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Guide to Electronic Water Descaler: Do They Actually Work?

September 4, 2023
Guide to Electronic Water Descaler Do They Actually Work

There’s nothing more frustrating than the white spots you keep getting on your plates no matter how hard you wash them and the limescale buildup that doesn’t seem to want to leave our shower floors alone.

With water softeners being too expensive, electronic descalers seem to be great alternatives to help us escape these frustrations that hard water brings. But do they actually work, or are they just another scam?

Well, we’re here to answer your questions about them, so continue reading and let’s deal with those annoying scales together!

What are electronic water descalers?

What are electronic water descalers

Electronic descalers are devices that are designed to lessen the effects of hard water on your pipes, sink, and more. They are attached to the pipes and use electromagnetic signals to alter the properties of the minerals in the water.

By reconstructing the structures of the minerals in hard water, they’re able to prevent them from sticking to surfaces and forming scales.

Do electronic water descalers really work?

Do electronic water descalers really work

They do work in lessening the effects of hard water, but they don’t completely eliminate them. After a month or two, you’ll see a significant decrease in scale buildup, but there will still be some, as they don’t really soften the water.

You have to manage your expectation in using them, as they won’t remove iron from the water, nor will they clean pipes that already have scale buildup. They will only keep the minerals in the water and prevent them from sticking to your sink or shower floor.

What is hard water?

What is hard water

Hard water is a type of water that contains a relatively high concentration of dissolved minerals. Common minerals you’ll find in hard water include calcium and magnesium ions. 

Since water is mainly sourced underground, it’ll likely pick up minerals as it comes in contact with soil and rocks. As the water seeps through soil and rocks, it will dissolve the minerals it picks up, causing it to become “hard.”

Hard water can cause scale buildup, clogged pipes, cloth stains, and dry skin. 

How do you know if the electronic descaler is working?

How do you know if the electronic descaler is working

Determining if an electronic water descaler is working may not be as straightforward as checking a physical component. They don’t have a button or an indicator that lights up to show you it’s working as some devices do.

The only way to know if your electronic descaler is working is by observing the changes that they may have possibly caused.

Before installing one, make sure to remove all the current scale buildups you have to make it easier for you to determine if the descaler is working.

The descaler is working if scales are building up at a much slower pace than before. For example, you used to descale every 2 months before you installed an electronic descaler, but you only descale every 4 or 5 months now.

You’ll also notice a lesser number of white spots in your plates and bowls after washing them if your electronic descaler is working.

Does an electronic descaler descale the pipes?

Does an electronic descaler descale the pipes

Electronic descalers do not descale pipes that already have scale buildups. They are designed to prevent and lessen buildups rather than treating scale-filled pipes.

If you notice a significant amount of scale deposits in your pipes, then it will be best to call a plumber to have them descale the pipes.

What’s the difference between an electronic descaler and a water softener?

What's the difference between an electronic descaler and a water softener
ComparisonElectronic DescalerWater Softener
OperationAlters the structure of minerals in the waterRemove minerals from water
Scale RemovalCan’t remove scale buildupGradually removes scale buildup
MaintenanceMinimal maintenanceRegular maintenance
InstallationEasy installation processComplex installation
Environmental impactMore environmentally friendlyLess environmentally friendly

Electronic descalers and water softeners are both water treatment systems that address hard water problems, but they have significant differences that help them address these problems differently.

First, they don’t function the same way. Electronic descalers only prevent the effects of hard water, while water softener actively softens the water.

Electronic descalers use electromagnetic signals to change the structure of the minerals in the water and prevent them from sticking to the surface, which leads to scale buildup.

Water softeners, on the other hand, remove the calcium and magnesium ions in the water and replace them with sodium or potassium ions to “soften” the water and completely avoid issues caused by hard water.

Secondly, electronic descalers can’t remove scale buildup, but water softener can. As the softened water passes through the pipes with buildups, the water will pick up the minerals from the scales, which can lead to gradual descaling.

Another difference is water softener uses chemicals, while electronic descalers don’t. Water softeners release sodium or potassium for the ion exchange process, which can cause harm to plants and trees.

Electronic descalers only use electromagnetic signals, so there’s no need for chemicals that can harm the environment.

Water softeners also tend to waste a lot of water during regeneration, the process it does to clean or flush out the minerals that the softener accumulated throughout its operation. 

Electronic descalers don’t need to perform regeneration, as they don’t actively remove the minerals from the water.

These reasons make electronic descalers more eco-friendly than water softeners.

Electronic descalers are also a lot easier to install than water softeners. In fact, electronic descalers are DIY-friendly, as there are no major plumbing changes to be done when installing them.

They are usually installed around the pipes, so you won’t need to cut into them or call a plumber. There’s also no need to install a drain line, as electronic descalers don’t perform regeneration, unlike water softeners.

Electronic descalers also don’t need a salt tank to function, unlike water softeners, which need a supply of sodium to soften the water.

This simpler installation process is also one of the reasons why electronic descalers are more affordable than water softeners. 

Electronic descalers usually only cost $200 on average, while the cost of water softeners typically starts at $800 and can go as high as thousands of dollars.

Moreover, electronic descalers don’t need as much maintenance as water softeners. They generally don’t need regular maintenance aside from occasional cleaning.

Water softeners, on the other hand, regularly need to refill their sodium or potassium supply. The resin beads inside them should also be cleaned regularly and replaced when they’re no longer effective in softening the water.

The sodium or potassium tank of the water softeners should also be regularly cleaned to ensure optimal operation.

Which Is Better: Electronic Descaler or Water Softener?

Which Is Better Electronic Descaler or Water Softener

Water softeners are more effective than electronic descalers when it comes to avoiding the effects of hard water as they actually soften the water. They can also descale pipes and surfaces that already have buildup.

That said, they may not always be necessary for every household. They’re only recommended when your quality of water is extremely hard and you have the capacity to handle the financial burden that comes with having one. 

It’s best to consult water treatment specialists before purchasing one, as they can be really pricey.

Electronic descalers should work for you if the buildup isn’t that severe and you’re not experiencing significant plumbing problems.

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