Magnetic water treatments are exactly what they sound like – you run hard water through a magnetic field as an alternative to water softening.
Magnetic water treatments don’t remove the minerals, calcium, and magnesium, whose build-up makes water hard. Instead, vendors of magnetic water treatments claim it changes the structure of the mineral deposits that form, making them less able to stick to surfaces. After all, it’s the build-up or scaling of the solid deposits of calcium carbonate on household appliances and industrial boilers that make hard water so problematic.
There’s only one problem with this claim: it’s completely unproven.
Wikipedia, which cites numerous studies, articles, and tests that have appeared over the years, summarizes that “magnetic water treatment is regarded as unproven and unscientific. There is a lack of peer-reviewed laboratory data, mechanistic explanations, and documented field studies to support its effectiveness. Erroneous conclusions about their efficacy are based on applications with uncontrolled variables.”
Penn State University also published an article, which says “there is virtually no valid scientific data to support any water treatment benefit from magnetic devices.”
At a time when people are passionate about conserving natural resources and protecting our environment, as they should be, it’s unfortunate that some vendors use conspiracy-theory tactics to tempt us into purchasing unproven devices.
Water softeners are a proven, consistent way to remove the calcium and magnesium in hard water and replace them with salt. As Penn State University says in another article about water softening, “the technology is highly developed and in most cases works well to reduce the hardness level.”
Do you need a water softener? It depends. Remember, hard water is not dangerous to drink. Rather, water softening evolved to help prevent industrial and domestic headaches. You may choose only to soften the water used in certain areas of your home, such as showers, sinks and laundry hookups, where hard water can cause the most damage to dishwashers and washing machines.
At Advantage Water Conditioning, we support conserving water, and we also support providing only proven water treatment technology to give our customers their dollars-worth.