Looking for a ScaleBlaster water conditioner review? We've got you covered.
How does it work? Is it affordable? Should you buy it?
In this article, we’ll answer all of those questions and more.
What is the ScaleBlaster SB-75?
The ScaleBlaster SB-75, according to their website, is a “compact, state-of-the-art electronic descaling system that is installed on the incoming waterline going to the home, building or equipment it is servicing.”
It only costs $125 on Amazon, which is significantly lower than most water softeners, which range from $400-$3000 depending on installation costs.
Already, right off the bat, the ScaleBlaster sounds fantastic. It claims to do the same thing as most other water conditioners at a fraction of the price. The only thing you’ll need is access to a 100-120v electrical source.
ScaleBlaster Review: What’s Good About It?
The ScaleBlaster seems to have everything. Unlike most water softeners, it’s 100% maintenance free. There’s no activated carbon block that you have to replace. There’s no salt. And there’s no resin. Even better, there’s no regeneration.
The installation instructions are so simple virtually anyone can DIY, meaning you’re not going to have to pay for a professional installation.
However, there’s one big problem...
The Big Problem: Magnetic Conditioning is Ineffective
Before we get into our ScaleBlaster review, we have to address the elephant in the room: it’s a magnetic water conditioner.
There’s very little evidence that magnetic water conditioning works at all -- let alone works well enough to get rid of serious hard water problems.
We touched on this same issue inour article about the Eddy, another water softener that claims to work through electromagnetism. In that article, we review decades of research that ultimately boils down to the same thing that the Water Quality Association found when they established a task-force to assess the validity of electromagnetic water conditioning claims:
Only 34 of the 100 studies they found met their criteria for scientific validity. Of those 34, they found that there’svery little evidence that magnetic water softeners (or conditioners) do what they advertise.
In short, if they work, they probably only work alittle bit. Our advice would be to stay far away from magnetic water conditioners.
ScaleBlaster Complaints: “Does Absolutely Nothing” According to the Highest-Rated Amazon Review
“I followed the directions meticulously… I know the device itself was working (not working as in "effective", but rather working in the sense that it was pulsing current through the line) because I could use a magnetic field app on my phone and see it jumping all over the place when near the wires… It wasn’t a defective unit.
Nonetheless, after using this product for months, and watching the same hard water residue build up on the shower doors and other places, this product clearly doesn't work at all.”
Over 35 people on Amazon found that review to be helpful -- people who might have also been underwhelmed by the ScaleBlaster. Over 20% of the reviews on Amazon are one-star.
Otherreviewers’ headlines read:
“Does not work” (from five different reviewers)
“Save your money!”
All of them were Amazon verified purchases -- meaning they were real reviews from real people.
ScaleBlaster Review: Not NSF Certified
FilterSmart uses NSF certified coconut-shell activated carbon from Jacobi in order to condition water. We also have high-end pre-filters designed to remove dangerous contaminants from your drinking water.
The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certifies drinking water filters to high standards. It’s kind of the benchmark for water filtration and softening.
The ScaleBlaster has an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certification but no NSF certification. The NSF certification verifies efficacy, while UL verifies safety.
If you’re at all worried about any other contaminants in your drinking water, understand that the ScaleBlaster won’t remove any of them. It’s not designed for that, and it’s, of course, not verified for it.
What’s the issue?
Despite the lack of evidence,somepeople do seem to be experiencing some positive effects from using the ScaleBlaster.
Could it just be theobserver effect? Are people just finding what they’re looking for?
Maybe, maybe not. It’s possible that magnetic conditioning hassomeeffect on hard water, even if it isn’t as much as template-assisted crystallization or ion exchange.
According toConsumer Reports, “Other “no salt” water softeners are claimed to use magnetic force to change minerals’ molecular structure so that they don’t turn into scale buildup... Culligan and Kinetico, two softener manufacturers, have experimented with no-salt softeners but told us that they haven’t yet found one that softens water as well as an ion exchanger.”
Some people have claimed that the ScaleBlaster only works with PVC piping, and not copper piping, under the assumption that copper is magnetic. There’s only one problem with that line of thinking: copper isn’t magnetic. If you’ve ever tried to pick up a penny with a magnet, you’ve experienced the lack of magnetism in copper.
Q&A: Popular Questions about the ScaleBlaster, Answered
Does ScaleBlaster Work?
This depends on who you talk to.
Electromagnetic water softeners have a checkered history. Wikipedia goes so far as to say that, “Magnetic water treatment is regarded as unproven and unscientific.”
To a certain extent, magnetic water treatmentisunproven -- especially for the hardness levels present in hard water. Some studies show that magnetic water treatment has a minor effect, but it’s unclear as to whether or not that effect is enough to condition your water.
And, as we saw above, there are plenty of reviewers who think that the ScaleBlaster is ineffective.
Ultimately, it’s up to you. If you want to know for sure, you’ll have to buy it and find out.
ScaleBlaster Review: The Verdict
The ScaleBlaster, like virtually all magnetic water softeners, probably doesn’t work as well as it should.
There are plenty of alternatives to choose from. Ion exchangeandtemplate-assisted crystallization are both more effective than electromagnetic water softeners, and anyone who regularly reads the FilterSmart blog knows how hard we are on ion exchange.
The benefits? It’s 100% maintenance-free. It’s really, really cheap at only $150. Since it doesn’t require a discharge line, it’s incredibly simple to install -- just about anyone can do it themselves. Since there’s no discharge like there is with ion exchange systems, the ScaleBlaster is actually pretty environmentally friendly.
If you want to try it out, the worst case scenario is a loss of $150 and a little bit of time.
Maybe you only have aslighthard water problem, or you’re renting an apartment and you just want a temporary fix. In that case, you might look into buying the ScaleBlaster.
But always keep in mind that there’s very little scientific evidence backing up ScaleBlaster’s claims.
If you want a water conditioning system that’s backed up by independent third-party research (and plenty of good reviews), check out theFilterSmart line of products.
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