pipe – never galvanized pipe.

    There isn’t a great deal of product specific research for any of these products. Probably for 3 main reasons:
    1. Lack of desire driven by factions not desiring real change
    2. An overabundance of products that are not effective and not seeking proof of that point
    3. Inability of some manufacturers to afford funding the testing processes.

    That leaves the consumer with the delima of sticking with the old chemical based technology that will soften water but will not remove existing scale nor fully prevent new scale formation, or taking a leap of faith and trying something new. It also leaves the consumer challenged with the thought that hard water can’t be made soft if the calcium is not removed from the water. Claims that the products effectively descale existing calcium are conceptually difficult to accept even when you try the products because of the difficulty in examining the results inside your plumbing system. However, there are direct observations that can be made to prove or disprove the descaling claims and there are subjective observations each individual can make regarding the “attributes” of soft water.

    With any of the products you can do the following “before and after” tests and decide if they are effective in your instance:

    1. Look at and take pictures of the lime scale build up that exists in your water tanks to your toilets. In hard water settings, scale forms on all the metal parts and continues to build up. After approximately 90 days with an effective product, that lime scale will be removed. The time period may be shorter where there is more frequent flow of treated water as in a master bathroom rather than a seldom used guest bathroom. After 90 days, take another look and compare to the original picture. An effective product will clear the scale.

    2. Monitor the time it takes for a hot water tank to fully reheat and recover after someone takes a bath (it is helpful to fill the tub to the same level for this test. Mark down that time before installation and compare that number to a repeat test 90 days after installation. If the product is effective, the heating element inside the hot water heater will descale allowing it to heat much more effectively and therby shortening the time it takes to fully recover and achieve the heat level. An effective product will make this happen which means you will save some level of heating energy over time as well as extend the life span of that hot water heater.

    3. Measure the amount of detergent normally used for laundry both before installation and again at the 90 day mark. There should be a significant reduction in the amount of detergent required to produce the suds you require to clean your laundry and allow you to see that your rinse water is not still full of soap suds.

    4. Observe the inside of your dishwasher if you use one. Before installation the heating element and the walls and trays are usually coated with limescale. After a few washes with treated water, you should see that coating being removed.

    5. Judge for yourself the “attributes of soft water. These are softer hair, softer laundry, clearer glassware, no scale formation on fixtures, easier cleanup of surfaces where water may stand and dry.

    Any reputable product will come with a money back guarantee that is greater than the 90 day period it generally takes to completely clear a home that has not previously been treated with a water softener.

    One other test in older homes that have experienced drops in water pressure (but still have some level of water flow through the pipes) is that the pressure will be regained after the descaling process completes.

  23. There seems to be a general trend emerging here, those that sell electronic limescale inhibitors claim they work while those that use them say they don’t work (work it out for yourself). I myself bought a block salt softener 2 years ago, and this undoubtedly does work very well indeed. I live in a house where the dish washer and washing machine are going on a daily basis (not to mention the shower) and the salt costs me about £1.50 per week.

  24. Fitted a Scalewatcher around 15 years ago. It has made no difference whatsoever. I was scammed well and truly! Go for a traditional salt version or don’t bother.

  25. We have really hard water here in Reading. We tried a few anti-scale devices on our boiler before a plumber suggested a local company called Scalgon. They make a device called the Scale 3. They also give a money back guarantee that it will work, so we couldn’t go wrong. Best of all it was only £70 and it has kept our boiler free of scale since it was fitted. I’m looking for a liquid to get rid of scale around the loo.

  26. Try malt vinegar in toilet to beat the scale. Leave to soak over night – bio degradable, cheap and nice not to buy yet another cleaning product

  27. I brought a Super Imp about 4 years ago and it’s been installed on the copper pipe right where the mains enters the house. I was very sceptical about these electronic water conditioners too but surprisingly it does seem to work.

    I live in Kent and my shower heads clogged up very quickly before I installed the device. Since installing the device I have not had to dismantle and submerge the heads in limescale removal chemicals. There is still some limescale but it’s much easier to clean off and is not hard or as thick as it was before. I don’t need to use the heavy duty limescale chemicals or use heavy scrubbing. My shower heads haven’t clogged up with limescale since.

    I think maybe the quality of these devices vary, some working better than others? Also are there different types of limescale? some being more difficult to treat? does ambient temperature, flow rate, water pressure, pipe thickness etc affect the performance of these devices? there seems to be so many variables which may affect if these devices work or won’t work.

    I too would like a reputable independent scientific body to carry out test on an range of these devices to see if/how they work, and if they do work which work the best. Somebody to open them up and see what they contain inside (and how much they actually cost to produce).

    Btw why don’t water companies treat hard water and pipe softened water down the mains? surely this would be a great way to save energy en mass (everyone uses less shampoo, detergents, more efficient heating, less repairs etc)… even if it meant a few more pence on the water bill the overall saving in efficiency would probably be worth it.

  28. Lets get one thing straight.
    There are water conditioners and there are water softeners.
    Water conditioners do not remove limescale, they simply
    control it.
    There are various types of water conditioners.
    Electronic use the coils that wrap around the pipe work.
    Magnetic and Electrolytic are intrusive, they are installed
    into the pipework.
    They work by altering the morphology of the calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) ions that are present in hard water.
    As the water passes through the electronic (radio frequency)
    field / magnetic or electrolytic field, the ions are effected
    rendering them into much smaller particals so as when the water is heated and scale would normally form, because of the change in their molecular structure, they form a slight soft scale that is
    easilly washed or wiped away.
    The scale is still in the water, your kettle will still scale
    up, albiet not as much and you you still see the tell tale signs of limescale on the glass shower enclosure and on the stainless
    steel draining board.
    Where as with an ion exchange water softener, the calcium and magnesium ions are removed.
    Water softening is the only effective way of removing the
    calcium and magnesium that causes limescale from the water
    and I would not want to be without mine.
    I live in Kent, the water is extreemly hard and I had my water
    softener fitted some years ago and my shower, kitchen, washing
    machine still looks like new.
    The machine I purchased is of the Aquadial brand, and it was money well worth spent.
    Having heard of people who spend £300 + on water conditioners,
    for a bit extra, go and buy a water softener.

  29. I can assure you all the electronic conditioners do work. We introduced the first one, Scalewatcher to
    the world in 1989. We gave the domestic business to Fast Systems who sell 18,000 units per year all
    with a 6months performance guarantee, they have 2% return rate
    We concentrate on commercial and industrial market and our largest customer is M.O.D. / Government
    (25% of our turnover), who will not continue to buy something that does not work.
    Check out our website http://www.electronicdescaler.com
    Positioning and installation are the only reasons a well designed electronic conditioner does not work

  30. How about this for a thought: these systems have been around for many years now, if they really worked don’t you think the water company would recommend them or even incorporate them at the source? Think about that for a moment, because that is “common sense” speaking. There is no conspiracy to keep your kettle caked-up.
    I’m really glad I stumbled on this web site; thanks Rich, good idea by the way. The report from the US Army Corps of Engineers was a really good find too, and the conclusion is unequivocal: there simply is no benefit from the device, no matter who made it.
    It makes no difference what these people claim, “but mine is newer!” or “but you didn’t put it in the right place!” or whatever. Buy a softener if you have a problem, that is what works.

  31. I have written before but all I can tell you is that I have been making and selling our Little Plumber range of water conditioners for 10 years plus and to date we have had nothing but 100% success. Not one back. Not one moan or winge.

    We do however offer a 100 day money back guarantee which anyone buying this type of unit must have.

    These products will pay for themselves within the first year of use because of the energy they save. They not only prevent limescale but also remove it so making heat exchange much more efficient.

    We are always available to advise whch unit you should have since if you have a VENTED plumbing system ie: one with a tank in the loft you will need TWO units since there is a gap in the treatment at the point where the water falls into the tank. One of our units has two coils which can be used and generally fits conveniently in the airing cupboard. If you have an UNVENTED system with a Combi Boiler you’ll only need one unit.

    We even have a battery operated model if your electrical point is miles away.

    I mean if they didn’t work why would we still be selling them after 10 years???

    I’m on 01235 862540

  32. I have an electronic conditioner installed, yet my new kettle is still full of fur and my black granite sink still gets a cloudy coating of chalk. The only evidence I can see (daily) about electronic water softeners is that they’re ineffective.

    What I hope to see see is the results from a set of repeatable laboratory tests that are independently funded which show the comparative effectiveness of different solutions water softening solutions.

    Anecdotal evidence is not enough when I’m staring at a sink lined with chalk!

  33. Thanks for this useful correspondence. I was about to purchase a scalewatcher which I can ill afford (having had a new element in my hit water cylinder for the secnd time in 3 years). Hurray for internet sharing – it’s saved me £200!

  34. My mom sent me on a mission about 3 hours ago to research “saltless” water softeners; since our’s is broken and is about 20 years old. Anyways, This site takes the cake for having the most information (anecdotal or otherwise) and I’m pretty convinced that the best option for us is to simply update our water softener. The magnetic versions are just too controversial.

    I suggest to all the sellers chatting it up here that if they really want to put credence into their products, then they need to fund some peer-reviewed, thorough and independent research on their products. Just spewing the same “we have a money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose” lines don’t cut it.

    Thanks for the discussion it was quite useful.

  35. I live in Cape Town South Africa. We are fortunate to have extremely soft water. There is never any
    sign of scaling in our kettles,toilets,showers etc
    yet somehow or other the water pipes in the roof
    are clogged by some deposit or other. Although
    they are 30 years old I cannot imagine where the
    deposit is coming from. The plumber assures me it
    is not from my asbestos cement cold water tanks
    and they show no signs of corrosion. The plumber
    can offer no suggestions on how to clear the pipes
    and replacing is not really an option as many are
    buried in the walls. I thought that these electroni
    gadgets would solve my problems but reading this
    site they do not appear to be a solution.
    Could these deposits be something other than
    Calcium?
    As an aside would a good test for the efficiency
    of a descaler not be the ease with which soap will
    lather and the degree of scum in your bath.

  36. I am the business development manager for a commercial / industrial electromagnetic water conditioning unit and water softening company. WE DO NOT PROMOTE OR SELL DOMESTIC APPLIANCES. The science is pretty clear on magnetic effect in water, only the water that passes the magnetic field at 90degrees gives a conditioning effect, see Flemings left hand rule, Columbs law, Dayby radius. The small domestic wrappers will give a very little effect (if any), for best results they need to be as close as possible to the point of use.
    Water softeners physically exchange the hardness particulates for sodium, in the UK you are not allowed to drink softened water.But if you soften water you will not get scale build up if you maintain the unit correctly.
    Our industrial electromagnetic conditioners are capable of treating a hotel, leisure centre etc. but obviously cost far more than domestic units.
    Jim mentions an effect called reverse solubility, where when you heat water up the hardness minerals come out of solution, this is the opposite effect of putting sugar in your tea. The greater the temperature the quicker the hardness particles drop out of solution and form scale.
    The downside to lower temperature is bacteria control, in building services you are not allowed to distribute hot water at less than 60 degrees centigrade due to the threat of legionella. Obviously these systems are much larger with greater water useage, but i still keep my hot water at 60 at home to be sure.

  37. I purchased a Water King device a number of years ago from life science. It has stopped buildup of limescale in the hot water tank. This was proved when I had to change the tank after a number of years due to a leak and found it very clean. the previous tank to that was full of limescale and had to be replaced. Also the kettle never furs up but does have small white particle floating about, (a type of calcium?) this is only obvious as the kettle spout has a filter. No buildup on the element and this is used at least twice a day! We live near Cambridge which has very hard water. I think they work but make sure you follow the instructions! Doesnt soften the water but the limesacle not depositing is great especially in the shower head.

  38. Thanks Emily; on that page Roger Bisby (apparently he’s a plumber/journalist) says “Tests show that as little as 3 millimetres of scale can increase fuel costs by 15%”, so I have to ask which tests? Where are the results published? Have the tests been repeated and independently verified? Are the test methods open to scientific analysis and criticism? Without these things, Mr. Bisby’s words are a pointless and hollow endorsement. It’s an advert, pure and simple; it needs to back up its claims, but doesn’t. If it had that information, then it’s exactly the kind of stuff I want to find.

  39. Paul Websters friend speaks with forked tongue. This “..engineering friend of 30 years standing who works in the production of water features and who now has the distribution rights on the CEPI system in the UK..” claimed that the CEPI Magnetic Conditioner produced by a Belgian company Vero Magnetics is mandatory in Belgian households. Mandatory? I live in Belgium and my house doesn’t have such a system! (although our water is very hard). I don’t know anybody else who does own such a system. I found some old references on the web to a company called CERO-CO NV at Borgerhout near Antwerp but couldn’t find web page for the company. An umdated literature review at web page http://www.discoverymagnets.co.uk/articles-water12.htm (produced by the UK distributor of Ecoflow Bioflow magnetic devices) says that most of CEPI-COs equipment sales are for continuously recirculating industrial cooling systems where there is repeated treatment of process water. Best results are under conditions of supersaturation and a high ionic load of the process water – which doesn’t sound like household water conditions to me.
    Ny impression is these guys who sell these electronic or magnetic systems seem to reappear/morph in different forms regularly. Today, for example, I got an advertisement in the post for a magnetic water softener/conditioner called a MAGNA 2000 marketed by TSD, Antwerp which claims wonderful results with no running costs (it uses a permanent magnet). See web page http://www.antikalk.be. I asked my plumber and his opinion was that these things are nearly always hokum. He did say that there is one non-chemical system produced by a well-known German manufacturer which he has heard good reports about. But it is very expensive system. I’d be cheaper buying a classical chemical based water softener.

  40. I live in the Reading area of berkshire and the water is really hard, everything is full of limescale. My wife likes lots of holidays as she says it is worth the money to wash her hair in soft water – still don’t know what she means there! Well I know hard water is a problem and have toyed fro years with getting a water softner but could not afford the space. So quite by chance I was in a local store in Wokingham and saw a device on display called ‘Little Plumber’ which as I can see is an electronic device, it took less than 10 minutes to install under the kitchen sink and has been in for about 7 months now. well I would say i noticed improvements in the water in about 2 months, easiest way to see is the new kettle 5 months old is still scale free, not sure on the boilers, washing machines, central heating, etc. I knew when i bought it recommendations were to install another close to the water cyliner and have only just purchased another slightly different one a Hydroflow HS38a. hope it works well to

  41. Reading reviews it is clear that the descalers are not as effective as the dazzling scientific marketing claims – and which i was completely convinced by. As K Moorman points out – if they really did work 100% then the water company would simply install a large one in at source.

  42. I live in Stafford. Hard water area. Purchased a Salamander Water Wave scale inhibitor for a 2 bed property. Noticed big difference straight away. Shower head never had scale. Kettle was easier to clean. Water felt slightly softer meaning less soap was needed when washing.
    We then moved house 2 months ago, still in Stafford and have noticed its not working aswell. I have noticed the water pressure is a lot higher than our previous property. Is this because the water is flowing to fast for the device to do its job?

  43. Interesting reading, one and all!

    I moved to just south of Salisbury Plain a few years ago (v.v.hard water!!) and did a bit of research on how to prevent the white stuff as cheaply as reasonable. Eventually I invested in an electronic conditioner, and it’s probably improved things about 10% by making the stuff more manageable.

    But.

    I overheard an article on BBC Radio a few months ago, saying that Limescale doesn’t form at very high temperatures. Therefore (the implication was,) remove all water from said kettle WHILE IT’S STILL HOT!

    Since then I’ve religiously emptied the kettle after using the water, and (amazingly?) the thing is still clean as a whistle after several months. This tip may be no use for your plumbing system, but is worth bearing in mind. [A secondary environmental benefit is that I use less water and electricity by filling the kettle more thoughtfully.]

    So, does Scale only form at lower temperatures? Or is it simply that by emptying the kettle I am giving the stuff less time to settle and solidify?

  44. Like everybody else who have been perusing and corresponding on this forum I too have very hard water and limescale buildup. I have read all the reports and visited all the web sites and must state that I am still not convinced about the effectivness of electronic descalers.

    However, I did find this site – http://www.cntv.org.uk/environment.html
    which decribes and gives details on a build it yourself electronic descaler – all for around £25. This in my mind is an acceptable outlay for doing some trials as some of the commercial units cost from £150 upwards and probably contain circuitry very simlar to the kit.

    I will probably buy one and if the results are encouraging will post again.

  45. yes – we were considering either ECOFlow units or an electronic de-scaler but they do seem very pricey, for essentially a box with no moving parts

    Surely they must be made more cheaply somewhere????? so one can try them at less financial cost

  46. Loved the back-an-forth on this site. I purchased a “Super Imp” today, will be
    sure and provide results when appropriate. I live in Utah, can’t say for sure,
    but I suspect my water is not nearly as hard as many who have posted. Issue here
    in the states has become the environmental aspect of softeners. Many areas have
    banned them. Praying my new purchase helps.

  47. Thank you Rich.
    The test concerning scale and the increase in fuel consumption are not in dispute since they have been carried out many times by independent test laboratories. Scale is an insulator and it will slow the heating up time of any hot water cylinder affected by it. The result is wasteful on off boiler cycling.
    What is being questioned here is whether electronic sale devices are effective. My report states that I fitted one and it helped reduce scale build up and softened scale around the shower head. The devices have been used in industry to good effect and there are countless tests to back up findings.
    I do not sell scale devices and have no axe to grind.
    The bottom line is that if you find the device doesn’t work (and there are factors which affect performance) then Scalewatcher will refund your money in full. I do not know of any instance where Scalewatcher has not honoured this promise. In short you do not need evidence from others because you can try it yourself in your home with your plumbing system which is what I did. My comments are based upon my experience and only mine and they formed part of an editorial review not a puff piece.

  48. Hi All,

    great chat and has now absolutely convinced me that I am no clearer on whether the electronic units work. What I do know is that I do not intend to spend any money on a system that may or not work, even if there is potential for a refund. Hassle factor makes this option a non starter.
    As far as I can see, the traditional salt water softeners are the only way to go to truely get rid of limescale. There are 2 reasons why I won’t do this either … one being the cost and the other being the health inplications of filling up my family with sodium etc….

    I have devised a simple way to resolve the issue for me once and for all.
    Work out how much the softener would cost over a 10 year period. I reckon on £1000 to buy, £250 to install and then £100 a year to upkeep = £2250.
    I have 2 showers using the hot water from the tank (not electric)but both using pumps and obviously one boiler. I also have a dishwasher and a washing machine. If by some amazing fluke everything packed up at the same time could I repair/replace everything for less than £2250? YES is the answer.

    Over a 10 year period, would any of those appliances break anyway even with soft water? I think the answer is yes, especially the dishwasher/washing machine. Mine work pretty hard with a family of 4 using them.

    I don’t know how long the water softener lasts, maybe 20 years but on the other hand I do not expect to be in the same house for 20 years so i will have to buy a new one. I figure 10 years is a reasonable time to base this on.

    I think you can see where I am heading.

    In terms of limescale, use a bottle of FERNOX in the heating system every 2 years, Industry standard, proven technology over the last umpteen years. £10 a bottle. It dissolves all limescale if used regularly and will keep the boiler running efficiently without problems.
    All of my taps have spouts that unscrew and so every 6 months/1 year I soak the whole lot in Viakal or something similar to get rid of the limescale.

    Net result is I deal with the limescale as best I can. Ongoing maintenance costs are £30 – £40 per year as a absolute maximum. I have lived in my house in Camberley Surrey (HARD WATER) for 8 years and so far replaced on shower pump which may or may not have failed as a result of limescale…..

    My advice ……. don’t bother with water softeners at all.

  49. To Mark (above) I’d say be careful what you put into your heating system. It looks like you know what to do and what not to do, but if anyone adds a ‘descaler’ which is acid-based then it will corrode your heating system away within a few months. Not joking. Always make sure it says “Corrosion Inhibitor” on the label, or it’s an additive that can safely be left in.

    Inhibitors like Fernox MB1 and Sentinel X100 stop radiators from corroding inside, and they should be renewed every 4-5 years. However, it’s important not to confuse magnetite sludge (which you get in your central heating system) with limescale (which you generally don’t). Limescale affects mains water (fresh water) units. The only reason you’d get limescale in your CH system is if you have a fairly major water leak on it somewhere. Even then, it’s more likely to generate magnetite sludge that will affect the boiler before limescale does.

    On a separate note, someone above says about water companies stopping limescale at source. There’s two reasons why they don’t. The first is cost. The second is the same principle which applies to magnetic units – that the effect is temporary. That is, by the time the water got to your house the magnetic inhibiting effect on it will have been lost.

  50. It’s been interesting reading the comments. My career is limescale. I dissolve it using acid from combination boilers and thermal store heaters.

    I have found that water softeners are not too popular as a means of preventing it. Many consumers are put off by the purchase and installation costs, and also put off by advice from friends that they forget to refill them with fresh salt!

    We manufacture a magnetic limescale inhibitor which is proving popular with our customers simply because we offer a money-back guarantee with it. That and the fact that it’s only £39!

    The one piece of advice I’d give is to cure dripping (or running) taps. I’ve seen a brand new boiler, here in Reading, ‘scaled-up’ in three months because of this.

    To Reply 54, I’d say that limescale drops out of the water even at low temperatures (look in your loo cistern). However, limescale forms rapidly above 63 degrees C. Washing the kettle out each time definitely helps, by the way. And when it does scale up, use lemon juice, not vinegar.

  51. I have asked Cambridge Water who is supplies water to my house and got a reply ;

    Dear Mr Doh
    Thank you for your query about water hardness treating.
    I am afraid that I am not going to be able to give you a definitive answer. Cambridge Water is indeed “HARD” as it is abstracted from chalk aquifers.
    Using an ion-exchange will soften the water but you are advised to have a drinking water tap which bypasses the softener. As a chemical change has taken place it is possible to measure the effectiveness of the device.
    Using an electro-magnetic scale inhibitor does not change the chemistry and so the only way of measuring effectiveness is over a period of time. If you carry out further investigations you will almost certainly find that some people think they are very effective, others do not think they work at all. In my opinion inhibitors fitted immediately befor a heating device are more likely to work better than those fitted at the inlet to the property but I have no data to back this up. As the chemistry is not changed there is no need to have a special drinking water tap.
    I am sorry that I cannot be of more help to you.

    Regards
    Valerie Miller
    Water Quality Officer

  52. I installed a wicks unit five years ago on the rising main
    cost about £40
    All i seem to get from it is a flashing light to say its on
    and costing money
    limescale still about on taps
    i have not turned it off yet as like every one i hope its doing something in the pipes
    would not recomend
    we are going to put a magnet ball in the washing machine to see if it works but thats only £5.50 down the drain

  53. I’m glad I came across this page because I’m thinking of installing an electronic conditioner. All the comments have been extremely useful. Thank you.
    I would say to K Moorman (5/8/07/that my own experience of Thames Water is that they are a completely unhelpful organisation and are utterly clueless. As to them investing in a conditioner upstream in the water mains itself, your water supplier is only interested in profit at minimum investment. So I wouldn’t use their absence from the game as a measure of the effectiveness of this gadget.

    The advice that seems to ring true for me is Gavin’s (9/8/07/ that a second unit should be installed near the water boiler cold water inlet.

    I am impressed that the MoD and industry use electronic descalers.

    Has anybody got any data as to which is the most powerful (ie best value for money that really works)?

    1. Well if the MOD and various other government departments spend our money ion water conditioner, they must work then. I can’t imagine any government agency wasting a single penny of our hard-earned cash.

  54. Do not be impressed that the MoD or Local Gov use magnetic conditioners. The MoD buy loads of stuff that doesn’t work – I know, I work for them. They probably just bought a job lot in the hope they might work, and it would cost too much money to remove them all now.

    I am tempted to get a kit from magenta2000 for £23 just to see if will help my home in Winchester – a very hard water area. If it works I’ll let you know. I did buy a time share once though…..

  55. Electronic descalers DO work but only under certain circumstances. I live in East Kent a very hard water area. I fitted a Water King ‘Sentry’ unit at the inlet to my copper cylinder (about a year after it was installed) some 8 years ago. I did notice an immediate improvement to the kettle which used to scale up terribly with the very hard damaging crusty limescale. In that period we did get scale build up around taps etc but not as bad as before.

    In the last couple of weeks we have just replaced our old conventional boiler and cylinder with a new condensing Combi boiler. The plumbing was obviously all ripped out and the ‘water king’ disconnected and removed. In just 10 days I noticed the kettle had become very badly scaled again. Totally descaled it and refitted the ‘water king’ sentry at the inlet to the new combi. Since I did this, a few days ago, the kettle has remained totally scale free. I shall continue to monitor it!

    I work for a well known shipping company and several years ago we dispensed with the conventional water softening plant on my ship and fitted the industrial ‘Water King’ plant at the main potable water inlet prior to calorifiers. Also WK ‘Sentry’ units were fitted to all three main calorifier inlets and to all galley ‘combi’ ovens. It proved a disaster. Although the scaling in the combi oven calorifiers was reduced to a soft type scale, elsewhere (EG industrial dishwashers in galleys) scale became a nightmare. It was only when we returned to softening type plant that the problems disappeared.

    Am convinced that the effect of electronic conditioners is not good where stored water is involved.

  56. Gary – I would love to hear an update from you as I also live in the states.

    57 Gary Williams Says:
    December 3rd, 2007 at 9:31 pm
    Loved the back-an-forth on this site. I purchased a “Super Imp” today, will be
    sure and provide results when appropriate. I live in Utah, can’t say for sure,
    but I suspect my water is not nearly as hard as many who have posted. Issue here
    in the states has become the environmental aspect of softeners. Many areas have
    banned them. Praying my new purchase helps.

  57. Hi, I’ve found it fascinating reading through the different opinions on this subject. I have been a plumber for 20+ years and we have fitted many of these devises as a low cost alternative to installing Water Softners. The proof is in the pudding so it may help if I said that I have two ‘Electronic Water Conditioner’, very important to stress there is a difference, in my home. With our customers we have seen the positive effects and maybe a few ‘not sure’ but all in all we think they work.
    The main reasons for expensive plumbing repairs often points to limescale build up of some kind or another, so to do nothing is fine if you can afford the consequences. Apart from needing a safe electrical supply and about an hour of spare time to connect each unit (we always recommend one on the incoming main and one on the hot water storage), that’s you protected. If they had no effect, they would not still be selling 15years on by major manufacturers’ as well as small independents. If a plumber cares about you as a customer as well as the newly fitted appliances he would always recommend some kind of water conditioning.

  58. I installed a Scalewatcher about a year ago, after using a Kinetico salt softener for several years. I let the two run together for a couple of months, until the salt ran out, then left the Scalewatcher on its own. The water reverted to its hard state and remained that way. I made sure that the installation was absolutely correct, but after a total of eight months the water still had that sticky feel. So I went back to using the salt softener and now the soap lathers well and hair washing is a pleasure again.

  59. Update from my last post !!!

    Ok after couple of weeks use of my Electronic descaler I have notice the following

    1.Water seems softer when being drank, especially Tea

    2.The Kettle,s element is still shiny with only very minor discolouring
    on small parts , the kettles internal sides are silky smooth still

    3.Shower taps still shiny, some areas have what I can only describe as
    like a film of dust on the hot pipe only !! it comes off with wipe
    easily

    4.When I pour cold water from the tap it has small particles in it ,
    im thinking this
    is existing lime being removed by the device ? or just dirty water?

    5.I notice the water in the bottom of the kettle doesnt appear cloudy
    now ,but has more visible particles of what must be small clumps of lime ,
    it seems to have lost its stickyness i guess ?

    So with only a couple of weeks use , there does seem to be a difference
    whether this is long lasting effect I dont know.

    WIll give another update a few weeks time,

    regards

  60. I have read dozens of reports very few of which I find persuasive with respect to acquiring an electronic descaler. In particular the US Army field tests, although limited ie they could not test every device on the market; found no measurable benefit.

    I have been retired for some years but was employed for a number of years as a design engineer in the field of signal processing. I too live in a hard water area and have a pressing problem with limescale causing very poor thermal transfer in the coil of a heatstore.

    I know little about the effects of an electromagnetic field on chemical compounds in suspension, other than a dc field will cause ions to migrate to the positive pole, so perhaps an ac field does have some effect. I have read that a “digital” as distinct from analogue waveform is beneficial (in this context I believe the word digital is misleading), what surely is meant is an analogue square wave. This waveform according to M.Fourier is made of the fundamental frequency and its harmonic frequencie. If the effects in question are based on “resonance” then the ions may be resonated by one or more of the harmonics.

    None of this says why the compound becomes “less sticky” and stays in suspension, if that indeed is the case.

    Chemist needed!

  61. I have read the various “technical” publication by such as by Eddy, which I regard as no more than advertising.
    Until a definitive explanation of how an EM wave can cause the calcium and magnesium salt to remain in suspension, is offered, I remain unconvinced. If these various manufacturers do have a detailed theory of the mechanism then why is it not published?

    The limited information offered by the water authorities suggest that no chemical changes take place when EM waves even up to microwave frequencies are used. CaCO3 remains as CACO3 so if nothing chemically changes these is no action!

    I tried to have an open minded approach to this but now believe such solutions should be categorised along with homeopathy, reflexology, tarot cards and reading tea leaves.

    1. This link references magnetic systems. I believe most of the comments have been about electronic systems. Obviously, magnetic systems won’t work on Calcium and Magnesium.

  62. Taken from your link JohnH

    ” This suggests that electromagnetic water treatment can be effective under the right conditions, but what these conditions might be is still unclear. But comprehensive engineering studies of actual industrial installations of these devices (such as those outlined above) sometimes fail to support their utility.

  63. I really enjoyed John’s link, and it reinforced my opinion these things are likely to be no more than snake oil.

    The scientist in me is happy to base judgement only on things that can be observed, and to reserve judgement on what cannot. If I’m reserving judgement, then the case is unproven, so I don’t want to part with any cash.

    Surely, if these products are actually doing anything that’s measurably useful, then rather than offering an emotive and irrelevant money back guarantee, the manufacturers need only point to independent, scientific, peer reviewed tests, then sit back and count the money.

    The fact that they haven’t, is therefore rather suspect.

  64. I have enjoyed reading the discussion here. I must start by admitting that I don’t own, or intend to own, any electronic softening device.

    If these devices do actually work, I would be very interested in learning how.

    My observations are,

    firstly, with regard to electrical pulses affecting the water in the pipes. A copper pipe should have a similar effect to that of a Faraday cage. This would prevent the electrical field interacting with the water.

    Secondly, I am not aware that magnetism will excite electrons or make any persistent changes to atoms. It can alter nuclear spin under very specific circumstances. An MMR machine is designed to do this momentarily. If you are familiar with these devices you can appreciate the size of magnet that is required to do this. Incidentally the technique only effects a very small percentage of the atoms present as the normal isotope of an element is unaffected.

    So lets assume that there is something going on that we don’t understand; a pseudo-science of sorts. But this still doesn’t explain why no quantitative experimental data exists.

    Hard water effects detergents by replacing the sodium ions in detergent molecules for calcium or magnesium, reducing the solubility of the molecule and precipitating it as scum. This is physical, therefore the mechanism is measureable using analytical chemistry, and quantifiable.

    The literature pointed to in Pablo’s post is suspect. I have not been able to locate most of the document’s references – (ie. Neither John Crowther & Sons or TFW Associates are registered companies. If TFW Associates do exist, why a Forensic Engineering firm is carrying out the research beggars belief – such a company would analyse train crashes and bridge failures. Surely a Forensic Chemist would be more appropriate). I find the whole document unduly vague.

    Claims that the Water-King gives less dissolved calcium in hot water are misleading. There is less dissolved calcium in hot water anyway. It precipitates in hot water and gives us limescale. This is the problem we are trying to address!

    In conclusion, I would be interested in any valid research carried out in this area, but at this time remain very sceptical. I don’t now any scientist who, when asked to carry out research on chemical behaviour, would turn their back on proven analytical techniques capable of identification, quantification and speciation, and opt instead for a kitchen sink and a bottle of fairy. Let alone an Oxford don.

  65. I have an electronic background mainly marine electronics. I fail to see how anything with such a small power supply and thin windings round the pipe could manage to induce any sort of power level into the water passing through it. To produce a magnetic field of the strength comparable to the strontium magnets would require cables like car battery leads.

    I know permanent magnetic conditioners work on diesel bugs, but that is a bacteria, or asphaline, and the results are scientifically repeatable.

    Reading the responses here there are too many variables to convince me to rush out and buy one.

  66. I was always dismissive of the claims made by manufacturers of these items.
    However, a few years ago I became concerned that the limescale build up in my shower head, was indicitive of build up in other parts of the water system in my house. As I have a Boilermate (heat exchange system) fitted, this could become very expensive. I had experience of another house having to have its Boilermete replaced evry 2-3 years or so from scale build up, and at £1,000 a time it was pretty scary.
    So after some convincing sales pitch from my local plumbing store (I am a builder), I bought a Water King.
    Within a month, pieces of limescale were being flushed out through the shower head, and within a couple more months I never saw any more evidence of scale build up.
    I have fitted other makes for other people, and they seem to have similar experiences. Do they work? The Water King certainly did for me.
    Bryan Billau

  67. I’m trying the Scale Master from Biophysica soon. It is the electronic type with the wires wrapped around the pipe. It costs $2000 (£1000). I’ll update this page soon.

  68. Does anyone have experience with the AquaKing by Carribean Clear or the Sofpac system. They have the new triangular wave technology.

  69. For a cheap and affective limescale remover from kettles, toilets, etc. I use
    citric acid (all citrates are soluble). A 50g will cost about 50p from the
    pharmacy. pour the whole packet down the toilet and leave as long as possible
    (while you’re on holiday is a good idea).
    Vinegar is nearly as effective – use the colourless variety as the brown caramel
    colour can stain.
    For kettles, do remember to rinse out thoroughly afterwards – otherwise the tea
    tastes awful!!

  70. I bought a Water King (now Little Plumber?)about 15 years ago, possibly longer. Our kettle and shower head used to fur up, but no longer, and we have progressively used less & less soap/detergent/washing up liquid otherwise we get too much foam. All we get in the kettle now is a few very thin flakes of scale which detach themselves and can be emptied out.
    My son lives in Hemel Hempstead and in 2000 requested one as a wedding present having over the years seen the improvement in our water. I bought him a Scalewatcher. At the time his kettle was always badly furred and after boiling water there was always a white scum on the surface.
    The kettle is no longer furred up and the scum had disappeared forever after a couple of months of use. One can only guess what changes have occurred within the water pipes and radiators, but his water is noticeably softer.
    My experience of two similar, but different products, which I would recommend

  71. Hi I have just bought an electronic descaler for 20 odd quid on the strength of noting that my friends toilet cistern had a small amount of scale which was very soft, and was easy to remove, he has an electronic descaler, and lives half a mile away from me so we should have a similar water supply. i will keep you posted.

  72. Don’t waste your money on these things if you live in an area
    where hard water is a real problem. We live in Norfolk and the
    water is awful here. We got one of these things installed 8
    years ago and it made not one jot of difference. All that appears
    to be happening is that the little meter flashes away in the
    cupboard under the sink, whilst the salesman who sold me this
    piece of junk counts his wad on a yacht in the Bahamas or
    somewhere. We quite literally p*ssed £300 down the drain!

  73. since there is to date no independent research,I rang ‘WHICH’ MAGAZINE and even they have not tackled electronic water descalers yet. Please request that they do so. All requests add to pressure for them to investigate an area vital for energy saving and cost.
    01992 822 800
    http://www.which.co.uk

  74. i made a similar electric devise for under €10, very cheap i hear you say. i fitted it to my under the sink inlet pipe.3 weeks later clean kettle.it worked.how though?lets manufacture these cheaper call me 0034686295203 investers welcome, lets talk.

  75. gary williams! please report on your observations!
    I live in Utah too!
    I’ve been reading this discussion with interest.
    It seems the electronic descalers work, but only
    under certain conditions, and we have yet to
    identify what those conditions might be.

  76. I can’t remember how long ago it was that I posted an article with you guys but since that time I have been busy making and selling our Little Plumber water descalers. We have sold more this year than ever before and continue to wonder why people are still asking the question “do they really work?” We offer a 12 month no quibble guarantee so if our customers are not happy then they can send the unit back for a full refund. We have had one back in 10 years because the customer said it didn’t work. In fact it didn’t work because although the lights flashed the microchip that generates the range of frequencies we use was flawed. Anyway the customer got his money back immediately.

    I am sure that there are many of our competitiors products out there that are not properly treating the house because it is really important to find out whether you have a “vented” or “unvented” plumbing system. If you have a vented system with a loft tank then you will need TWO units. One to treat the mains cold pipe and one to treat the cold down pipe into the hot water cylinder. We have a diagram on the site which explains all this. http://www.littleplumber.com

    So to all those doubting Thomas’s out there…the answer is YES, if you get the right unit/units and fit them properly you will be scale free and your water will seem softer and more importantly you will save a fortune on your heating bills.

  77. Thanks Rich to opening this topic, this forum helped with my decision.
    I think it is clear that there are two groups on this forum, it is like with every forum on internet.
    One group of spammers and sales individuals trying hard to promote “their” great products (guess why), posting links to companies they are affiliated etc.
    Other group of independent users of the products. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the second from the first but since there are so many unsatisfied users it is quite clear.
    Why there is no such doubt whether salt conditioners work?
    Unfortunately the electro-magnetic gadgets only work on their manufacturers sites, maybe there are many people not so good in physics that would accept the nonsense about polarised water and altering molecular structure by subtle electro-magnetic field, but to alter molecules you need much much stronger EM radiation. These devices simply belong to snake-oil ezoteric show-case.
    Save your money and time by listening to the right group.

  78. Well, we’re all trying to make a living! Each of us must stand by our product and offer a gurantee of its effectiveness. NO ONE should buy a limescale inhibitor unless it has a cast-iron guarantee that it works – or your money back. We do! What good is a year’s guarantee? This is pointless. Most combination (combi) boilers take 2-4 years to ‘scale-up’ even in hard water areas. If you buy a inhibitor that only comes with a year’s guarantee on its performance then you must question is effectiveness. We’ve been carrying out descaling for over 30 years and never found an electronic unit that actually worked – despite what the manufacturers say. That’s why we invented our own using silicate-polyphosphate. We KNOW it works – that’s why we can give a guarantee of your money back, even in 10 years time! http://www.limestop.co.uk

    Water softeners work, of course, but they are expensive, need maintaining with salt (you wouldn’t believe how many people forget), and require servicing. You also usually lose a cupboard.

    You can read about water hardness on our website http://www.scalgon.co.uk

  79. I was the VP of R&D for a company in St. Louis involved with a doc at Vanderbilt ni with a University using magnets to treat pain in cancer patients. I have degrees in
    chemistry and physics. We experimented with very strong magnets in efforts
    to remove hardness in water for use in Zamboni machines. The goal was to make
    the hockey rink ice smoother. ALL EXPERIMENTS FAILED MISERABLY.

    In addition, experiments were conducted using static magnets for relief of pain.
    The theory was that a strong magnet would polarize the positive and negative
    charges along a nerve cell and prevent the passage of a pain impulse. Immediately
    the physicists debunked the theory. The only way to polarize a nerve cell is
    with an electric current ie. a tens unit. An electric current can only be
    generated by an oscillating magnetic field. Static magnets don’t work.
    End of story…
    We called in physicists from Washington University.

  80. It’s all very easy for me to sit here and come up with nice things to say about our products the Little Plumbers http://www.littleplumber.com and to assure you that they work and do get rid of limescale and do prevent it returning. BUT I also get some great feedback from customers like this one from Bill in Arizona who bought one of our LP Solo’s, the battery operated model. He says:

    “We are VERY impressed with our new LP Solo! I was concerned since the only access I had for installation was around the flexible copper tubing leading to our hot water heater, but overnight we had softer, sudsier and better tasting water. If our decorative fountains are an
    accurate indication of how fast the minerals build up in pipes, Lord only knows how ANY water is getting through our 20 year old plumbing.
    I know it will take time, but I’m anxious to see the difference.”

    So while there are still people out there saying these products don’t work then ask Bill.

    Of course we know static magnets don’t work because the water has to be passing the magnet for even a weak field to be generated in the water (Flemings Right Hand Rule) but our units use an electromagnet to put the current and the frequencies into the water. Even static water. And they do work. 10 years and only one back !!!

  81. I saw an electronic scale inhibitor for very little money in Maplin. Bought and installed it. Distant memories of school chemistry 50 years back suggested I could demonstrate a difference in the water hardness by testing samples of untreated tapwater, boiled water from a kettle and treated water from a bathroom tap with drops of soap solution. (All at same temperature, same quantity, same soap solution etc – detergent doesn’t work so well). The more drops of soap solution it took to produce a lather, the harder the water. This rough test showed that the treated water did appear to be softer than untreated but not as soft as boiled water. Which shouldn’t happen, because the scale inhibitor doesn’t remove the calcium. Anyway, two years later we still have limescale round the taps, on the shower head etc……

  82. Gavin (LittlePlumber) – Will you offer more than your 12-month guarantee then? Because that’s all you are giving on your website. You state that you have only had one back in ten years, but that’s no surprise when you only offer a 1-year guarantee!!! Think about it. We now give a NEVER-ENDING guarantee OF PERFORMANCE on our LimeStop – and we’ve never had a one back since we’ve been manufacturing Siliphos-filled limescale inhibitors from 2003. If something works then the manufacturers should have the courage to back it with a money-back guarantee that lasts for ever…we do! Gavin, every week of the year we remove a magnetic or electronic scale inhibitor to fit a LimeStop in place of it. We are doing that AFTER descaling the boiler. The boiler had ‘scaled-up’ despite the magical bit of magnetism or electrickery! Today we removed another HydroFlow that hadn’t worked. Sorry Gavin, we’ve been in this for many, many years. We’ve tried them all, and only Siliphos works. And that’s why LimeStop comes with its ‘For-ever’ guarantee.

    Cheers,
    Barry Foster, Scalgon

  83. Thank you to all the contributers to this subject. I have only just commenced researching and looking at the electronic options of scale free water – but am more confused now. Surely there must have been some formal research done on this subject? If not then I would strongly recommned that one of the manufacturers, or several of them, jointly fund some independent analysis if they so strongly believe their marketing text.

    Up until I had found this site I was going to purchase but am now totally reconsidering my decision – thank you all! As I have several friends who are also looking at this type of product I will share this link to the site with them.

  84. Hello Jacqui. I completely agree. As a manufacturer of something that I know works then far from being afraid of a test I would welcome it very much. In fact, we’ve been waiting for a call from Which? magazine saying that they would like one of our units to test. Anytime they’re ready we’ll personally deliver it to them. Ours works – that’s why we guarantee it ‘For-ever’. I see you are looking for an ‘electronic option’. Then I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. There are times when our LimeStop (small as it is) just won’t fit on the available pipework (if the plumber has made lots of joints). So I contacted the managing director of a particularly very well-known company to ask if we could buy 50 of his product to install where ours wasn’t possible. He and I got on well in the conversation until it came to the point that I stated we would want a money-back guarantee for our customers if it didn’t work. Immediately he refused. He made it plain that it was not a condition that his company would enter in to. That said it all for us and no more correspondence took place.

  85. IF there is no doubt about the effectiveness of electronic or magnetic scale inhibitors or their function then why are so many of us doubting? Why do manufacturers need to promote these producs with guarantees?

    Well for the same reason so many have pointed out before:
    – Lack of scientific theory of operation and explanation
    – Lack of hard evidence (non-anectdotal)
    – Lack of independent tests

    We installed a Scalewatcher about five years ago in our house on the mains pipe in the kitchen. It has made no visible or tangible difference. However, short of cutting open pipes and boiler I cannot say for certain it has made NO difference at all. And even if I did, how do I know it’s any better than before?
    All I know is that the shower, taps and kettle still get lime scale as usual.

  86. My electric shower used to scale up completely within a year and needed the head cleaning weekly. I was sceptical about electronic water conditioners and before buying I checked out how these things worked on the internet. Interestingly I came across a university conference site where this topic had been discussed. Apparently the results were mixed depending on where you lived. They do work for certain types of hard water but not for others depending on the mineral content. Also the changes to the water only last about a couple of days so if conditioned water is stored say in a header tank in the loft then it will revert to normal. Anyway I decided to buy at less than £40 and since then (3 years) the shower has not furred up, the head has only had to be rinsed out twice in this period but I do get a soft powder deposit in the kettle. I replaced a failed heating element last year on the washing machine which was spotless but I recently had to renew the hot water tank as this was all furred up and started to leak (30 years). I get my water from the river Wye.

  87. To date, I have seen no real evidence or substantiation that magnetic or electromagnetic water softeners work. Those who design them never quite offer much more than a theoretical explanation of how they are supposed to work. Nonetheless, they know at least this much… there is a sucker born every minute. Offering a money back guarantee does not by any means prove that any product will perform as claimed. Further,by virtue of the fact that they were able to deposit your money for some period of time before returning it, they have still made a profit. Think of it as puting money in somebody else’s savings account with the only promise being that you will get your money back…if you ask for it, some weeks or months after you ask for it…mabey. You send account information or a check which takes them anywhere from seconds to a couple of days to receive and process. Meanwhile, you are supposed to allow 4-6 weeks for delivery (typically). By the time you get the “widget”, your money has been fattening their account for over a month. Now that you have it, they are counting on one of a few scenarios:
    1. Whether it works or not, you convince yourself that it is doing something and choose to keep it.
    2. You decide that it dosent work but is too much of a bother to return.
    3. You want you money back.

    The third scenario is the only one that reduces profit (notice the word “reduces”)but that dosent start until you have the funds back in your account…and they dont quite manage to tell you how long that is going to take.

    Up and until the time when an accredited agency such as a University releases a statement that any one of these devices definatively has a measurable, documented and worthwhile quantity of action on hard water, keep your money in your pocket.

    Beware of “Independant Laboratory” testing claims.

    This implies that accredited individuals are working as Scientists in controlled conditions but means nothing unless the data and the credentials are revealed.

    You will encounter plenty of scientific and not so scientific sounding words with no proof of concept.

    Testimonials mean practically nothing…people often fool themselves.

    I cannot state as fact that any one of these devices either works (even a little bit) or dosent work at all…but I can say without hesitation that I have not seen anything credible to say that they do.

    But, if you want to stick magnets to your pipes or hook little boxes with lights to them…go for it!

    Perhaps your invention will cause the bad minerals and the good minerals to form two separate “electro-hydro-logically disassociated suspensions” (or Conga Lines) wherein they can be rendered both non-toxic and benefecial at the same time resulting in less scale formation, shiny hair and squeaky clean teeth…not to mention their new vortex like spin that promotes good health and a sense of well being.

    Yep…way too much time on my hands!

  88. Many thanks for setting up this discussion – a great help thanks.

    As a landlord I was considering getting a Water Imp for our flat – I’m so fed up scrubbing out limestone between lets! Now I just don’t know. Maybe I’ll provide that spray you squirt on after a shower.
    A lot of things scientifically proven don’t work though (e.g. that useless shampoo supposed to kill off headlice) because the science is only as good as the question asked. And things tend to get supported which earn the most money. It is only when something Can’t be done that you start looking at alternatives. So whilst water softeners are so expensive, and available, where’s the need to get the science sorted on electrical/magnetic water treatment?

    Judging from the discussions here, EM water treatment does seem to work best where there is no water storage tank. Is that right?

  89. I hate myself for jumping in here again…but seeing people choosing to believe the unproven definately bothers me.
    Nonetheless, Water, the presevation of the resource, the purity and the Biologically friendly “contamination” are not things to be toying with.
    In the ideal situation, water used for direct human contact (drinking, cooking and bathing) would have all the bad components removed while retaining all the good.
    Salt softened water may make for one heck of a soapy shower but the fact remains that the body is ready to absorb water (good ,bad or ugly)…especially first thing in the morning.
    Ideally, any water intended for human contact or consumption would be a perfect balance of purity and beneficial impurities…and would contain no residual chemicals from “softening” or biological sanitation (such as chlorine).
    Absolutely pure water is potentially detrimental to your health as being the “universal solvent” (look it up!) it is ready and willing to satisfy it’s own needs while passing through your body… and that includes by absorption.
    Simply put, it could rob you of your bones, teeth and more over time.
    So where does soft water excell?
    Soft water is of the greatest use…and perhaps the only safe use…in the laundry room.
    Washing dirt out of clothes is all about giving up minerals.
    Absolutely pure water or completly soft water by virtue of it’s lack of mineral content is potentially dangerous.
    Ideally,consumable water…including bathing water would be organism free and filtered while cleaning water would be as pure (mineral free) as possible or perhaps softened…which is in reality, not that “biologically” clean due to the chemicals and unnatural electrochemical changes it may deliver.
    Back to these (as best as I can tell theoretical) magnetic / electromagnetic water softening or de-scaling devices:
    I have not only not encountered enough information to say that they have at best more than a possible (minor) positive effect but in addition, I have seen zip to indicate that consuming their output has been deemed safe by any accredited agency.
    This much I can tell you:
    Humans have always consumed water.
    Natural Water has always contained minerals.
    Some water tastes better, some tastes worse, Some is healthy and some is poison.
    Some minerals taste good, some taste bad.
    Some good minerals/metals taste bad.
    Some bad Minerals/metals taste good.
    If the city you live in is delivering drinking quality water, it is probably pretty safe and free of unsafe levels of toxic substances including minerals…although it may need some filtering to remove anti-bacterial agents or improve the flavor.
    Insofar as your tea pot goes, it is going to build scale that you can either tolerate or dissolve with vinegar and elbow grease.
    As for the pipes, if they have been doing what pipes do for decades (carrying water) and the flow is low…you might need new pipes!

  90. Does anyone have any knowledge of the water in Spain. I have a house there and the scale problem is VERY bad indeed.
    Comments and input would be appreciated…

    Phil

  91. Hi Phil

    We have recently bought a house in Spain and even using bottled water to make tea, you cannot drink to the bottom of the cup owing to the “lumps” of limescale at the bottom – it’s horrible. Our local plumber told us that most of the houses in the village are fitted with a water softener where the mains water comes into the house, which alleviates the problem – he then mentioned that it costs well over £1,000, at which point I thought I might get used to the idea of tea that’s gritty at the bottom! The salt content is an issue, though, and you still can’t drink the water, so I’m at a loss. As Phil says, if anyone has any suggestions they’d be welcome.

    Thanks, Louise

  92. I haven’t read all the articles here so apologies if i am going over things already discussed.

    I have been in the water industry for over 10 years and can say that electronic units do work, providing you buy from a reputable manufacturer. I live in Kent UK, where the water is very hard and I have 2 electronic units 1 at home and 1 in my restaurant, both work exceedingly well. But there are things you need to remember with both electronic and magnetic systems

    1) They do not soften water the reduce the scaling potential. This is critical to remember.

    2) They DO NOT therefore remove calcium from the water, so expecting your kettle to stop “furring up” is a hopeless dream as soon as you boil the water any effect the unit has will be lost and heah presto scale.

    3) These product DO work in open systems, hot water boilers and showers etc where the treated water leaves the system and goes down the drain.

    4) The effect of the units is time limited so on the rising main is in my opinion too far back.
    At home I have the unit treating the cold feed just before both the shower and hot water boilers.
    In my restaurant we treat the cold water feed to the boiler and the warm water return line.

    As I say we have had no issues what so ever and we have a scale free shower head as proof. As I said early a reputable manufacture is important and I bought the ScaleWatcher ENGIMA units as they come from the company with the longest history in this sort of thing

  93. Hi

    I don’t have one of these devices but am interested. I have found some accademic research into them and the conclusion is that the Magnetic ones can work (it goes into how) but the results are rather hit and miss and that those that do work need replacing after 2 to 3 years. The electronic ones can work but the siting of it is curcial and in support of the man from little plumber, he makes more or less the same points as this accademice article. There you go that throws the debate wide open again. Needless to say I have no connection with any firm in this industry, just interested to see if I can reduce the amount of damage scale does to our household appliances. Just cost me £75 to have my iron repaired (professional polti ironing station). Need a new shower and worried about scale in the steam cleaner).

    Here is the link read and make your own mind up

    http://www.lifescience.co.uk/PDFs/No%20Salt%20Softner,%20Fact,%20Fiction%20or%20Fantasy.pdf

  94. Folks wise up. None , zero, zip, nadda of these devises either magnetic or low voltage wraps work period. But hey it’s your money waste it anyway you want. There is no evidence, none that they work. Chemical analysis is not subjective. If the hardness is there after the device it still there. Aliens didn’t take it, it’s still there. There are only three ways to get rid of hardness. Sodium, Potassium or filtration (super expensive). Blog all day long, makes no difference, there is no data only print, they don’t work. SCAMS

  95. Hi everyone, I just thought that it may be of quite some importance to you all that where you place one of these water softeners I quite important. I would not recommend that you fit it to your any kind of softener to the Fresh Water inlet pipe that supplies the whole house because you will have to drink this water. It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that hard water areas provide some sort of protection for the cardiovascular system. You can even overlay areas of soft water with areas of high rates of heart attacks and the two match up quite well. Its almost as if those thousands of microscopic particles of calcium travel around your arteries and clean as they go! who knows.

    These softeners should therefore be fitted to your heating and hot water supply pipe as opposed to the water mains pipe.

  96. look over all comments came across this one with backing that as a designer might have to buy and test out…..

    this conpany is backed by RIBA so ??? does is work???

    electronicdescaler

  97. hi everyone. here is the truth!!!!! i’ve been in my bungalow for 14years and when i moved in i had to de-limescale my shower head every 2-3 weeks. i didn’t believe the magnet theory….what’s ferrous in water??? anyway i happened to have this big 6″ by 4″ by 2″ earth magnet and i placed it next to the mains incoming pipe. guess what??? it WORKS!! i’ve cleaned the shower head maybe twice since 14years ago!!! earth magnets are extremely strong so maybe that’s the solution…..very strong magnets.

  98. I appreciate the fact that it appears that this discussion appears to be trending towards less acceptance of claims without substantiation…while still keeping an open mind. Of all the comments, I am perhaps most impressed with Mr. Wharton’s. Although Mr. Wharton did not identify his information source, it appears reasonably evident that he has studied research that was carried out by certainly more than just a few interesed parties. This falls right in line with the fact that the best tasting things are often…not the best or better things to ingest. Take Vitamins for example…proven beyond a shadow of doubt that they benefit the body…and they taste terrible! I have also noticed that there is still no credible data or documentation being presented to support the claims being made for these manufacturers’ products…if it did exist, they would be exploiting it for profit. There would be standards to cite, charts and graphs to look at and performance criteria to meet or exceed. So, where is it?
    Conversely, if you have indeed found something that apppears to work and you are comfortable with consuming its output…drink up!

  99. I note that there are STILL people saying that they think magnetic or electronic limescale inhibitors work. They do not! Please, trust me as someone who works with limescale every working day of my life – that’s all I do.

    Please understand this: If they worked then the manufacturer would give a life-long guarantee of that – your money back if it didn’t work. Do manufacturers of magnetic or electronic limescale inhibitors give such a guarantee? NO!

    One of the best-selling ones comes only with a 90-day guarantee!
    Believe what you like – but ask for a life-long guarantee. If they say no (which they will) then don’t buy it. It’s then that you’ll buy ours!

  100. Did any of you commentators see the documentary on TV last week about the fabulous water fountains in Las Vegas. Each one of the hundreds of water jets has a very large magnetic coil around the jet nozzle. The reason? To line up the water and other molecules in it to make the water exit the jet as a smooth mass of water’. The result was the water stream looked as though it was made of glass. The other reason was – wait for it – to prevent scale build up. Maybe the Las Vegas guys know a bit thing or two about water flow.

  101. Re: The fountains at Las Vegas…
    Water is indeed diamagnetic (look it up).
    The magnets could well pack the stream into a denser and perhaps smoother flow.
    In theory, given enough magnetic flux, the water would not touch the nozzle at all as it was pumped through…and that would indeed keep it from depositing scale in the nozzle…but that is also where the effect would begin and end.
    The water once released into the air is…just water and still contains what it did before.
    The same water would without doubt leave scale behind wherever it landed and evaporated after exiting the magnetic nozzles.
    No magic here!
    Sorry…

    Mark

  102. Nearly ten years ago I fitted two Water Kings, one at the mains water input to our house, the other at the input to our hot water tank. After two or three years there was no sign of any improvement and I (1)reinstalled them to make sure they were properly installed. Several months late with no improvement Icontacted Lifesciences Ltd the manufacturer.

    AS a result of that conversation I deinstalled the units ans sent them back to the factory for check and test. One possibility put forward was that the software in the microprocessor was an old version.

    The units were returned a couple of weeks later, they were said to be functioning correctly and to have already the latest software. They were reinstalled again, and have made not the slightests bitm of difference.

    A susequent call to the manufacturer led me to ask why these units might not be working as I had hoped. I was told that the water in different areas contains (not suprisingly) different dissolved salts, and that Lifesciences were beginning to suspect that the units will not work if the concentration of Iron is too low. It was suggested that I contact my water company to get an analysis of the local water. I did and passed on a copy to Lifesciences. I never got a reply and have concluded that the units are a waste of time.

    Of course some people claim they work. However one doesn’t know whether they are independent of those who make and sell these things. In addition there seems to be little or no published scientific literature on the mecahnism that is claimed to be at the heart of the functioning of these units.

    In conclusion if they work for you – well you must be a happy person. For anyone else my advice would be a bit like Warren Buffet’s advice to investors, “If I don’t understand it I don’t buy it!”.

  103. My best solution is to avoid the little gismo’s, use a water softener, basic ones are quite reasonably priced and you have immediately eliminated the problem for good. My set up is to have the rising main connected to the unit so all water is softened, obviously leave the garden tap off and I have a non softened feed to a drinking water filter next to the sink.
    I got into water softeners due to moving to a very hard water area and now I install them in all my friends houses, they are also extremely useful if you have a dry skin condition in the family.
    I have first hand knowledge of spains water and would recommend the same as above but get a small reverse osmosis filter unit to filter the drinking water, it will remove everything but only on drinking quantities unless you get a really big one. The units are designed to fit under most sink units. The technology is used by water companies to purify supplies.
    Back to my lovely softwater, oh I do have my tea with softened water as well,…….

    1. Hi Len

      I found your comments very interesting. I am looking to install a water softener in our pub. I have not found any decent ones for a’reasonalbe price’. Have you any suggestions and would a reconditioned one be as effective. Are they easy to install?

      Regards
      Natasha

  104. There is no doubt in my mind that the water at my previous address in the Milton Keynes area was massively improved by the Water Improvements Ltd Elf that I installed.

    It significantly reduced scum formation in the bath and the amount of soap/detergent that we needed to use to produce a lather. Even the kettle did not build up deposits as quickly, although thr Brita Filter would have contributed to this.

    There was also no apparrent deterioration in performance after almost 10 years of operation

    Don’t ask me how it works as that is a complete mystery to me.

  105. I see most of the comments above suggest its all a load of nonsence. However I fitted an electronic version to our mains supply over 10 years ago and I can tell you it definitely works. I guess it depends on the area you live in, but here, just outside London where there is a lot of calcium in the water it definitely works. Mine is an early one that has 2 LEDs that flash alternatively showing the magnetic field is working.

    Sometimes (maybe once a year) it locks up and has to be reset (by powering down and repowering up again). When this happens I can tell within a couple of days its not working as a calcium “scum” appears around the sink and on various appliances. If I now look at the unit I can see the 2 LEDS are out and the unit needs resetting. Proof enough for me that it works and the water is definitely better for washing your hands and showering. Although not as good as a dedicated plumbed in water softner these electronic ones are cheap to buy and to run and they DO work in certain areas.

  106. I’m amused by the claim that some of these devices seem to work in some areas but not in others…however, there could be some truth to it depending on what the water in the area contains. In essence, all of these conditioners appear to rely on magnetic fields whether that means static fields such as from permanent magnets or moving fields such as from coils being driven by alternating current or even pulsed direct current. At the bottom of all this, is the question as to what the water in the area contains. If the problem in the area is Iron in the water for example, the claim that magnetism could affect it is a bit more believable than it would be for non magnetic elements. The magnetic properties of any and all elements can be divided into three major classes. There is magnetic (or ferro-magnetic) such as iron, paramagnetic (weakly attracted to magnetism) and diamagnetic (repelled by magnetism). Water itself is diamagnetic. The minerals contained in water could be most affected if they are of a magnetic type. About the best I could see an applied magnetic field doing would be to possibly “clump” some substances so that they either get trapped in a post filter easier or pass on through the pipe systems in larger pieces. Still, there does not seem to be data to support any of this nor does anybody claiming success with one of these units identify just what mineral (or metal) set was the problem in their particular area. The words “Scum” and “Fur” and “Scale”,etc. are not exactly the stuff of scientific findings.
    That said, do any of you who are claiming success with these products know just what it is that you believe was improved? Has a one of you had a before and after sample tested?
    I would really like to see a chart from an accredited agency…preferably something along the lines of a university with zero affiliation to the manufacturers of these devices.
    Just a simple list of the stuff commonly found in drinking quality water and a description of how the stuff and the water are affected by any and or all of these methods would carry a lot of weight.
    PLEASE, point us to it!

    Ps: I am neither a scientist or a teacher…so I hope I have described magnetism properly. There are good articles on the net if you are interested including a frog floating in an intense magnetic field.

  107. I saw these things on a tv show over the weekend and immediately thought of all the identical “gas saver” device scams that continually make the marketing rounds. Exact same device but applied to a car’s gas lines instead of your home’s piping. Same pseudo-science explanation, which has been thoroughly debunked. Same scam?

  108. The only words that come to mind with all of this is Shame and Ashamed.
    It is a shame that no simple solution for hard water or low gas mileage appears to exist.
    It is a shame that nobody can present any hard facts to support claims that it can be done.
    It is a shame that people will waste their hard earned money on claims that these tinkerers should be ashamed of.
    Anybody who manufactures or distributes these devices based solely on vauge non-factual claims of performance and vauge non factual theories of operation should be ashamed.
    Between magnets and the multi-application “vortex” catchword, there exists an entire industry based on wishful thinking.
    I try to keep an open mind but at the same time, I always try to gauge how much of what I think I am seeing is due to the placebo effect.
    On the other hand, I also like getting something for nothing.
    That being said, if I was to cobble together some electronic components, put them into a nice enclosure,give them a “rocket science” sounding name and describe the theory of operation…with the caveat “results may vary”…would you be interested?
    Perhaps I could advertise it in the wee hours of the night on cable TV.
    What sounds fair…$19.95 or three easy payments of $39.99…plus $9.95 shipping and handling?
    What exactly is the deal maker?
    The fancy name or the theory of operation or the price?
    How about “Electrohydrodynamic Aquatic Demineralizer”…$29.95…but wait…if you act now, I’ll send you two…one to put on the water main and one to keep the papers from blowing off your desk when the fan is on.
    See the shame, feel the shame…be ashamed!
    Up and until somebody puts forth some real verified factual data, keep your money in your pocket…or wrap the money around your pipes…enriched water is good for you…Hydromonitarilly speaking of course.

  109. I do not understand when people knock the HydroFlow products, they work – the company would not be still in operation if they were a scam. I have a HS38 installed, I have other “wrap” devices and they did not work, only treated water in the magnet area… the only similarity I see to all the negatives with this technology is that the people knocking the device sell salt based softeners or other related products. I know that I was guaranteed that this is the only product of its kind. I purchased from a distibutor in Canada.

    1. Hi Sheri – I am considering the installation of a HydroFlow product as well and wonder if you can tell me a little bit more about your experience with them. I have done some research on the internet, into the science behind this device. The company posts independent studies into the validity of this device which are positive. There is a money back guarantee (one year) – except for healthy scepticism, it appears as though all the homework has been done. I understand and acknowledge that the water treated with this device will not feel the same as that which comes from a sodium (or potassium) water softener, because the HydroFlow device does not remove the calcium, but I understand that many people who use it indicate that it is a very good, environmentally-sound alternative. Please share your experience more fully with me if you would. I would appreciate your insight.

      Thanks Sheri,

      Ann

  110. I remember one manufacturer of these devices, has a CE standard for its device. I should say one of the most important part of this CE standard is that the standard team will check the company’s claim about their product, on the other word they tested this device, this is a proof of its operation. I think, it was the only company with this Standard.
    Therefore don’t buy any product blindly and concentrate on company’s history and standards.

  111. Re: The CE mark

    If I am not mistaken, the CE mark does not mean that a product does what is claimed…it basically means that it has met certain Health and Safety Standards…in the european market.
    Again, if I am not mistaken, this would bear a similarity to the UL stamp in America.
    Here is an an example of a way around UL (as I understand it):
    If a manufacturer builds a power supply into a piece of equipment, that device must now go through UL. However, if the manufacturer uses an external UL approved power supply…such as a “wall wart”, then the device is not directly connected to the electrical mains and does not (or may not) have to go through UL.
    In other words, the “off the shelf” plug in power supply which may bear the UL or CE stamp has nothing to do with the product it happens to be powering. This raises the question: Does the actual Unit itself bear the stamp or is it just on the part that plugs in?
    Again, I emphasize that the stamp is more practically a way of stating that the piece to which it is attached or stamped on wont kill you or burn your house down…as I understand it. That in itself would say nothing about the box that it is plugged into.
    If I am wrong on this, feel free to correct me.

  112. I read this site a few months ago when trying to decide whether to purchase a water conditioner or not. I found it all very confusing with some saying they worked and some saying ‘impossible’!
    I purchased a ‘Waltham Scale Manager 2′ and have had it installed for two months with the following result:
    1. No longer any scale in the shower head.
    2. Only a small amount in the kettle after two months, I used to have to clean it out every week!
    3. Bath/sinks/toilets, all appear much cleaner with no evidence of limescale.
    The reason I am writing this is that I found it very frustrating when researching earlier this year. I can assure people out there that the system I purchased DEFINITELY WORKS and I can also assure you that I was as sceptical as anyone over their usefulness, but no longer. My theory on those with bad experiences is that they did not install them correctly, or they purchased a cheap model.
    I hope this helps.
    Regards
    Mike

  113. how do we know who here is sales pitching and who is not? anyone can invent a “it definitely works/not” no?

    Yours
    Still completely confused.

  114. Having seen detailed technical laboratory results of ScaleWatcher and having read everyone’s comments here, I can simply conclude that a water softener is the way to go. I am having re-plumbing done at home, so this would be the best time to have one installed. I have a couple of questions:

    1. Can anyone recommend a robust, reliable and quality water softener that is well known to work well as well as last a long time?

    2. Are there restrictions on which softener can be used with which boiler? A plumber mentioned to me that a water softener may not necessarily work with a modern combi-boiler. Is this true?

    3. I understand the importance of using unsoftened water as drinking water. Is it therefore sufficient to have the softener fitted to the heating and hot water supply only (as stated by Graham Whartom above)? what about additional soft water to cold taps in bathrooms (e.g. bathroom sink, toilet, cold shower water). So basically, soft water everywhere, except kitchen sink (cold tap) for drinking, and garden tap.

    I don’t have any issues with de-scaling a kettle few times a year.

    Any advice will be much appreciated.

  115. I purchased a Water King WK1 and installed it on the incoming main just before it splits between boiler and cold supply. There is no header tank. I have noticed no effect from it at all. I contacted Water King who said that it required some iron in the water to work (see previous post from Tony Thomas). I got a water analyis from my water company (Three Valleys Water – in the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire) which said that the iron level was below their measurable limit. Can some of the people who say their electronic water conditioner does work please contact their water companies for a water analysis and post the results?

    Thanks.

  116. And so it goes…
    A bunch of people that say these devices dont work, a few who claim they kinda work…maybe.
    Oh yeah…don’t forget the occasional overenthusiastic grandstander that proudly reports succes with “brand x”.
    Zero real documentation…and yet there are obviously those who want to believe.
    There is nothing I or anybody can say that will change the mind of somebody who wants to believe in these devices.
    Unfortunately, despite the government’s tendency to stick their fingers into everything; It seems to take them forever to actually take a stand on mystery devices like these. On the other hand, the fact that there does not appear to be much of any published government opinion could well be a statement in itself.
    Nonetheless, it seems to me that if only an occasional person is “completely convinced” that these devices work, chances are good that they dont.
    I find the manufacturer’s “Iron excuse” particularily amusing.
    If you think about it, they are essentially saying that your water is too clean for their device to work properly…hmmm.
    If you want to convince me either way, direct me to the unbiased, qualified laboratory results.
    Is that too much to ask?

  117. By the time people here make a decision and move forward with whether or not to go for an electronic or magnetic device, I will have all my house plumbing done and dusted with a [proprietary] water softener (salt operated). This will eliminate the non-sense yoyo arguments of whether electronic/magnetic devices do really work or not and if they do, are they sufficiently effective enough? I know my solution WILL work and is proven to work.

    Good luck to all who opt for the electronic/magnetic solution…

  118. Anybody come across a company called Aquatiere? They’re selling inline filters with some sort of porous ceramics to filter the water.

  119. WQA Magnetics Task Force Report: In March of 2001, the Water Quality Association (http://www.wqa.org) published a two-year study called the “WQA Magnetics Task Force Report.” The report detailed 34 of 106 scientific test results on magnetic water treatment that met the task force’s scientific criteria. They concluded that many of these magnetic processes were valid and worked to soften water, but in order to spread the technology more research is required and the industry should be held to a certification standard concerning water treatment.

    hope this helps

  120. Took a look at the WQA report which appears to be a study of studies or more appropriately; approval or disapproval of how the studies were conducted.
    Within the studies published, there didn’t appear to be much positive data and in fact a fair bit of negative and or inconclusive.
    If there was any actual WQA support of any particular practice or method for actual water treatment, it didn’t jump out…only approval of how the tests were conducted.
    Had this been a study actually conducted by WQA as opposed to two years worth of reading of other’s works condensed to thirty some pages,it might have merited a more thorough reading.
    Nonetheless, it appears to indicate that there is little to no benefit based on the few reports I did read.
    The best testing methods in the world dont carry much weight if they are not actually conducted by an accredited, unbiased agency.
    It is good to know that somebody at least looked at how the tests were carried out…almost a decade ago.
    I agree that standards should be met…where are they and who is enforcing them…specific to magnetic/electromagnetic/radio,etc.water treatment systems?

    Disclaimer: Beyond an average everyday level of intelligence, I am not qualified to comment as an expert. These are only opinions.

    1. Having read all the above, I decided that I would give it a try – but not break the bank!

      I purchased the Magenta kit, which delivers a “variable frequency magnetic field” and is based on a design published in EPE magazine october 1997. Cost £23

      My coffee percolator has a de-scaler alarm, and it was flashing when I installed the device.

      A day later it had stopped, and did not become alarmed again.

      UNTIL LAST WEEK!

      I then checked the device, and found it was not working as the power supply had failed.

      Magenta then supplied a new one by return, and now the light is no longer flashing on the percolator.

  121. They do work and hydrocare works well
    after two weeks when i run the bath
    water pressure was up and a mirky water was coming out which then run clear
    but the bad news is when the water is out of the
    system it reverts back to it;s original condition
    however the scale in the kettle is now soft and can easily be wiped away

    hope this helps

    shaun

  122. Further after reading on i found out that hydrocare in the US
    is Hydropath in the UK
    This is a standard product carried by British gas
    It is a unique patented product.
    This seperates it from the gimicks
    Also i would not reccomend a magnet as it can cause blockages
    in areas with high iron content.

  123. I live in Guelph, ON Canada, (worst for hard water) the product is called Hydroflow here. Only product i would recommended is Hydroflow. Do the research and you will find that this technology is only recognized by Water Quality Association in Canada. The CWQA does not recommend or endorse “magnets” or “wirewrap” devices because they can not prove solid tests. The WQA in the USA will follow suit soon. The only ones trying to say this patented product doesnt work is salt-selling softener guys! LMAO. Thats right keep poluting our water with salt!!!!

    Just research and do your reading! This technology is available all over the world and everyone is using it. British Gas, PazGas, recommended by British Water and many more.

    1. Hi Cathy, if you’d care to link to the research (independent research hopefully) then I’d be delighted to do the reading. Without that, it’s just another empty claim.

  124. Nice Try…and a fair bit of good salesmanship!
    Unfortunately, nothing to substantiate the claims.
    Good job though…reveal an overcomeable vunerability and alacazam!…it is working again.
    Patents? Patents are based on theories…not proof of concept.
    A gizmo is a gizmo and a gimmik is a gimmik.
    Quit with the smoke and mirrors and reveal the data.

    1. patents are based on theories? where did you get your diploma? onlinediplomas.org??? HAHAHA!

      My patent is to build a flying car that also bakes cookies and throws frisbees…. there i have a patent!….. thats my theory and im sticking to it!

      “Doubting Reader” you made me have a great laugh today! thank you soooo much…. Also please Read below to educate yourself:

      What Is a Patent?
      A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the Patent and Trademark Office. The term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. US patent grants are effective only within the US, US territories, and US possessions.

      The right conferred by the patent grant is, in the language of the statute and of the grant itself, “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States( or elsewhere) or “importing” the invention into the United States (or elsewhere). What is granted is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell or import, but the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention.

  125. Ok, here is the real challenge and the only challenge…
    Substantiate your claims!
    If you really have something to present that can be verified, put it on the table and include your sources.
    I dont mean claims that you have read something, I mean reveal the facts.
    Dont try to send people looking for data and backing that may or may not exist.
    Information is being sought here that is relative to improving water quality within a household and/or business.
    If you are going to cite endorsements, I suggest you cite them factually and provide everything that you would expect from somebody else that would lead to a clear understanding of what is actually available verses what is or appears to be nothing more that an attempt to keep “snake-oil” alive and well.
    I might also caution you that citing endorsements that dont actually exist could be considered an offense.
    Despite the fact that a given organization may class itself as “not for profit” does not indicate that it is not ready and willing to protect its reputation…and if it is not, then it is a waste of your time and mine.
    As for myself, I look to those who know the facts and are willing to stand behind them for answers.
    On the other hand, examining the psychology that goes into trying to convince others of product validity without substantiation has been an interesting study.
    To put it another way; Salesmen are fairly easily identified on both sides of the issue.
    As for me, here is my total involvement in the water industry: I use water.
    So, if you want to accuse me of being on one side or another to help boost your (or someone’s) sales, you are pointing the finger in the wrong direction!
    No popularity contest going on here… just the facts please.

  126. To the guys who replied to my blog saying I am a salesman – LMAO!… I’m not a salesman.. I am just a consumer that bought a product i like, and I am telling my friends about it. You do not have to be rude and say that some products do not work just because you bought a “scam” product. The research i found is avaialble at hydroflowcanada.com – they did an independent test with 2 insta hot water tanks (like I have) – one lasted through and one shut down. What more “scientific” proof do you need? It clearly shows that the product works and does what they say. I also got a guarantee with it (what scam company would offer that?). I have an instahot tank and so far it has been wonderful (even though the instahot manufacturer did not warranty my tank due to my location, ie: hard water zone). So before you post nonsense on these blogs saying products do not work – why not pick up a book? or google the info? You life will be much more fullfilling with knowledge! I think that you guys are just jealous and probably sell salt softeners! BTW why not google the harmful affects of salt softeners?

    1. Cathy you are correct. I am on a low sodium diet (strict orders by my doctor). I have done some “surfing” and found some intersting info and the fact of the matter is that sodium is no good for you or the environment. Keep on sticking it to the man! Dont let others push you around to think that you are wrong.

      1. This may be related to everyone being a Bell Canada user and coming through a proxy, but since the authors have only provided a single name, and no email address for corroboration I should note that ‘donald’, ‘jim’, ‘cathy’ and Sarah all arrive at this site using the same IP address (70.49.144.177).

        Personally, I’m not interested in salt based systems, I do still want to know if there is any peer-reviewed scientific evidence that either supports or undermines the hypothesis that passing water through an electromagnetic field can reduce the incidence of limescale.

  127. Hello y’all! … just here browsing all info, and it seems that some guys are getting defensive about their products. Why all the uproar? I have an RO system so i dont really care about softeners but consumers should be educated about their purchases – so why are some guys (Mark Haddard) making claims that products “do not work!”. I thought that a code of ethics should be followed especially if you are part of an association – bad talking products is not allowed. besides if you search for all the bad reasons why you shouldnt buy a salt or potassium chloride softener you will see that health is the main reason you should not own one. Come on guys if we are trying to better ourselves and the planet should we not be ALL on the same page?

  128. Hi Admin, just to clarify…I think now this blog site is a complete scam. I do not know what you are talking about same address? but I have included my email for you to see that I’m a real person not computer. please do not spam me – this is why I didnt include it to begin with. How many people actually entered their emails? As far as the people mentioned – I do not know them – all I wanted to look for was salt/sodium and health, as I have had health problems with this – you are obviously on the site to promote your own agendas…. not let people chat, and gather info. I hope you have a very great day.

  129. Admin,
    I had suspected for a bit that three of the four aforementioned people (coming in on the same IP address) were the same person but didnt want to make any accusations. The writing style was the key for me. Insofar as claiming that I have said a particular product does not work, I have carefully avoided doing so…I simply would like to see some qualified proof.
    I think you might even identify a 5th personality (using the same IP) if not more before before you are done.
    Nonetheless, I have not identified a single manufacturer as a scam artist…however, I have inferred here and there that there may indeed be some out there.
    This has obviously hit a nerve dead on with Mr.70.49.144.177…and caused a multi-personality split.
    The good news is that he (or she…though I doubt it) now has people to talk to.
    I have enjoyed your site more than I hate to admit…probably because I enjoy examining human behavior and interaction with a passion that far exceeds my interest in water treatment systems.
    This is not to say that I am not interested or concerned with the technologies and if it is of any interest to anybody, the first magnets went on my water pipes as an experiment in excess of 20 years ago.
    I will not dismiss any technology’s possible validity but at the same time,I am not about to believe in something that I can’t prove or something that can’t be substantiated through the proper protocol.
    I didn’t ask much but all I see is side stepping and an occasional application of the fight or flee mechanism.
    I would appreciate the positive and negative comments from unbiased individuals concerning these systems more if it was (even remotely) possible to sort them out from the other INTERESTED PARTIES.
    To those who have honestly contributed to this site, God bless you…and to the others, God bless you even more!
    Its been fun,

    Thank you

  130. Admin,
    Please feel free to remove any and all of my posts.
    I believe your attempts to actually gain knowledge are doomed due to a number of factors which I believe are readily identified.
    I appreciate your efforts but having gained no quantifyable evidence to the positive or to the negative…especially to the positive, I believe that I have become involved in an entertaining but useless game of “kicking it about”.
    While it is very tempting to refer to some or possibly even just a few…or possibly even only one participant in derogatory terms, it gains nothing.
    I appreciate your efforts but I no longer see much more than a forum for one accusation after another going on here.
    If I have helped to create this situation, please accept my apologies.
    All I was hoping for was valid information and now I am doubting my ability to decipher the good from the bad.
    Thank you for the effort.

    So long and thanks for all the fish!

  131. Hi Admin, please feel free to email me your comments as obviously you think I am someone who I am not.

    I am not a salesman, or in sales for that matter. I did not come here to cause a panic or stink,just for some useful information.

    I work in an huge office building with many levels maybe someone in here was just as bored as I was at work and found your site too.

    I appreciate your comments and others as well, we all have the right to speak our mind, however when I am acused of being in colaboration with others to bring your site down – that is not my intention and I want no part in it.

    You may feel free to remove my comments as well as I have no interest in making this site a competition as to who has the most posts. I will not be back to comment. P.S. Thanks to Sarah for the link, I appreciate it. Everyone take care:)

    1. Hi Cathy,
      As I carefully noted previously, multiple comments coming from a single IP address could be down to a proxy server, not foul play.

      It is certainly a mathematically possible coincidence that four entirely unrelated people could comment successively on this thread, all within one hour, all from the same IP address, all holding similar viewpoints (Cathy, Jim, Donald, Sarah Richardson).

      Given the low traffic of this site and the relatively specialized nature of the thread, I think it’s highly unlikely. It is mathematically more probable (and therefore I’m inclined favour) that all four posts come from one person who was attempting to hijack the thread for the purposes of advertising a proprietary system.

      So, to clarify, I’m not “accusing you of being in collaboration with others”, I’m suggesting it’s likely that all the posts come from the same one person and that person has cast a shadow of distrust over the proprietary system advertised.

      I’ll be going back through the server logs shortly, so I well be able to tell categorically which of the two possible scenarios is correct, I hope it’s the former, but I fear it’s the latter.

  132. I find this an amazing topic. The subject matter is so widely important and yet definitive conclusions are few and far between. After a few hours of research, I was at least able to come up with a report of some studies and conclusions. Try doing a search for a document titled “No Salt Softner [sic], Fact, Fiction or Fantasy” by Jonny Seccombe. It’s the closest thing I could find to a sensible scientific examination of the specific issues involved.

    -Take care and good luck wading in this water!

    -TR

    1. Thanks for the pointer TR.

      The article you refer to appeared in the Oct 2006 edition of Water Conditioning & Purification magazine. It is available from lifescience.co.uk – the articles’ author is the MD of that company, and they make water softeners, so even with the best will in the world it’s not likely to be unbiased; which is a shame, but it was interesting reading nonetheless.

      The website does mention some other testing done by Prof. Dobson & Kay. The link to the “raw research data” is a bit disappointing however, leading to a two page PDF with a few graphs – i.e. it’s certainly not any kind technical report of peer reviewed paper one might expect as the direct output from a university, but it’s at least encouraging to read that some perhaps unbiased testing has been done.

  133. RS Resources commissioned onspex Labs in the USA to carry out testing of a Hydroflow HS38 electronic water conditioner.
    Which is known as hydrocare in the USA
    and is manufactured in the UK

    The results of the report was conclusive that the technology works.
    Tests were carried out at water hardness of 500ppm (29 grains)
    The report number is 30005675 and was carried out on March 6th 2008
    Once people do the correct homework and research it all makes sense.
    even i was a skeptic once

  134. Be patient everyone. By the end of this year a new technology is being made available for the purpose of preventing or reducing both corrosion and lime-scale deposits within water systems.

    The technology overcomes the disadvantages of most if not all varieties of devices currently on the world market, being either externally powered or not. The disadvantages that have been identified so far, without taking purchase and running costs into consideration, comprise:

    1.Inability to perform with low flow-rates that prevent the device itself from blocking.
    2.Increase corrosion rates, often unknowingly, whilst clearing existing lime-scale deposits.
    3.May only function with iron in the water.
    4.Specific flow rates required to suit the method of function.
    5.Inactivity for a period may cause device to gunk up with phosphate chemicals.
    6.Regular attendance to reverse the process or top-up with consumables.
    7.Inability to satisfy cynics with non-pseudo-science reasoning.
    8.Claims based upon the distortion of validation reports.
    9.Dependency to sell with dubious money-back guarantees.
    10.Performance tails-off within months.
    11.Masses of me-too products with no innovative aspect to exploit the various markets with reliable functionality.

    I do know that the new device will be less than 200 Euro, of which in many cases is hundreds of Euro cheaper than some of the products out there that often only disappoint.

  135. Andrea oh Andrea,
    your point, your purpose is clear.
    Soon you will return to reveal the awaited silver bullshit…oops,I meant Silver Bullett.
    The suspense is building…go ahead, let us have it.
    Boakes… sorry, I couldnt resist.

    x

  136. It seems that the bullet has served its purpose and hit one of its “competitive” soft spots or that you are one of the many physical water conditioner cynics……….anyway, if you happen to be a potential purchaser, I am sure that you may recall mother saying that the best things in life are worthwhile waiting for!
    Incidentally, please be assured that all of the disadvantageous previously listed are fully addressed with the new technology.

  137. Play-ground words coming from a closed mind it seems. What a pleasure it will be when all is revealed and to pin it to your past comments.

  138. I’ll believe it when I see it but I refuse to see it when I believe it. Anything new deserves a fair shake but suspense building is a sales tactic for which I have little respect.
    To continue bantering with you over something that is yet to be presented into the real world actually makes me a pawn in the game and I prefer to be something more powerful than that. It is apparent that you have put some serious effort into the pitch that included reading and responding to anything negative that has been said in the past and for that, I would commend you if it was not a premature announcement designed to bait potential buyers.
    If and when you actually present something and if it is a product worth investing in that receives worthy support, I will be interested.
    Until that happens, references to “playground words” and “mother knows best” type sayings do not support your efforts in the least.
    I hope you do have something in the works that will approach, meet or exceed your claims and wish you the best.

    x

    1. Furthermore, if it’s any good, send me a unit and I’ll test is for 6 months. There’s no better eulogizer than a converted skeptic, especially one with a front page Google result for “limescale” who’s completely independent. I promise not to pull any punches.

  139. You are my number one guy as I totally agree that there is no better than a converted sceptic to advocate its acceptance. You will discover with your test that I have actually been quite modest with the claims, inasmuch that the product deals directly with the problems of corrosion and subsequent limescale deposits and not just the symptoms.

    Please forgive my tactics to draw your attention but, as a non-American, I have admired their ploy when pre-announcing the coming of a new vehicle, later revealed with full press coverage as the shroud is slowly withdrawn. I will stop short of using pom pom girls…maybe!

  140. I am in the water treatment business in Northern Alabama and I heard about a product called Hydrocare that uses no salt, chemicals or magnets to treat hard water and not only prevent lime scale build up but also remove it the plumbing and appliances. The patented technology was developed in the UK for British Gas in the 1990’s and has been tested and sold worldwide for over 10 years but has only been available in the US for less than 2 years. I was skeptable too, but after seeing the test results from independent testing companies and talking to actual users of the product, I decided to try one in my home as a test. Here are me test results after only 2 weeks so far:

    My Home Hydrocare Test Results

    Background:

    1. Hydrocare HC-44 unit installed on July 15, 2009 on cold water line to water heater. This is the manufacture’s recommended installation location as it will provide the strongest signal directly into the water heater. According to Hydrocare, their technology works both up and down stream and is not dependant upon any water flow and thusly it will provide whole house hard water treatment from the water heater installation. Total installation time took less than 5 minutes.

    2. Our Home is 4 ½ years old with no previous water treatment and is 2700 sq feet with full 3 bathrooms.

    3. Our city Water has a TDS of 168 ppm and 12 grains of hardness per gallon.

    4. We have had experience in a previous home with salt brine water softeners and both my wife and I did not like the slimy never feeling clean feel on our skin of the treated water. Some people think the slimy feel is a clean feel but most of the people I know with salt water softeners give this as their biggest complaint. One friend of mine says “it’s like you can not rinse off the soap”.

    Weekly Results and Observations:

    End of week one:
    • Noticed immediate personal hygiene product changes that included less shampoo on hair and both my wife and I believe our hair and skin to be softer feeling. The hand soap lathers more without the slimy feel like our previous water softener. I have stopped using my hair conditioner as well.
    • We have a black mate finish granite sink in the kitchen that no longer has white water spots and film. The white film that previously built up in the sink and around the base of the plumbing fixtures has not reappeared after initial cleaning. In the past we had to clean with Kaboom product weekly. (I will miss Billy Mays he got us started on Kaboom years ago.)
    • Stopped using Jet dry in dishwasher and found no water spots on glassware or dishes.
    • Our master bath has antique bronze finish on plumbing fixtures and the shower glass frame. Prior to test we cleaned the shower with Kaboom to remove any old lime scale build up, something we had to do on a weekly basis prior to test. Noticed very few hard water spots on shower glass and none on the dark frame. There is no need to clean with Kaboom at this time.
    • The toilet in the less used basement bathroom had a hard water ring in it prior to test and noticed that it has disappeared after 6 days of Hydrocare installation.

    Week Two:
    • Pretty much the same observations as in week one with some exceptions as noted.
    • Did notice some evaporative spotting in the shower glass in the master bath. Having talked with other Hydrocare users, this is to be expected for the first month or so, as the Hydrocare unit is removing the old built up lime scale which passes through the shower in solution with the water. The big difference VS the untreated water before, is that the evaporative spots DO NOT stick to the glass but can be removed with a damp cloth with out the use of Kaboom or other harsher cleaning chemicals. The spots are more of a powdery residue instead of a hard scaly build up.
    • The built up lime scale on our shower head has reduced by about 50% in the 2 weeks.
    • On Saturday, I washed my wife’s car which is dark charcoal grey color and I noticed hardly any water spots on the car. Before Hydrocare I would wash the car in the driveway and then pull into the garage to dry to avoid eater spots. The few water spots this time were like the spots in the shower and came off with a damp towel.

  141. I have been reading the debate about “do electronic limescale inhibitors work? I have been making and selling our Little Plumber range for 10 years. The units are made in Oxford in a small self-contained factory and the build quality is high.

    I cannot speak for all my competitors but we have not only supplied a huge number to individuals but also to many trade outlets who strangely enough keep buying them month after month. We have had a kitchen and bathroom installer in Portishead who has bought 300 units over a period of years and like us, has never had one returned.

    So why the debate? Of course they work PROVIDING you choose the right units and install them correctly. I think the main problem is the “one unit treats the whole house” comments made by some suppliers. Well if it is a vented system with a tank in the loft…one is not enough. You will need two units or in our case we make one with two areials to treat both the rising main and the cold down service.

    We also offer a 12 MONTH UNCONDITIONAL MONEY BACK GUARANTEE so if a customer is not enitrely pleased with his little plumber (www.littleplumber.com) then they can send it back and we will send the full ocist of purchase and the post back. How many do we get back. NONE!

    So please, if you want to have doubts about something working or not working, try and find something else to have a pop at because we at Little Plumber find the debate quite amusing, but after 10 years I think we deserve some credit.

    We also feel that as our units remove and prevent limescale, the amount of energy saved by getting rid of scale lagging heat exchangers must be a significant contribution to slowing down the Carbon Dioxide build up. Yes, in a word we are proud of our products and what they do….so quit the carping. If you buy ours you just can’t lose because is it doesn’t work just send it back and I think 12 months is long enough, don’t you?

    1. Thanks for entering the discussion Gavin. My initial article was not about “having a pop”. I want to know if they work. However… since writing the article I’ve bought and fitted a unit that has zero noticeable effect (yes, it could be “the wrong unit” for our local water content and it might not be fitted correctly!) – but that only adds to the confusion for anyone wanting to know whether they should invest. Unfortunately, many people will see a money-back guarantee as an unrealistic offer because a water treatment device often has to be fitted in an awkward place. For example, ours is under the floor in the kitchen, so whilst it doesn’t work, I’m not going to rip up the cork flooring to get my money back!

      So before I invest in another product, I’d like to see independent scientific evidence that a unit works, or somehow be convinced that that these systems aren’t just snake oil. Here’s an idea…

      Set up two test units, one with treated water and one without. Set them up with a viewing portal so you can film them. Then do a time lapse movie, over 12 months, shoot one frame every six hours so you’d get 4 frames per day. When played back at 24 frames per second the whole year would take one minute. Play the two movies side by side and you’d have a very compelling advert – you could even set up multiple units with water from different locations around the UK.

  142. Therein lies the problem…there is little that can be said (if not sensationalized) here that is going to convince me or anybody to purchase a unit without something to back it up.
    Obviously, even if some of these units do work in some applications, they are not a “one size fits all shoe”.
    So far, it appears that each on has one or more reasons why the unit might fail to perform as claimed.
    As a person who has a reasonable understanding of electromagnetics including how magnetic fields interact with metals and semi-metallic substances, I have to question many of the electronic designs. Attempting to sidestep many of the basics learned in elementary electronics and or physical science classes seems to be the theme. If I am wrong on this, which is always a possibility; show me why!
    It is not my intent to insult anybody who has actually experienced favorable results with a given product…but I want to know why it worked or why it did not.
    If you really are convinced that your product can produce the claimed results, accept and invite/promote challenges.
    If your product is worth someting, accepting a challenge in a public forum would prove something.
    Declining the challenge directly or indirectly would prove something as well.

    x

  143. Gavin, Andrea…
    It could be a race to see who has the better product if you accepted the challenge.
    Why not offer up a unit for testing?
    Gavin… considering that you have sold hundreds and obviously want to sell hundreds more, one unit surrendered for testing would seem like a fractional investment in the big picture.
    Andrea, if the unit does work as claimed, there must be a prototype available…you are already claiming results far outweighing the competition…surely you have a non-comp affidavit available for somebody to actually test the unit…?
    I would suggest this however;specify exactly how the unit is to be installed for optimum results and under exactly which prevailing conditions the unit will work or fail.
    This will leave nothing to question.
    x

  144. We have a maintaince contract with British Gas for our combi boiler. We have just had a Hydroflow HS38 fitted at British Gas’s insistence along with a new heat exchanger for our boiler. This was the second in a year. We had to pay for both items, however with the Hydroflow in place they will simply replace the heat exchanger as part of their maintainance contract without charge if it furs up again as the installation now meets their standards. I will be interested to see how it performs.

    There was already a magnetic device installed when we bought the property and that clearly does not work.

  145. I am reading about the littleplumber and see that even if there are skeptics about its worth, one year should be enough time to figure out if it works or not. Why they are knocked for not giving a lifetime guarantee, makes no sense. There are many products that are sold and proven to work and offer a year or less. Things do break down.

    The limestop product, while offering a lifetime guarantee it does require plumbing work to install and has to be replaced every two years. I would imagine that the lifetime guarantee is only good if you make the routine replacements.

  146. Guarantees are almost always conditional and limited…read the fine print. Furthermore,unless you are guaranteed an immediate refund…without hassle and without delay, a manufacturer’s guarantee doesn’t mean a whole lot.
    I don’t mean to say that the little plumber is full of s***, but why not let one or a few interested parties actually test the unit and comment in a public forum. In so far as lifetime replacements go, is the guarantee transferable to a new owner? Does the guarantee offer a refund if an owner finds himself/herself exchanging bad or ineffective units for more of the same?
    It seems to me that a fully tested fully functional unit should last for years barring catastrophic circumstances, god willing and the creek dont rise.
    A true warranty coupled with a guarantee of satisfaction would mean a lot more to a potential buyer provided the manufacturers, distributors and factory representatives actually lived up to the claims.
    Otherwise, it is just more water ubder the bridge.

    x

  147. Here is an interesting topic…
    Tell us about your experiences as they relate to benefiting from the guarantee and how long it took to get your money back if you finally decided enough was enough.
    How many times did you have to replace the unit?
    Is it working now or just looking good hanging around on the pipes?
    Is it or was it noticably effective?
    What about now that the warranty has expired?
    Would you buy another?

    x

  148. Rich,

    Thanks for setting this debate up and saving me money.

    I like your idea about the timelapse movie – notice how none of the compaines out there have taken you up on this.

    After reading all the comments, it seems that these passive water softeners are in the same league as timeshare holidays. The touts flog them with total (fake) passion and the people that buy them don’t want to admit they have been suckered and actually convince themselves that they can see visible results. Like you said, the pain of ripping the thing off the pipe and then packing it all up and sending it back with insurance on the postage in case it gets lost – something tells you, you are spending good money after bad by sending it back so people don’t bother. Its basically just another pyramid selling scam – perfect for the Internet – BUYER BEWARE.

  149. Matt,
    you do realize that you have just seeded the next cycle of point-counterpoint dont you?
    Soon, you will be accused of being a world wrecking salt based water softener selling S.O.B.
    The fact that mega tons of salt exist as part of the stuff we call “land” and is continually being washed towards the sea does not matter.
    You will soon be accused of promoting the pollution of our world or more specifically, our groundwater.
    All this despite the fact that to my knowledge, nobody sends untreated wastewater and or sewage back into the ground intentionally…but you will likely be accused of promoting this.
    It is at best a marketing angle beamed directly towards a gullible audience.
    Be prepared for the attack but dont fall into the trap…they really need you to participate or the shadow of doubt in either direction is powerless.
    They are completely dependant on the portion of the public who just dont know who to believe.
    Just look at all the info-mercials out there.
    My favorite is the guy who shows that you cant cleanly cut a tomato with an ordinary knife and presses it in at an unfavorable angle and then shows that his miracle knife cuts them perfectly…as he uses the “special” knife with a proper angle. He then shows how you cant cut whatever with normal scissors (when you try to cut with the scissor tips) and then shows how the miracle scissors cut so well as he actually puts the “material” into the actual cutting region of a pair of scissors. The fact is that a dime store pair of scissors can and will cut an aluminum can in half without any problem…but that wouldnt make for sensationalism would it?
    There is a system out right now claiming elemination of all the bad stuff from water and its starts with an electo-gizmo but also includes a serious filtration system.
    Chances are that this is a serious filtration system and the gizmo is the “miracle” that makes it all work.
    Brace yourself you world wrecking salty dog!

  150. In reply to Giles we had an electronic gizmo already fitted when we bought a new house. It was called, on the front of the unit in the airing cupboard with the cylinder, “Electron computerised water conditioner” and hasn’t, apparently, had any effect as I’ve had a lot of scale in the hot cylinder in few nine years we’ve had it..
    I see that British Gas have requested you to fit a Hydroflow HS38 Giles but my query is how hard is the water in your area? If it isn’t too hard anyway it could just be a belt-and-braces move by BG.
    I’ve bought one anyway as a despairing gesture, and would mention that, instead of the one hour that British Gas says it takes to fit, and no doubt charges for, it took all of five minutes from opening the box.
    I live in Dorset on a mountain of chalk.

    1. One hour of engineer time, plus profit from electronic unit, equals one nice little earner for the British Gas shareholders. Well spotted Geoff!

  151. Just think of it as pipe jewelry.
    A bit of “bling” for the otherwise boring looking water inlet.
    The more you paid for it, the better.
    Jewelry dosent have to have any particular function other than having a look that says “money”.
    If the lights cease to operate, it has obviously failed as a “shiny object to admire” and you should demand a refund or replacement.
    I’m develop[ing a product for this application right here in my warped little mind as I type this.
    It will have a multitude of colored lights flickering on and off in random sequences and will emit a pleasing “whirr” sound to demonstrate its effectiveness.
    I may call it the “Pipe Dream” if the name hasn’t already been used.

  152. Geoff,
    Thank you for entertaining my strange humor without becoming insulted.
    In truth, I will be quite interested to hear how the unit you purchased and installed performs.
    Nonetheless, development continues on the PD2KME (Pipe Dream 2000 Millenium Edition).
    A bit late for the name admittedly but if Bill can do it, so can I.
    Countless minutes have already been invested and a landmark decision was reached today by unanimous decision.
    It has been decided that the “Whirr” would sound far to busy and would seem uncaring about the whole process in general and it was collectively agreed upon to move the unit into the class of machines that go “Ping”.

    Please keep us informed concerning your installation…I for one am actually interested!

    Thanks again,

    x

  153. Hello Everyone!

    I’m enjoying reading all the postings here – by far the greatest concentration of descaler/limescale comments I’ve come across! I live in Buda, Texas (just south of Austin if you’re familiar with the area), and we have a lot of problems with hard water here. I’ve been looking for a solution to the scale build-up (other than soaking the toilets, faucets, shower heads, etc. in acid-based products) for a couple of years now. I came across descalers (also seen referred to as “salt-free water softeners” here) but was hesitant since my knowledge of electo-chemistry isn’t enough to tell if it’s a valid process or just a sales gimmick.

    Reading these comments reassures me that these devices do work to some extent. I’ll go ahead & get one installed. If it works I’ll, report back. If it doesn’t work, I’ll report back on that as well.

    Thanks for the information!

    Bill

  154. Hi All,

    I live in Montego bay, Jamaica ..and am in the midst of looking for a softener.
    The problem here is although the water is drinkable (unlike Spain) its quite heavily chlorinated and I get alot of limescale and run my drinking water through a brita filter.

    My water heater is about 8 months old? and I have just replaced the two heating elements because they clogged with limescale and “burnt out” in addition once a year I have to remove the water heater and flush it of all the limescale deposit……trust me its not pretty.

    Forgive my ignorance, its not soft per se as the water feels fine on my skin (meaning its not slimy and feel like I cannot wash it off).

    I am more confused now, than before…… I am looking at limestop or the Hydraflow?

    Another Idea I had was (My hot water heater is quite accessible) is to install a lock off on the inlet, then install a Bigger lockoff, big enough to pour some descaling powder into…. lock off the water to the heater, open the Bigger lock-off Pour the descaling powder in.

    Install a T-joint on the Hot water outlet, one goes to the house, the other T goes outside to a drain, close off the pipe that goes to the house appliances…… Then basically “flush” my hotwater heater..Tada!!!

    Though I wonder in reality how this would work

    Thereby Once a month or whatever I could “Flush” my hot water heater of limescale

  155. Hi X

    Some years ago I had a neighbour who was an engineer with Shell Petroleum. They had a trial of an electronic system on some water intakes which were fouling up. It was on the basis that if the problem wasn’t cured within a set period they wouldn’t have to pay for it.
    He says the system worked well, much to his surprise, and he became a believer.
    Despite this, I’d install a proper system with salt blocks if I could, but there’s nowhere in my house to put it – I’ve heard that some go under the sink but I’ve not found anything that small.
    My little red light is burning brightly but some accompanying music would be an advantage!

    Cheers

    Geoff

  156. David,
    did you raise the water heater settings beyond the recommended or pre-set factory settings?
    The whole system will crust up much quicker if kept too hot.
    Hard water does not feel slimy but as a matter of fact, soft water actually does…especially when soap is involved. If you are accustomed to showering in hard water, you will find that the same amount of soap or shampoo will seem like you will never get it rinsed off when using softened water.
    If you do go with a salt based water unit, keep in mind that this water is really not all that good for consumption and should in fact be avoided.
    The body actually gains weight when bathing due to absorption and I personally would not recommend the use of water from a salt based system for this purpose.
    If I understand the process well enough, I dont think the introduction of salt is intentional but is at the same time unavoidable. I believe the salt is cycled through to clean what is otherwise nothing more than a fairly large filter and the majority of the solvent (salt) goes down the drain.
    If there is an expert out there, please correct me on this if I am mistaken.
    I cannot begin to tell you if the gizmos work but I can tell you that many of them seem like an insult to anybody with a basic understanding of how modulated (changing) magnetic fields interact with metallic pipe.
    Look up “Faraday’s” work and you will understand why I say this.
    Add the word “Shield” and you will see why I think it is (probably) a bunch of nonsense.
    I still hold hope that some expert with a real education or at least a palatable understanding of the physical dynamics involved will step up and explain this to all of us in terms that do not warp reality.
    I remain open but skeptical.
    Back to the water heater…if its output is too small for your household…such that you end up increasing its standby temperature, you may want to consider a bigger unit with a lower setting.

    x

  157. Geoff,
    If we go with the music, were you thinking elevator music…Strangers in the night, The Girl from Ipanema or something more “oceanic”…Over the Waves, Theme from Mutiny on the Bounty?
    Acid rock might damage the pipes and Hard rock may cause impenetrable obstructions.

    But seriously, have you noticed any improvement following the installation?

    x

  158. Thanks Geoff,
    can I assume that the little red light is still indicating that the unit is busy conjuring up anti-scale algorythyms?
    Oh man…that one hurt my head…this “Rocket Surgery” is way beyond my normal level of thinking!
    Please keep us informed.

    X

  159. All this silence is quite disapointing…
    In esscence, one way or the other, the proponents of this technology were asked to “put up or shut up”…repeatedly.
    I always expected or suspected that the “too much has been said already” response was forthcoming…but I never expected it to arrive so soon.
    I have never completely stated that this technology does not work or cannot work and truth be known, I do not know either way. I guess the bottom line for me is and was attaining something credible based on reality. If you have something that is not only believable but verifiable as well to state, please do so.
    Otherwise, thank you for your silence.
    To those who have invested in personal testing of this technology, I am quite interested in your narratives.

    x

  160. X
    Red light glowing brightly.
    Blurb says it will take at least three weeks to make a difference to the water – I thought the shampoo was foaming a bit better but my wife says I’m a dreamer anyway.
    More later…
    Geoff

  161. Geoff,
    your progress reports are what I was looking for and I wish more people would approach the subject as you have. It will be quite interesting to know if the unit makes any difference and if so, how much of a difference. The fact that you appear to have approached this subject as an open minded skeptic makes me a lot more comfortable with your comments. Hopefully, you are not a clever and patient salesman who is engineering a gradual repair to the credibility damage others have done, which is always possible… but so far, that at least doesn’t appear to be the case. Keep up the good work!

    x

  162. Martin,
    I went an looked at the PDF link you submitted.
    I see some things to question.
    First, why was common tap water not used and simultaneously fed to both systems?
    DI water is not exactly a natural substance…especially compared to what comes out of the faucet…nor are exacting concentrations of (only) two other ingredients.
    Most households do not currently employ instantaneous water heating.
    In such a system, the water is only heated when there is a demand for it and is therefore always on the move while being heated.
    This does not compare at all with tank style water heaters which keep the water cooking and ready for use on average 40 gallons at a time.
    Where was that test?
    Where are the pics of that dissected unit?
    Various pictures are shown of parts from the equipped unit and parts from the non-equipped unit…but the comparison pics are not there.
    For example, two pics from the equipped units filter are shown.
    Where are the pics of the filter from the non-equipped unit?
    Other typical pics of typical deposits found in systems of this nature were included…but what is the relevance?
    Finally, with all of six weeks of testing, what could they really hope to achieve?
    Water heaters (of many varieties) are expected to operate for years following installation.
    Failure of tank-type water heaters is usually due to one of a few factors and typically has little to nothing to do with its ability to accept or release a given gallons per minute flow rate.
    The tank may be full of “sluffed” deposits from the heating elements…which can make a 40 gallon tank into a 20 gallon tank.
    An element can fail which can reduce heating capabilities…and these are replaceable.
    The glass lining may fail…this is not repairable but has nothing to do with water hardness.
    Please tell me what it is that I missed.
    The best part is the fact that a testing company that provided no information on how the testing constituents were mixed or aged prior to testing managed to fail one of the units early on but continued as if the results of the unit that was not shut down would or could be the basis for a final (comparitive) report. Perhaps a clump of stuff went to one unit but not the other?
    This report was labeled confidential…for good reason.
    Perhaps it is time to contact MYTH-BUSTERS?
    I dont know where you live or if this show is available to you but this is most certainly their kind of stuff.

    X

  163. Hi everyone and thanks.

    After having my second boiler scale-up in 9 months (the secondary heat exchanger in a condensing combi unit) I was all set to waste a considerable amount of money on a ‘Scalewatcher’.

    Thank goodness for this site.

    I am instead going to spend a measly 25 quid on the kit from Magenta

    http://www.magenta2000.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000001.pl?REFPAGE=http%3a%2f%2fwww.magenta2000.co.uk%2f&WD=water&PN=PIC_Water_Descaler.html%23aKit_20868#aKit_20868

    I am an almost believer, Three years ago I bought an electronic algae control unit for my fish pond/water feature. It claims to work by modifying the calcium ions so they cannot bond together and the algae cannot form filaments. For two years there was no effect, this year though, the pond pump died and so I bought another but smaller pump.
    The water feature looks pitiful but after two weeks the algae started to retreat. It hasn’t completely gone yet (six months later) but I haven’t had to clear it once this summer. What I have also noticed is the powdery residue now being left as the water evaporates.

    I do hope my kit from Magenta works, but if it doesn’t, at least I will have had the fun of building it.

    Before I install the thing I will thoroughly de-scale everything and then keep you posted.

  164. I’ve had a Hydroflow HS38 installed for about 2 weeks. It appears that I am not getting water marks on our taps but am in the processof installing a new shower so we will see if there is buildup on the glass. I shall report back in the next few weeks. How is your Hydroflow HS38 experiment going?

  165. I received my ‘kit’ from Magenta today. Looking forward to the build and maybe it will work. It does have a button that activates a speaker to give an audible indication of operation. But I’m sure it will not go ‘PING’ though.
    Getting ready for the big de-scale

  166. Do they or don’t they? Of course they work if you get the right ones and fit them properly! We have been making and selling them from our site and through retailers for 10 years and I can count on one hand the number we have had returned. Ours is called The Little Plumber see http://www.littleplumber.com and I would urge you to pay particular attention to the advice on the “type” of plumbing you have. Is it VENTED or UNVENTED? It makes a huge difference if you only fit one unit on a vented system because you MUST always treat the Cold Down Service (the pipe from the tank in the loft to the hot water cylinder)too.

    Many of our competitors advocate a “one unit treats the whole house” approach but this is wrong and if you have a vented system with a tank in the loft you will require two units or our LP2.
    We make the LP units in Oxford and you can see the factory on our site. What’s more we are always available for help and advice and have a ‘phone number on the site. We also offer a 12 month no quibble guarantee so if you don’t like the results…..send it back!

    With the amount of energy saved by removing and preventing limescale you can probably cover the cost of an LP1 in the first year.

    So please, no more doubting Thomas’s……ours DO work or your money back.

    1. Hi Gavin – thanks for your comment – one of the major factors in returns of these units is that after spending a moderate amount of cash on the unit and time on its installation, the cost and disruption of uninstalling may lead to unhappy customers with a non-working unit writing off the cost to experience. So, how about taking up the time lapse challenge I mentioned before? If you can show in a plain and simple way how effective your units are (assuming they do work), then you wouldn’t have to try and convince people – the units should fly off the shelf.

  167. Re HS38
    Paul mentioned above that the marks have gone off his tap, and this opened a new avenue of thought for me.
    As ordinary salt-added softeners produce a soapy soft water immediately aren’t we wrong in expecting the same instant sort of result from an electronic fitting?
    The chemical process is, I believe, quite different; so banging on about them not working the same is daft, as they’re never going to produce the same soapy product.
    What matters is if they stop scaling to a satisfactory degree, and only a long trial will prove this one way or the other. The scientific process is, surely, plainly demonstrable, and there enough firms selling the kit for it to have a firm base, surely?
    My personal view, entirely unscientific, although I’ve used both types in previous properties, is that it doesn’t work as effectively as far as instant results are concerned – the point is: does it work enough to be worthwhile.
    I think the HS38 has made a difference in the month Ive had it – the water spots on my glass shower door aren’t so noticeable since Paul mentioned it, and lathering is easy. Whether my hot tank, which has spent its life giving me scale problems, is beaten into submission, I’ll only know in a few months. If this thread’s still running I’ll be back with a report!
    Regards to all
    Geoff xx

  168. Rich

    Our LP2 unit costs £166.00 and for that amount I can assure you that people WILL send them back if they don’t work. I feel sometimes like the priest who is asked to prove the existence of God before his flock believe in heaven! How about this? If you give me your postcode (Just the first bit) I will find you customers of mine who have bought an LP unit. I will call them and ask if they mind you ringing them to ask them whether or not they were pleased with them. How’s that? Assuming of course you live in a hard water area.

    And now Andrew M: Yes, we have been adapting the LP units to Weedbusers for some years to get rid of Blanket Weed. These are built to a different standard since they live outside.The results are variable but if used in conjunction with a good natural blanket weed killer there does seem to be some improvement. I have to say that they are nothing like as effective or successful as our LP range. The science behind the effect of low frequency radio waves on plants and algae is well documented by Dr Andrew Goldsworthy, erstwhile lecturer at Imperial College London and I can give you his e-mail address if you want to chat with him. An article by him is on our website http://www.blanketweed.ino

    Cheers

    Gavin

  169. 1. Please explain “Vented” verses “Non Vented”…this seems to be a catch all…excuse.
    2. Please talk about this “tank in the loft” stuff. Who has a tank in the loft?
    What is the purpose of a tank in the loft?
    Exactly where is the “loft” in the average home?
    3. What does the effect of “low frequency radio waves on plants and algae” have to do with limescale?
    4. Where is the “well documented” science on the effects of low frequency radio waves on limescale?
    Are we changing the subject or is the local utility now piping pond scum into your house?

    X

  170. I think that the electromagnetic water descaler does work. Only problem is to explain, whether it is because electromagnetic fields change the water itself, or the minerals, contained in the water. It is highly dependent on the water quality and composition, and on the character of electromagnetic field.

  171. Further to my previous remarks – my neighbour has just had a salt-based softener fitted. As we’d discussed the subject whilst walking our respective mousehounds he sent the guy over to talk to me. The guy has a well-established independent firm selling various salt systems and certainly won’t depend on me buying one to pay his rent.
    When I asked him directly about electronic softeners he agreed immediately that they do work, albeit in a different, not so noticeable way. Not wishing to be too effusive about them he said that they could “leave some sediment in the water”. At no time did he he scoff as I expected.
    Without the instant soapy feel of salt softened water it’s difficult to say, but I think the HS whatever that I’ve fitted
    is having a beneficial effect.

  172. Geoff,
    the fact that you feel that the unit you installed is having some effect is interesting.
    I look forward to hearing if the effect is sustained and of a quality and quantity to justify the cost of the installation.
    The one question that does come to mind is whether you are now tidying up more than you would have before in an effort to study the ease with which the limescale is now wiped away.
    To put it another way, if you were not studying the effects, would the scale be building at a reduced rate?
    If left to accumulate, is the structure of the limescale so modified as to be wiped away easily or is it still simply limescale?
    If you intentionally avoided wiping down a test area, would it stay scale free or would it soon look like it did before the installation?
    It just seems to me that based on the way my mind works, the first thing I would do is polish the heck out of the shower following installation to give the unit a clean slate to start with.
    That might be the first mistake.
    Then I would probably keep testing the ease with which the new scale is taken away.
    That might be the second mistake.
    On the other hand, if you can honestly state that your after-shower cleanup habits are exactly the same as before installing the HSwhateveritis, my point could be moot and you may be on to something.

    x

  173. I have performed some ‘physical’ experiments on water samples : (1) Treated by Aquamag ( electronic water conditioner I purchased in UK around 8 years back ), and (2) Untreated water sample.
    The Tests:
    1. Boiling:- The precipitate gathering at the bottom of the boiling utensil appears to possess different physical properties.
    2. Making Ice : treated water sample gives a clearer form of ice.
    3. Samples are taken into 2 glass containers, and a drop of ink is gently put on the water surface by means of a plastic dropper.
    Ink reaches bottom of container more ‘smoothly’ & ‘uniformly’ in treated sample.
    4.I took some soil from a farm, sieved it thoroughly and put equal weights of soil in two identical cylindrical glass containers. I poured equal volume of water over top of these ‘soil columns’ gently.
    Observation: Treated water ‘moistens’ the soil uniformly and tries to reach bottom of the container. In untreated sample, some ‘dry’ patches of soil are left.
    These experiments may be required to be performed repeatedly before arriving at a certain conclusion.

  174. chandrakant,
    were your tests performed on water immediately following “treatment” or was there any latency between the treatment and the test cycle?
    This would only seem important based on previous posts which appear to indicate that beneficial effects decay at some undetermined rate.
    What you have described is essentially a “water is wetter” scenario or to put it another way, a modification of surface tension when it comes to the soil and ink tests.
    The boiling results would indicate at least temporarily modified suspensions but I dont buy the freezing test at all…unless what you are telling me is that you got clear ice cubes with cloudy bottoms instead of overall cloudy ice cubes.
    There is actually a cold way to distill water which commercial ice-makes exploit all the time.
    If flowing water is pumped over a freezing temperature surface (recirculated), the water will freeze to the surface and the reservoir will fill with the other stuff.
    When the largest percentage of the water is frozen, the reservoir is pumped down the drain.
    When thawed, the water is essentially mineral free and probably even cleaner than heat-distilled water as solvents, pcb’s and such arent simply evaporated and recondensed into the mix.
    I do not cite this example to say that water which has been distilled by one method or another is particularily good for you but as inferred before, I do not believe that the “top to bottom” clarity or purity has been altered in the least by simply freezing “treated” water.
    I cannot claim any knowledge relative to treated water versed absorbency/invasiveness (water-tension) as you appear to cite but the ICE TEST cannot result in an overall (top to bottom) increase in clarity… unless the minerals have been removed.
    If the minerals have not made it to the final mix, pipe blockage is just a matter of time away…they have to go somewhere.
    Feel free to prove me wrong…I welcome it!

    X

  175. X

    The simple answer is that my wife, who looks after these things for me, says that the glass shower door isn’t getting so spotty.

    As she has been very hard to please in every eventuality that I can think of over the last 45 years I can only take that as a recommendation!

  176. Geoff,
    first, congradulations on the 45 years!
    It will be interesting to hear whether the positive results continue in the coming months.
    Time may tell whether the effects are from electronics or extra efforts.
    Either way, keep up the good work and keep us posted!

    X

  177. Hello all. Nice to see this discussion is still going! All I can do is reiterate what I have said before; don’t buy ANY water conditioner that doesn’t offer your purchase costs back if you find it doesn’t work. It really is as simple as that. I realise that with some installations, removing the thing and taking the trouble to send it back is annoying. However, doesn’t the fact that a company will offer such a guarantee say it all? Doesn’t the fact that a company may NOT offer a ‘forever’ guarantee say everything you would want to know about it? If it works then why wouldn’t they offer a guarantee of your money back? We KNOW ours (LimeStop) works. We know because it uses silicate-polyphosphate (Siliphos) – and that works! So we can offer a ‘forever’ guarantee. If in 15 years time you find your heat exchanger has ‘scaled up’ then we’ll give you your money back. Will Hydropath do that? If so, can you tell us where it is on their website as we cannot find it – even under ‘FAQs’?

    The only ‘downside’ to ours is that because it uses a physical medium (Siliphos) this obviously degrades – obviously! So the unit has to be replaced every 2 years. Our rival’s product, which also uses Siliphos, has to be topped-up every six months, and the contents completely replaced annually. Our rival’s product is also plastic, whereas ours is copper. Ours fits ‘in-line’ our rival’s product doesn’t. Because we opted for complete replacement every two years then there’s no need to mess with soggy Siliphos.

    So yes, you have to replace the LimeStop every two years, but at least it does come with that ‘forever’ guarantee. And we believe that says everything about its performance. We also guarantee the product itself forver, and there are not many manufacturers doing that! We can do that because it’s metal and not plastic – like the majority of ‘water conditioners’. Even then, we are the only company to provide a ‘forever’ guarantee on a water conditioning product to our knowledge.

    A couple of months ago British Gas asked for one – presumably to put on trial, and we duly obliged. We look forward to that result!

    We are fully aware of a product promoted on here that offers you a 1-year money back guarantee. What good is that? You would be very unlucky if limescale returned in your boiler annually, so you would never know! Even in very hard water areas, a typical combination boiler with no proper protection would take around 2-3 years to ‘re-scale’. 1-year guarantees are a joke.

    Spend your money wisely on something that satisfies your need for your particular application. If it’s whole-home silky water you want then go for a proper softener. If you want to protect your combi boiler from limescale then install a LimeStop – http://www.limestop.co.uk

    Thanks for reading.

    1. So do customers have to buy a replacement every 2 years? If that’s the case then your “forever” guarantee is a 2 year guarantee, and you suggest that a sub 3 year guarantee is of little value… can you clarify?

  178. Rich. I did point out that the need to replace is a “downside”. I even used that word – I believe it best to be totally honest. The ‘guarantee’ is that the appliance will never re-scale to the detriment of water flow as long as the unit is replaced every two years – and that applies forever. In other words, it will continue to stop limescale forming. It isn’t magic, one fitment wouldn’t stop limescale, you have to replace it with fresh Siliphos as it wears away (and I pointed that out too), just like our rival’s product. A sub 3-year guarantee is of useless value, because, as I said, boilers will take between 2-3 to ‘scale-up’. So if you fitted a ‘little-magnet’ that had a 1-year guarantee, then when your boiler scaled up in three years you couldn’t return your ‘little-magnet’ because the guarantee would have expired two years previous! From our experience if you want to stop limescale then either fit a softener, a LimeStop, or our rival’s product. Stopping limescale isn’t cheap, but then wasting money on something that doesn’t work at all is pointless. If you genuinely think our forever guarantee is a 2-year one then refer our ad to the Advertising Standards Authority. But the guarantee is plain – if you replace the unit then limescale won’t come back to the detriment of water flow. It’s similar to the appeal of Castrol Magnatec engine oil if you have a V8 engine in your car. You can’t just add it once. As brilliant as the product is, you have to replace it because it degrades. Out of experience I can say that if you do that your engine will go on and on. Castrol don’t advertise that your engine will last forever, but we do advertise that you’ll never get limescale to the detriment of water flow again!

  179. No Rich, it’s a ‘foever’ guarantee that you’ll never get limescale to the detriment of water flow again (that’s what the ‘forever’ bit is) – as long as the unit is replaced. I really don’t think I could make it any more plain. I meant what I said, if you think that our ‘forever’ guarantee is misrepresenting that then go ahead and report our ad to the Advertising Standards Authority. I’m quite sure they won’t be interested as the ad isn’t misleading – I have plainly set out above exactly what the guarantee is. If you want to misconstrue that to make a comic point then, well, it’s your blog! However, given the intelligence of your readers then I’m happy to leave it to them to make up their own minds either way. Thanks for your comments.

    1. Barry, lets be clear, we’re agreeing, but we disagree on a technicality.

      Using a chemical process such as the one in your system should work, so I believe your system works. I especially appreciate its apparently sturdy construction. By the way, do you have a process in place to recycle the non-expendible parts of used models? Do you offer a subscription service for sending out a replacement every 2 years and returning the old system?

      I remain (and will remain) unconvinced by your assertion of the “forever” offer. It is disingenuous. You’re are not offering, and cannot offer, an indefinite guarantee. Your guarantee lasts for the lifetime of the product, and no longer than that. Similarly, Kellogs do not, and cannot, offer a guarante of no hunger, forever (provided that subsequent boxes of cereal are also purchased). Hunger may be reduced by using the product, but once all the cereals are eaten, the contract between Kellogs and purchaser is at an end.

  180. All this side stepping sent the staff here at Pipe Dream scrambling for a new marketing angle.
    To guarantee or not, that is the question.
    The legal department convinced the board (Cedar or mahogany…I’m not sure) that a EULA with an implied guarantee would be the safest route to take.
    The advance pay fee for the EULA activation has yet to be decided upon but the custodial staff were overheard tossing out numbers from “seventeen” to “one point two million”.
    They then pinched some blanket weed and headed for the loft where we found them later…venting their tanks.
    Despite their embarassment, Floyd (AKA “the broom guy”) was able to explain that the common consumer’s understanding just wasnt “with it”. We have no idea what he meant and neither did he when pressed for an explanation.
    I’ll have to get back to you on this.

    X

  181. Rich, what I think you’re doing is confusing the product with the product’s effect, and even still getting it wrong. Let me explain with an analogy that is used often:

    If you have high cholesterol you might try an alternative medicine – a tea. Okay then, what I’m saying to you is that if you buy these tea bags from me every two years then it will keep your arteries free of cholesterol. So the guarantee is that as long as you buy the tea bags then you will be high-cholesterol free. However, you’re still getting the product’s guarantee wrong anyway. If you buy the first tea bag and decide never to buy fresh ones, and in 20 years time the tea bag splits – then we’ll give you your money back even though you didn’t buy the new tea bags!

    So, buy the LimeStop (the product), replace it every two years (fresh Silisphos) and we’ll guarantee that you won’t get limescale as described above (the effect). Do you see? What we’re guaranteeing is the EFFECT – that you won’t get limescale. But we go even further than that, we actually guarantee the product forever too – if you NEVER replace it and it cracks in 20 years or whatever we’ll give you your money back!

    Crikey, try and find anyone that not only guarantees that the product will perform as stated, but guarantees the product itself forever too! Where you appear to have the wrong end of the stick is that you feel I’m offering you an anti-misting cloth, and saying that as long as you buy a new anti-misting cloth then we’ll guarantee that cloth forever. No, we’re saying if you keep buying the new anti-misting cloth then we guarantee that your windows will never mist up (the effect of the product). But, as I said, we go even further than that. If you don’t replace your cloth and it tears in 20 years then we’ll give you your money back.

    Sorry for all the analogies, but the guarantee/s are certainly not disingenuous at all, they are totally genuine. The LimeStop HAS to be replaced so that the fresh one has fresh Siliphos inside. Providing you do that then you won’t get limescale.

    To answer your first question, no it wouldn’t be economic for us to recycle and refurbish them due to the cleaning that would be required. Customers are kept on record and informed by card when the replacement is due.

    1. The LimeStop HAS to be replaced so that the fresh one has fresh Siliphos inside. Providing you do that then you won’t get limescale.

      Similarly if you buy more cornflakes, you can continue to eat. If you don’t buy more cornflakes, you cannot eat. If however an empty box breaks, you’d give a refund…?

  182. Question for any techie present –

    Will a hard-water test kit before and after show if an electronic gizmo is working?

    (There’s no way you’re ever going to be convinced whatever anybody says x – I’d buy a TwinTec if I were you!!!)

    1. That’d probably depend on what the test kit is testing for, what mechanism it’s using to test for it, and how sensitive the kit is. Is there a particular kit you’re thinking of using?

  183. Rich.
    “Similarly if you buy more cornflakes, you can continue to eat. If you don’t buy more cornflakes, you cannot eat. If however an empty box breaks, you’d give a refund…?”

    Terrible, isn’t it? I mean, what a useless guarantee!…

    Like I said, I’ll leave it to the intelligence of your readers to make up their own minds on whether offering a forever guarantee (that being on the effect it will have on limescale formation) is a good and worthwhile thing or not. I’ll bow out of this fruitless conversation, thanks.

    1. Fruitless? Ok, lets make it fruity. Send me one. If there’s no scale after two years I’ll keep buying and you’ll have the best advert money can buy. I’ll do a nice “unboxing” article, and throw in a few pictures of the inside of the kettle and the nice black sink area that shows up limescale.

  184. GM,
    If it appeared that I discounted your reported results, let me assure you that that was not my intent.
    I believe you already know this but all I was intending to ascertain was whether or not the playing field was truly level.
    Further, I feel that your posts carry more respectability than most due to the wait and see approach you have taken.
    If my approach or my funning around hit a nerve with you, it was not my intent to do so.
    Admittedly, I have little respect for what appears to be a pseudo science and its promoters but that is only because they fail to provide facts or offer up claims that cannot be substantiated.
    Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a set of standards against which these products can be evaluated.
    Even more unfortunate for the consumer is the fact that there dosent appear to be any credible involvement by any credible agency bound to accountability.
    For now, that is where people like you and your wife come in to play.
    I am not unconvinceable…just very skeptical.

    x

  185. Rich. This is not how physical limescale inhibitors of this type work. As I pointed out to gmpeters above, after treatment by a physical limescale inhibitor, the calcium and magnesium is still there. Neither the calcium or the magnesium have gone anywhere. In the case of silicate-polyphosphate they have been temporarily sequestrated. This is why the LimeStop and its rival actually works. There’s no smoke and mirrors, or hit’n’miss that you get with magnetic or electronic inhibitors. It’s also why such inhibitors suit flowing water appliances such as combination boilers. As the calcium and magnesium is still there then it will not stop a kettle scaling up UNLESS you ensure that the kettle is emptied of its boiled water every time. As this is rarely carried out by users then the kettle would not stay scale-free. Water softeners work by removing calcium and magnesium ions and replacing them with sodium ions – and would keep a kettle scale-free. HOWEVER, you cannot drink artificially-softened water, so you cannot use it in your kettle. Although it has a metallic taste, there is actually more sodium in a glass of milk or a slice of bread than there is in a glass of artificially-softened water, and is therefore harmless. The only way to ensure a scale-free kettle is to use a filter, such as a reverse osmosis system or de-alk resin. We have heard two reports from customers that a well-known water filter kept their kettle scale-free, though this is unlikely as the particular filter merely contains activated carbon (for taste). The LimeStop and its rival remain, in our opinion, the ONLY physical limescale inhibitors that work. Believe me, we have tested almost all of the magnetic and electronic ‘inhibitors’ at some point in the past, and found them to be useless. Although some users have reported success, others have reported complete failure. And a little while ago we were removing one Hydropath a week during our domestic descaling work. It’s this hit’n’miss that makes these products unreliable. You must also understand that obviously I know things about such products that I cannot state here for fear of being involved in lengthy and distressing legal battles. I say again to anyone thinking of buying ANY limescale inhibitor, go by what the ‘Drinking Water Inspectorate’ advise on magnetic and electrical conditioning devices:
    “…not all products on the market give satisfactory performance. You are advised not to buy one of these devices unless the supplier will agree to a sale or return, subject to satisfactory performance.”
    And that’s why we offer the ‘forever’ guarantee on the LimeStop. We WILL give you your money back if it doesn’t work – because we KNOW it will. Simply ask your supplier if they will give you your money back if, in 10 years time, the appliance re-scales. A little while back we contacted a major manufacturer of a very well-known electronic inhibitor (as we had a few requests from customers who preferred something they could fit themselves). We had a very convivial conversation with their managing director – until we stated that in order to purchase a large number of his product we would have to have a money-back guarantee for our customers. He flatly refused and said that it wouldn’t be at all possible. The conversation ended there, but spoke more about his product than he could do! And this product is very widely advertised.

  186. Cornflakes…
    It seems simple enough:
    Guarantee the performance of the product for the duration of its rated duty cycle…and nothing more.

    Questions:
    If I owned a Hotel and if I installed a unit that adds or has the potential to add a reactive agent such as silicate-polyphosphate to the flow of water, should my guests be informed of this fact?

    See: “silicate-polyphosphate”.

    Is this unit intended to stop scale spots and accumulation on surfaces or in vessels where the water part of the mix is exaporated away or are the effects primarily in the pipes and heat-exchange equipment?

    Is the output of such a unit intended for drinking quality water or process quality water such as is used in a HVAC chiller/heat exchanger system in a large building?

    x

  187. x. Silicate-polyphosphate is a food-grade material. It conforms to EN1208:2005 [chemicals used for treatment of water intended for human consumption] and also conforms to WHO standards for drinking water supplies. The LimeStop container itself is potable copper with standard industry brass fittings. So my answer would be no, you wouldn’t have to inform your hotel guests, just as you wouldn’t inform them of all the ingredients that would go into their food during their stay.

    Siliphos-based water conditioners will not stop ‘scale spots’ as you mention. The effect is indeed primarily in the pipes and heat exchanger. It both sequestrates the calcium and magnesium, and lays down a very thin layer of silicate-polyphosphate that ‘lines’ the pipes. The LimeStop can even be used in soft water areas to protect the inside walls of pipes from attack, and will also prevent ‘blue water’ – where the minerals in the copper pipe can leach out in aggressive soft water areas.

    As for chillers and AC equipment then you would have to contact the manufacturer of the unit. But seeing as the dosing from a LimeStop is merely 3 parts per million then I certainly cannot see that it would be a problem. Thanks for your interest.

    Can I just say for others who may have questions that there is a comprehensive FAQ list here http://www.limestop.co.uk

  188. Here is a rockin’ little design for an experimental* random field generator:
    Procure a low power FM stereo and about 10 or more feet of common insulated (good quality) lamp cord and two eight ohm ten to twenty (10-20)watt resistors.
    Note that the lamp cord has a ridge or ridges on one of the two wires so you can tell it from the other.
    Wrap a section of the cold water pipe with a good quality electrical tape to electrically insulate it.
    Wrap the lamp cord around the cold water pipe in a neat side-by-side coil(over the electrical tape) and secure by wrapping with more electrical tape.
    In theory, the more wraps the better.
    Split one end of the lamp cord, strip and solder each wire to one end of a resistor.
    Solder another short piece of wire to the other end of each resistor and insulate all connections.
    The resistors are simply to protect the stereo from driving a short circuit.
    Connect one of the wires with the resistor to left positive (+). Connect the other wire with the resistor to Right positive (+).
    Connect the other end of the lamp cord wires to their respective negative (-) connections (remember the ridges).
    Tune the stereo to an appropriate station broadcasting some full range dynamic music.
    Bring up the volume but make sure the resistors and the coils are not getting warm. If they are warming up, back the volume off a bit.
    You have now constructed an experimental solenoid style dual channel random magnetic field generator.
    *Disclaimer:
    Construct this experimental design at your own risk.
    If you are not familiar with standard electrical safety practices, do not attempt to construct or test this experimental design.
    No claim is made as to whether this arrangement will have any effect.
    Do not expose any part to water or the elements.
    Construction of this design is for experimental purposes only and as such should not be left to operate without proper supervision.
    This design is theoretical and untested.
    You assume all risks if you construct and or apply this experimental design.
    By the way, did I mention that this was an experimental design?
    X

    1. I guess you are using the audio out to power your coil as you do not make this clear. You also specify ‘FM stereo’, Is this to cater for the vented system that requires two of these to protect it or could you modify it to protect your elderly neighbours system too?

      I won’t mention the poor efficiency that these units with audio amplifiers typically return.

      The theory is as sound as my ‘Magenta kit’
      Unfortunately, this magenta kit draws less than 2watts with 80% of the output going to the coil. Yes, you could find a portable fm radio which draws this little power, but I bet it’ll only manage 20% of it’s power into the coil.

      Especially with those resistors in place.

      Oh yes, those resistors, bad workaround for poor electrical loading, most of your power will be lost in those resistors.

      What next?

      Bach or Blur?

      What music will keep you pipes clear?

  189. Oh dear, my Ideal Isar combi boiler died a horrible death 2 weeks ago. People I have talked to say this is a ‘bad’ boiler.

    Anyway, I now have a ‘Baxi’ combi boiler and have fitted a Hydroflow H38 unit.

    I still have the kit from magenta but have not had a chance to build and fit it.

    I noticed a ‘CombiGuard’ under my counter. Do these really work? Obviously, mine is over two years old now and out of date.

    What is it new age boilers. I’ve never had any ‘real’ problem with a boiler until now. I’ve lived in the same area since I was born, yeh! A whole 44 years ago.

    Maybe it’s a flaw in ‘combi boiler’ design. If so, I’d rather go back to a traditional boiler and pay the extra in gas.

    1. Just a little question on my last post.

      Why are there still so many working 20 year old boilers and yet new boilers struggle to last 5 years plus without coaxing and rebuilds?

    2. Newbie here.

      Sorry to read about your boiler situation…11 yrs ago I bought a house with a combi – I hate combis. Replaced 7 yrs ago with a Vaillant system boiler & a Megaflo, runs warm water underfloor heating throughout house. Superb. Propah showers, too.

      There’s a secondary circuit for the bathroom – comprising a hot water loop in copper, bronze pump, expansion vessel, check valve and swept tee back to the Megaflow – which supplyies heat for the towel rails in the bathroom and also gives almost instantaneous hot water at the taps. After 7 years there are significant deposits inside the (ally) towel rails, the trvs, and pipework.

      Am interested in your progress with Magenta descaler – I was going to shell out on Scale Manager II from Waltham, but have an old soldering iron somewhare so might give the low-cost version a try.

  190. Andrew,
    *Stereo,Monaural,Music,Noise,Pulses,etc.
    What is the difference?
    Efficient or inefficient by design…at this point, does it matter?
    The real question is does it work?
    If the efficiency with which the unit transfers energy is of concern, there are transformers available for matching an output from an amplifier to a near zero impedance load (AKA a dead short)…but why bother at this point?
    As best as I can tell, your commentary on the “design” is both valid and validating…assuming the emphasis is on surrounding a water carrying pipe with a modulated electromagnetic field.
    Whether this is done efficiently or inefficiently from a power consumption point of view would be the concern of a final design implimenter…not an experimenter seeking proof of performance.
    When I specified the procurement of a low power FM Stereo, what I really meant to say was to go and find that piece of junk the kids found inadequate (as a stereo) and let it entertain the pipes for a while.
    If you dont mind the noise, you dont even have to buy the resistors…just {series} connect the speakers in place of them to protect the final amplifiers.
    If the noise level becomes irritating, back the volume off a bit.
    You have now constructed a mildly entertaining or potentially annoying experimental solenoid style dual channel random magnetic field generator with inherent inefficiencies.
    *Disclaimer:
    Construct this experimental design at your own risk.
    If you are not familiar with standard electrical safety practices, do not attempt to construct or test this experimental design.
    No claim is made as to whether this arrangement will have any effect.
    Do not expose any part to water or the elements.
    Construction of this design is for experimental purposes only and as such should not be left to operate without proper supervision.
    This design is theoretical and untested.
    You assume all risks if you construct and or apply this experimental design.
    Although and while presenting a potential modification of a previously disclosed experimental design, the fact that this is an untested,untried,unproven basis for potential experimentation with an experimental design remains unaltered.
    You accept all risks including but not limited to irritating your spouse.
    By the way, did I mention that this was an experimental design?
    X

  191. Ok, admittedly, the design based on using the kid’s junk stereo is an energy waster and does not employ radio frequencies in the process either.
    This has forced me back into the laboratory…the one in my mind with lightning bolts arcing across the glass roof.
    Here is the new design that uses no power from the mains and surrounds the pipes in a broad spectrum of electromagnetic enchantment.
    *You would need two hose clamps,some small gauge wire,two insulated crimp connectors and electrical tape if you decided to experiment with this unproven, untested and most certainly; theroetical design.
    That old TV Antenna on the roof that you abandoned when you went with cable or satellite is still busy recieving all kinds of signals (and noise) from terrestrial and extraterestrial sources.
    Re-route the old antenna cable to an appropriate cold water pipe location.
    Identify the section you want to perform testing on and mark both ends and the exact center.
    Clean up the copper pipe at each extreme using some emery cloth.
    Install a hose clamp over each of the now shiny copper areas.
    Strip the end of the wire, and fasten it to the pipe using the clamp. Now,wind a coil aroung the pipe until the center mark is met, tape to prevent unraveling and cut the wire a few inches from the pipe.
    Now, starting at the center mark, begin a new coil but be sure to leave a few inches of free wire to match the end of the coil you just finished.
    This coil should be wound with the same rotational direction as the first coil.
    Upon reaching the other extreme, strip the wire and fasten it to the pipe using the second clamp.
    Back to the middle:
    Cut the two wires to the same length and strip about 1/2 inch of insulation off each wire.
    Now strip about 1 inch of the outer insulation off of the coaxial cable from the antenna (or aerial if you prefer)being careful not to damage the shield drain wires beneath.
    Carefully “de-braid” the shield back to the striped jacket and twist them into a neat bundle.
    The center of the cable should now be exposed.
    Strip about 1/2 inch of the foam (dialectric material) off of the center conductor.
    Now, twist the center conductor together with one of the wires from the center of the coil and install an insulated crimp.
    Repeat the process crimping the de-braided shield to the other wire in the center of the coil.
    Insulate any remaining bare conductors.
    In theory, the two coils are now shunting all kinds of radio frequency energy to a cold-water-ground and in the process of doing so, producing coincidenally aligned magnetic flux lines within the coils at no cost to the power mains.
    *Disclaimer:
    This untested design is nothing more than the mental ramblings of a man with visions (cartoons) of a mad scientist type laboratory in his mind.
    You have not been instructed in any manner to construct this device or arrangement of left overs from yesterday’s technologies.
    The overall intent was to describe a theoretical design with no guarantee of performance…which was never specified to begin with.
    There are safety and electrical (including bit not limited to: electrostatic, electromechanical and mechanical) issues involved when working with antennas, aerials or any structures suspended above ground…dont be foolish!
    Do not apply any of these ideas without personally accepting all risks involved.
    Hope I raised your eyebrow in thought and at least made you consider a small grin!

    X

  192. Stone the crows! What a lot of words to answer a simple question. Take it from me that electronic scale inhibitors DO work if sensibly installed. I’ve had two on my system for 15+ years; one on the rising main and the other on the gravity supply from the roof tank. The Water King salesman actually said it would NOT de-scale my kettle but I assure you it did and continues to keep the kettle clean.
    I don’t know about the ScaleWatcher but the wires-round-the-pipes devices are a sound investment.

  193. “Stone the Crows”… that makes perfect sense!
    I am obviously not from the part of the world that uses such a metaphor but I do understand what you are saying.
    In all fairness however, there are crows on both sides of the fence.
    For all your “Crowing”, there is plenty of crowing from the other side that says you could be “full of crow”.
    As a participant in this forum, I didnt see much positive reinforcement for the subject happening…so I crowed.
    Your crow counts as one positive vote in my barnyard atlas.
    My crowing trends towards disbelief but I have attempted to stay neutral while challenging (and taunting)other crows to produce credible substantiation.
    You might note that those who should be crowing either become quiet or crow in a foolish manner when pressed for substantiation.
    “Stone the crows” sounds like the words of a Monarch.
    Why not just let them all eat cake?

    X

  194. Are there no takers?
    For all the claims presented, is there not even a single “manufacturer” that is up to the open-forum challenge that the operator of this site has presented?
    If you have even the slightest belief in your “products”, do you not realize that your silence is saying far more than your carefully composed words ever could?

    X

  195. x, And yet they continue to be sold in their thousands! The magnetic and electronic ones out-sell our LimeStop. That may be because the LimeStop has to be ‘plumbed-in’ and because the Siliphos degrades. However, at least the LimeStop comes with a guarantee that it works! It, of course, annoys us that consumers will happily buy a product that doesn’t come with ANY such guarantee. The only sense of joy we get is when people come back to us some years later when the electronic one they fitted hasn’t worked.

    It would be nice if people stated whereabouts they are when they write in. I would especially like to know where in the UK Ian Wheeler lives and what type of hot water system he has. I would think from his comments that he has an ‘indirect’ cylinder that supplies his hot water. So without him actually removing the top connection and peering inside with a torch, he wouldn’t know if his device is working or not. Even then, I’ve seen for myself almost clear hot water cylinders right in the middle of a hard water area with no limescale-reducing device fitted!

  196. Barry,
    I think it would be a good move on your part to clearly define exactly what your product is intended to do…and what it cannot do. To a geat extent, people are here looking for ways to prevent water spots and scale from forming…post evaporation.
    You have made it clear that your product does not offer this benefit…however, you do seem to offer a product that may have positive effects when applied as a scale preventative for the inside of the pipes and heat-exchange equipment.
    To put it another way, while your product will do nothing to prevent water-spots or scale accumulation in the tea kettle, it could indeed extend the life of the systems that deliver and or heat the water…before air becomes part of the equation.
    The guarantee you cite is yet another issue that needs a reality check.
    Putting the exhaustible corflakes box example aside,the fact is that a performance guarantee cannot truly extend beyond the (functional) lifecycle of the product…which could be difficult to define depending on the quantity of water passing through a given unit…not to mention the prevaling condition of the pipes/systems to which it is to be applied.
    A fresh installation on a clean pipe/heat-exchanger network is very different than an installation on an already (or nearly) problematic system…is it not?
    It appears that you could be offering a proven technologhy in a bullet proof package…but you could well be misrepresenting it, its function and its limitations…directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally.
    Please show respect for the varying degrees of intelligence and intellect that represent your potential buyers.
    There is an old saying that goes as follows:
    “If you cant dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit!”
    If you are indeed selling quality, go for the brillance and be patient.
    Misrepresenting your offerings directly or indirectly could be a costly mistake in the long run.
    Enough said…

    X

  197. In a “nutshell”, it appears that no credible evidence is available for presentation to support the claims that descaling mechanisms based on electronic gizmos is a viable technology…allthough it appears to be a money maker.
    That being said, it appears to boil down to testimonials alone…which does no say much for the industry.
    Worse yet, many of the testimonials appear to be directly or indirectly tainted by some affiliation to the manufacturer(s).
    As such, I draw nearer to the conclusion that the gizmos do nothing …or next to nothing.
    The far and few between positive testimonials are almost always vague with only an occasional “full on” positive vote.
    It would be wonderful if such devices actually did more than drain the bank account… but nobody has presented much of anything to prove this.
    Is this all you have?

    X

  198. What is the official comment from British Gas on this technology?
    Is BG willing to take a stand on this?
    Is BG willing to provide extended warranties based on application of this technology?
    It would seem that they have already charged for it…eh?
    What should they offer customers that have applied the products they recommended and sold?
    An extra year?
    An extra five years?
    A lifetime warranty?
    A refund?
    A refund with interest?
    Please describe the sale pitch used.
    Please describe the accompanying performance enhancements described during the sales pitch.
    Please describe the written guarantees of performance that were offered as result of application of these products.
    Please tell us what you paid for these enhancements.
    If my local utility was to take an affirmative stand and produce credible substantiation concerning actual performance, I would be impressed!
    What exactly is BG?
    Is BG a public utility or a private company?

    X

  199. Gavin,
    sorry about the smart-ass remark but the fact is that from the top dollar unit to the bottom dollar unit to my (hopefully) amusing/humorous designs, nobody has presented proof that the technology has factual basis.
    I am done with heresay and testimonials… I want to see the facts and apparently, no facts are available.
    Far too many times, we have been directed to a load of inconclusive misleading crapola that is way too easy to see through. The “It might work in this situation but not in that situation” approach is nothing more than salesmanship at its worst (best).
    The unit to which you refer is based on a 2KHz field being generated.
    Other designs claim that everything from square waves (Direct current pulses) to exotic waveforms do the trick.
    My laughable designs based on audio output from a junky stereo have the potential of generating 20-20000 Hz random magnetic fields.
    The design based on using the old/abandoned TV antenna could potentially communicate directly with the water gods…just another joke.
    You may note that most of those who supported electronic water conditioning either as a manufacturer or as a friend or relative of somebody in support of this pseudo science have gone mostly silent.
    My taunting has both worked and failed… I expected more of a fight.
    Admittedly, I am disappointed.

    X

  200. Hi, no worries – I remain deeply sceptical about these devices as well but I figure that if you are going to try one, throwing away £7 is a lot less painful than £50++

    I have attached one to the inlet pipe of my hot water cylinder and I guess given time, I will see if it does make any difference or not.

    Thanks

    Gavin

  201. A report ( 0-87164 ) relating to the effects of magnetic water treatment was prepared by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research .The report concluded that magnetism had considerable effect upon the reduction of precipitation of limescale

  202. Steve Hopper:
    Here is what comes up when I search the Norwegian Institute for Water Research site:

    Searchresults
    0 results when searching for “0-87164″

    Perhaps you could provide a direct link so I can review it and attempt to “shoot it full of holes” pertaining to it’s application on metallic pipes, etc.

    Conversely, if this report does exist and is not easily stepped on and “smooshed like another bug”, I will be impressed.

    Suggest you go back, review it yourself and decide whether you want to present it.

    Take your time…

    X

  203. Unterminated coil ends:
    Without even hinting at the possibility that I might think that the unit might actually have an effect on the water contained in the pipes; The fact that a coil dosent appear to be connected to anything does not mean that it cannot radiate a magnetic field.
    However, the ability to radiate much of anything is dependant on the frequency applied. At 2KHz, the chances that the coils radiate much of anything arent too good. At much higher frequencies, the coils could radiate more energy because they will start to self load due to some basic electronic laws. Unfortunately, the only magnetic field that stands a chance of penetrating metallic tubing is a static one…such as what you get from a permanent magnet…permanently affixed and not moving relative to the metallic pipe.
    A permanent magnet applied in a fixed position is a zero (0)Hz magnetic field generator.
    This field will penetrate (non-magnetic) metallic pipe and will have an effect on the water contained within it…however, nobody has presented any proof that this does any useful work as pertains to preventing scale formation once the water meets air and/or heat.
    If I shipped you a load of garbage, instructed you to sort it into valuable recyclables, semi-precious metals, animal and vegetable protiens, useful fibrous compounds,waste, etc. and after doing so, you threw it all into a bag and sent it back… I now have a bag of garbage.
    Apply this analogy to a water pipe or better yet, a few inches of water pipe… where does the garbage go?
    What is being sold here…modified garbage?

    x

  204. 2010…just a few days away.
    2010… and crapola is perhaps a bigger commodity than ever before.
    2010… open your eyes, open your ears…but first, turn on your brain.
    Dont believe everything you cannot prove…just because you cannot prove it.
    There are only a few things that deserve that kind of faith.
    x

  205. Hi All,

    Trawled through much from the comments above, cornflakes and fruitcake etc!

    If I use a salt watersoftner how many years do I have before my tap insides go brittle. We have a house whih is about to be gutted which has currently a salt watersoftner and the tap cores are crumbling. SO starting afresh in the summer WHAT is the best softner to go with.

    Salt
    Electro
    Magnetic
    OR?

    Please suggest.

    Jan

    1. Jan,
      If you are truly gutting the house, rerun the pipes in a radial fashion as opposed to a drop-tap arrangement.
      This will allow you to decide what kind of water to send down each.
      Salt water based softening is best for the dishwasher, washing clothes and perhaps even washing automobiles…but not so good for consumption or cooking.
      Filtered water is best for consumption/cooking.
      Consumption includes absorption (bathing).
      Did I mention the “Gizmos”?
      Go with what has been proven to work…at least until somebody presents something that is not only believeable but has some proof behind it.

      X

  206. Rich,
    this [article] is pretty quiet these days.
    I realize that my comments…both serious and comical have contributed (but not solely) to this situation.
    At the core level, all I wanted was to have at least one person produce something akin to credibility concerning electronic water conditioning…but that never seemed to happen…unless something got by me.
    I fear that I have helped to beat the fun out of a site that I really found entertaining…or at least a great waste of otherwise idle time.
    At this point, I would have to surmise or at least guess that anybody who buys one of the devices based on pure electronics as the “prime mover” is simply somebody that needs to spend money.
    Further, it would appear (based on the aforementioned) that anybody that buys a filtration system with one of these electronic enhancements will be buying a filtration system…with “bling”.
    As always, I will disclaim any knowledge that these devices are raw snake oil because I really dont have proof either way and I wouldnt want to destroy the income of potentially honest but just as potentially gullible salespersons who are just trying to make a living.
    Obviously, it would be irresponsible on my part to say that I think that it is all sensationalism on the part of a bunch of thieves and aimed at a bunch of exceedingly stupid or uninformed people…so I won’t.
    Since I have no proof that the technology does not work and even less to say that it does, I am left with no alternative except to say that there is insufficient data to exclusively conclude anything.
    I can say this much; there have been a fair number of attempts to send many a reader down ambiguous and inconclusive “trails of evidence” which led to even more questions and inconclusiveness.
    So while I cannot state factually that these device do little to nothing on a factual basis, I can state without doubt that I have not been provided with enough proof to say that the referenced devices have any definable effect beyond using a bit of electricity…and perhaps warming the pipes a bit.
    I was really hoping for more…I didn’t come here for a bunch of silly bantering and I doubt that that was your intent in setting up this site….but it has been entertaining!

    x

  207. I have posted here before as we make and sell the Little Plumber electronic water conditioner. Whether they work or not is a bit of a silly question since if they didn’t most of us who make them would be out of business. All I will say is that if you buy one make really sure you get a good long Guarantee like if it doesn’t work send it back for a full refund.

    1. Hi Gavin, should we infer that you’ve not made the timelapse video (as previously suggested) that would inexpensively show your product actually doing something other than wasting electricity? The situation is still the same for everyone here. If we were to buy and fit one of your units, it would be a royal pain in the ass to remove it if or when it didn’t work. So your offer of a full refund is still moot. I’d like it if your units worked & I might invest in one, but I want to know beforehand. It’s a really simple concept, and it should be easy to grasp: I don’t want a money-back guarantee, I want proof. Calling the original question “silly” after you’ve failed to prove anything only serves to make your argument look flawed.

      1. Strangely enough our distributor in Cyprus (who incidentally is extremely enthused with the product) has made a video which is now on our site http://www.littleplumber.com for you to see. You can speed it up or slow it down as you please.
        Remember also to look at the customers who really like the product. I have a letter only today from De Vere Hotels locally in Abingdon extolling the virtues of my products. Would you like a copy…NO…I’ll post it here. Tomorrow.
        One last thing. I am 70 this year so hope to meet my maker before you do…if there is one of course…but then you’d need proof wouldn’t you?

      2. I can see a computer generated installation video linked from that page, but no timelapse – I got excited then. Oh well. I also checked in the “what our customers say” page and found no Cyprus references, so I look forward to the link tomorrow. Also, please avoid offtopic references, you’re in danger of proving Godwin’s Law.

      3. Rich. Yes sorry about that just get a little frustrated by the fact that after having sold thousands of these units over 10 years we still get the “do they work” brigade asking for proof which frankly is available but which most people find too difficult to comprehend. The guy in Cyprus will have his site up and running next week it is http://www.the-irisell.com and he is also opening a shop selling our products. You can see his ‘phone number so call him.
        [Edit: Removed private email from third party that has not been cleared for publication]

      4. Mmmmmm !!! looks like you removed the letters and e-mails from third parties to support your argument. Why did you do that when they have been cleared? Te De Vere Venues are thrilled. Is this a blog where you add or remove to make your point and thereby ignore the facts or at least not show them. Worse than Godwin more like Stalin!

        How sad when you choose to withold my blogs just because you might be proved wrong. As I said worse than Godwin more like Stalin. I would have thought you could have done better than supress facts but I suppose it’s they way you guys do things.

        Also I have a confirming e-mail from De Vere Venues allowing their letter to be used in any way.

      5. Hi Gavin,

        If someone has sent you an email, then it is a private communication; so they’d have a right to be surprised or unhappy if that message turned up on my website. I’m just being sensible in not publishing everything that arrives. I can do this because it is my website. If I don’t publish something you submit, it is called editorial control, not censorship. You can publish whatever you like on your site, and if I stopped you doing that, then it would be censorship. Yet you’ve compared me to Stalin for quite sensibly protecting the privacy of someone who sent you an email.

        Additionally you have stated that I chose to “ignore the facts or at least not show them” and that I “might be proved wrong”. Firstly, to be proved wrong, I’d have to take a stand and say that these products do, or do not work. I’m not taking that position because I have a third option, I can say, I don’t know yet, there is no experimental evidence that proves or disproves that they work – which is why I asked the original question, and hopefully why you’re here.

        You also used the “F” word – “Facts”. I’m not aware that I’ve suppressed any facts. To be succinct: testimonials are not facts, at best they are unreliable opinion. Customer testimonials may prove to you that your products work, but to a third party, they could be interpreted all kinds of ways, and with quite opposite meanings to the one’s you’re inferring. Third parties might doubt the provenance, believing them to be fictional, or obtained through some coercion, or some other non-obvious driver, for example, the customer might have spent so much money on the products that if they had not worked the customer’s job would be on the line, so they are only too happy to appear to be the investor in a successful product. There are so many ways that testimonials can be misinterpreted that they’re really not much use.

        Previously you note quite rightly that the chemical and electromagnetic science behind these devices is beyond most people, however, that should not be a barrier to being able to design an experiment that shows that they work. The time-lapse video idea is an example of such an experiment. If you can do that then quite unconnected from proving anyone else wrong, you’ll have proved yourself right. Either that or point me to the peer reviewed journal article where the science bit is properly analysed.

  208. When we originally undertook tests at a local test centre 14 years ago we published our results as others have which conclusively proved that good electronic conditioners do remove and prevent limescale. What do you think our customers said? “Well they might work in the laboratory but how will they work for us?” So you see you cannot win and that’s why I rely so much more on testimonials from reliable customers such as De Vere Venues who are using our unit with great success. They really are not interested in the science, all they and in fact anybody else wants is a cure for their problem. The De Vere testimonial is very relevant since it cured a problem in a steam generator for a steam room and this situation is far more aggressive than you would find in a normal house.

    I find it hard to believe that with permission from De Vere (which I enclose herewith) you would not put their letter on your site. But then I suppose it is YOUR site and you can allow or disallow what you like. Sadly the amount of CO2 which is pumped into the atmosphere by inefficient scaled-up boilers could be greatly reduced by installing a Little Plumber, but where people continually behave like ostriches and even refuse to believe that global warming is a reality it becomes a difficult task to reverse the problem.

    The best person in the field of electro-magnetic descaling is Professor Simon Judd at Cranfield University who has worked with Professor Simon Parson and they have published an article on how the physics works. I called them today but both on answerphone to try and get a copy of their experiments. You could try if you are really interested. http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/sas/aboutus/staff/judds.jsp

  209. Hello Gavin (and all manufacturers of electronic limescale inhibitors),

    When I asked the question initially I was expecting to receive third party testimonials, or perhaps links to evidence that showed whether electronic limescale inhibitors worked, or not. Neither really materialised.

    Hopefully I also made it quite clear why the money-back guarantees offered by companies like yours are pretty useless to the common consumer – because one has to pay to fit and remove the device (often requiring the fitting additional certified electrical gubbins), all of which incur expense. The logical time to fit such a device is during a kitchen refit, and because the pipes are not often on show in homes, the device will end up concealed behind fitted units much of the time, so removing it for a money-back guarantee is not an option.

    I’ve keep maintaining this thread because I still hope for more than just second-hand testimonials. Given the length of the thread, and the number of readers, many other people are hoping for the same.

    Given that you’re a manufacturer of these devices, not just a third party, you’re in a position to provide hard evidence that shows clearly to the layman that they do work, but have not yet done so. I don’t run this site to advertise your products, but I’m more than happy to entertain discussion about them if you’re going to come up with that evidence.

    If you do not provide evidence, it will look like you cannot.

    I still hope you can.

    1. Ahhhh right. The glowing testimonial. As I suggested, put it on your website and link to it from here. If you ever do come up with any evidence, put that on your website too, and I’ll happily link to that as well.

  210. Rich,
    perhaps you have asked for the wrong thing…
    Since nobody appears to be able to put forth proof positive that these devices work excepting hand picked testimonials; maybe you should be asking if these devices don’t work.
    Certainly, no manufacturer is going to post a letter from a completely dissatisfied customer or provide links to water quality studies that indicate that the technology has little to no positive effect…but I would bet that there are plenty of dissatisfied customers and a fair collection of negative or inconclusive tests.
    The fact is that most if not all of the “evidence” we have been directed to has had sufficient weak spots to cause anybody with anything resembling intelligence (and the patience to COMPLETELY read it) to discard it.
    On the other hand, if you ask readers to post concerning their negative experiences with these devices, you could be opening Pandora’s box and may find your site overwhelmed.
    Perhaps you could install a “Take the Survey” button and a “View the Results” button.
    The only problem would be sorting out which surveys are real and which are ballot box stuffing attempts…whether positive or negative.

    X

    1. Hi Gavin,
      are you referring to your “customer testimonial”? I’ve suggested several times that you put it on your website, and then we can link to it from here.
      Rich

  211. Right

    I am going to put a blog on my site and ask that if ANYONE knows ANYBODY who has had a Little Plumber in the last 10 years and is unhappy with it then they are to post tyhis fact on your site.

    Gavin

  212. Here is a thought… many references have been made to professors and scientists as if they had something to contribute to the subject at hand.
    Numerous articles and reports have also been cited.
    There is an old saying that sounds ridiculous and seems to make no sense but I will use it anyway and chances are good that all will understand…
    Let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth!
    If you could convince even one of these referenced experts to post a direct comment to this site which can provide something akin to credibility with accompanying credentials in an application specific manner, it would make a huge difference.
    By “application specific”, I mean as his/her comments relate to the core concept behind the collective posts predating this comment…any and all.
    Is that too much to ask?

    X

    1. Isn’t what is needed a full independent test report that has 2 completely identical systems bar the scale inhibitor device. Run it for a time and see how scaling is on the element at the end of the test period.

      1. Yes, I have thought about that, but this is what independent labs are for, so we can trust them. Would a time-lapse video be trust worthy?

        With the aquabion you can prove it works for yourself by just using a brush on the soft lime-scale that develops over time on your kettle element. It cleans off easily leaving a shiny surface.

        I could post a vid of that if you think that will prove it works, and I can find a decent glass kettle.

  213. Rich,
    Is there more than one “Gavin” posting to this site?
    For at least two posts, there is a Gavin the interested/sceptical and economical consumer and then, there is Gavin (B) the manufacturer.
    This is intended as a completely non accusative inquiry…just curious!
    Gavin(or Gavins)…no offense intended!
    X

  214. Yes, The De Vere letter is at the bottom of the list.
    Not exactly a letter from a consumer without profit motivated interests…or did I miss something?
    X

  215. Here we are almost 5 years later on when the leading question was posted: Do electronic lime-scale inhibitors work? Confusion seems to be perpetual and obviously off-putting for the many would-be purchasers. My advice, for what it is worth, is to be very cautious of electronic devices and to those that have purchased them in the past to be vigilant of what may be taking place.

    The simple answer is yes, on occasions, they do appear to work to clean up some sections of pipework and some genuine testimonials are no doubt gained but at what cost. I tend to think along the lines that you do not get something for nothing from any technology…….something must give.

    In recent times numerous manufacturers have strayed from the basic well established sacrificial anode technology (the giving aspect) in pursuit of modern trends towards anything electronic, especially as this provides an opportunity for salesmen to tell a compelling “new-science” story to the gullible and with a bit of sales luck they manage to sell not one device but maybe three to a household; one on the mains intake, one just before the water heater and one on the outlet from a break-storage tank.

    The point that I am getting to is the role that corrosion plays in precipitating calcium carbonate and that corrosion exists in practically all water systems to some degree or other and this from day one. It’s this hidden fact that enables electronic devices to have any form of success at limiting or reducing the formation of hard lime-scale deposits.

    I give credit to at least one of the manufacturers as they openly state that their product requires a source of metallic ions to function but from where…….? Before and after photographs seem to “advertise” the fact that during the elimination of lime-scale the pipes become progressively more vulnerable to being leached into the flow of water, with countless micro galvanic cells eating into the pipe walls but this can only good for the function of electronic devices.

    The only way to be assured that protection and energy savings are optimised is to make the inner surfaces of the pipes etc., passive with an anode technology, preferably using zinc in a system that is maintained below 60ºC in order to avoid reversion and the flow to be no more than 2 mps., to limit erosion. This I believe to be the best solution, especially when pipes are hidden behind walls and under floors and this applies to systems that are fed with “soft” water.

    Why consider electronic devices with their 100+ days of money-back guarantees when the latest anode technology, currently in its final stage of development, has the solution to the past weakness of well established, scientifically acknowledged technologies. The new product is designed to operate 100% of the time, without the need for adjustments, without re-programming, without periodic cleaning the anode with chemicals, without an electrical supply or flashing lights, without concern for variable flow-rates, without concern for how “hard or soft” the water and all this until the anode is finally depleted and ready for its 5 minutes replacement. Costs are also brought down to Earth.

    I’m sorry guys but this is where I must declare an obvious vested interest in the product.

  216. Sadly it is quite obvious that Andrea doesn’t have much of a clue as to how conditioners work. Can you explain the “corrosion” bit ANDREA?

    1. An interesting point Gavin, and this is why I’ve moved from asking generally “do these things work” to asking for some more scientific evidence (and why it’s continually disappointing that vendors such as yourself have repeatedly failed to provide it).

  217. Rich,
    there is clear documented proof that sugar pills can help to aleviate the painful symptoms of arthritis…not to mention many other illnesses, diseases and discomforts.
    If a customer buys an electronic gizmo, installs it and is so inspired to apply a bit of extra effort…while trying to test its effectiveness, who are we to step on their sugar pills?
    Perhaps these devices are purely motivational…?
    All belief systems require varying degrees of personal perserverance… and few have much substantiation.
    There is a big difference between believing in an accepting manner and believing in a working manner.
    Without going too far into beliefs and belief systems or in other words going on a tangent, I THINK that there is a certain degree of need to believe in these devices without proof but not without extra effort.
    This is obviously not the religion of water treatment and I would encourage those concerned to THINK, examine the real evidence that is NOT BEING PRESENTED and evaluate just how much extra personal effort they have expended towards believing that these thingamabobs work.
    Anybody willing to put the effort into coming to an understanding with what has been presented so far shouldnt even be questioning whether this is a workable solution…or not.
    Where are the facts?
    This is a challenge that has been ignored from every possible angle.
    Where are the facts?

    X

    1. It’s quite easy to prove whether or not an electronic descaler works or doesn’t… WATCH FOR THE SCALE TO BUILD UP!

      I have a swamp cooler and scale build up on our pad (we have one of those really awesome single pad evap coolers from Phoenix Mfg.) is a real hassle.

      Previously, the scale buildup was greyish and horrible. Clogged up the pad and made it weigh a ton! We were using something called a “Haku Water Conditioner”, hooked up to our water inlet line and I don’t think it did a thing.

      Recently, we’ve purchased a “Scale Eliminator” cartridge (like for a refrigerator ice maker) and the scale buildup is much less and whitish in color, so I think it must be working… probably seriously overloaded, handling a near constant flow of water to the cooler, but… I can tell something is different.

      If a passive (magnetic) or active (electronic) “descaler” is effective, you will notice far less mineral deposits on your cooler pads over the course of a season or two of use, as I have with the “Scale Eliminator” cartridge (different device, but same effect desired).

      I think a single pad swamp cooler is the best/fastest way to see effective results, because if the minerals don’t stick to the pad, your pad will look wet, but almost new, year after year, til the pad just dies from normal age, not scale buildup!

      Now, I think one way these Descaler sellers could convince me to purchase their product is to send one to me at a 50-75% discount, on the condition that I document the results of it’s use and, upon seeing the desaired result within a season or two of use, pay the remainder of the full price.

      Afterall, if you KNOW your product will work, why would you be worried to wait a little while for the customer to see the result you KNOW they will see?

      People who trust their products and KNOW their products are as good as they advertise, are willing to put their money where their mouth is.

      You don’t need to “believe” in the unseen (sugar pill effect), if visible proof is what the device is supposed to show you. Just look for the result the product is supposed to offer. If you DON’T see scale buildup, great. If you do… then you know the product is a sham.

      I will be more than glad to test one of these devices, if someone will buy one for me (I don’t have $500-$1,000 or more to spend on such a device). I will take pictures as often as requested, with a time/date stamp in the picture.

      If the product works, I will PROVE it and put all doubt aside. If it doesn’t… I will still PROVE it and put all doubt aside.

  218. Andrea,
    First, I will give you some credit for the home-work you have done… but I must ask if your intent is to offer a prophylactic for pipe corrosion or lime scale?
    These two subjects are undoubtedly related but concern two entirely different aspects of water delivery systems.
    It would appear to me that you and at least one other contributor to this site may be in direct competition on the corrosion front but if I am not mistaken, the subject that ignited this site was limescale prevention.
    To put it another way, it would appear that at least two contributors to this site are offering ways to help insure that water…of whatever quality could potentially emerge from pipes whose lives (the pipes) could theoretically be extended.
    This does not appear to say anything for the quality of the water emerging from these pipes…and it does concern me that whatever has been added to protect metal..in whatever form may not be especially healthy for the biological units that said water is supposed to benefit.
    Two completely different subjects are now being discussed on this site and in fact, they (the two) have had a child.
    That child is human health.
    All aspects must be considered in light of the fact that at least some of this water will be consumed.
    Everlasting pipes and spot free bathroom fixtures mean nothing if nobody is left to call it good…agreed?
    Sacrificial anode… or whatever technology implies that something is being allowed or caused to (electrochemically) rot into the water for the purpose of protecting non-living mechanisms but says nothing for those who may actually consume the water.
    Life in itself is based on a delicate balance of chemicals and electrochemistry and at the core of this is water…at least here on earth.
    Clean pipes and shiny shower handles mean nothing if nobody is around to admire them.
    This is not a personal attack…but it may well be a general attack.
    Man has existed for quite some time consuming and bathing in the stuff that now appears to be an irritant.
    Lime or mineral scale saved the Romans from death from their lead-pipe technology (look it up!).
    To all concerned and to all who appear to show little to no concern I say this: Profiting Blindly on the alteration of the water molecule and its naturally occouring mineral/chemical partners with anything less than a complete understanding of the long term biological effects is nothing short of a crime.
    And many do not care.

    X

  219. This is perhaps the bottom line…?

    There are scientists…people who actually attempt to understand the world from as many aspects as it is possible for each of them to grasp that are interested in this subject (water conditioning)…in an informed manner.

    They do not appear to comment on sites like this and as an analytical commentator, I must surmise that they choose not to comment because this is not only a poorly defined science but a potentially dangerous one.

    Those seeking profit while ignoring the clear lack of reinforcing and or counter-benfecial evidence as relates to what they are promoting could be playing with fire for generations yet unborn.

    Water is the essence of life here on mother earth and if you cannot guarantee that your product offerings represent a better biological situation than letting the pipes rot, the shower fixtures corrode and the Tea Kettle scale up, you are simply a profiteer.

    Tape worms were once sold in the American West as a miracle weight-loss mechanism with the claim of “no ill effects”.

    Anybody ready to swallow one of these “miracles” in today’s (better)informed society?

    If you cannot offer even so much as a scientifically-backed partial substantiation for the claims you present with some slight degree of credibility…why are you wasting the world’s time?

    The day of the small-print advertisement about tape-worms in a tiny wild-west newspaper are done and gone. You now speak to the world when you post claims on the WWW.
    You are open to comments just like the one you are now reading…on a world-wide-basis.

    Now, your potential is greater than ever if you can offer proper substantiation…and smaller than ever if you cannot (or choose not) to do so.

    Where is (what is the opinion of) the SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY (which is growing exponentially) on this subject? Are there no experts willing to back or flush (yes a toilet reference) this subject?

  220. Gavin,
    I couldn’t help but notice your comment that read as follows:

    Sadly it is quite obvious that Andrea doesn’t have much of a clue as to how conditioners work. Can you explain the “corrosion” bit ANDREA?

    Perhaps it is time for you Gavin to step up and explain the referenced subject and better yet, how it applies to the product you promote.

    I am not defending Andrea…or anybody for that matter; however, you appear to have gone on the attack so I would like to know what is in your arsenal before I can offer up any sort of respect for your comments.

    Get just as technical and complex as you choose to so long as you base your comments on reality and factual information.

    Conversely, you can simply tell me that I dont have a clue…or just ignore me and either way, we will all know where we stand.

    X

  221. It would appear… No, actually it is pretty clear that those offering electronic water conditioners do not have much more than unsubstantiated claims to offer up.
    At this point in time, nobody has offered up anything to even suggest in a factual manner that this is no more than wishful thinking that results in profits for the undeserving.
    How about presenting something more than fantasy?
    All you have to do is present proof and your market is set!
    Otherwise, all you are offing is “stuff to toy with” that some may temporairly believe in….perhaps even so much as to write a “testimonial”.
    Unfortunately for the masses, it is extremely rare for the writer of a personal testimonial to write a second commentary that starts out with “Upon further review…”.
    It is even rarer that such a second looks makes a public appearance.
    As such, testimonials typically represent a first opinion that the testifier is far to embarrased to counterclaim.
    If you are going to accept honestly earned cash, ofer up some proof that you honestly earn the cash you accept.
    x

  222. Lunns of Farnborougth…LP stockists for 10 years
    Winchmore Hill Plumbing …LP stockists for 10 years
    P.J.Drew Caversham…LP stockists for 10 years
    123 Plumbing & Heating Poole…stock and fit LP’s Corgie registered 10 years

    I mean really WOULD THEY really stock and sell my products if they didn’t work? Ask them. And do you know what….THEY NEVER GET ONE BACK AND HAVE REPEAT CUSTOMERS!

    PS: Your spell checker isn’t working!

    Cheers

    Gavin

    1. Gavin,
      Let’s not create unnecessary distractions or “side routes” to send other brains meandering about.
      I am not at all impressed by the fact that you have made and continue to make sales.
      I am not in the least impressed that you have long term cooperatives…who may not be especially pleased that you openly named them in public forum.
      The fact is that you have yet to present anything even remotely similar to proof that your devices have any effect on water or the stuff it may be carrying.
      “Ha, Ha…been too busy making money to type” comments do not satisfy anybody’s curiosity as to whether you product has any actual or useful effect.
      X

  223. Health issues aside I simply cannot see how applying a low level of RF to the outside of a copper pipe can have the slightest effect on the contents of that pipe. Surely the “skin effect” simply won’t allow the energy to enter the pipe?

    I do feel there is a large placebo effect going on here, if you spend enough money on a product it must do some good and if you believe strongly enough you will see the results.

    If these units are generating an RF field I also wonder how much radio interference they create?

    John W.

  224. John
    Why don’t you ring Travis at the Milton De Vere Hotel near Abingdon. He is the maintenance mamager there and has had an LP3 on his steam generator for over a year.

    Just ask him what the results have been and how much money our unit has saved him nd how spa customers can now enjoy the steam room whereas once they could not.

    Ask him if it is a “placebo” effect and you may well get an earful of richly deserved choice language.

    As for radio interference, please look at the frequencies used and you will se that even the harmonics couldn’t reach frequencies used in “radios” as you quiantly call them.

    NEXT?

  225. Don’t Know if it will help anyone but I have a ” little Plumber ” fitted to the cold water mains at my house. It has been there for 6 ish years now and I have no scale problems any more. I used to be replacing kettles every 2-3 months as I live in a very hard water area.
    Ps I am the local electrician in my local area and have lost count of the amount of showers and immersion heaters I have replaced. Judge for yourself.

  226. Yes Gavin,
    If there is a profit to be made on an unsubstantiated (but reasonably unchallenged) product, there will be plenty of people available to try to exploit it for all it is worth.
    Four all you could find?
    X

  227. I use a product purchased from HydroFlow Canada. It just clips onto the cold water pipe just before it enters the hot water tank. The unit works great….no more milky looking glasses and dingy looking silverware. I previously had a traditional water softener and used potassium, but the potassium was getting so expensive, not to mention having to lift those heavy bags was becoming a chore!
    Go Green…..Go HydroFlow!

  228. Hi John
    Gavin here. We make and sell the Little Plumber range and have done for over 10 years.
    The frequencies used do easily penetrate the copper pipes as indeed they do all pipes including plastic. Not terribly well on lead!
    The reason is that the frequencies are very low, almost in the audio range and so imagine yourself inside a copper pipe and someone is “singing” outside..you would hear it.
    The frequencies are again too low to affect radios.

    Placebo effect? The guys who stock and use our products aforementioned are pretty hardened businessmen. I don’t think they would have stocked items for the last 10 years and have their customers come back and tell them the their water had improved because it was in their minds. Paul at 123 Plumbing and Heating buys these units every week and fits them BECAUSE people call him and ask him to BECAUSE friends of theirs have LP units and love them. No sorry, you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but NOT all the people all the time.
    If you want to call these guys up the ‘phone numbers on on our site. They will tell you that THEY DO NOT GET THEM BACK and customers love them. Call them !!!

    Gavin

  229. There is a very easy way to determine if this technology actually works, and that is to conduct a small home experiment. First, find a water pipe which is heavily scaled and scrape out as much of the scale as possible (at least one teaspoon full), and dump this scale into an ordinary drinking water glass. Fill the glass about 3/4 full with ordinary tap water and stir the contents thoroughly, then allow the sediment to sink to the bottom of the glass. Procure and place beside the drinking glass any magnetic or electronic device of your choice which purports to affect limescale buildup in any way. When you are satisfied that your device is properly positioned, stir your mixture again and note the effect of having the “device” in the presence of your scale mixture. If the scale mixture sediment does not sink to the bottom of the glass and behave exactly as if the device was not present, rush out and buy as many as you can, because you are about to get very wealthy very quickly. While you are at it, better call a few of those science television shows like “Discover” because you are about to become famous…

  230. Yes Gavin, they would…so long as money is being made, the would and they will.
    They are no different than the manufacturer who would sell a product without proof that it does anything.
    It is all about dollars…not sense.
    Perhaps you should raise the price… you might sell even more!

    X

  231. I would really like to thank “X” for his adult sense of reasoning on this issue. It’s really refreshing to listen to a person that seems to have his/her head screwed on correctly.
    Our planet seems to be driven by so many belief systems and just take a look at it and you can see just how effective these beliefs are.
    I was searching for information about tankless water heaters knowing full well what will happen to any device that boils the water I get here in California. So my search included references to hard water and that’s how I got here.
    Again thanks all and if you want to believe in something try music.

  232. Hey Rich… has anybody sent you anything to test/observe/record?
    Seems to me that any manufacturer who is too busy to talk to you must be in an adequately comfortable position such as to send you one to test…does it not?
    How long has it been since you offered to test whatever was sent to you?
    How many units have you been sent?
    Are you thinking what I am thinking?
    x

    1. In order:

      Anything to test: No.
      Busy / comfortable: Probably.
      How long: Ages!
      How many under test: 0.00 units
      Are you thinking what I’m thinking: Was your card the Jack of Spades?

  233. John,

    In effect the frequencies generated by our products anyway, the Little Plumber, are very low so can easily penetrate copper and indeed most materials including plastic.
    Imagine yourself inside a copper tube and someone “taps” on the outside. You would hear it. The frequencies used are nearly in the audio range. Again the radio interference you allude to is an impossibiklity given the range of requencies used as they are just too low to be picked up by normal receivers.

    As to the “placebo” effect. I really don’t think the likes of P.J.Drew of Caversham or Winchmore Hill Plumbing in London (to name but two) would continue to stock these products for 10 years if all their customers experience was a placebo effect.

    Hope this helps.

    Gavin

    1. That’s the point of the placebo effect Gavin! The customer has no measured record of precisely how bad their scale problem is, so they pay money for a device that will improve it. Thus they want to believe they are seeing an improvement, so they convince themselves that they are. The flip-side is the “oh shit I’ve wasted the bosses money” effect, where the buyer fears for their career progression having been taken in by smoke and mirrors, so they keep schtum. Once you throw in the cost of taking the machine out once everything has been plumbed in, it’s obvious to all but the most stubborn of observers that these machines are low-cost enough to be tried, but if (or when) they don’t work it’s too much hassle and cost to take them back to the shop.

      I’d like my concern, my doubt, to be alleviated by myriad evidence from different manufacturers of electronic limescale inhibitors, but that kind of evidence is difficult to find. Facts would make the placebo effect irrelevant, facts would alleviate doubt, facts would sell these products: why are there so few independently verified facts?

  234. Aaahh miraculously appeared. Must have been stuck in the system.
    Facts are that my stockists have been selling these products for 10 years so the placebo effect must be amazing!!

  235. Oh and by the way, the guy at the De Vere Hotel in Milton, his name is Travis now tells me he hasn’t had to change his steam generation canister for over a year saving hin a fortune in time and money. It used to scale up every week. So delighted is he that he told his pal over in Chelteneham and they now have an LP3 too. But of course these are not FACTS as such are they? Or maybe they are.

  236. …or maybe they arent…or maybe they are… or maybe they arent.

    Gavin… they are not facts!

    Facts imply something… and that would be that factual information is available to back up a statement.
    A fact is not a fact without smaller facts that add up and make a fact.
    Each of those little contributing facts must be a fact before they collectively equal a fact when tossed together.
    The fact that you are making sales makes it a fact that you are a salesman.
    As such, I truly believe that you may indeed be quite the salesman…assuming that your sales are as good as you have attempted to indicate by claiming to be to busy to talk about it.
    Still, as I lack concrete proof, I cannot call you a thief outright…for while you offer no proof that your device does anything at all, nobody of real importance…such as a university or government agency has really offered their credentials either way.
    Unchallenged, you can make any claim you wish about your product with the only (possible) threat being that of having to cease and desist…eventually.
    By the way, Audio and Electromagnetic energy at Audio frequencies are related only in frequency.
    Your reply to John is insulting…unless you truly believe what you state and then whell, you are indeed a fool!
    Imagine if I tapped on a copper pipe with a Coconut… no Cocomagnetic energy would be transferred…or would it?
    Hmm… Cocowater!
    X

  237. Gavin,
    please post a link or two to the Hotel in Minton… I would like to have an opportunity to chat with Travis and his superiors.
    I am certain that others would like the same opportunity as well.

    X

    1. Sorry have been on a wet break in Dorset.

      Yes Travis is happy to be contacted at the De Vere Milton (not Minton) and the reception number is 0844 980 2314.

      The steam generator in question is in the lesiure spa which is part of the hotel. Travis (I am sorry I don’t know his surname)will confirm all we say.

      Gavin

  238. What is a steam generation canister?
    Is this another one of those elusive terms that will never actually be explained?
    I have heard of heaters and I have heard of boilers… so where does a steam generation canister come into play?
    How often is a steam generation canister typically replaced?
    Would a “steam generation canister” benefit from a “vented tank in the loft”…or are all of these terms just more crapola?
    Any time Mr. Travis Nolastname that works for the De Vere hotel that is apparently in Minton and near Abingdon wants to jump in an provide comments and contact info is OK with me.
    I simply hate unsubstantiated claims so if you want to pull this up and out of the mud, I suggest you get Travis a last name, an identity/web presence and the backing of his employer…plus the ability to confer with him on this subject.
    What do ya know….?
    Here is a public discussion a guy like Travis could jump into and perhaps save your reputation… or ruin his own for your benefit.
    You have no proof to offer….right?
    You have nothing but claims and testimonials that are no better than cardboard superhero cutouts…right?

    X

    1. I paid special attention to page 34 and avoided the rest of the report.
      If this is an authentic document with credentials that can be confirmed,page 34 pretty much says it all.
      I am not completely familiar with the structure or interpretation of links such as the one you have posted but I must ask if there is any possibility of finding this PDF on a site that ends with “.org” or “.gov”?
      To Rephrase this:

      My brief look at what you presented (with emphasis on page 34) appears to indicate that these devices are a waste of time and money in terms the average person would understand.

      1. The .mil domain is restricted to US military use, so we can trust its authenticity. Page 34 is therefore rather damning – thanks for the link enb54!

        To summarise Page 34:

        This study concludes that these results indicate no clear advantage for any of the three devices tested over a control for the inhibition of mineral scale formation or the corrosion of copper. These findings do not support the claims of the manufacturers regarding the ability of their respective devices to prevent mineral scale formation in hot potable water systems.

  239. Hi.
    I bought a little plumber solo ( the battery operated one) 19 months ago directly from their web site..
    I excitedly fitted and enjoyed testing the water. We waited and waited to see some difference in the water quality.
    We are still cleaning the lime scale off shower heads. sinks kettles as much as we were before.
    We live in a small 2 bedroom house,
    We conntacted little plumber for a refund if promised 10 months after buying as no difference was noticed (they advised when i bought that i could have my money back if did not work)
    Could i get my money back?? what do you reckon??

    1. Paul

      I keep an exact record of everyone who has ever bought directly from us. I do NOT remember anyone contacting us saying their LP SOLO didn’t work so why don’t you come forward and tell us who you really are?

      There is no-one who having returned an LP has not received a refund immediately so I strongly suspect you are not who you say you are or have never asked for a refund !!!

      Gavin

      1. Paul provided an email address with his comment, so I’ve sent him a message to alert him to Gavin’s interest.

  240. Paul,
    Even if you get every cent back, you will have lost and they will have gained.
    Aside from the fact that your time was wasted, you have been separated from your money and they have had control of it for many months.
    Your ability to use that cash as you choose which could have included investing it became their ability to use that cash as they chose and will remain their cash up and until the instant it is back in your control…if it ever is.
    You alone will not produce their wealth but many like you will feed the cash pool that will grow if properly managed…and if people keep sending them more money.
    If I could just get enough people to send me enough money so that I could sit on it for a year or two before (possibly) returning (some of) it, I might never have to work again.
    I would be somewhat surprised if you reported a full refund sometime in the future but even if you do, you have lost and they have gained.
    You have heard the term “Time is Money” and that is in essence the truth for Wise investors including the honest ones and the others.
    I realize that this is a lot to think about and could seem to confuse the issue but it may also help to clarify what is going on here (within this subject).
    It does not appear to matter if your water pipes are protected, if your shower is spot free or if your tea kettle stays clean of scale… as long as a profit is being made… agreed?

  241. I encourage all to refer to the comments submitted by enb54 as it seems to end the arguement.
    Better yet, I encourage all to refer to the Link provided by this person.

    Nonetheless, I know that this is not the end of the argument because nobody has stepped up (with authority) and demanded a “put up or shut up / prove it or cease and desist” order.

    So long as there are people to be suckered, there will be people willing to make suckers of them!

    W.C. Fields made two comments relative to suckers and water many years ago.

  242. Hi Guys

    Well here we are still selling those LITTLE PLUMBERS that “don’t” work. I think you’ll agree that 10 years is a long time to be selling products that “don’t” work and certainly some of our stockists like Delta Plumbing in Weymouth or Winchmore Hill Plumbing in London or 123 Plumbing and Heating in Poole must have been beseiged by queues of customers all demanding their money back. But do you know what the answer is NO they don’t have this problem and actually keep buying them from us.

    1. Hi Gavin, to my eyes, the money back guarantee is a hollow sales gimmick: it does not prove that your devices work, because it costs customers additional money and upheaval beyond the initial fitting cost to remove and return one of your units.

      Remember, I want your units to work, I would like the technology to be a success, so can you show us evidence that disagrees with the independent tests conducted by the US Military which appeared to refute claims that electronic limescale inhibitors (such as your Little Plumber range) work?

  243. Gavin,
    there are plenty of things out there that don’t work that continue to sell. Are we supposed to be impressed with the fact that you can make sales?
    The “Pet Rock” made sales for the person that took it to market…and somehow, I find that somewhat respectable.
    It was a joke…not a misrepresentation and when people bought the rock, they knew what they were getting.
    Since you dont seem to be able to offer any real credentials, I will have to assume that your product and the pet rock apply similar concepts….however,I can’t remember if the rocks were guaranteed.

  244. Hi

    Been away for a few days to Dorset.

    I am keen to have this debate resolved as to whether “Paul” did try or attempt to try to return an LP SOLO to us for a refund. As mentioned, we keep a record of all direct sales through our internet site http://www.littleplumber.com so can easily trace him.

    We do not however have a record of those products sold though our stockists.

    Can the “Paul” who said he attempted to return the SOLO step forward.

    Rich, you seem to agree with him so I expect you to make as much of an effort to resolve this as I intend to.

    It’s quite one thing to question the efficacy of our products but quite another to state that we do not honour our money back guarantees. This is a commercially damaging accusation which at this stage we would like resolved amicably. But,the sooner the better!

    Gavin

      1. Wow a debate.
        Not who i say i am. Well i assure you i am Paul. I come from Bath..well just outside Bath.
        I bought My little Plumber solo on a web site call great ideas or something..I’ll try and find details.. It,s got lots of enviromentaly sound gadgets on.

        I call them and asked to return but they said i had 28 days under distant selling act or something.
        If i can return direct to manufacturer that would be great. It still doesn’t work.

        If i’m not Paul who am i ?? seems such a strange thing to say.

    1. “Green thinking” that what it was called.. Ok i see my problem.. I said i had contacted little plumber direct…ooop !! Sorry.. I wasn’t sure who i contacted, thought my guarantee was with Green thinking not little plumber,,, Sorry to little plumber direct who i seem to have offended.
      I can see your point. Was long time ago and i forget what i did yesterday let along my random internet transactions.

  245. Rich,
    I fear that I have not played nicely with Gavin.
    Despite the fact that his arguments seem to be more of a diversion than anything else, he does at least deserve the opportunity to present conclusive factual evidence that his products do…well something.
    Challenging the guarantee or demeaning it simply detracted from the real intent which was and is to prove that the devices are more than a bunch of Crapola.
    Therefore, for the minute, I am dropping my challenge concerning guarantees, refunds and actual costs as this seems to be counterproductive.
    All I want is some concrete proof and it appears that the only guarantee is that there is none to be had.
    I really do not care about Guarantees…they NEVER recoup all that was lost.
    Let us not waste any more time on what will be done if the product fails to perform and put the focus on proving that it does perform…before anybody wastes anymore money!
    Agreed?

    X

  246. Hi

    Richard, you don’t seem to have got round to “moderating” my last blog. I say that the name of the guy at the DeVere Hotel, Milton near Abingdon is Travis Butler and he is happy to take calls about our products from anyone who is seriously interested. If you recall it was our LP3 unit which for over 12 months has kept the Steam Generator clear of scale much to his delight and showing huge savings too.

    With regard to Paul and the LP SOLO. We do supply a number of GREEN websites and Green Thinking is one of them. I have contacted them this morning to see if they know anything about a “Paul” trying to return a product to them. At the moment they don’t but they are investigating his claim.

    While you are welcome to your views that Guarantees mean nothing I am afraid that those of us who live in the real world take them very seriously, In fact the Green Thinking site clearly states returns procedures for all its products so that a buyer knows before hand what his rights are.

    While I accept that it’s great to keep a Blog running and I love this one! I think you should seriously consider what you say about manufacturers Guarantees in the future since as I have said before we take them very very seriously.

    Cheers

    Gavin

    1. Hi Gavin, I have no idea what ‘your last “blog”‘ was. There’s nothing in the queue here, but you’re welcome to repost it – the last message from you was about your Dorset holiday. Lovely I’m sure: nice part of the world.

      You’re also actively encouraged to present any evidence that refutes or questions the method of the US Military’s independent tests which suggest that products such as yours do not work.

  247. Paul,
    Were the two LED indicators operating as described in the IOM manual?
    If they were, then the unit was indeed operating as some machines with multicolored LED indicators do.
    Bear in mind that if the power LED fails to illuminate, the signal LED will not (should not) illuminate… but if the signal LED is illuminated when the power LED is not, the unit could be operating with a red-green imbalance and the power to signal ratio could be dangerously low.
    I would definitely shield the genitals with lead before approaching as red without green has always worried me.
    It is certainly a shame that they do not manufacture LED indicators that produce more peaceful or unassuming colors like Beige or olive drab… is it not?
    If they did, one could simply look at the unit and say something like “hmm” in a non-verbal manner and proceed with the day as if nothing had changed.

    X

  248. Could one of you Rocket Surgeons explain the term “Steam Generation Canister” and how the generated steam…that I assume comes from the steam generation area of the hotel is utilized? How much does it cost to replace a steam generation canister on average? Are there other sacrificial parts that add to the cost? What are these parts? Travis Butler is welcome to jump in here anytime and remove this confusion if possible…you know…as a qualified representative of the DeVere Hotel, Milton near Abingdon.
    Perhaps somebody aboard the QEII is treating the entire ocean with the BFP-TRIO unit?
    Who knows?
    X

  249. Ok, I found the bit about the steam generator and see that a steam sauna is referenced…and that makes sense!
    So, what we are really saying is that water containing a certain mineral concentration that would normally leave a certain type of residue when the water is boiled off into steam does not do so once the water has passed through a few inches of helical windings attached to a plastic box…or something like that…?
    Are the materials that would have been left behind in the untreated water now entering another dimension and ceasing to exist? Is our world being sent down an interdimensional drain one water spot after another?
    Should I be worried about this?
    If only I had some Beige sunglasses!
    X

    1. X Now your being Nasty. Even Gavin knows that his devices don’t really work but every has a right to try and make a living somehow . Maybe if you could send you plans for the water being send into another dimension they could whip up another device that works within certain hotels. Possibly sending the limescale into this other dimension and leaving it there. If this works can i have a share in the profits.
      Sorry no Beige sunglasses. Girlfriend has some sparkly gold ones though. Can look beigish under certain conditions.. Will they do??

  250. Agreed Paul… I am a nasty man when it comes to making a living from turning out sucker-bait.
    Nonetheless, I agree that everybody does indeed have the right to try to earn a living and hopefully in such a manner that allows them to sleep at night.
    Beigish is good but sparkly gold sounds even better…!
    X

  251. On the other hand, while no wanting to pull back my comments, I suspect that I am now talking to two Pauls…
    Rich, is this the case?
    X

    1. If the little picture in the corner of two comments does not match, the authors have not provided the same email address, so you have to make your own decision about whether its the same person.

  252. Yep…I already knew that but it had never occured to me that even a typo could net the same result.
    I certainly hope that I have no yet again produced a typo laden comment… Gavin’s spell checker (in contrast to his product) is known to be effective!
    x

    1. Not two Pauls just one.. Though amazed i keep coming back. Few glasses on red wine and i trawl the net for something to do. Everybody very suspicious on here though..But then i guess we are all talking about a machine that doesn’t work. I am now trying to turn my spare bedroom into a time machine and will be using my Little Plumber Solo as one of the parts. Can’t tell you what else i’m using at this moment just in case it works. Don’t want you stealing my ideas.

      1. Also Gavin. If my time machine does work i’ll allow you to use me as one of your success stories just like those hotels and other important clients who say the little plumbers are magic. Although if you start to sell as parts of time machines i’m gonna wanna take a cut.. 50/50 sound ok??

      2. Confirm: I see only 1 Paul…. The IP addresses match. What we don’t know is if these are in fact one Paul revisiting the same point in time on two separate machines, thus appearing to be two people and confirming the success of the time machine before it has been completed.

  253. It makes perfect sense to me…although I do feel inclined to warn Paul that somewhere out there in hyperspace is a rematerializing mass of water spots that are increasing at a rate that keeps the manufacturer of the device that creates them too busy to comment.
    On the other hand, he could be traveling through Hydrospace and having a little plunger (no typo) along could ease certain restrictions.
    Paul…was it like a white light at the end of a long tunnel or more like a thick swim through dark matter?
    What color of wine is best…red or white?
    What color of glasses is best…red, white or beige?
    You know, somebody could jump in here at any time, present some factual evidence and make us all look like a bunch of buffoons…but I’m fairly certain that Paul will exceed light speed through pond scum before that happens!
    Paul… earlier posts caused suspicion…especially by this Guy/Girl/Man/Woman thing that used to post here.
    I dont care if you read this now, yesterday or sometime beyond tomorrow…whatever works for you.
    Enjoy!
    X

    1. Having little success with Time Machine. Will give it a little longer and then give up. I May even be crazy!!! and try and soften water with it again using the cosmic rays or what ever it does. My cat Jim Bob does like playing with the leads. I may wrap it round his paws and see if it softens his fur. Again Gavin if it does work if want 50/50. Eventually we may even find something it does do successfully . Well apart from cat toy.

      Red wine is good for idea’s i find and i love the idea of beige sunglasses. Followed a beige Mini on the way home, it looked good. Not enough beige stuff about anymore. Bring on the beige !!! Gavin, you can that idea for free..

  254. Gavin,
    what does your country have to say about the “efficacy” of your products?
    Please take as long as you need to dig up an answer that any branch of your country’s government is willing to stand behind.
    Please don’t forget to post the actual links as vague references have about the same value as testimonials.
    X

  255. Doesn’t say much for the integrity of your contributors. I wouldn’t believe anything they say in future and red wine or not I don’t take kindly to people making accusations that we don’t honour our guarantees. This is from Green Thinking the Company that Paul says he bought our SOLO from.

    “Hi Gavin,

    Just been reading that forum where this ‘Paul’ is claiming that we refused to refund him. Firstly I can assure anyone that we would never have said anything like the following statement ‘I call them and asked to return but they said i had 28 days under distant selling act or something.’ We have a 7 day no quibble refund policy on all products and past that will sort issues out under the manufacturer’s warranty if the product is faulty. Apart from on your products where as you know they can claim a full refund within a 12 month period which again as you know we honour this policy as we claim the refund back from yourself.

    Further to the above, I have searched our records and can find no record of selling an LP solo to anyone called Paul. I can’t find any record of the sale or any request for a refund. Have you checked your records to see if asked you to send an LP Solo to anyone called Paul? I would assume he just Googled the product to see who else sells them and just picked us as random.

    Many thanks,

    Alex Newby

    Managing Director
    Green Thinking.”

    I think this is probably where I quit BOAKES as I am increasingly uncomfortable with it’s integrity and that of it’s contributors……Gavin

    1. Guess things getting tough.. People not agreeing with you, better run away. Give me your address and i’ll send you your item that i didn’t buy???? I’ll trust you to refund me. I’ll want full refund plus Royal mail signed for delivery please. Then you can stop telling me i didn’t buy. Is that ok?

  256. Thanks Gavin, it was fun but you are only damaging your business opportunities by hanging around here and bantering with jerks that want proof….not to mention jerks that smell the makings of a feeding frenzy.
    Chances are, you are taking on water…perhaps more than if you had just gone about business as usual and not presented yourself as chum.
    Paul could indeed be a complete fake…which differs from you in what way?
    And…as a side note for future reference: I turned from an analytical observer/smartass commenter into whatever you prefer to refer to me as at the instant that you mentioned the spellchecker thing.
    Thank you Richard Noggin!
    X

  257. Hi,

    The situation seems to have got a little bitchy since my last visit so I thought to try to get back to the mechanics of electronic devices may be a good thing.

    Some electronic devices over the past 20 years have proved to be capable of functioning with various water temperatures and are unaffected by differing flow rates but they do rely upon a source of metallic particles or trace elements that more than likely come from ongoing electrolysis or erosion activity within the system, therefore, the thinning of pipes and water channels in heat exchangers are at possible risk.

    A possible half-truth statement for marketing electronic devices is that “crystal growth is preceded by nucleation, although the actual mechanism for nucleation is still uncertain”. Electromagnetic devices certainly need products of corrosion in order to function, leached or otherwise already within the incoming water supply.

    Electronic devices are known to have diminishing impulses in the region of pipe-couplings, valves and bends that interfere with the direction of flow and it is at these vulnerable points that corrosion due to erosion is most likely to occur. Miniscule amounts of leached zinc, etc., from pipes and fittings are believed to be responsible for affecting the precipitation of lime-scale, with no evidence that electromagnet fields by themselves have any direct affect.
    The only way that a galvanic circuit for the prevention of corrosion can function, without causing any covert damage, comprises the metals at risk connected intimately or by wire to the anode that is in contact with non-pure water that is in contact with the metals at risk. This principal is sound and fully recognised by the science of civil engineering for corrosion protection and if zinc is the preferred material for the anode the following publication of its lime-scale precipitation benefits will provide conclusive reading:
    PP Coetzee*, M Yacoby and S Howell Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Hand Afrikaans University, PO Box 524, Johannesburg 2006, South Africa
    Abstract
    “Zinc species released from the surface of physical water treatment devices into the feed water are shown to be primarily responsible for scale inhibition effects observed in three different types of physical water treatment (PWT) devices. The three types of PWT devices included units based on a magnetic field provided by a permanent magnet; a high frequency electric field; and a “catalytic conversion” process. Freshly released zinc from PWT devices was shown to have a marked effect on the induction period for CaCO3 precipitation and on the crystal morphology of CaCO3.
    No measurable effect on the crystallization reaction for calcium carbonate ascribable to the magnetic or electrical fields caused by the devices under investigation could be found.”

    Be honest Little Plumber person, why do you think that your electronic device or any other actually works?

  258. I should have thought that four months is quite long enough for an explanation as to how Little Plumber works without causing long term damage to the installations that they are attached.

  259. I found this website when looking for information on the electronic water deioniser which is what I think we have in our house. My mum bought one years and years ago and its been under the kitchen sink, red light blinking away at me plugged into the wall and I havent really given it much of a thought. Until yesterday, when it turns out in October (4 months ago) she installed an outside tap and at the same time removed the electronic thing because it was getting in her way. I think it must have worked because our kitchen tap now has limescale build up on it at the base when it never did before, I’ve also noticed our taps have been dripping a lot lately but never really thought a lot to it just kept thinking I wasnt turning them off properly! Also when thinking about it my skin has been a lot drier recently and itchy and when I mentioned it to her in this conversation she said hers had been the same. So what the box actually did I don’t know because I havent yet been able to find a definitive answer on how they work, I’m not sure where she’s put it but I want to find out the name of the product and do a bit more research. The limescale is a definite thing, we didnt have it before when the box was on and we have it now, now the box is off. I’ll go check the kettle too actually. The dry/itchy skin thing is a bit more difficult to attribute to not having it as there are so many other factors involved but it makes sense to me. Once my mum’s back I will get the box put back on and see what happens to the tap! (and our skin!) Charlotte (Suffolk)

  260. Scrape some limescale out of the bottom of your kettle, buy a powerful neodymium magnet off ebay or find/borrow the best one you can get and try to pick up some limescale with it, if you get lots buy a commercial one, if you get nothing then it’s a hoax.

    1. Better still Craig than a magnet……….to get my point try the strongest of magnets in close proximity to a fine stream of tap water and see the effect…..absolutely nothing but then try combing your hair and then put the comb close to the stream of water and maybe you will appreciate that you have wasted your money buying a magnet or come to think of it, the money you would waste buying an electronic treater device. Respond to me if you are sincere of learning the best product to adopt.

  261. The response seems a little coincidental and maybe Charlotte’s unit will turn out to be a Little Plumber afterall, suprise, suprise!
    My question was, “why do you think that your electronic device or any other similar product actually works?”. There are many electronic devices that have a no-risk-free basis in order to function as they do require products of corrosion from some soarse in order to “work” and that is why the risk is there for the premature thinning out of pipework that results in pin-hole leaks at best.

  262. I found this on which.co.uk (which? magazine’s website) when I searched for “Water Softeners”

    Thank you for your search in this area. Chemical based Water Softeners work with little variation, but electric and magnetic treatments have little scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Which? is a non-profit organisation and regretfully testing these products would be beyond our resources, due to the length of time required to test and the cost.”

    I think this clearly expresses Which?’s opinion on electronic/magnetic water treatment – i.e not worth buying.

  263. I have tried reverse osmosis & two different types of crystal purifiers NO none of them work & sure before I go out there again & spend MORE cash without any guarantees where do i go now maybe someone out there can send me some positive ideas, the lime scale build up is destroying my hot & cold water systems. thanks

  264. I have recently moved from Oxford were I had a Kinetico water softener to Southampton. At my new property I have a Calmag CalTronic Electronic device that wraps round the pipe work. This looks like it has been installed since 8/8/2009 and my pipe work and boiler are completely free of scale. Because I have always known water softeners to be the solution to limescale I looked at the cost of salt I was using previous (I spent a fortune), the waste water from the regenerating and the impact of this on the environment, and I am sure that the electronic solution is the cheaper, green, planet friendly and maintenance free solution. I can only tell you this from personal experience and I am sure that others have had negative experiences but so far I am delighted with having more money in my pocket, I’m not polluting the planet and I don’t have to worry about topping up my softener.
    I hope this helps people with their own decision. By the way I had no problems with the water softener but I didn’t know that an other option was available.

  265. Normally, on evaporation, hard water causes the formation of calcite which sticks to available surfaces. If hard water passes through a magnetic field any resultant crystals of hardness are affected and form a much smaller crystal of a substance (with the same chemical formula) called arragonite which does not adhere to surfaces but forms a small-grained grit. The most effective units are those using wound electromagnetic coils as those using permanent magnets tend to lose their effectiveness after a few years. Salt based resin ion exchangers tend to increase the sodium content of water and are not recommended for infants and adults with heart and kidney conditions. B.R.E. researched these units some years ago.

  266. In 93-94 i went to a diy show and bought an electronic descaler for the house i just moved into ( built in 1965 still with original piperwork ) , the sales rep had a good pitch and it had flashy lights and i was flush with money – after about a week and for the next moth grit and bits started falling ot of the taps and the flow got better, I have just replaced the boiler (2012) and the plumber tried to grab every bit of copper piping in the house. – on the incoming water line before the tank they were all clean – zero deposit, you could see the copper on the inside of the pipe. After the tank not so hot but still not enough to kill the flow – but probaly enough to have killed my expensive shower thermostat.

    I should point out these things are not teleport devices, they dont make lime dissapear, they move the limescale along the pipe and into; the kettle / toilet bowl / shower head holes / pots etc, so the only way you would know its working is if you suddenly saw more limescale outside.

    The real problem is all these machines / magnets have invisble effects so any con artist can but up a look alike on ebay – in my 93 house there was an inline magnet- huge thing , that brand is still advertised today ( i am on line looking for one for the new house, just moved), when the plumbing was tweaked i took it out and had a play , its as magnetic as a mars bar !

  267. At our office we had an electric kettle. With 20 people the kettle got very heavy use, and would scale up very quickly and burn out in about 6 weeks. After a series of new kettles a wall mounted heater was fitted. The flow rate deteriorated over a period of 4 weeks and it also burnt out. Same thing happened to its replacement. An electronic scale inhibitor was then fitted (make unknown), and it never went wrong after that.
    I subsequently fitted a Permutit model in my house, and you could see the bits of scale coming out of the tap. Over a period of 3 years I never had to descale my kettle or shower head.
    The office subsequently moved to Basingrad and one was fitted there, but it did not work.
    I also moved and fitted a different make in my current house. It does work, but it is not as good as the Permutit and I do have to descale the kettle and shower about once a year. My conclusion is some work better than others, and some are an outright con. I do recall the Telegraph newspaper did some research into it and carried out a long term test with positive results, which is what made me buy the Permutit.

  268. I live in a hard water area of London and I buy citric acid which costs about £10 per kilo to descale the appliances, a teaspoon in every wash. If thought one of these things worked I would buy it like a shot but the evidence is just not there that I can see. Too many mixed results no proper scientific papers or interdependent tests that I can find.
    Would love to find a proper peer reviewed paper.

  269. Why do all industries which are dependent upon soft water use ion exchangers (Na-exchangers or full de-mineralizing units)?
    No boiler house, no commercial laundry and no paint manufacturer uses one of these magnetic devices.
    I’ve installed ion exchange units in industry, with filter beds of several m³, which cost thousands of $. Had there been a cheaper solution we would have used it. There is no cheap solution. Magnetic modification of calcium crystals is a temporary effect, no solution to limescale attacks.
    If you install an ion exchange unit in your home, you’ll save hundreds of pounds of detergents, much more than the cost of regeneration salt. But, please, install a bypass to your kitchen for cooking and drinking purposes, since a simple salt operated ion exchanger will increase the Na (=sodium) content of the water.

  270. I am selling an electronic lime scale remover called CleansyMag. The device itself produces an electromagnetic field with a modulate frequency between 1-5kHz and it is only uses <7.5W. I bought one for my house as well and I installed the device on the main water pipe that leads to kitchen tap, washing machine and boiler. I can say that I have noticed that the lime scale after washing the glasses is gone as well as on the stainless steel sink. Being in the field I had to research a bit about this and I found out that what these devices are doing is to round-up the particles of calcium and other minerals which have sharp outlines. Those particles after passing through the electromagnetic field being round cannot attach to each-other and to form the lime scale. However, after a certain distance through the pipes(I could not find an exact distance) the water goes back to it`s natural characteristics – the sharp outlines so the property of forming again lime scale.

    Our company conducted a test in a laundry room in Warsaw a few years back and this is the result which they came up after 38 months. Please find below the link:

    http://www.zepter-homecare.com/newsletters/en/2009-02-19-cleansymag-test/

  271. The response to the original question has provoked many comments for a number of years and during this period it has become clear that the most efficient method of reducing hardness (and corrosion) is to use active anodes to seed the water with ions. Electronic devices cannot create such effects and along with ion exchange devices (salt water softeners) they are not recommended in the latest Part L Building Regulations. The regulations have been formed over a number of years with the UK’s Government for the conservation of fuel and energy.

    In-line devices are now required to be installed with water heaters when the hardness is in excess of 200 ppm. A problem has remained until now with in-line devices inasmuch that they are selected from a range of model sizes to suit a narrow scope of flow-rate of which becomes impossible as far as residential properties are concerned. Kitchen taps, bathroom showers and irrigation of the garden are subject to differing flow-rates.

    The flow-rate is an important issue for all in-line devices as a number of manufacturers state that it is optimised flow-rates that create the cleaning effect of the internal parts of their devices so that seeding can take place from the surface of the anodes. There is only one in-line device due shortly to be launched on the world market that conforms to Part L of the latest Building Regulations that maintains its anode clean to act as a liberator of its ion seedings.

    The final response to “Do electronic water devices work?” (usually referring to external wrap-around wire types, they are not actually recommended for use with water heaters by the latest regulations.

  272. When I bought a house in France 10 years ago, there was one of these magnetic/electronic devices there but not working. We are in an extremely hard water area in the Var mountains (the water comes from a spring for the village about 1/2 km from my house out of very porous limestone rock). Straight from the tap, the water can look milky with suspended limestone particles. I asked the plumber if it was worth replacing. He said: “Just give me the €300 and I will say a prayer over the pipe, which will work just as well.” I did fit a large replaceable element 5μ active carbon filter in the cold water supply to the fridge and kitchen, just to clarify the water. Wilson

  273. If you were like my dad, you probably experience a reflux episode at least once a
    day. Magnetic therapy: Magnetic therapy is a safe method of applying magnetic fields to the body
    for therapeutic purposes. Grapeseed extract also enhances vascular circulation and strengthens vein tone to prevent future development of internal or external hemorrhoids.

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  275. I fairly recently installed a steam shower unit, finest item I have
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