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DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2000.TherSieProcVol2.470
124 pages

Josua Petrus Meyer
Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa

Christo Smith
Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Laboratory for Energy, Rand Afrikaans University, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa

Paul P. Coetzee
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Rand Afrikaans University, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa


The efficiency of physical water treatment devices for the prevention of scale is a controversial subject. Many contradictions exist in the claimed effects, and even when performance is reported to be effective, the results are typically characterized by low reproducibility. In this paper, the effectiveness of a permanent magnet, as a physical water treatment device, for the prevention of scale formation was investigated. Experiments were conducted on two electrically heated domestic hot-water storage tanks. The same untreated feed-water line was used for both tanks. The scale precipitation resulting from heating the water was determined in each tank. Nine experiments were conducted, each over a period of 28 days in which 8 000 litres of water was heated to 75 °C. In four of the experiments reproducibility was investigated while in the other five experiments a permanent magnet was commuted between the feed-water lines of the two storage tanks. It was concluded that the permanent magnet is effective in preventing calcium precipitation in domestic hot-water storage tanks.

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