Table of Contents
- 🥇 Best Electronic Water Softener
- ⭐ Reviews – Best Electronic Water Descaler 2021
- 🧾 Hard Water Descaler Buyer’s Guide
- 🤔 How Do Electronic Water Descalers Work?
- 🔠 Types of Electronic Descalers
- 👍 Advantages to Using an Electronic Water Descaler
- 👎 Disadvantages of Descalers
- 💭 Considerations When Buying
- ❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Hard water can cause a myriad of problems in the home, from reduced efficiency of appliances to unsightly, difficult-to-remove scale deposits on faucets and fixtures.
One of the emerging soft water solutions, which has seen a recent rapid increase in popularity, is the electronic water descaler. The best electronic water descaler is capable of preventing hard water from being a nuisance in your home without actually removing the healthy calcium and magnesium minerals themselves.
This guide serves as an educational tool for anyone who’s looking to learn more about hard water. I’ve also reviewed a selection of the best electronic water softeners offered on the market today, helping you to make an informed purchasing decision if you’re keen to buy a water descaler for your own home.
🥇 Best Electronic Water Softener
- Scalewatcher Electronic Water Softener
- Yarna Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler
- Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
- iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler
- Hard Water Genie Electronic Softener and Descaler
|Scalewatcher Electronic Water Softener||Max hardness: 50 GPG|
Dimensions: 8.3 x 4.1 x 2.6 inches
|Yarna Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler||Max hardness: No max|
Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 2 inches
|Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener||Max hardness: 20 GPG|
Dimensions: 6.69 x 1.57 x 3.54 inches
👉 Read the full review
|iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler||Max hardness: 19 GPG|
Dimensions: 12 x 9.5 x 2.5 inches
👉 Read the full review
|Hard Water Genie Electronic Softener and Descaler||Max hardness: not listed|
Wattage: not listed
Dimensions: 9 x 20 x 14.5 inches
⭐ Reviews – Best Electronic Water Descaler 2021
Scalewatcher Electronic Water Softener
Offering anti-rust and water conditioning treatment, the Scalewater electric water softener offers a two-for-one salt-free treatment for softened water. This eco-friendly descaling water system is designed to prevent limescale buildup on pipes and fittings with a salt-free, chemical-free process.
The Scalewater works by preventing crystallization of magnesium and calcium minerals, which greatly reduces limescale formation. The system coils around your home’s main plumbing, as close to the point of entry as possible, and uses electric fields with changing frequency – an effective technique that doesn’t use much energy to operate.
Compared to other systems, the Scalewater’s 10-year warranty could be better, but that’s still a pretty good lifespan for the price you pay. It’s one of the best systems for water hard-ness and iron levels in one, and can be used in homes up to 4,000 square feet.
It’s easy to install the Scalewater descaling water system – just wrap the coils in the instructed direction around your water pipe, then connect them to your unit and switch it on. That’s all that’s needed to set the system to work, and it’ll start preventing the buildup of limescale immediately.
👍 What I Like
- Offers conditioning and anti-rust benefits
- Eco-friendly water system
- Easy installation
👎 What I Don’t Like
- A little expensive
- No lifetime warranty
Yarna Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler
Designed to improve the efficiency of plumbing and appliances by reducing scale buildup in pipes, the Yarna descaling water system is priced at an affordable $300 and offers a guaranteed returns promise in your first year of ownership.
This system produces a changing field of electricity that crystallizes calcium and magnesium, preventing them from being able to stick to surfaces as limescale. It takes just 15 minutes to install and requires no maintenance once the job’s done. You can choose to either mount the system on your pipe or mount it on the closest wall. Remember you’ll need a power outlet close by to connect the system to your electricity.
With the Yarna, you can still enjoy the healthy minerals in your home’s drinking water, but without their unwanted limescale-forming effects. The system is designed to work on any pipe up to 1 inch in thickness, including iron, copper, stainless steel and plastic pipes.
The current condition of your plumbing and the number of hard ions in your water may affect how long it takes for the Yarna to produce anti-limescale benefits in your home. It may take up to 3 months for this descaling water system to produce the effects you’re after, so you’ll need patience if your hard water situation is pretty bad.
👍 What I Like
- Solidly built
- Simple to install
- Can return for a full refund within the first year
👎 What I Don’t Like
- May take up to 3 months to work
Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is perhaps the most well-known electronic water conditioner on this list. With a lifetime replace or repair warranty and a no-fuss 12-month money-return promise, this descaler water softener can be easily installed on both metal and plastic pipes up to 1.5 inches in diameter.
There’s no salt required to operate the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler. It doesn’t change the hardness of your water, so you can still enjoy the beneficial hard water minerals without limescale issues in your home.
As one of the better-performing electronic water conditioner systems on the market, the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is capable of tackling levels of hardness up to 20 GPG, making it a good choice for homes with very hard water.
Finally, the Eddy descaler water softener is easy to set up by anyone, requiring no major installation and no plumbing expertise. This whole house saltless water softener can help you to save money without contributing to your monthly spend. You’ll need to plug the Eddy into an electronic outlet, so make sure you have one near to your water line that can be used for this purpose.
👍 What I Like
- Offered by a reputed brand
- Can be used for well and city water
- Salt-free & no maintenance
👎 What I Don’t Like
- Won’t eliminate limescale
iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler
The ED2000 is a saltless water softening system offered by iSpring, a well-known water filtration and softening manufacturer in the US. This descaler water softener requires no salt, chemicals or excess water to reduce limescale buildup in your home’s incoming water pipes. Being completely maintenance-free, this system is an eco-friendly water conditioning solution that won’t break your bank.
Of all the descaler water softeners on this list, the iSpring isn’t the best for tackling the highest levels of hardness, but it’s still well-suited for most homes with 10 to 19 GPG hardness levels. With its small footprint, you don’t need lots of space to install the iSpring, and no plumbing is needed to set the descaler system up.
The ED200 features two antenna cables, which are wrapped around your main water line in a coil. These cables produce electronic waveforms that send an oscillating field of electricity into the water that flows through the pipe. The water molecules become agitated by these waveforms and release carbon dioxide, causing calcium bicarbonate to precipitate. As a result, water becomes more soluble, which dissolves existing limescale and prevents new limescale from forming.
👍 What I Like
- Maintenance-free & salt-free
- Greatly reduces mineral buildup
- Easy installation
👎 What I Don’t Like
- Some customers didn’t notice much of a difference
Hard Water Genie Electronic Softener and Descaler
Hard Water Genie is an electronic water conditioner that comes with a lifetime warranty and costs less than $10 to run per year. This water softener alternative uses two technologies to descale water: directive inductive coupling and radio frequency.
Operating at approximately 13,000 pulses per second, the Hard Water Genie changes the behavior of magnesium and calcium minerals, preventing them from forming scale across your whole house. It takes an estimated 30 to 90 days for the effects of this electronic descaler water system to be noticed in older pipes, so you’ll need a little patience – but if you have brand-new pipes, the effects will be immediate.
Being completely tankless, the Hard Water Genie won’t affect the flow of your water. If anything, it’ll improve flow as there will no longer be any scale to create friction and slow it down.
Installing this electronic descaler water softening system is easy – you just wrap both signal cables around your water line and connect the cables up to the unit. Plug the unit into a power supply and switch it on. The Hard Water Genie descaler water softener has a lifetime warranty and requires no maintenance, salt or chemicals to operate.
👍 What I Like
- Lifetime warranty
- Environmentally friendly
- Simple installation
👎 What I Don’t Like
- More expensive than other salt-free water descalers
🧾 Hard Water Descaler Buyer’s Guide
The benefits of soft water in your home are fairly obvious – but how does a water descaler system actually work?
How do the individual types of electronic water softeners differ from one another?
And how does water descaling compare to water softening?
I’ve covered it all in this buyer’s guide below.
🤔 How Do Electronic Water Descalers Work?
Electronic water descalers act as an efficient salt-free softening solution. They’re completely different from what you might think of when you imagine a water softener – they have no tanks, use no salt, and require no regeneration or media changes.
Instead, an electronic water descaler typically consists of a coil of wire, or several magnets, placed around your water pipe. This apparatus is connected to the descaler unit, which sends out an electromagnetic wave that suspends hard water minerals and prevents them from sticking to surfaces.
With an electronic descaler water system, water isn’t technically “softened”, as the hard water minerals still remain. Electronic water softeners may not even change the composition of minerals – they’ll simply change the way that these minerals behave.
🔠 Types of Electronic Descalers
When you’re looking for the best electronic water descaler, you’ll likely come across two types: electromagnetic and capacitive electronic. Though these system types are identical in what they do, they have their differences when it comes to design.
Electromagnetic descalers are the most common water descaling option. They’re attached onto your water pipe at your home’s point of entry. This type of descaler prevents a buildup of limescale by altering the behavior of the hard water minerals with the magnetic field it produces.
Capacitive electronic water softeners tend to be more effective, and more expensive, than descalers. In this type of system, a couple of wires connect to a capacitor, which supplies electricity to produce an electro-magnetic wave that penetrates through the water pipe and, again, alters the behavior of the calcium and magnesium minerals.
👍 Advantages to Using an Electronic Water Descaler
Keen to know why you should purchase an electronic water descaler for your home? Here’s what you need to know.
Electronic water descalers do exactly what you’re looking for: they reduce limescale. Limescale doesn’t only look unsightly – it can also reduce the efficiency of your appliances as it creates a thick, sticky layer that slows down water speed and acts as unwanted insulation.
An electronic water softener can remove existing limescale and reduce the formation of new scale, which has benefits all over your home.
In a heater, for example, reduced limescale will ensure the most efficient operation, as the heating elements will be able to heat water at a faster rate. Because your water speed won’t be slowed down by limescale, you should also notice that your showerheads and faucets produce a stronger, faster stream of water when you switch them on.
Reduced limescale will also mean less cleaning work for you.
We all know what limescale looks like – it’s white, crusty, sometimes slimy, and it commonly builds up around your faucets. It can be a nightmare to remove from chrome and glass in particular, and often requires special cleaning products and chemicals that you’d probably rather not use in your home.
With an electronic water descaler, you’ll have a much easier time cleaning your kitchen and bathroom, as it’s unlikely that you’ll have much, if any, scale to worry about at all.
Lower Price Point
If you’re looking at salt-based water softeners, you’ll need to prepare to pay at least $500 for a decent system – and that doesn’t even take installation into account. Electronic water descalers, on the other hand, have a much lower price point, with most costing between $100 and $300.
Anyone can install an electronic water softener, too, as you don’t need to cut into your water pipe, which means paying for a plumber to do the job for you is unnecessary.
In terms of maintenance, you won’t need to factor in the costs of salt or new resin, as electronic water softeners don’t require any of these to operate.
Salt-based water softeners can often cost hundreds of dollars to operate per year, while salt-free descalers cost nothing. This makes electronic water descalers ideal for people with smaller budgets who are looking to pay less upfront and in the long run for an effective water softener alternative.
Electronic water softeners require installation on the outside of your water line. This means you just have to follow a small set of simple instructions to set the system up, with none of the invasive installation requirements that you get with salt-based water softeners or any water softener with a tank.
Installation is so simple that most people can install an electronic descaler within half an hour at the longest. Usually, you’ll just need to choose a place for installation, then wrap the cables around your pipe and install the unit on the wall behind it. After connecting the unit up to a power outlet, it will start working immediately.
Once you’ve installed this type of conditioner, it’s easy to remove if you’re moving house or you simply don’t want to use it anymore. Because you haven’t cut into your waterline, you can simply do the opposite of what you did when you installed the system, unscrewing the unit and leaving your pipes exactly how they were before.
Compare this to a salt-based system and it’s easy to see why salt-free descaler water systems are the preferred option for many. You don’t get the same easy installation with a system that uses tanks, and this type of system is nowhere near as portable.
If you’re keen to do your bit for the environment, you’ll appreciate that water conditioner units don’t produce wastewater or use a noticeable amount of electricity to operate, making them an effective environmentally friendly water softener alternative.
An electronic water treatment system requires no water or salt to operate, either – it simply produces an electromagnetic wave that changes the way that hard water ions behave.
After you’ve installed an electronic water softening system, you don’t need to do anything else to it in the form of maintenance.
There’s no salt to top up and no resin to keep track of – as long as you have access to a constant source of electricity, the unit will continue to operate as it did the day you installed it. Technically, a salt-free conditioner should last a lifetime, as it won’t be subject to any wear and tear – it’ll just sit in the same location in your home with no disturbances.
No maintenance has huge benefits when it comes to cost. You don’t need a monthly budget to keep this softener alternative working at its best, so you can pretty much set it up and forget all about it.
👎 Disadvantages of Descalers
Like all types of water softening systems, electronic descaler systems come with their pros and cons. Consider the following when deciding whether an electronic water descaler is for you:
Doesn’t Actually Soften Water
What gives a water softener its name? The system has to remove hard water minerals entirely. Salt-based water softeners are considered more effective by some people as they produce obvious results – if you were to test for hard water after using this type of system, your results would come back negative, as there’d be no more hard water minerals present.
With a salt-free electronic water softener, on the other hand, hard water minerals are still present; they’re just unable to stick to surfaces and form scale. Because they don’t actually soften water, they don’t offer any definitive proof that they’re doing their job. The only evidence that you have is a reduction in scale, which makes it difficult to confirm that the system is working.
You may find that certain benefits, such as better lather with soap and reduced damage to skin and hair, are less obvious with a salt-free magnetic water system than they would be with a traditional softening system.
Requires Flowing Water
An electronic water softener only works with flowing water, which is why it has to be installed at your home’s waterline. It’s no good using a descaler to treat stagnant water in a container, as it won’t work.
This also means you won’t be able to use a descaler on-the-go unless you have access to water pipes and time to install the system.
Max Hardness 25 GPG
Extremely hard water requires in-depth softening treatment, and in this case, an electronic water softener isn’t the best solution.
This softener alternative may not be able to treat a high quantity of calcium and magnesium minerals in the time it takes for water to pass through the area of the pipe where the system is installed. For this reason, while you may see a reduction of scale, some hard water minerals may still slip through, which means you won’t actually eliminate your scale issue.
If you have water hardness of more than 25 GPG (grains per gallon), you might not be impressed with the capabilities of a descaler. Some descalers are even less effective, and can only treat a hardness of around 15 GPG.
Be sure to check before you purchase for your peace of mind if your water hardness is particularly high. You may find that a salt-based water softener is a better alternative in your case.
💭 Considerations When Buying
Your Water Hardness
If you don’t already know your water hardness, start there. Even if you can see from scale formation that you have a hard water issue, it can be helpful to know exactly what level of hardness you’re dealing with before you buy an electronic descaler.
Testing your water at home is simple and affordable. Just purchase a testing kit online – they cost between $10 and $20 – and follow the instructions to determine your water hardness in GPG.
If your water is soft, it’ll measure between less than 3.5 GPG. Medium-hard water is generally around 3.5 to 7 GPG, while hard water measures between 7 and 10 GPG and very hard water has a measurement of greater than 10 GPG. On the very top of the scale, extremely hard water is considered anything with a GPG measurement over 17.5 GPG.
How hard your water is may determine what kind of electronic water conditioner can buy, as some can handle a higher rating than others.
Water Flow Rate
Your water flow is also relatively important when considering an electronic descaler, as these units need to be installed at an area where water is constantly on the move.
You’ll need to install a water descaler at your main water line before your heater, providing your whole home with scale-free water, as this is where your flow rate will be the highest, thus ensuring the most effective descaling process.
A big benefit of an electronic descaler is that it won’t affect your water speed like a tank-based water softener might. Water doesn’t need to pass through a series of tanks and units before being sent back into your main waterline, which means you won’t need to wait any longer than you usually would to access water from a shower or faucet.
Some tank-based systems can slow down water flow so much that appliances struggle to operate at the same time, but an electronic descaler won’t cause this issue.
As I mentioned above, installing an electronic descaler at your main water supply pipes, as close to your point of entry as possible, is advisable. This means you’ll need adequate space to install the system in this preferred location, so make sure you have plenty of room before you make a purchase.
Note, though, that if space is an issue for you, you’re better off installing an electronic descaler system instead of tank-based water softeners, as these have a much larger footprint.
If you want to see the biggest benefits of an electronic water descaler, be sure to install it before your heater so as to improve this appliance’s efficiency and help you save money.
Finally, you’ll need to install an electronic water descaler near to a power outlet if it requires electricity to operate. This may make things a little difficult if your water supply doesn’t run particularly close to your electricity.
Typically, you’ll need a power outlet at least 5 feet away from your water supply. Check with the manufacturer if you’re not sure whether a product’s cable will reach your power source before you make a purchase.
The efficacy of an electronic water descaler depends on a number of factors. First and foremost, the more hard water minerals a water conditioner is capable of removing, the more effective it is. The best water descalers can remove up to 25 GPG of minerals in the water in your home.
It’s also worth considering the efficacy of a conditioner vs a tank-based water softening system. While salt-free electronic water descalers are certainly more efficient, requiring no maintenance to operate, this type of treatment system isn’t the most effective.
Consider what you’re looking for in your electronic water softener alternative. Is it important to you that your whole house benefits from a much-improved water quality? And what does this look like in your eyes? Do you want to simply reduce limescale or are you more bothered about the way your water lathers, or how it feels on your skin and hair?
It may be off-putting to you that salt-free water descalers can’t actually remove calcium and magnesium, especially as there’s little evidence to support the fact that these systems work. That doesn’t, by the way, mean that these systems don’t work – rather that you’ll have to judge their efficacy by their ability to reduce the effects of hard water, and not by whether they remove calcium and magnesium from your water supply.
No matter how much you pay for your salt-free water conditioner, it goes without saying that a warranty is essential. You want to make sure you’re protected, whether in case you receive a faulty product or your descaler simply doesn’t meet up to expectations.
If you’re particularly wary about wasting your money, buy a water conditioning unit from a manufacturer that offers a money-back guarantee for a certain period of time, allowing you to trial an electronic water descaler and decide whether it’s for you.
The best water descaler manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty, offering a replacement product if needed throughout your ownership of their conditioner. This sounds really impressive, but as a water descaler isn’t subject to any particular wear and tear, it genuinely should last for a lifetime, so this is more of an expected perk.
Additional Water Treatment Needs
Whether you opt for a traditional water softener or a salt-free system, you’ll only be able to tackle the hard water issues in your home. While your hair and skin, pipes and appliances will benefit from a lack of mineral scale buildup, no conditioning or softening system can remove contaminants from water.
If you have chlorine, lead, fluoride, or any other common impurities, you’ll need to consider installing a water filtration system alongside your water conditioning system. Reverse osmosis filters are particularly effective, though this type of treatment can be expensive.
If you just want to prevent mineral scale buildup, a conditioning unit is all you need. But for high-quality water, you should consider buying a filter to use alongside your salt-free system for conditioning and filtering benefits.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between a salt-free water conditioner with tanks and a salt-free water descaler?
You may have seen another type of salt-free softener alternative on the market: salt-free conditioners. These whole house water treatment systems look more like salt-based systems, as they have a tank that water must run in and out of for treatment.
The majority of tank-based conditioners use a process called TAC to soften water, wherein water flows through a special media that alters the composition of hard minerals and prevents them from being able to stick to surfaces. They require no salt to operate; just a media that usually lasts for around 8 years.
In comparison, an electronic water descaler system has no tanks – instead, it’s installed around your existing water supply line, offering simple, no-fuss treatment. Instead of altering the composition of hard water minerals, electronic water descalers alter the behavior of these minerals, which has the same effect of preventing limescale.
Why might I prefer an electronic water descaler system?
If you like the idea of retaining healthy hard water minerals, electronic descaling systems are a good option. You won’t have soft water; rather, hard water that is no longer capable of leaving limescale deposits.
How much does an electronic water conditioner cost?
Products are usually priced at around $150 to $300, though some may cost a little more than this. Remember that’s typically all you’ll have to pay for this type of water softener alternative, as no maintenance is required.
Can I use an electronic descaler with well source water?
Yes – electronic water descalers provide limescale removal water treatment for all water sources that contain calcium and magnesium. Just remember that they don’t act as a filter in any way, so you’ll need to use alternative means of filtration for your well water to make it safe to drink. If your well water has particularly high levels of hard water minerals, remember also that electronic softeners can only remove up to 25 GPG.
Do electronic water descalers actually work?
Yes. You can only measure the efficacy of a whole house water descaler through visual inspection, but providing you opt for one of the best water descalers offered by a reputable company, you will notice a positive change. If you’re nervous to invest in this kind of water softener alternative, head over to YouTube and check out some impartial reviews of electronic descalers, which will give you a realistic idea of the improvements you can expect.
What are the signs that a water conditioning unit is working?
You’ll see a reduction in limescale, for one. Your hair and skin should be healthier, too. Your water heaters will perform more efficiently and water will travel through your pipes at a faster rate. You won’t notice a difference in the taste or smell of your water.
How do I install an electronic descaler system?
Installation may vary on a product-by-product basis, but you will generally just need to attach the unit to the wall behind your water line and make sure the wires or magnets are placed in the right direction around the pipe. You may need your install location to be several feet above the ground, according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Plug the system into a source of electricity, if required, and switch it on. The system will get to work immediately.