Plain and simple, we feel these devices are a complete fraud.
'Permanent magnetic water conditioning devices have been marketed based on a variety of claims regarding their effect on water hardness and related scale formation. Tests conducted at Purdue University found ....no significant, beneficial variation in the physical or chemical water quality parameters measured.'
The only feasible ways to soften water in a residential application are with:
People who sell magnets and other devices are usually selling you something that wont do much for you. To prove it, simply measure the hardness of the water before and after the magnet and you will find no difference.
From a Chemist
I just wanted to say that magnetic water conditioners are a fad device that comes along every 30 years or so and they have never been proven to actually soften water. I browsed through websites of people selling these things and the only scientific evidence that was offered was pretty scanty. As a chemist I can tell you that to 'simply change the size of the water molecule' is not simple, it's impossible. Furthermore, a magnetic field will have little if any effect on water molecules, which have a virtually nonexistent magnetic moment. Other claims I've read about them are that they 'change the ionic charge' or 'alter the ionic activity of water'. This is also malarky.
Now I can conceive of a possibility that they could have an small effect on pipe scaling, since there are electrochemical processes at work there, and the magnets could possibly produce a small electric field somehow, but this would have no effect on water softening, only on adhesion of the materials to pipes. I seem to recall that many places that have large boiler systems use an electrical system that helps prevent pipe scaling, but its a lot more complicated than slapping a permanent magnet around your water pipe. Jared