Best Electrolytic Scale Inhibitor (vs. Magnetic)

On Water Filter Geek today, we’re talking about limescale and more specifically, how to reduce it’s existence in your water and remove it from your life!

So we’ll be analysing the Best Electrolytic Scale Inhibitor. We’ll see if an Electrolytic Scale Inhibitor or a Magnetic Scale Inhibitor is better.

We’ll check out the best products of each type, and we’ll look at electrolytic vs. magnetic types to see which one is best. We’ll analyse how well they work, how easy they are to install, and how much they cost, to come up with our decisions.

Let’s get to it then!

best electrolytic scale inhibitor

Best Electrolytic Scale Inhibitor List

Check out the basic specs and our ratings and rankings for the top scale inhibitors on the UK market.

ELECTROLYTIC SCALE INHIBITOR MODELBWT LIFF Limebeater Electrolytic Scale ReducerBoiler-m8 Electrolytic Scale Reducer
WEIGHT218g (15mm compression); 310g (22mm compression); 220g (15mm push-fit); 362g (22mm push-fit)320g (15mm compression); 430g (22mm compression)‎
DIMENSIONS15 x 3.5 x 3.5 cm (15mm compression); ‎15.4 x 3.5 x 3.5 cm (22mm compression); 16 x 3.5 x 3.5 cm (15mm push-fit); 16.7 x 3.5 x 3.5 cm (22mm push-fit)23 x 9.6 x 4.6 cm (15mm compression); 23 x 9.7 x 4.4 cm (22mm compression)

Electrolytic Limescale Inhibitor Reviews

Here are our full reviews of these scale reducers.

Here are our pros & cons.

BWT LIFF Limebeater Scale Remover

15mm compression

22mm compression

Pros and who needs this model:

It actually works! Very effective at eliminating limescale
It worked really well in our testing to remove scale buildup. We know plenty of people that have used these and they have spoken highly about how well they work.

BWT are a very reliable maker of quality products
When you’re buying a BWT product, you know what you’re going to get. Their materials and components are of the highest quality. Their manufacturing processes are sound too; they’re an Austrian company and lots of their products are made in Europe.

WRAS Approved
They’re the Water Regulations Approval Scheme, an independent certification organisation for the UK’s plumbing products. They make sure products have passed their regulations and are safe and fit for you to use.

Chrome finish is attractive
It just looks quite nice with that Chrome finish. Of course that only even matters to you if you’re going to put the electrolytic scale inhibitor somewhere that people will see it.

Works well enough that it can save you money
If it just worked quite well, or moderately well, it may have some small effect in improving the lifespan of your appliances. But this scale reducer works well enough that it there’s a really good chance your central heating system/boiler will work more efficiently. And that means lower heating bills. No-one’s saying it’s going to slash them hugely but over time, the cost savings add up. And this will last for many years, since it’s got no moving parts. Appliances like kettles, washing machines, dishwashers, as well as shower systems, will all have longer lifespans when they don’t have so much limescale eating away at them over time.

Cons and why this electrolytic scale reducer is not for you:

It’s more expensive than the Boiler-m8 limescale reducers
Typically around £5-15 more, depending on which pipe size. It does work better, though.

Not completely effective if you have VERY hard water
The only time we’ve heard anything other than positive feedback was people whose household happened to have exceptionally hard water. If this is the case for you, you may need to invest in a water softener to solve your water hardness issues.

Where to get it?

You can check out the best priced seller, on Amazon here:

Here’s the 15mm compression model.

And the 22mm compression model.

The 15mm push-fit model.

And finally, the 22mm push-fit model.

Boiler-m8 Electrolytic Limescale Reducer

15mm compression

22mm compression

Pros and who needs this limescale inhibitor:

Works really well
The Boiler-m8 scale inhibitor worked effectively in our testing. It removed limescale in most hard water homes, but was less effective the ones with more severe water hardness problems. But for the vast majority of people it will work very well for you.

WRAS Approved
Like the BWT LIFF Limebeater, this model has also been approved by the WRAS. That means it’s safe for your household water to pass through and remain perfectly drinkable.

5 Year guarantee.
Never a bad thing to have. You can expect it to last quite a lot longer than that, though.

Cons and why this model is not for you:

Boiler-m8 are a less established maker
That’s not to say their products aren’t also good and that they’re a good company. They just don’t have BWT’s excellent reputation in the water industry for the quality of their products.

It doesn’t look that nice
This scale reducer doesn’t have the nice Chrome finish as the LIFF one does. It’s not a huge deal, you’re not buying it for its looks, but something to consider if it’s going to be installed somewhere visible in your home.

May be outmatched in very hard water homes
As with the LIFF Limebeater, its effectiveness is not perfect, and if your water is particularly high in minerals (ie. very hard), then, again, a water softener could be your best solution.

Where can you get it?

Have a look-see at the cheapest seller, right here:

Here’s the 15mm compression type.

And here’s the 22mm compression model.

That’s it for our full reviews of the best electrolytic scale inhibitors in the UK.

Now let’s find out more about limescale reducers, particularly electrolytic scale inhibitors, and magnetic scale inhibitors.

What is limescale?

Firstly, what even is limescale, or scale.

It’s a chalky, white deposit that is left on surfaces in your home that water touches.

It’s mainly made up of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3).

That means it’s on appliances like coffee makers, water heaters, kettles, washing machines and dishwashers.

Worse than that is where it is that you can’t see it. If your water is hard, and you’re getting limescale on your appliances, then it’s more than likely also throughout your whole plumbing and central heating system, including your boiler and pipes.

Why is that worse? Because scale makes your heating system work less efficiently. The chalky deposits are inhibiting your water flow and how well it’s transferred throughout your home. And that means higher heating costs.

Why does Limescale form?

As we said, Limescale is mainly Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3).

High amounts of Calcium ions in hard water react with carbonate ions, and form Limescale.

Calcium Carbonate has very low solubility in water (it doesn’t dissolve very well in it). So it’s not that hard to get it to come out of water. That’s unlike many other minerals that will easily stay dissolved in water.

And Calcium Carbonate has another unusual property. As temperature increases, its solubility in water decreases.

In other words, the hotter the water, the more easily the Calcium Carbonate will leave the water and form the chalky substance we know of as Limescale.

What is a Limescale Inhibitor?

Also called a scale reducer, a limescale inhibitor is a unit that you insert into your plumbing system that prevents Limescale building up on surfaces in your home.

It doesn’t actually remove the minerals like Calcium from the water, it just changes their physical, molecular form so that they don’t clump together and form Limescale on your appliances and boiler.

This also results in a improved flow rate of water in your pipes.

How does an electrolytic scale inhibitor work?

The scale inhibitor unit has an internal anode and cathode. An electrolytic current is passed between them and this results in a small amount of iron (Fe) from the cathode to dissolve in the water as it passes through. These iron particles make the chalk particles less likely to bond together.

As a result, they don’t clump together in chalky deposits after the water has passed the surface and the water has evaporated. In other words, there’s no limescale left on your pipes and appliances any more.

How does a magnetic scale inhibitor work?

When fitted on your pipes, the magnetic scale reducer puts a magnetic field across it. When water passes through, the magnetic field causes more ionisation in the water. The reduction in charge of the mineral particles, which changes their structure so that they are more likely to stay in solution for longer.

The problem with magnetic scale inhibitors is that they require a powerful magnetic field to work, and not all of them genuinely have this.

It’s for this reason that all the scale inhibitors we recommend as the best ones in the UK market are all electrolytic ones, not magnetic.

Where should I install the scale reducer?

it’s best installed just before the water passes through the device eg. the shower or sink.

That’s because a limescale inhibitor has temporary effect on the shape of the Calcium ions (which are part of the chalky substance (CaCO3) in the water, that causes limescale).

If you install it long before it actually reaches the water outlet, it won’t be as effective.

Electrolytic Scale Reducer Pros & Cons


  • They’re fairly cheap
  • They work really well for the vast majority of people
  • They can save you money since your heating system works better, and you’ll save on appliance costs over time.


  • Not as effective in homes with very hard water (you may need a water softener).
  • Requires some installation (it’s easy, though)

Do limescale inhibitors fix your hard water problem?

These scale reducers are solely to prevent Limescale.

Hard water means water that has too high a quantity of minerals, like magnesium and calcium.

Scale reducers don’t actually soften your water, they don’t make it less hard since they don’t remove the excess minerals. What they do do is change the structure of some of the mineral ions, (specifically Calcium) so that they don’t join together easily and leave scum on your taps, sinks and appliance surfaces.

As well as causing Limescale, hard water also causes your soaps and shampoos to be very difficult to lather. And this type of water isn’t kind to your skin and hair. As a result, it can cause dry, irritable skin, and exacerbate skin conditions. And it can leave your hair dry and dull (here’s all you need to know about hard water’s effect on your hair).

To fix those kinds of problems, you’d need a water softener. Here are our UK water softeners reviews, where we rate and rank them.

By the way, water softeners are expensive, but they’re the best (and only real) solution to completely cure all hard water problems. Are water softeners worth this high cost?

Are there any other ways to fix a Limescale problem?

Yes, check out our list of the best alternatives to water softeners.

These are water conditioners, sometimes called salt free water softeners (even though they don’t actually soften water!).

None of these products actually soften water (only a water softener can do that) but they do work effectively to remove Limescale.

These other options are mid-range, they’re more expensive than the scale inhibitors on this page, and they’re cheaper than a water softener.

Certainly, an electrolytic scale reducer is one of the most cost-effective and just plain effective ways to solve Limescale problems.

Best Electrolytic Scale Inhibitor

That was a deep dive on limescale reducers, hope you learned something!

We made comprehensive reviews of the market and picked the Best Electrolytic Scale Inhibitor, we told you the pros and cons of each one. We discussed who may need it, and who should look at alternative solutions, like water softeners.

Then, we investigated Limescale, what it is, what causes it, and what effect it can have on your home. It was revealed that electrolytic scale inhibitors are a good solution, but magnetic scale inhibitors are not quite so good.

Hope you enjoyed reading, good luck with solving your Limescale issues!