Based on their effectiveness, hard water treatment methods can be divided into four groups. Each method can reduce, inhibit, or eliminate limescale. However, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here is a summary of each category, including how it works, what they do and how they do so, as well as their benefits and disadvantages buying a water descaler.
1 Physical Water Conditioners
There are three types of Physical Water Conditioners: electronic, magnetic, and electrolytic. They alter the hard water’s properties to reduce or eliminate limescale.
1a: Electronic water conditioners are also known as electronic descalers and limescale inhibitors. They generally consist of a small package of electronics with one or more coils that wrap around the pipework.
What do they do? Electronic conditioners transmit a radio frequency or audio frequency signal to the water through induction coils that are wrapped around the pipes. This prevents limescale buildup in water pipes and, over time, reduces existing scale. Although softer scale can still form on taps, shower heads and other surfaces it is easier to clean.
Advantages – Electronic descalers are a low-cost alternative to other hard water treatment methods. They also offer a cost-effective solution to limescale issues. They are very simple to install because they don’t require plumbing. Because nothing is added or removed to the water, the water remains safe and healthy.
Disadvantages : While some treatments are not as efficient as others, many manufacturers offer a money-back guarantee if the device doesn’t work as planned.
1b: Electrolytic water conditioners need to be plugged into the water supply. You can choose from 15mm, 22mm or 28mm connectors depending on the size of your pipework.
What they do Normally copper and zinc act as an anode and a cathode in an electrolytic converter. The electrolytic current flows from the anode to cathode and causes small amounts of metal ions dissolve in the water. The negatively charged scale is then disintegrated by the metal ions, forming particles that don’t clump and create scale.
Advantages Unlike electronic descalers that are expensive to purchase, electrolytic scale inhibitors are very affordable to buy. They don’t require an electric power supply so they have zero annual running costs. They protect your entire house from limescale issues and provide safe drinking water.
Disadvantages. Electrolytic water conditioners must be replaced periodically to maintain their full protection. They also need to be plumbed into pipework, which adds to the initial cost.