Has anyone tried water conditioning magnets?

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We are interested in the advertising done by a company called Dripworks. We have a good well but the water is extremely hard and rusty. This company advertises magnets that are suppose to eliminate mineral deposits and soften the water. A full house system is priced at $70. We are tempted to try them but wonder if anyone out there in Countryside country has tried them. Also, has anyone out there had any success with such a problem with any other type of system, and if so, what was the cost of their system? We live in a rural, foothills area of central California. Thank you for whatever advice you have to offer !

-- Cindy Palmer (jandcpalmer@sierratel.com), January 14, 2001


Hi Cindy: I live Outside Nevada City Ca. and have that same hard rusty water. I have some of those magnets and the water does look a little better but the next day it turns just as red. Does nothing, that I know, for the taste either. To be fair it may work if the water is slightly hard but I don't know. Culligan sayed they have a tank that would work but they want to come out and replace it once a month for 30 bucks at a time. I have to haul in fresh water but soon I'm going to have to figure it out. If you find something good maybe you could post it?....Kirk

-- Kirk Davis (kirkay@yahoo.com), January 15, 2001.

I have the same problem, but have had some success with using a softener and two filters. The filter liners do need to be changed every two months, but they are only $7.99 each. The salt for the softener lasts much longer than I would have expected, so it really is pretty economical in the long run. I bought the complete system from Home Depot and put it in myself for less than $900.00. It should last for a good long time with proper maintenance.

-- Lynn Royal (homesteadmama1@aol.com), January 15, 2001.

We live in an area of hard water too. We tried magnets as advertised and they did diddly-squat! We use a water condtioner for our hot water only and that's worked well for us. God bless! (Am I allowed to say that?)

-- Ardie from WI (a6203@hotmail.com), January 16, 2001.

I don't mind hard water--soft water tastes funny to me. But I can't stand rusty or chlorine flavor. With my rural water system I simply let the water sit in a jug for a few hours before consuming it. My dog prefers this as well. It probably wouldn't really help the rust, but the chlorine dissipates.

-- (HT@HM.com), January 16, 2001.

Hardness in water is caused by minerals. The only effective way to remove hardness is by filtering. Hardness cannot be magically zapped into non-existence. A filter needs a drain for the hardness to be flushed away....so, if something is supposedly removing the hardness, and there's no drain, where does it go? Right on through to your taps.

When you're dealing with water problems, there are different filters designed for specific purposes and different problems. Filters for hardness are the water softeners. They can also remove up to about 1.5 parts per million of iron, but beyond that, you will need a filter designed specifically for the removal of iron. This is probably why Culligan has a filter that costs $whatever per month, the filters need to be cleaned out every so often. There are also filters for removing sulpher, tannins and organics, and petroleum products. The most common problems are hard water and iron. Iron will already show up as stains on fixtures at .5 parts per million.

Beware of simplistic quick fixes for water problems. Get some tests done by REPUTABLE water treatment companies that have been around for several years. DON'T commit to anything until you're absolutely sure. Compare the tests of at least 3 different companies. If your iron problem is less than 1.5 parts per million, you may be able to do as earlier mentioned, instal a softener yourself. (*Beyond 1.5, the iron can damage the resin bed in the softener.)

-- Chelsea (rmbehr@istar.ca), January 16, 2001.

Remember that magnets only attract ferrous materials like iron and iron-rich alloys, not other metals, os even if they were powerful enough to "suck" the ferrous metals out of the flow, you'd still be stuck with any other mineral (calcium comes to mind) that is unaffected by magnets, which is all but a very few of the ones most likely to be responsible for hard water in any area.

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), January 19, 2001.

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