If you’ve been considering salt-free alternatives, you’ve probably heard of the Scaleblaster.
The Scaleblaster water conditioner is something of an OG in the saltless softening industry, having been around since the late 1990s. The Scalbaster’s manufacturer, Clearwater Enviro Technologies, Inc., is one of the industry leaders for this reason. But does this make the Scaleblaster worth choosing over other water conditioners on the market?
We’ll be reviewing two popular Scaleblaster conditioners in this article, so you can decide whether any of them are worth spending your money on.
Table of Contents
Scaleblaster water conditioners were released in 1995. The conditioners are designed in Florida, USA.
There are residential, commercial, and industrial Scaleblaster models available today, but we’ll be focusing on the two residential water conditioners: the Scaleblaster SB-75 Water Conditioner and the Scaleblaster SB-Elite Water Conditioner.
What makes the Scaleblaster water conditioner units different from a traditional water softener? The short answer is that the Scaleblaster prevents lime scale deposits without actually removing the hardness minerals that are responsible for these deposits, and without using salt.
💲 Models & Upfront Cost
There are two Scaleblaster models available for residential use:
- The Scaleblaster SB-75 Water Conditioner, costing $400-$500
- The Scaleblaster SB-Elite Water Conditioner, costing around $400
The exact cost of the Scaleblaster depends on where online you buy it from, and whether there are any discount deals available. The Scaleblaster is available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Amazon, so shop around and compare deals to find the cheapest option.
📝 System Specifications
|Product Dimensions||19.05 x 12.07 x 5.59 inches||10.25 x 7 x 2.25 inches|
|Household Size||Small to large homes||Medium to large homes|
|Max Water Hardness (grains per gallon)||19 GPG||40 GPG|
|Warranty||3 years||3 years|
- Maintenance-free design: The obvious benefit of the Scaleblaster systems is that they’re completely maintenance-free. There’s no salt or chemicals to add, no media to replace, and (hopefully!) no costly repairs.
- Treat moderately hard water: The Scaleblaster water conditioner units treat a hardness level of up to 40 GPG. This is good enough for moderately hard water areas.
- USA-made: Both Scaleblaster systems are made in the USA from quality components.
- Power required: The Scaleblaster water softeners are electronic, so they need to be connected to a power outlet to operate.
- 3-year warranty: The Scaleblaster’s 3-year warranty covers defects in material and workmanship under normal use. You need to fill out the warranty card to be eligible for a warranty.
The Scaleblaster provides electronic descaling. What this means is that the systems don’t act like traditional salt-based water softeners, and don’t use salt to produce “soft” water.
Let’s take a look at the performance of the Scaleblaster SB-75 and the Scaleblaster SB-Elite.
The Scaleblaster SB-75 water conditioner is designed for homes with 1-4 bathrooms and reduces hardness up to 19 GPG.
If your water hardness is above 19 GPG, be aware that the Scaleblaster SB-75 won’t be effective in fully reducing limescale deposits in your home, and you might struggle to see any results.
The main purpose of the SB-75 is to reduce scaling. Not only does it prevent new scale formation, but the SB-75 can also dissolve existing deposits in your plumbing system. The process doesn’t require salt and is completely maintenance-free.
How does the Scaleblaster SB-75 work? The system uses sonic wave frequencies that change the formation of magnesium and calcium molecules, preventing them from sticking to surfaces as limescale deposits.
This method of water treatment solves hard water problems in homes with moderate hardness. There are no tanks involved – the unit treats water as it flows through the pipe. This means your water flow isn’t affected, either. The SB-75 has a power unit, though, and needs to be connected to a power source to work.
After installing the SB-75, you should have less scaling in your water heater, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and other surfaces.
The total softening capacity of the SB-75 is unlimited. That means once you’ve installed the water conditioner, you’ll never need to replace it for the rest of its lifespan.
The Scaleblaster SB-Elite is virtually identical to the SB-75. The only real difference between the two is that the SB-Elite is bigger than the SB-75, and the SB-Elite can handle higher water hardness than the SB-75. While the SB-Elite is designed for homes under 5,000 square feet, the SB-75 is designed for homes under 4,000 square feet.
Like its younger brother, the SB-Elite salt-free water conditioner uses sonic wave frequencies to change the properties of calcium ions in moderately hard water, reducing their adhesive properties and preventing them from sticking to the insides of your pipes and appliances as scale.
The SB-Elite also handles up to 40 grains per gallon of water hardness. This larger system can tackle hard or very hard water much more effectively than the SB-75.
The SB-Elite has an unlimited water treatment capacity, so as well as treating water with a higher hardness than moderate, it will be able to treat your water for life – no maintenance required.
Just like the SB-75, the SB-Elite doesn’t need to regenerate and doesn’t need salt to operate. What this means is that you get unlimited access to conditioned water without the expense of salt or wastewater.
🔧 Installation & Maintenance
Can you install the Scaleblaster systems yourself? Yes, you can – and this type of water descaler is the easiest to install, because you don’t need to break into your main water line to hook the system up.
Check your pipes before you buy a Scaleblaster. The systems can only be installed on non-magnetic pipes smaller than 1 1/4″ in diameter. PEX, PVC, and copper pipes are all safe to install a Scaleblaster on.
The user manual offers all the guidance you need to successfully install your Scaleblaster unit yourself. We found the steps clear and easy to follow, and the included images are helpful. It’s very hard to get the installation process wrong – as long as you have the right water pipes, you’ll be fine.
As for maintenance? There is none. Both Scaleblaster systems offer completely maintenance-free water treatment. Because they don’t actually remove magnesium and calcium molecules from your water, they don’t need salt, and they don’t use a resin or a media. Ideal if you’re looking for a no-fuss scale prevention solution.
🔔 Pros & Cons
👍 What We Like
- Both Scaleblaster water treatment systems are ideal for moderately hard city water.
- With their non-invasive design, the Scaleblaster descalers take up minimal space and can be installed by non-professionals with no plumbing experience.
- Because the Scaleblaster systems don’t add salt to drinking water, they’re suitable for people with salt-restricted diets.
- There are no frequent regeneration cycles, and no waste water or salt waste produced by the Scaleblaster descalers.
- Reduced scale in your water heater, water appliances, sinks, and showers are some of the improvements you should notice in your home after installing these systems.
- The SB-75 is an affordable alternative to the majority of water softeners and conditioners on the market.
- Both the Scaleblaster conditioners are made in the USA.
- The company that manufactures the Scaleblaster is recognized as A+ by the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and the Water Quality Association.
👎 What We Don’t Like
- The Scaleblaster’s method of water treatment just doesn’t compare to the performance of traditional water softeners.
- If you buy the Scaleblaster conditioners Amazon or eBay (which is sometimes cheaper), the clearwater enviro technologies Warranty isn’t valid.
- The SB-Elite is pretty expensive for a conditioner – but there is a noticeble difference in performance between the two, so it’s worth paying more for the Elite.
- The SB-75 doesn’t work on hard water or very hard water, and Scaleblaster reviews are quite mixed.
- The Scaleblasters aren’t actual water softeners. They don’t remove hard water minerals, so they’re not as effective as traditional water softeners.
- Because of their limited effectiveness, the Scaleblasters are designed only for municipal water, not well water.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Water Softener vs Scaleblaster: Which is Better?
A water softener is better than the Scale Blaster systems if you have mild to moderately hard water. If you have high hard water levels or extremely hard water, a water softener will be able to properly treat your water in the way that Scale Blaster systems can’t.
Water softener systems don’t just reduce calcium build-up – they eliminate it entirely. Water softeners physically remove hardness minerals, rather than simply changing their formation.
Of course, there are disadvantages of a regular water softener to consider. There’s far more plumbing required to install a water softener, and water softeners need salt to treat hard water. More maintenance works are involved in owning a water softener compared to owning a Scale Blaster.
If you prefer the easy installation and convenience of the Scale Blaster systems, and your hard water issues are only mild, give Scaleblaster a go. For very hard water, you’ll get better benefits from a traditional water softener.
How does Scaleblaster work?
Scaleblaster is an electromagnetic conditioning unit. The Scaleblaster systems treat hard water by sending out electronic waves that alter the formation of hardness ions. Electromagnetic conditioners only work on non-magnetic pipes – so no galvanized pipes.
What are the Scaleblaster water conditioner reviews like?
Customer reviews of the Scaleblaster model SB-75 and SB-Elite are mixed.
Some customers were pleased with the results of installing the Scaleblaster.
Customers agreed that they got what was advertised, and that they’d noticed improvements around their home, like better lathering with soap and reduced scale buildup in their dishwashers.
Other Scale Blaster reviews are less appreciative.
Some reviewers said that they didn’t notice any results after installing the system. One customer said that they’d owned the system for over a year, but they hadn’t noticed any improvements.
If I install two Scaleblaster products side-by-side, will I get twice the benefits?
Unfortunately, no. You won’t double the Scaleblaster’s capabilities if you install two of the system systems for treating hard water. They’ll still only treat the same amount of hardness between them. If you need a system more effective than the Scaleblaster, you shouldn’t buy the Scaleblaster.
How do I know if the Scaleblaster is doing what it says it should do?
This is a tricky one. Because the Scaleblaster doesn’t actually remove the minerals responsible for hard water, you can’t simply test your water after installing the conditioner to see if it’s still hard. What you can do is look out for signs including:
- Reduced hard water stains on your appliances
- Increased scale particles on your faucet aerators (to begin with, showing that the conditioner is lifting existing stains from your water heaters and plumbing)
- Improved skin and hair health
If cleaning becomes easier and you don’t notice as much scale buildup, these are the two most obvious signs that the Scalemaster is working.
Can you use the Scaleblaster alongside any other water treatment systems?
Yes, you can. If you want to install a whole house water filter, for example, you can install it alongside the Scaleblaster. Just make sure the water filter is installed closest to your point of entry, and the Scaleblaster comes second.
You can also install the Scaleblaster alongside a water softener, although if you already have a water softener, the Scaleblaster is a pretty pointless investment.
How long does the Scaleblaster work?
The Scaleblaster should work for life. As long as the unit is plugged into a power outlet, it’ll be able to keep conditioning your water as normal.
How many watts does the Scaleblaster use?
The Scaleblaster uses 15 watts of power – about the same as a light bulb.
What’s the warranty on the Scaleblaster systems?
The Scaleblaster systems have a 3-year warranty. Keep in mind that this warranty isn’t applicable for Amazon or eBay purchases.
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