ScaleHammer – More Water Pseudoscience

I think that because water is so ubiquitous, and, let’s face it, pretty awesome all by itself (it expands as it freezes!) people like to use it as the basis for their made up chemistry.

An ad for a co-worker selling his unused ScaleHammer recently appeared on the company classifieds. So, I looked up the product’s website. The front page didn’t immediately scream “Bunk!” so I looked at the FAQ. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that it really can generate radio waves, and that it really can modulate them to produce multiple frequencies. Let’s also assume that the installation isn’t finicky*.

Here are the parts that made me fairly certain that this is junk:

Q When and how will I notice the difference?

A The average water system can be descaled in just 12 weeks. The first signs are when the water feels softer. Scale starts to soften and fall off toilet cisterns and kettle elements.

Whatever this is, is so amazing, that not only can it prevent further scale build up, it can remove existing scale! Scale is very stable at normal household water temperatures and pH once it deposits. You may have noticed that the only real way to get rid of it is abrasion, or an acid. So, my pseudoscience alarm started ringing.

Q My water is stored in tanks. Do I treat the pipe going into the tank or coming out of it?

A […] When stored in a tank, Scalehammer-treated water remains in a charged state for four days.

This device is perfectly safe, but it is somehow managing to electrically charge your water. This is amazing for a few reasons. First, the water line (or gas line) into your home is probably similar to mine. The grounding system for your electricity probably ties onto this pipe. You know why? The pipe is copper, and it comes out of the ground – in other words it’s GROUNDED. The metal pipe in contact with the ground has lots of places to send extra electrons where they can do no harm, even if you short circuit something. But, the amazing ScaleHammer can somehow keep water charged (with electrons) in a metal tank that is connected to our (grounded) water line and our (grounded) gas line. It’s just that wondrous.

Q Will Scalehammer work on any kind of pipe material?

A Scalehammer is effective on all pipe materials including, PVC, ABS, Copper, Cast iron, galvanized steel and even fiber cement pipes.

After claiming that the water becomes charged, I don’t even know where to start with this one. Somehow, wrapping a plastic covered wire around a plastic pipe to induce a radio wave manages to conduct electrons into the water? Yeah…let’s just move on.

Q Is treated water fit to drink?

A Yes, no chemicals are used and it retains all of its natural minerals essential to good health

It’s natural, therefore good for you. Obviously. But those radio waves might give you cancer…Sorry, mixing up my pseudoscience.

But, how does it work again?

Scalehammer technology is based on magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), a science discovered in the 18th century by Faraday that has since been applied to many industries such as the nuclear and metallurgy industries. Essentially, MHD is the study of how magnetic fields interact with conducting fluids.

Using the principles of this science, the Scalehammer device reproduces magnetic field frequencies and intensities that are perfectly calibrated for dissolving scale buildup against pipe walls and preventing scale formation among microparticles.

So…magic**.

 

* Hopefully. The instructions consist mostly of, “Zip tie this box to any size of pipe, and wrap these wires around it. Then plug in.” Somehow, this type of installation also requires no calibration to create those perfect frequencies.

**Magnetohydrodynamics isn’t magic. But something that describes how it works in this way probably wishes it was.

8 Responses to “ScaleHammer – More Water Pseudoscience”

  1. Blondin says:

    Maybe the water “remembers” the electrons the way homeopathic medicine remembers the molecules of original tincture. ;)

    • Marion says:

      I’m actually a little surprised that the word “quantum” never got thrown around.

      • Alex says:

        Obviously you don’t want any quantums in your water. It would unbalance the inherent energy fields. Consuming such liquids could pose serious danger to your chakras.

  2. Scott Gavura says:

    I blogged about a similar device some time ago – looks the same, except it is advertised as a water softener:

    http://www.skepticnorth.com/2010/08/the-hard-facts-about-soft-water/

    • realityinsarnia says:

      Yup, same scam. I don’t understand how any strength of magnetic field could be generated with an open circuit antenna. If it is generating RF, it needs to be approved for sale by Industry Canada and shall not cause harmful radio interference. People are really stupid.

  3. AshleyZ says:

    I like to remove mineral scale with positively charged ions – specifically H3O+.

  4. realityinsarnia says:

    This is really Woo. So how is a radio wave supposed to get to the water in a metal pipe? The metal acts as a shield and there won’t be any RF or magnetic waves penetrating the pipe to the water if it ever had an effect anyways. Why are people so dumb?

  5. Rick Garbutt says:

    Why are people so dumb? Practice. Years and years and years and centuries and millennia of practice.

    That, and dozing off during high-school Science classes.

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  • Marion Kilgour

    Marion is a mechanical engineer, and also works to promote critical thinking and scientific literacy through local skeptical and atheist activism in Edmonton, Alberta. Marion especially wishes to encourage girls to consider science or technology-based careers, and is involved in the University of Alberta's Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST) project.