Re: GBlist: water softeners
Sat, 15 Feb 1997 13:24:46 -0500 (EST)

Magnetic, electrolytic and (more recently) electronic water conditioners have
been used for a while in the UK. A number have been approved under our Water
Byelaws scheme and the word from my local water company is that they do
actually work.
The magnetic field are meant to modify hard water in a way that limits it's
ability to form a hard scale on pipes, tanks,etc. It does not make the water
"soft" as the hard water chemicals remain in solution - but this is not
necessarily a bad thing.

Note that this effect is not permanent: I've been told that magnetic units'
effect on water only lasts for around 24hrs, so beware of using these in the
feed to a storage tank.

Elecrolytic units work in a similar way (generating a small current in the
between an anode and cathode), but keep up their magic for longer.

There's been a recent explosion of electronic units come onto the market that
send low frequency "radio"signals into the water (wires wrapped around the
pipe connected to a transmitter). Why these should be any better I don't
know: one company I spoke to admitted they were only manufacturing one
because everyone else was.

Matthew Hill, Leeds Environmental Design Associates
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