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Easy Water

  1. Jul 2, 2010 #1
    I've been seeing commercials about easy water on TV. They "claim" that wraping the water pipe to your house with a coil and sending a current through it will cause the minerals in the water to combine. It works by removing the charge from the mineral ions.
    I don't like salt water softeners, but what little I know about mineral ions in the water, this sounds a bit far fetched.
    Any help???
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2010 #2
    Hm... Well, that would create a magnetic field around the pipe, I believe. I'm no good at chemophysics, but I *don't think* that electrically charged particles are affected by magnetic fields; magnetic fields only interact with eachother.
     
  4. Jul 5, 2010 #3

    fedaykin

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    Electrically charged particles most certainly are affected by a magnetic field.
    [tex]\vec{F} = q(\vec{v} \times \vec{B})[/tex]

    A charge, q, moving with velocity, v, in a magnetic field, B, undergoes a force, F, known as the Lorentz force. Note that the [tex]\times[/tex] symbol denotes the cross product. The force experience by the particle will be perpendicular to both the velocity of the particle and the B-field. To get the direction of the force, follow the right hand rule: point your thumb in the direction of the particle's velocity, your pointer finger in the direction of the B-field (north to south), then put your middle finger perpendicular to the two. This is the direction of the Lorentz force.

    see http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/magnetic/magfor.html for a reference

    I do not know of any mechanism where a magnetic field as used by that product would cause ions to combine more so than they do naturally (the combine and dissociate constantly in solution from my understanding.)

    *edited to fix Tex
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  5. Jul 5, 2010 #4
    water pipes get enough build up as it is (have you seen the inside of a water main? Quite frankly i've seen more plant life in there than I have in some forests), and having heavy minerals come out of solution would only clog your pipes faster. Mineral build-up on the inside of copper = no good.
     
  6. Jul 5, 2010 #5

    DaveC426913

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    We decided that this was a rat that tried to crawl up the pipe and got stuck.
    0007f28x.jpg
     
  7. Jul 10, 2010 #6
    Thanks fedaykin! That's pretty much what I was thinking. Moving a conductor (the water) through a magnetic field (the coil), will exert a force on the conductor. The way the system is set up, it would seem that the "motor rule" (right hand) would be the correct force applied.
    Just having a problem with how in the world their product is combining the ions!!!
     
  8. Jul 12, 2010 #7

    fedaykin

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    Here's a short but sweet paper with references: http://resources.cas.psu.edu/WaterResources/pdfs/magnetic.pdf [Broken]

    It's fairly old, but I didn't bother looking for new research on the subject.

    Tap water (at least here in Oklahoma) is a rather poor conductor, and I'm not too certain that's a useful perspective, Phrein, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to give good insight.
    I was taught to think of that force on a conductor coming from current due to moving in/relative to a magnetic field.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Aug 14, 2010 #8
    I knew from the start that this was a scam, because their marketing budget is huge enough to buy all of the major talk-radio hosts' glowing endorsements. Besides, how many bags of salt do YOU actually have to "carry to the basement" (it seems every talker has this problem)? I have very hard well-water with iron, and I only need three bags every six months at about $5 each. Not a big deal. For that infrequent of maintenance, I don't even stock it in the house.

    Clicking a single link on the company's website (http://www.easywater.com/howitworks.aspx) immediately states; "...electronic frequencies (not actual electricity) pass through the pipe and cause molecular agitation in the water. (Faraday's Law)."

    OOoohh. All scientifical sounding and stuff. Electricity 101 (and Wikipedia) tell us that Faraday's law is... "The induced electromotive force (EMF) in any closed circuit is equal to the time rate of change of the magnetic flux through the circuit." Hmmm. I don't see how that "...breaks hydrogen bonds and causes the water molecule clusters to become individual molecules, which re-dissolve the existing scale deposits." But apparently that effect will remove the OLD scale from the pipes throughout your house, not just the nine-inches wrapped with wire. Their units are sized/priced by grains-of-hardness, but not according to flow rate or volume. The only consideration in the installation instructions (d/l from website) are how many wraps of wire (one or two) and length of the coil, based on diameter and copper vs. pvc, but I think this may be a factor of how much wire is supplied, since 1/2" pipe gets two 14" wraps, and 1" pipe gets two 9" wraps.

    Fedaykin's posted paper on magnetic-water-softeners is great, but the EasyWater folks have their arguments against it. The paper mentions claims of "violent intramolecular vibrations and shock at the same time magnetic energy is being added, the mineral’s crystallization is upset and cohesion broken.” But those aren't EasyWater's claims at all. EasyWater's claims are... Faraday's law of molecular agitation [cited above], Combining of minerals and removing their surface-electrostatic charge so they won't stick to pipes, breaking the water molecules into individual molecules to re-dissolve existing scale and best of all, since nothing is actually removed from the water (although "physically changed") conventional water quality tests will still show the same mineral concentrations. They even admit that your glasses will still be spotty, you will still have to wipe down your shower door, and you will still have rust stains if your water contains dissolved iron. So, what's the point?

    The only thing certain here is that it will remove money from your wallet.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  10. Aug 14, 2010 #9

    mgb_phys

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    This concept comes up a lot here.
    The problem is that there is some validity - large commercial boilers do use magnetic fields on the feed water pipes, it does prevent the formation of some scale.

    But only for a short time, you need to filter out the minerals anyway (the power stations just use it to stop scale forming in critical parts) and you need huge magnetic fields (1000 of amps not a couple of twists of 110V wire)
     
  11. Sep 3, 2010 #10
    ROTFL... :)

    MGB's right - it does work to reduce scale in boilers, but it requires industrial-strength fields. It does nothing, however, to change the hardness of your water.

    Conventional resin-salt systems do reduce the hardness of your water.
     
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