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"Within a few days we received the Scalewatcher. The clear installation instructions made it very easy to install the unit myself..." - L.L., Monterey, CA

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Scalewatcher Frequently Asked Questions

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General FAQ

How is scale eliminated when the coils are not in contact with the water?
Does Scalewatcher really work?
How can I tell if the Scalewatcher is working? - What to look for
Is the Scalewatcher safe?
Does Scalewatcher affect the drinking water?
Does Scalewatcher work when water is very hard?
What do I check once I have the Scalewatcher installed?
How much does the Scalewatcher cost to run?
How long does the effect of the Scalewatcher treatment last?
How long will the Scalewatcher unit last?
Will Scalewatcher affect my water flow?
We have high iron and sulfur content in our water, will Scalewatcher solve these problems?
How do I find the grains per gallon of hardness of my water?
Can Scalewatcher be used with existing filter systems and water softeners?
Will I notice more lather from soaps, shampoos and detergents?
What if the Scalewatcher does not work?
What about rumors that salt based water softeners will become illegal?
Why choose Scalewatcher instead of other similar products?
How is Scalewatcher different from Small Wonder?
Why is Small Wonder priced so low?

Installation FAQ:

How easy is the Scalewatcher to install?
Does Scalewatcher require maintenance?

Will Scalewatcher work with any pipe material?

Where should the coil be installed?

We can't access the incoming water pipe, how can we install the coil?

How much pipe is needed for installation?

On what size pipe will Scalewatcher work?

Should the unit be left on at all times?

Our water is stored in a tank, do I treat the pipe going in or coming out of it?

When I move, can I take Scalewatcher with me?


How is scale eliminated when the coils are not in contact with the water?

The Scalewatcher unit works by producing an electric field generated by a coil around the pipe. This converts the dissolved mineral ions (Ca+ and Mg+) into microscopic crystals that remain in suspension and become eliminated by flowing down the drain. Back to top

Does it really work?

Consider this: The Scalewatcher™ technology has been widely used since it was patented in 1991. Scalewatcher™, the original brand name, has sold over 300,000 units in forty countries. We have units that have been in operation for over eighteen years. As the public is becoming increasingly conscious about the hazards of global warming, more people have adopted this environmentally friendly technology saving energy, water and reducing maintenance costs. With numerous imitations of varying quality and results, electronic water conditioning has become a multimillion dollar industry with companies advertising on TV and still growing after ten years or longer. So, to answer the initial question... would this all be happening if it did not work? Back to top

How can I tell if it's working?

What to look for: In around four to six weeks you should notice: The softening of scale around faucets and shower head. Water will feel silkier or softer. Water will feel hotter with improved performance of water heaters, washing machines and dishwashers. The ability to reduce the amount of soap, shampoo, detergents and cleaners. Easier cleaning of surfaces, especially chrome fixtures, baths, and sinks. Back to top

Is it safe?

Scalewatcher carries the CE mark which ensures consumer and workplace safety. That means that the twenty seven countries of the European Union have certified that the product meets EU health, safety, and environmental requirements. Back to top

Does it affect the drinking water?

Water remains chemically unchanged, only the physical properties are changed. Back to top

Does Scalewatcher work when water is very hard?

The Smalll Wonder (or Scalewatcher mini) works effectively in water with hardness levels as high as 25 grains or 425 ppm of Calcium Carbonate. If your water is harder than this, we recommend that you use a ScaleWatcher 3 star. Back to top

What do I check once I have the Scalewatcher installed?

Periodic verification that both red and green LED lights are on (Small Wonder) or that the LED bar graph is cycling up and down in a continuous fashion (Scalewatcher 3 star model). Back to top

How much does it cost to run?

The unit costs less than $8 in electricity annually. Back to top

How long does the effect of the Scalewatcher treatment last?

When Scalewatcher treated water sits in a tank, the suspended crystals slowly revert to ions in solution. This will happen over a period of two to three days. As soon as freshly treated water enters the system, the increased dissolving properties of the water will be restored. Back to top

How long will the Scalewatcher unit last?

Scalewatcher is designed to operate continuously for over 10 years under normal operating conditions. We guarantee the Scalewatcher mini for two years from date of purchase, 3 star model for ten years. We will replace any unit that fails during that time at no charge. Back to top

Will Scalewatcher affect my water flow?

Our customers often notice a substantial improvement in water flow due to the elimination of pre exiting lime scale from their plumbing system. Back to top

We have high iron and sulfur content in our water, will Scalewatcher solve these problems?

The Scalewatcher does not affect iron or sulfur directly, however, since your hard minerals (Ca and Mg) no longer form lime scale deposits after Scalewatcher or Small Wonder installation, the iron has nowhere to attach itself. Iron staining becomes inexistent or highly diminished (brown rings inside toilets often disappear). Scalewatcher will not help with sulfur smell.  If after Scalewatcher installation you still feel that you have iron or sulfur problems, we can suggest some sources for you to obtain a dedicated iron and/or sulfur treatment. Back to top

How do I find the grains per gallon of hardness of my water?

If you have city water a phone call to your water company will give you the answer. If you have well water, you can take a sample to a water store or obtain a free test strip here http://www.mortonsalt.com/recipes/TestStripForm.aspx.

If you find your hardness expressed in ppm or mg/l divide by 17.1 to convert to grains per gallon (example 250 ppm = 14.6 gpg). Back to top

Can Scalewatcher be used with existing filter systems and water softeners?

Yes. All inline systems will also benefit from the descaling process, prolonging their useful life. Reverse Osmosis membranes will remain scale free and last longer. For people who wish to continue using the traditional water softener, Scale Watcher should be installed before the softener, this will result in a significant reduction of salt and water savings due to reduced need for regeneration cycles. Back to top

Will I notice more lather from soaps, shampoos and detergents?

Water treated with Scalewatcher behaves as soft water. Far less shampoo, soap or detergent will be needed. Back to top

What if it does not work?

We can normally solve most problems. If it doesn't give you the benefits that you expect you get your money back. Back to top

What about rumors that salt based water softeners will become illegal?

Many communities in the USA have already banned the use of traditional salt based water softeners and more communities are considering banning in the future. Read the News Release Back to top

Why choose Scalewatcher instead of other similar products?

The Scalewatcher electronic hard water conditioner provides similar or better results of much higher priced units at a price of only $199. Scalewatcher uses state-of-the-art technology in electronic water conditioning. Scalewatcher's electronic technology continually fluctuates covering a wide range of frequencies, thus treating the widest range of mineral concentrations at any rate of water flow. Other similar units on the market have a much higher price and are often of inferior quality. Permanent magnets have been shown to condition hard water, but they are only effective within a certain flow rate 'window' and at higher and lower flows the performance drops to zero. This is the reason why permanent magnets have mixed performance results. Magnetic particles can also build up inside the pipe where the magnets are placed, eventually causing blockage or reduced water flow. Back to top

How is Scalewatcher different from Small Wonder?

Small Wonder has been engineered to provide similar benefits as Scalewatcher and comparable systems at the low price of $199. The ScaleWatcher 3 star has higher power output and is able to treat pipes larger than 1 inch, it has a TEN YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY it is a sturdier and better looking unit. Priced at $549, we still consider Scalewatcher the "Cadillac" of the electronic descalers. Back to top

Why is Small Wonder priced so low?

Don't be fooled: Higher price not always means higher quality. We have succeeded at miniaturizing the components, and by mass producing the units overseas we are able to reach the end user at a price of $199 without sacrificing quality or performance. Our state of the art integrated circuits are designed to provide a lifetime of worry free results. Other companies offer similar “easy water” treatment options for $300, $800 and up to $1800. Our Scalewatcher will provide the same results at a lower cost. If your pipes are larger than one inch or if your water is extremely hard, we recommend the original Scale Watcher 3 star, still considered “the Cadillac” of the electronic descalers. Back to top

Installation FAQ

How easy is it to install?

Do it yourself installation is quick and simple - and does not require a plumber or the cutting of pipes.

1- Locate the pipe where your water supply first enters your building.
2- Wrap the signal cable in two overlapping coils 18 times around the pipe.
3- Connect the signal cable to the Scalewatcher unit and plug into 110 Volt outlet.

Easy installation also means that, should you move, Scalewatcher™ is simple to disconnect and to take with you. Back to top

Does Scalewatcher require maintenance?

Scalewatcher is designed to run maintenance free. Back to top

Will it work with any pipe material?

The unit can be installed in any pipe material including copper, PVC, steel, galvanized, lead and fibrocement. Back to top

Where should the coil be installed?

The ideal place is at the water inlet for the building. If this is not possible it can also be installed at the inlet of the water heater. Back to top

We can't access the incoming water pipe, how can we install the coil?

In some cases, it is necessary to cut the sheetrock or ceiling to access the pipe, this can be easily accomplished to install the coil, and then repair or conceal the intrusion. When this option is not practical, it is recommended to install the Scalewatcher in the inlet pipe of your hot water heater, this way your hot water, the principal source of your lime scale will be treated and your water heater element will be protected and kept scale free giving you the energy savings. Back to top

How much pipe is needed for installation?

To install the unit you require at least 4" of straight pipe. This can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal pipe. Back to top

On what size pipe will Scalewatcher work?

The Scalewatcher mini or Small Wonder is designed for maximum performance on pipe diameters of up to one inch. For larger pipes use a Scalewatcher 3 star, 5 star or one of our commercial or industrial models. Back to top

Should the unit be left on at all times?

Under normal use it must be left on constantly. If the building will be vacant for extended periods of time it can be disconnected as long as you remember to re connect it upon returning. Back to top

Our water is stored in a tank, do I treat the pipe going into the tank or coming out of it?

It is recommended to treat the pipe coming out of large storage tanks. When stored in a tank, Scalewatcher treated water remains effective during 48 hours. When treated before the tank as in Hot Water Tanks, if the tank's water is constantly being used, there is no loss of performance. Scalewatcher will break down the sediments and scale that may have accumulated in the tank over the years and drop it in lumps on the bottom before progressively breaking it down into microscopic particles over a period of time. After a few months of treatment, it is advisable to remove the sediments. The same applies to Water Heaters, they should be flushed periodically until all sediments are removed. If water remains in the tank longer than two days, a second treatment unit should be installed at the outlet of the tank or at least treat the outlet instead of the inlet. Back to top

When I move, can I take Scalewatcher with me?

Yes. Because installing Scalewatcher requires no plumbing work, removing it is as easy as unplugging the unit. You can remove and reuse the coil or obtain another cable of similar specifications. Back to top