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 04-02-2004, 07:37 Post: 81852
Blueman



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 Water softening

I need to soften my well water, and am betting alot of us "rural" people have opinions...I don't like the idea of having to use the salt type for health reasons, and came across the CATALYTIC WATER SOFTENER on the web. Does anyone have any experience with these or other types of water softeners?






Link:   NO-SALT WATER SOFTENERS 

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 04-02-2004, 10:36 Post: 81872
DRankin



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 Water softening

I have a background in water treatment and I am skeptical of something for nothing claims.

That said, the is certainly room for new developments. I don't see anything on the web site that gets down to explanations of the chemical reactions involved, despite their claims to do so.

I have e-mailed a couple of questions to them. One concerns the fact that their system only works on moderately hard water (limit=25 grains/gallon) and the second question: What does the calcium carbonate "turn into" when it passes their catalyst?

My hunch is they will say that it is still calcium carbonate but it is somehow rendered "neutral" by the process.

They hint at the notion that the activity of the hard elements in the water returns after a period of time, and that the "effect", whatever it is, is temporary.

We will see how they respond.






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 04-02-2004, 11:11 Post: 81875
Blueman



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DRankin,
Thanks for the post...I'm still broke, and therefore haven't paid Dennis the right to read all of it (!), but let me know your thoughts if you hear back from the company. If their warranty is any good, I might try it, but I hate spending MORE for this unit than the average water softener, if the thing isn't going to work for the long haul.






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 04-02-2004, 13:42 Post: 81889
AC5ZO

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Blue,
I also have some experience with water treatment and softening. I expect that you are most worried about the increased amount of sodium from the water softener. That is because the water softener chemistry converts calcium carbonate to sodium carbonate, in most systems.

The solution is simple and I use this method personally. You can buy Potassium Chloride salt for your water softener. Potassium Chloride will regenerate any typical ion exchange resin water softener. It is a bit more expensive than sodium chloride but the potassium ions will not have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure or other physiological functions.

In most cases, it does not make any difference, as the amount of sodium intake from drinking softened water is very low, but if it worries you, potassium chloride is for you. Most home centers or water softener supply places will carry potassium chloride for water softeners.

I put in a high efficiency GE water softener in my current house and the salt usage is much, much lower. If I fill the tank on my system (200#), I don't have to look at it again for another six months. Some other more old fashioned systems can use more than one hundred pounds of salt per month.

As far as making calcium carbonate neutral...the only way that I know of doing that chemically is to cause a reaction to make it into a solid (limestone) and then filter it out mechanically. I don't think that this is very practical for a home water softener. Reverse Osmosis systems do something similar to this and they have to backwash the filter to remove the calcium carbonate contamination. A typical undersink RO system will only make about five gallons of pure water per day.






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 04-02-2004, 13:49 Post: 81890
Blueman



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AC, anyone who has a TC45D and an education like your must know what they are talking about! Now if I could get you to email me your reply...I changed my profile so you can view my email address...sorry Dennis!






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 04-02-2004, 14:02 Post: 81892
AC5ZO

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I went a step further. I have a connection to the US patent database, so I took a look at the patent on the website that you linked to. The patent is for a torturous flow path mixing sytem. It does not have anything to do with water softening.






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 04-03-2004, 09:02 Post: 81968
DRankin



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Partial quote from E-Mail response:

"How does it work?
Calcium and magnesium have binders, along with silica, alumina, and other dissolved solids. They will bind with one another to form scale. The catalytic alloy of the SafeWater Softener will separate the minerals, and prevent the binding for 94 hours. The water will start to convert back to its hardened state after this time has passed. We are not removing the minerals so a hardness test will be the same. You will be able to tell the softener is working by the scale reduction in your shower heads, toilet bowls, and appliances."


This certainly set off my B.S. detector.






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 04-03-2004, 10:26 Post: 81981
blizzard



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 Water softening

Unless you must keep your sodium intake extremely low, I don't think a 'standard' water softener will add much sodium to your diet. If your water contains 120mg/l calcium
(300mg/l CaCO3) you'll be ingesting around 60mg sodium per liter of water you drink (1.8mg/ounce). Compare to 190mg for a tablespoon of ketchup (380mg/ounce, approx. 12,540mg/l).
The seemingly large quanities of salt used are because the concentration of sodium must be very high when the water softener is purged of accumulated calcium and magnesium.

Right on about the B.S detector!
Nice research AC5ZO and DRankin,
bliz's 2-cents






Link:   HealthIssues 

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 04-05-2004, 04:01 Post: 82164
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 Water softening

Well water thats got 28 GPG of mostly calcium. Five years ago, during a weak moment, we tried a set of those high strength magnets that clamp onto your pipes. Still using them today. Still on our original heater element, coffeemaker and plenty of suds. We do have some signs of hard water left on the sinks and shower but they are no worse than when we had city water from a reservor.
My neighbor is on his third heater element and he has a conventional softener that he keeps on a low setting because he needs to watch is sodium intake.
Do the magnets work, maybe, maybe not. Its hard to tell because supposedly they dont take anything out of the water. They change the structure of the calcium so that it doesnt collect on stuff, it just flows on through. I didnt really believe that it would work but Im a K.I.S.S. kinda guy so I figured what the heck.
I will say that, as advertised, right after we installed them, large amounts of calcium came through our system for about a week or so. Enough that I had to clean the sink screens out every couple of days. The instructions said this would happen as the previously built up calcium was dislodged.
I know its hard to believe and to this day, I dont recommend them to anyone. I do tell my experience, but I wont recommend them because its just too farfetched for me to believe these magnets actually work. Its like thinking youve seen a UFO but your ashamed to tell anyone.
Does anyone have any scientific basis to think this would or would not work?






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 04-05-2004, 09:42 Post: 82195
DRankin



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I am feeding an RO machine with my soft water. It is not smart enough to pretend the calcium carbonate isn't there. Because it concentrates the mineral in the waste water it will scale up and stop running unless it get "real" soft water.

RO machines are so cheap now that I wonder why anybody would buy bottled water. If there is any concern about excess sodium in the diet, and for some reason you can't afford $200 for an RO, then simply fill the brine tank with potassium chloride.






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