What is a magnetic device?

A magnetic device treats a household water supply to reduce the buildup of limescale.

It uses a magnetic field to encourage the formation of crystals as water flows through it. As the water then gets heated in the central heating system, the scale in unsoftened mains water tends to form around the crystals rather than on the internal surfaces of boilers, pipework or household appliances.

The magnetic device is a lesser used alternative to the more common resin based, non-electric ion exchange water softener. Resin based non-electric water softeners like the Harvey Water Softener™ soften water as it enters the home, thus reducing limescale build up at the source. Magnetic water devices don’t soften water as it enters your home, instead treating the problem once it’s started, making them a less effective option.

Magnetic device installation

A magnetic device is usually smaller than a resin based water softener, they are plumbed into or around pipework, normally installed close to the point where mains water enters the property so it can treat the whole water supply at the source.

Some magnetic devices require an electrical supply, so while the installation process is normally quite simple, competence around electrics is essential and care should be taken throughout.

Should I choose one?

Magnetic devices are usually cheaper to buy and install than other types of water softeners, but their performance is often unpredictable and unreliable.

At best they’ll only reduce the rate at which limescale deposits build up, not stop it completely. Because they don’t soften the water, they won’t provide the benefits of a resin based water softener, like cutting down on scum in kitchens and bathrooms.

You may also need to install more than one in larger properties or where a storage tank allows times for the effects of the magnetic field to wear off.

Non-electric, ion exchange water softeners, on the other hand, give you softened water throughout your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may notice we only have one model of water softener available; this is because the technology in this water softener has been developed since the late 1970’s to provide you the best quality of water softening.