These devices are usually relatively small in size and installed close to the point where the water enters the premises in order to treat the whole of the water supply. They are either plumbed into the pipework so that the water flows through them or they are wrapped around the pipework. They are generally simple to install but some require electricity.
The basic principle with electronic and magnetic conditioners is that they encourage the formation of crystals as the water flows through them. When the water is then heated, the scale tends to form around the crystals rather than on the internal surfaces of the boiler or pipework.
The advantage of physical conditioners is that they have typically a low purchase price, low installation cost and are low maintenance. However, their performance is often unpredictable. They will, at best, only reduce the rate at which scale deposits build up. They do not reduce the hardness level of the water and so will not provide benefits in terms of soap and detergent reduction and removal of scum around kitchen and bathroom sanitary ware. Also they don’t change the quality with respect to its suitability for drinking.
Sometimes it can be necessary to install more than one device, particularly in larger homes and, if there is a storage tank, additional devices are often needed on the tank outlets because the effects wear off while the water is sitting in the tank.
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