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What is a Magnetic Water Softener & How Does It Work?

Jennifer Hansen
Last Updated on
by Jennifer Hansen

There have been many disputes about the effectiveness of magnetic softeners. Some argue that magnetic softeners are not as effective compared to other types of water softeners. While it is true that the magnetic softener has its benefits, it has also been proven to be inferior as compared to others. To start with, the principles upon which the system operates are not well elaborated as shown in Basic Concepts of Magnetic Water Treatment.

Magnetic water softeners operate on the principles of electromagnetism. The water softener creates a magnetic field around the pipe in which the water is delivered. The magnetic fields interact with the ions in the water and consequently remove them or change their orientation. If a positive ion comes in contact with a magnet, its orientation may be changed, causing the ion to become neutral or negative. The same happens with negative ions.

Magnetic water softener
Magnetic Water Softener

Magnetic Water Softener vs Ion-Exchange Water Softener

The magnetic water softener is quite different from the other types of softeners. One key factor that stands out is that magnetic softeners do not add salt or chemicals to the water. Most salt-based water softeners often add chemicals to the water, which may affect the consumers.

The other difference between magnetic and conventional softeners is the use of power. Most conventional water softeners require a power connection. On the other hand, most magnetic softeners do not need to be connected to the power source.

 Lastly, there is a massive difference in the cost of water softeners. Magnetic water softeners cost as low as $20 each. On the higher end, a magnetic softener may cost just above $100. In either case, they are way cheaper as compared to salt-based water softeners.

Features of Magnetic Water Softeners

To get a better understanding if magnetic water softeners are the best choice for you, let’s take a closer look at the features.

Installation Process

The installation process is an essential factor to consider when purchasing any water softener. The magnetic water softener is the easiest to install and does not require any special tools. In most cases, you will receive ultra-high powered magnets with nylon or velcro straps for installation. The straps help bind the magnets to the steel pipes and tighten them. With that, you have the system installed.

Power Consumption

Another critical factor to consider when purchasing a water softener is the power needs of the water softener. Magnetic water softener does not require a power connection. This means that it doesn’t come with extra power costs like it is the case with the salt-free or salt-based water softeners.


When it comes to portability, the magnetic water softener ranks low. There are many situations where you may want to travel with your water softener if you are visiting a new location. In this regard, you need a water softener that can quickly be packaged and used to soften the water without connecting to the plumbing. Unfortunately, the magnetic softener is normally connected to the plumbing. As a result, using it on short visits may not be ideal.

The Time It Takes to Soften Water

When it comes to the question of time, the magnetic softener is among the fastest. As mentioned, this gadget is connected to the water piping. The water does not have to stay in a holding tank to get soft.

Contrary to other softeners where water may take several minutes, the magnetic softeners work instantly. As the water passes through the pipe, it gets to work immediately. As soon as you get to your shower, you can feel the difference in the softened water.

Physical Components

There are three major physical features of this water softener that stand out. They include:

  • Ultra high powered magnets
  • Nylon and Velcro strap for installation
  • Solid steel design

There are various designs of magnetic water softeners. However, they all consist of magnets and straps. In most cases, the magnets are shaped in a steel pipe design. This helps tighten the magnet plumbing pipes. The design makes the magnetic softener easy to install. The straps used to tighten the magnets on the pipes are either made out of nylon or velcro.

Advantages of a Magnetic Softener

As we have seen, this type of water softener comes with plenty of benefits when compared to the other types:

Good Coverage

Although the water softener does not use salt and other chemicals, it effectively reduces the water hardness. With that said, it is essential to note that it is slightly less effective as compared to salt-based softeners.

The upside is that the magnetic softener will effectively remove the ions without adding other chemicals to your water. This means that you can use the water for drinking and cooking without the fear of side effects.

Durable and Long-lasting

Magnetic water softeners are among the most durable softeners. Once you have the magnets attached to your plumbing, you will not incur any other costs for a long time. It is estimated that a magnetic water softener can last up to 40 years.

Removes Existing Scale

The magnetic water softener has been proven effective in removing existing scales from the pipes. As the water ions are changed, they wash away scales from your pipes gradually.

Low power costs

Magnetic water softeners do not need electricity to function. And those that do only use batteries to indicate that they are functioning.

No excessive chemical and minerals

This water softener does add chemicals (salt) into your water as it is the case with other softeners.

Disadvantages of Magnetic Water Softener

To fully conceptualize the beauty of magnetic softener, we have to also look at its disadvantages.

Installed To Plumbing System

Since the magnets are strapped to the plumbing system, it is impossible to soften small amounts of water for use if you are far away from home.

Not as Effective as Other Softeners

Although this softener works and has been proven effective, it lacks when compared to chemical softeners. Most chemical softeners are more accurate and offer water that is much softer as compared to magnetic ones.


Considering the features, cost, pros, and cons of the magnetic water conditioner, we can recommend it to anyone who intends to buy a water softener. The magnetic water conditioner is not only the cheapest option available, but it is also the most durable. This conditioner is also easy to install and does not add salt to the water.

As we have seen from this magnetic water softener review the water softener is easy to install and works well in softening water. However, you should remember that it is not as effective as the chemical water softeners. If you buy it, you will save a lot in terms of purchasing and maintenance costs.

The beauty of the magnetic softener is that it has a very long lifespan. On the downside, you can not use it in a remote location since it is connected to the plumbing. You will also have to do with water that is not as soft as you may have expected.

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About Jennifer Hansen
Jennifer Hansen
Jennifer is a clean water enthusiast and the lead editor of Water Filter Spot and created this website several years ago to share information that she's been researching in this industry for over 20 years.Jennifer studied environmental resource science in college and studied Western US water issues, including water policy, water rights, water pollution and environmental concerns.
Jennifer Hansen
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