What is your take on Magnetic Water Softening Systems?

I received this question today:

Hi Mark,

What is your take on Magnetic Water Softening Systems?


They claim that no salt, no backwashing is needed for life.

“Fix it once and you are done”. 

I’m sure you must have heard of Magnetic Water Softening, and I wanted to know your take on it, since you are an expert. Personally I dont find it convincing.

Thank you!



Thank you.  Magnetic water treatment is not new.  I have been interested in it for nearly 50 years.  I have read the research conducted at the University of Moscow in the late 1960’s and and 1970’s.  There is definitely something to it, but the scientific evidence is unconvincing.  Companies like AkwaMag spring up all the time.  I do not begrudge people who are trying to make changes in the way water is treated.  US Water Systems has been at the forefront of cutting-edge technology since it’s inception.  Technology is awesome, but I find it very troubling when people try and “trick” consumers with words.

The inventor of AkwaMag says that it “softens” the water.  While I have not tested THIS particular product, I am just as confident that it does not “soften” the water as I am that if you jump off a bridge, you are going to fall down, not up.  There is a law – it’s called the Law of Gravity and you cannot defy it. In water chemistry, what makes water hard is calcium and magnesium.  To soften water, the calcium and magnesium needs to be removed.  It can be removed by a water softener using ion exchange, reverse osmosis, distillation or deionization. That’s all!

Just like the Law of Gravity dictates you will fall DOWN, not UP, water chemistry dictates that magnetic water treatment cannot remove the calcium and magnesium.  Therefore, according to the understanding of  the plain and obvious definition of the word “softener,” it does not soften the water.  No way, now how!  In the UK, many regard water as soft if the hardness is less than 50 mg/l of calcium carbonate. Water containing more than 50 mg/l of calcium carbonate is termed hard water. In the United States some people classify “soft water” as having less than 60 mg/l of calcium carbonate. Others say it is water that contains less than 17.1 mg/l of calcium carbonate.

Unless AkwaMag defies the laws of nature and physics, it does not soften the water, although it is possible it may have some effect of the water. It’s easy to tell:  Hook it up:  Test the water and if it’s tests soft, it is a softener.  Hey AkwaMag, I would be glad to test it (in fact, I will pay for it) and if it truly “softens” the water, US Water Systems would be eager to distribute this product. We could sell hundreds of thousands of them… maybe millions.

However, until they can prove otherwise, I call BS on this one.  They are not telling the truth.  I do not believe it softens the water… but this is their opportunity to prove me wrong.  There are several other companies selling products that they call “water softeners” which also do not soften the water.  In fact, when pressed they will say “well, it’s doesn’t ACTUALLY  ‘soften’ the water.” Then why call it a softener if it doesn’t soften the water?  HELLO?  Would you buy a water heater that didn’t actually “heat” the water?

This type of deception is one of my pet peeves.  JUST TELL THE TRUTH AND CALL YOUR PRODUCT WHAT IT IS:  It’s a salt-free water conditioner, not a salt-free water softener!  Come on, just tell the truth!


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