Magnetic Water/Fluid Conditioners have been around for much
longer than most people are aware. They have now been used
worldwide for over a century in both residential and
There are at least 80 patents filed with the US
Patent Office just for "Permanent Magnet Fluid Conditioners".
One of the first patents on this science was US Patent No. 531,183*, which was filed October 17,
1890 and was granted Dec 18, 1894. One of the
newest patents granted in this area is US Patent No. 6,716,346* which was granted April 4,
2004. So these devices have been in use now for 115
years and there are still new patents being applied for.
There is a whole other group of patents for these devices that use
electro-magnetics in place permanent magnets.
If you do a search for
"magnetic water conditioners" you will find (have found) many
vendors of these devices that provide explanations of the science
behind them (some better than others). What you typically
will not find is any real specifications by which you can compare
the products of the different vendors of these devices. What
is even worse you will typically find statements that says that
what ever their competitors are doing just will not work.
These statements are just bald face lies
that are not backed up by any scientific test data.
HYDROGEN HAS THE STRONGEST RESPONSE TO A
MAGNETIC FIELD OF ALL THE ELEMENTS AND IS THE BASIS ON WHICH
MAGNETIC RESONANT IMAGING (MRI's) WORKS. Water
will respond to any magnetic field it encounters,
regardless of how the magnetic field is generated. It does
not matter whether permanent magnets, electro-magnets, or
superconducting magnets are used to generate the magnetic field.
It does not matter whether the magnetic field is generated
externally or internally. MRI scanners employ an externally
generated magnetic field into which our bodies are placed.
Is there any doubt that MRI technology works???
One vendor tells us that clamp on devices
(external fields) won't work. Another tells us that
magnets that attract
won't work. Then another tells us that if the
magnets are "too powerful"
they won't work. Just keep
one thing in mind. THE STRONGER THE FIELD INSIDE THE PIPE, THE
STRONGER THE RESPONSE!!
There are only
three things that determine how well these devices work.
The methods and materials that are used in their construction
determine these three things. The three things you need to
know and compare are as follows:
- Flux Density Inside The Pipe.
- Magnetic Field Orientation and Polarity.
- Contact Time with the Magnetic
Flux Density and
Contact Time have equal influence on the fluid
stream. Doubling either one will double the total influence
upon the fluid stream, up to the point of saturation. The
main difference between the 80 some odd patents on these devices
Magnetic Field Configuration and the type of material used
in their construction. Of course, each vendor claims their
configuration is the ONLY one that works. The problem we have with these
devices is the lack of a method to directly measure their
performance. This opens up the field to wild marketing
claims that have no basis in fact. So lets take a closer
look at these three things:
inside the pipe can be measured with a DC Gauss meter
(Magnetometer). If your plumbing is 3/4" Copper Pipe, you
want to know what flux density each device will produce inside
your pipe (peak and minimum). One thing to remember
is that the Flux Density inside the pipe is ALWAYS
less than the Gauss Rating of the magnetic material
employed. I am sorry, it does not matter how many magnets you
have. If you have 6 N30 Grade 11,000 Gauss Neodymium
Magnets you DO NOT HAVE 66,000 Gauss. It's still
just 11,000 Gauss magnet material and the flux density inside
the pipe will be a lot less than that.
An indirect way of
comparing the different devices for this important parameter is to
compare the "Pull Force" of the magnets that they use. A
large ceramic magnet may not have a higher Pull Force than a small
Neodymium rare-earth magnet. While size does
matter the Neodymium rare earth magnets have a much higher
Magnetic Flux Rating.
There is a direct relationship between the
Flux Density inside
the pipe and the Pull Force per square inch of the magnets that
are used. The Pull Force number takes into account
the size and shape of the magnet along with the flux rating of the
material from which it is made.
The formula for finding the Pull Force of a
cube or bar magnet is as follows:
= 0.576 x Br² x (Th) x √‾A where
Br = Flux
Rating in KiloGauss
Thickness of Magnetized Surfaces in inches
Surface Area (L x W) in inches
A Grade 8 Ceramic Magnet (3,900 Gauss material) that is 4 Inch Long, 1 Inch Wide, and
1 Inch Thick will have a Pull Force as follows:
Pull Force = 0.576 x Br² x (Th) x √‾A
= 0.576 x (3.9)² x (1) x √‾4
= 0.576 x 15.21 x 1 x 2
Pull Force = 17.52 Pounds
That translates into 4.38 Pounds of Pull Force per Square
Inch (17.52 lb. ÷ 4")
A N42 Grade Neodymium Magnet that is 2" Long, 1 Inch Wide and .5
Inches Thick will have a Pull Force as follows:
Pull Force = 0.576 x Br² x (Th) x √‾A
= 0.576 x (13.2)² x (.5) x √‾2
= 0.576 x 174.24 x .5 x 1.414
Pull Force = 70.96 Pounds
That translates into
35.48 Pounds of Pull Force per Square Inch (70.96 lb. ÷ 2").
So this Neodymium magnet that is half as long and half as thick
as the large Ceramic Magnet has a Pull Force per square inch
that is 8.1 times higher than the larger Ceramic magnet.
But, pull force of the magnet is
only part of what determines flux density "inside the pipe".
What is equally important in achieving a high flux density is
Field Configuration and the mounting frame
Magnetic Field Configuration and construction
materials used is where the 80 some odd patents on these devices
comes in to play. A few of the different magnet
configurations are shown below:
So as you can see the heavy steel frame makes a dramatic
difference in the
inside the pipe. The
Trentatrons heavy steel
frame provides a 250% increase over the flux reading of a bare
magnet. Any vendor (and there are many) that use plastic
cases and tie-wraps to mount cheap ceramic magnets onto your
pipes or refrigerator magnet materials are more interested in making a
buck than providing you the consumer with complete information
about their product..
is of course the length of time the fluid stream is exposed to
the magnetic field. The contact time is determined by the
velocity of the fluid stream and the length of the magnetic
field. The velocity of the water is determined by flow
rate, water pressure, friction losses, and pipe diameter.
play games with this important parameter also. One vendor
claims eleven inches of magnetic field contact with the pipe but
does not provide any information about their magnets length, the
number of magnets they use, or the size of the magnets they use.
Just like the flux density, contact time is important stuff.
Beware of any vendors claim about contact time that you can not
confirm yourself by knowing the length and number of the magnets
used in their devices.
So in summary, you should disregard any vendors Gauss rating
claims that are not measured values "inside the pipe".
Find out the actual number and size of the magnets that they use.
The Pull Force number of the magnets is very valuable in comparing
between vendor devices and the more steel the better.
NO STEEL Frame = CHEAP WIMPY PRODUCT
SHEET METAL Frame = BETTER PRODUCT
HEAVY STEEL Frame = BEST PERFORMING PRODUCT
* You can look
at this patent online if you wish. Just go to
US Patent Office Patent Number Search and enter the
Patent Number. If you can't see the images/text you need to
click on their help tab. A special tiff viewer is needed.
It provides a link to download the viewer software.