electromagnetic water softener (descaler)

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by lifespeed, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    Yea, When somebody can offer a rebuttal to all the points made at those 2 pages...
    We'll Talk!

    Til then it's smoke n mirrors, voodoo water conditioning, a con game, a scam, or, whatever else you want to call it!

    But, one thing for sure it isn't water conditioning...



    Most of what you will find on the subject is a bunch of very shallow "Con Artist" websites selling them.

    And a few postings on forums like this one where someone initially posts a question about them.
    The pro's usually respond with the truth about these systems exactly like the postings here...
    Then the original poster switches roles from wondering about them to being "The Great Defender."

    Maybe they should just quit the con game and move onto a real product that stands on it's own...
    Then they might actually not attempt to rely on other peoples bandwidth for their advertising.

    I consider the method used to be...

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  2. TheGreatAus

    TheGreatAus New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    To that guy

    Ha! It seems I have the ability to offend people while simply going against the grain and saying largely nothing of an inflammatory caliber. Your links are quite informative. The second link that deals with crystallization surfaces is a field that is dealing with a phenomenon that is largely, well, still a phenomenon and not well understood. I wont touch that topic since none of what I have talked about actually dealt with that.

    This paper, C. Gabrielli, R. Jaouhari, G. Maurin and M. Keddam, Magnetic water treatment for scale prevention, Wat. Res. 35 (2001) 3249-3259, that was referenced in this link http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/ref3.html#r259 of your first link, states this:

    'Many tests mainly utilizing single pass systems, however, have proved negative [212]. Recirculatory systems, with prolonged magnetic exposure, give more supportive results. Rapid movement (1200 rpm) in a strong magnetic field (4.75 T) had a significant effect compared with the movement or field alone [105]'
    and this...
    'This study also showed an optimum in the flow rate as at too high a flow rate the magnetic field was encountered only briefly, an effect recently confirmed [555]. Recently, the presence of dissolved oxygen has been shown important for the production of the magnetic effect for forming aragonite rather than calcite [970], and for initiating scaling [1046]. It may be assumed that many of the studies described on this page did not control for oxygen content, so their effects may have been moderated by the varying dissolved oxygen contents.'

    And Ill let you, mister inflammatory, tell the rest of the audience why dissolved oxygen might be important for this effect (I'll give you a hint: it has to do with oxygens molecular orbitals and where its last two electrons reside in the ground state (ill give you a hint at what the ground state is: its not the excited state!)).

    Heres also a statement from YOUR link for clarification of exactly the claim of these systems do for anyone out there who still needs clarification on this:
    1. Reduction in the amount of limescale formed.
    2. Production of a less tenacious limescale due to a change in the crystal
    3. Removal of existing scale (3 - 6 months).
    4. Retention of anti-scaling properties for hours following treatment.
    *NOTE: does NOT claim to remove the hardness*

    From the words of your author on his own webpage: 'For some users, MWT seems to be effective in controlling scale deposition; there are too many favorable anecdotal reports to dismiss it entirely.'
  3. TheGreatAus

    TheGreatAus New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    SciFinder Scholar rocks

    When I got into work today, yes, on presidents day, I decided to use the resources that are available to graduate students at the flagship state school the 'University of Utah', or rather, Pleasant Grove Community College as its so often referred to in the Valley. What I found when typing in 'magnetic water treatment' was a variety of articles where people have actually studied the effect water has on aragonite and its precipitation. Here is the doi (document object identifier or something to that accord) 10.1016/j.ces.2006.12.051 (just cut and paste it into in the search bar of the doi website (http://www.doi.org/), though YOU all might have to pay for it. If you'd like a copy, contact me personally and I will send you the article via email). For the bibliography, here is that as well (*note: this article was written recently): Chemical Engineering Science 62 (2007) 2089 – 2095.

    For reference MWT is Magnetic Water Treatment, youll see it a lot below

    Ill cut and paste the important parts of this document:
    'Two experimental lines (Fig. 1) were installed to compare the amounts of the scales precipitated in two identical boilers and pipes from magnetically treated (MWT line) and untreated water (blank line). Both lines were supplied by tap water at adjusted input (0.2 l/min) running continuously for three weeks. In MWT line, water was circulated through the magnetic device to intensify its effectiveness and to fulfill the effectiveness condition of water velocity in MWT device, which is from 0.5 to 2 m/s. In our case, the velocity through the gape of the magnetic device was adjusted on 1.25 m/s (water circulation flux 5.3 l/min). The retention time of water in the magnetic field was 0.1 s. The water was heated in boilers from 16 to 70 ◦C. Some parts of the equipment in which an abundant precipitation was expected, such as heating copper-pipe spirals and some segments of zinc-coated steel pipes for hot water conduction, were weighted before and after the experiment. The applied MWT device was constructed with alternately arranged permanent Neodim magnets (Fig. 2), yielding a magnetic field with three maximums of density 0.6 and 0.8Vs/m2 (Fig. 3a). Density curve along the axis at the edge of the gap (indicated as edge axis in Fig. 2) is only slightly lower than
    the curve along the center axis. Data in Fig. 3 were monitored by Hall effect method with a microprobe point-measurements (Goriˇcan et al., 2000).
    Tap water had a total hardness of 14 German degrees, pH of 7.5, electrical conductivity of 485 S/cm, turbidity of 0.35NTU and concentrations given in Table 1.

    Results (the important stuff for conciseness):

    'The scale precipitated on hot surface of the heating spiral in both lines. After the lining had reached the particular thickness, it started to crack and husks were accumulated on the bottom of the boiler. Photographs of scales are presented in Fig. 4. In the blank line, scale on the heating spiral was 3.5mm thick in average. On the boiler’s bottom, the sediment consisted of well-formed crystals (diameter 2–3 mm) and scale husks (also 3.5 mm). The outlet pipe was almost blocked by the abundant and compact scale (Fig. 4c). In MWT line, lining on heating spiral was also present, but the amount of sediment on the bottom was much smaller—for about 70%, and it consisted only of husks, which were about 2.5-times thinner than those in the blank line (Fig. 4a and b). Secondly, the major difference was inside the outlet steel piping (Fig. 4d), where only a small amount of powder-like coating was found in L-segment of the pipe inMWTline. It was wiped out easily and its amount was negligible in comparison to the abundant scale from untreated water.
    Considering the over-saturation in the boilers, a diagram, presented in Fig. 5, was estimated by Eq. (8) taking the values for the equilibrium constants from Table 2. During the run, inlet and outlet calcium concentration was being determined periodically by EDTA titration. With certain timely variations, the inlet data were 16 ◦C, 1.8 mmol/l Ca2+ and pH=7.5; and the outlet data were 70 ◦C, 1.0 mmol/l Ca2+
    and pH = 7.5, for both lines. The concentration varied up to ±0.1 mmol/l and pH up to ±0.2. The inlet concentration was slightly below the solubility point (that is 1.88 mmol/l from the isotherm at 16 ◦C); and in boilers, 3.6 higher than the solubility point at 70 ◦C, while in the outflow, it was double higher. According to the outlet calcium concentrations similar from both lines, and the weight difference between the scales, we
    can conclude that certain part of CaCO3 was somehow washed away by water flow.'

    Heres the best part:

    'After the first experiment was completed, two additional runs were performed in MWT line. For the first additional run, the scaled pipe from the blank line (Fig. 5c) was installed into MWT line and then the test was conducted at the same conditions as in the first run. The old scale was gradually disappearing; for about 2mm in 10 days. This result is consistent with some other reports (Grimes, 1988) and with our further
    industrial experiences with the MWT device applications. For instance, a pipe-shell heat exchanger was supplied with tap water, which had similar composition as the one in our laboratory. The water was used for cooling with outlet Temperature 40 ◦C. The water was not pretreated properly and scaled up the inner side of pipes in the heat exchanger drastically. After the installation of our devices at the entrance of the exchanger, the scale completely disappeared in a few months. Secondly, an article on reduction in the surface tension of water due to magnetic treatment and hydrodynamic treatment was published recently (Amiri and Dadkhah, 2006). In that report, a circulation of pure and tap water through plastic Tygon pipe affected the surface tension similarly as MWT. To find out the portion of possible hydrodynamic effect due to the circulation on our results in MWT line, we repeated the run in the line with the circulation, but without MWT unit, which was replaced by a blank pass. The scaling was quite similar to the scaling in the blank line from the first run; an abundant blockage in outlet pipe occurred. Some thickness and amount differences of sedimented husks in both latter tests appeared, but these were rather a result of slightly different fluctuations of tap water composition than in the first test.'

    For the chewed up version: essentially the MWT still had some scaling, but the degree of it was far less. The large amount of scale that had built up in the boiler without MWT had largely disappeared when the line from the boiler WITHOUT MWT was put into the system that did have MWT.

    In this paper, they also analyzed the scale that built up in the two systems by cross section morphology, i.e. a giant microscope of the crystals. The crystals from the MWT system were similar, though the sizes of the crystals were MUCH smaller than those crystals found in the boiler that didnt have MWT treatment.

    I still am leery of this technology, however, I still am interested since I had what I presume to be aragonite build up on the hot water line to my dishwasher that all but made it ineffective. MWT it appears that it HAS indeed caught the eye of the science community, a community that wants to go 'green' and is looking for ways to purify water with as little effort as possible. Then again, this technology DOES indeed threaten an industry that is already in place, so there WILL be lots of naysayers, mainly because it threatens their livelihood. Again, if any of you want this document, please message me and I will send you a PDF of the article from Chemical Engineering Science.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    So to The Wizard of Oz I say you are grasping at straws...
    The one possible thing that these devices may be able to do, is have some degree of effectiveness preventing scale buildup in a recirculating loop system... Possibly... Maybe... :D

    How does that have any bearing on it being a water softening device?
    To change the composition of water from soft to hard it can only be accomplished by the removal of the hardness minerals from the water. This is only efectively done with the "Ion Exchange" method...

    If you do not pysically remove these minerals from the water, the water has no change in it's hardness.

    Now the "con artist" AKA: "The Wizard of Oz" switches gears to "Plan B" the anti-scaling value of this device...

    In your grasping at straws you quoted this from the website I linked...

    Show me a house that recirculates it's cold potable water supply....

    Give me a break!
    Be off with you!
    And your con artist friends!

    Go sell this idea to an easy mark!
    You aren't going to win the game here...
    Ya Two Bit Punk!

    Maybe play a little shell game...


    Perhaps a little 3 card monte with another well known con artist.

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    Ya better get back to your studies...
    Your getting a good quality education is far more important than this game of 3 card monte you are playing...

    As stated in my other post you are grasping at straws with your boiler recirculating loop...

    When you are prepared to enter a real world discussion of the effects or, lack of on a potable water system we'll talk...
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  6. TheGreatAus

    TheGreatAus New Member

    Feb 14, 2009

    I just found an article from europe, government funded, that studied the efficacy of this technology, and demonstrated some level of effectiveness, and yet, you STILL have not asked for the document and refuse to look at the actual science. The only Bush like person here is you. That part of the world where the science was performed, being essentially a 3rd world country, would have a lot to gain IF this technology works. So I trust the science that was performed.

    Forthe 5th time! It doesnt have any bearing on the softness device! It's supposed to prevent it from scaling out, thereby preventing lime build up! Do you know what milk has in it? Calcium, also written as Ca+2. Its good for you and your kids. 'Ion exchange' systems replace the Ca+2 with Na. Do we really need more sodium in this high blood pressure society?

    With my limited knowledge in the field, its to my understanding that scale build up is a problem at heat exchangers, not in cold water supplies. Why would you want to put this technology on the cold water supply? It wouldnt make sense.

    And just to let you know, I make a graduate student stipend (less than 30,000 a year). I do research in an organometallic group working on carbon dioxide activation. I have no ties to any of the manufacturers of Magnetic water treatment providers. Im a scientist, its in my curious nature to look at this with an eye that is neither for the technology or against it, but to look at the science and see what it says. Ive found one paper so far that supports it. Ill find more, but I have research to perform ;)
  7. redwoodvotesoften1

    redwoodvotesoften1 New Member

    Aug 27, 2008
    Kid, Drop It and Run!

    You aren't doing my cause any good kid.
    All you are doing is bringing unwanted attention to my game.
    This Terry Love has a big Google presence and I don't want you getting whumped on here coming up in front of my sites on a Google search.
    These guy aren't easy marks!
    You're not going to baffle them with BS!

    Move your pitch to a new venue that isn't so hostile.

    Maybe sell a few in the process and make some money.
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    That's just it!
    They are attempting to market this device as an electronic water softener installed on the cold potable water line as it enters the house just after the meter...

    You're right!

    It doesn't make sense.:cool:
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    B I N G O...B I N G O...B I N G O...and BINGO was his name O
  10. redwoodvotesoften1

    redwoodvotesoften1 New Member

    Aug 27, 2008
    Darn it!
    I got here too late!

    Kid You aren't qualified to argue with these guys.

    A note to the moderators of this forum:
    What may I offer you in exchange for deleting some of this thread.
    Perhaps leaving it in a more favorable state towards my business.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2009
  11. TheGreatAus

    TheGreatAus New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    What if...

    Wouldnt it make sense to have a unit like this somewhere near your hot water heater though? If this technology does work, and you coupled it with a small ion exchange system, wouldnt a system like that prevent massive scale build up? Again, I dont know, just questions Im asking. I find the concept of a magnet being able to solvate lime in water perplexing as anything. Based on the papers Ive found, I honestly think that someone could do a PhD dissertation on the science of it, and some people already have. (for Carl)

    And honestly, I have no idea what you are talking about. I didnt realize a public forum trying to engage a topic that is shrouded in mystery was attempts at making anyone a 'mark'. Hell, if I would have thought trying to have an intelligent conversation would have received such a violent reception, I would have moved to North Korea so that no intelligent thought would be allowed. As far as I'm concerned, Im doing research to try and prove if this research is even viable, not trying to sell it. I dont even know who manufactures a good unit or what gauss levels and water flows make a unit effective. Stop flaming already, Ive at least brought forward a real scientific paper, something that others earlier in this thread wanted. Now I challenge you rev. zombie: Why dont you bring up something that has credible science to disprove MWT? Im going to continue my search, albeit slow and in my free time, so just wait, ill find more :D
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Aus, I've seen some PWT and MWT (physical and mechanical water treatment) devices cause a whitish powder on surfaces where the water was allowed to evaporate on but, they are not a substitute for a water softener because they do not remove and hardness minerals.

    So I'm with you, there is something changing in water with MWT and PWT devices. The scientific community could care less what like they did about the cause of stomach ulsers, long runout landslides and 1000 to 3000' tsunamis although they could see the evidence but wouldn't believe the potential causes put forth as to why they were happening until some guys in other parts of the world proved their theories beyond any doubt and then, the school books were eventually reluctantly changed over like the next quarter century. It's very much like the liberal democrats here taking us into socialism while the rest of the world is giving up on it and becoming more conservative; it's very self serving.

    The formula for added sodium, if a water softener is regenerated with sodium chloride salt, is 7.85 mg/l per grain per gallon of hardness removed. Compared to the sodium content of our food and beverages, a slice of white bread usually has a 120-160 mg of sodium, the added sodium is usually a damned slight amount of added sodium; 15 gpg hardness * 7.85 = 117.75 mg per roughly a quart of that softened water. Drink a quart of that water and eat one slice of white bread per day and you actually reduce your sodium intake tha tday. Skim milk is like 500 mg of sodium per 8 oz glass.

    To get any benefit from the calcium and magnesium in water that ion exchange softening removes, you have to drink a large volume of water and that will be enough to kill the average person. We get our minerals from food we eat, not water.
  13. redwoodvotesoften1

    redwoodvotesoften1 New Member

    Aug 27, 2008
    I'm begging you to lie low on this one.
    He's a link to the site for the stuff I'm pushing.
    Yea I know it's a little off it's regular application. Same old magnets with a carbon filter twist.

    Come on I've got a lot invested in this and you're blowing it for me.
    I made this stuff up special just for the California market.
    I've spent a lot of money wining and dining politicians getting the no salt agenda pushed through.

    Give me a break will ya?
  14. fredmatic

    fredmatic New Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    I guess I might have a little interest in these. I am using one now, and it DOES seem to work. I surfed the net looking into the various units available and found that there are two different modes of operation between the different models available.

    Now, my wife wanted some softener because the calcium in our water was 'drying out her skin'. Now, I have literally traveled all over the world, and there is nothing I find more repulsive than the slimy feel of water from a salt water softening system. No, it is NOT the way water was meant to feel.

    So, I built a dual mode unit to try out. I uses 100khz to 150khz frequency sweeps AND 1 khz to 20 khz frequency sweeps. I used to have to soak my shower head in CLR every 6 to 8 weeks to get the white crust off it. I haven't had to do that in 6 months now.

    I am an electrical engineer and use a digital signal processor to generate the signals I then couple to the pipe via 18 ga. solid copper wire wrapped.

    So... it does seem to work for me. I am in the process of installing 6 other units at friends homes and in our cottage.

    I do honestly believe this might not be very effective in area that have VERY hard water, but I have yet to test some of these.

    Hope this might help to put a damper on the doubters.....but from what I have seem, mine seems to work, (but then again, I designed and built it).
  15. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Jul 3, 2007
    Retired energy systems engineer
    Wet side of Washington State
    I apologize for not responding to this "one post wonder" at the time but he is dead wrong about the chemical costs. We had accurate records of the chemical usage on the original installation and if I remember correctly it was less than a thousand dollars a year. That would make the simple payback (not including electricity and maintenance on the Dolphin) more than fifteen years. Of course we had extremely tight control of the chemical system due in no small part to a highly sophisticated measurement and control system in which I played an important role in development and installation. I think that at the time I made a rough estimate that it would take close to twenty five years before the Dolphin would start earning the company a real return over the "old fashioned" chemical treatment.

    I'll also add that in the original installation (cooling tower on intermittently run air compressors) it was deemed (after about six months) there was no return on investment and the Dolphin system was then transferred to a cooling tower serving a centrifugal chiller that ran 24/7/365 and it was in that continuous operation that proved the Dolphin did work under tightly controlled parameters. However, since this came about after my retirement I can't speak as to any of the details.

    As for any residential usage of this technology...sorry, I just don't see it EVER having a positive return on investment, EVER.
  16. TheGreatAus

    TheGreatAus New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Haha, I would guess not. I dont generally produce chemicals to make money at home. I mean, im a chemist, meth isnt too hard of a stretch...but yeah, I wouldnt expect a return, other than if it prevented scaling it would save hot water appliances like my water heater, dish washer, washing machine, etc.
  17. williama

    williama New Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    British Columbia
    I agree with you Rugged, he should go get one and report.

    SPSSALESLV New Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I have been watching this post for some time and would like to pass along some information for you all about these types of systems. To my knowledge there is only one system on the market that has been tested and certified by UPC IAPMO to work as an ANTI-SCALE appliance. And that is the Sterling ICT series of electronic water conditioners. www.sterlingwatersystems.com
    And yes I am a salesman for the product.
    These systems do not remove any of the hard water elements from the water supply. They do what they are supposed to do and that is preventing scaling of your pipes, fixtures, and plumbing components from hard water deposits. If you want to remove those elements the best way to do that is through filtration. The best way to use this type of a system is to install the unit with a 5 to 10 micron sediment filter down stream of the unit to trap any of the heavy deposits and then a GAC filter after that to answer the issues of odor & taste for your clients. If your clients like the slippery feel that a softener system gives them then this is not for them because the only thing that will give that to you is a Salt based softener.
    Ok, let the bashing begin! LOL!!
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