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  • #16
    Re: No Salt Water Conditioners

    Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
    Bill, Your arguments are rational and may well be valid. However, none of the arguments address the Pelican basic claim, which I suspect is a genuine chemical/physical phenomena. (Based on St. Paul's treatment method) Now, whether or not the chemical phenomena they describe is taking place, or can actually take place inside their system is a different question entirely.


    How does the Pelican NaturSoft System soften my water?
    The NaturSoft media acts as a catalyst reducing the degree of super saturation required to form solid calcium carbonate crystals. By forming these submicron crystals, NaturSoft removes the excess calcium from solution that would otherwise be the cause for an elevated scale potential. These newly formed calcium carbonate crystals then are introduced to the water as suspended particles where they perform the same role as the media itself, i.e. acting as seed crystals further buffering the effects of any changes in the scale potential of the water downstream by adsorbing excess mineral into their structure and themselves spawning the creation of additional micro crystals.

    NaturSoft maintains the holistic nature of the water; it neither adds, nor removes anything from the water. Yet, it provides most of the pertinent benefits that would ordinarily cause users to consider purchasing conventional salt based ion exchange water softeners. NaturSoft based systems do not require water intensive backwashing, electrical energy, salt or any other chemicals to create these benefits. Therefore, NaturSoft is one of the "greenest" technologies available today.
    Optical microscope view of NaturSoft resin showing crystal formation at a 1000X magnification

    What is hardness and how does the Natursoft system address it?
    In order to understand the operating principle behind NaturSoft's catalytic scale reduction technology (Physical Water Treatment) in greater detail it is important to examine the relationship between minerals dissolved in an aqueous solution and the occurrence of crystalline solids.
    The operating principle of NaturSoft
    1. In its practical application, the NaturSoft is operated in a fluidized bed. Due to the media beads "bumping into each other" and the shearing forces of the passing water by the media granules, the micro crystals are released into the water stream. The crystals being devoid of a charge (as the ionic charges of its building blocks calcium and carbonate neutralize each other) now are suspended in the water traveling in the flow of the water unable to attach themselves to the plumbing surfaces.
    2. Without a doubt the most important aspect of this technology is not what occurs in the NaturSoft tank alone, but rather the fact that the micro crystals that are released into the water stream act as seed crystals fulfilling the exact same function in the water stream as the NaturSoft media does within the treatment vessel. As the scale potential of the water in the plumbing system increases "usually through pressure differentials or increases in the water temperature (heating)" the seed crystals that are present throughout the body of water readily integrate precipitating calcium into their own structure (i.e. the crystals grow) and spawn the creation of further seed crystals in their immediate vicinity. As a result, excess minerals are once again removed to form harmless crystals and the scale potential of the water is returned to a neutral or saturated state.

    Calcium Carbonate
    Calcium carbonate is arguably the most troublesome of the "Hardness Minerals", As a solid, it occurs in two possible forms in a plumbing system:
    1. As scale or limestone deposits: a firmly attached crystal structure commonly called scale. It is a rough, hard deposit that occludes piping systems over time, reduces water pressure, tends to harbor microorganisms and interferes with heat transfer in water heaters and the like.
    2. As a colloid or sediment: an unattached solid, i.e. a suspended crystal that lacking an electric charge is unable to attach itself to plumbing surfaces or existing scale and that gets carried along with the flowing water.

    Why does water contain calcium?
    Contrary to popular belief, calcium carbonate is very poorly soluble. indeed virtually non-soluble in water (H2O). It is the carbonic acid occurring in water as the result of carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere and / or from organic activity in the aquifers that dissolves calcium minerals. This weak acid leaches minerals from the earth's crust creating dissolved hardness.
    Calcium and Carbonic acid balance
    The minerals being leached from the earth's crust in effect neutralize the acid. The result is water containing dissolved minerals that are in some relationship to the water.s original carbonic acid content. A balanced state or state of equilibrium would be a state of saturation with an amount of calcium equal to what would be required to neutralize the carbonic acid. A super saturated condition would occur when the amount of calcium actually exceeds the carbonic acid present; an under-saturated condition would exist when the opposite is the case.
    Why does scale form?
    Scale does not form randomly. For example, scale is much more likely to get its start in metal pipes versus plastics, on rough versus smooth surfaces, on conductive versus non-conductive surfaces, in hot water versus cold. Many studies have been conducted on the vulnerability of different plumbing materials to experience scale formation. The plumbing materials ranged from various manmade "plastic" materials, to basic metals like copper & steel and stainless steel, to the exotic like titanium and gold & platinum plated base metals.
    These studies found that each plumbing surface material had a different rate at which scale nucleation would occur (i.e. the scale getting started). However, once nucleation had occurred and scale had attached itself to the plumbing surface, the rate at which the scale would actually grow was the same regardless of the type of plumbing material. The causal factor for this observation is scale.s strong preference for aggregating on existing scale rather than any other surfaces.

    Geno, If the result is not quantifiable their is no result. To be honest you have used the Saint Paul method as an example (lime precipitation) BUT this is not the method that Pelican is claiming to use so we have an apples to oranges bit of misdirection...

    IF it works why can't I measure the difference???

    WHY does the company call their product a softner but never say it softens the water (removes grains of hardness)???

    These are the questions that need to be answered as opposed to the double talk that is supposed to make uninformed sheep feel great about buying it...

    Would you answer them for me?



    • #17
      Re: No Salt Water Conditioners

      First of all I do not know if they work or not, I am not a testing laboratory,

      do they remove the chemicals that make water hard the simple answer to that is NO.

      do they alter the water chemistry, possibly.

      there are bonds in all chemistry, some of the bonds keep the modules together to form elements, and some form compounds and some form mixtures,

      basically what hard water is a mixture, of water and minerals, that have an attraction to each other, it is not like sand and water that can be filtered, one must first break the bond of the the two elements or elements and compounds,

      in Ion exchange, one adds another chemical (salt) that breaks the bonds of the calcium and magnesium and water and exchanges the calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions,
      and the sodium ions do not stick to pipes and interfere with soap and so on,

      OK the problem in most instances is not the present of magnesium or calcium, but there attraction to pipes and the extra soap needed to help the water break the bonds of other products,

      it is my understanding that by using radio frequencies or magnets, to some extent, the can charge the calcium and magnesium to repeal the water thus breaking the bond with the water, and reduces the ability of the magnesium and calcium to be attracted to pipes and other in the water system even to the point in some systems to make it such that they reverse the effects of scale and other build up in the system,

      if one thinks of Electrolysis or Electrolytic Corrosion, in metals the same is some what is what is happening in the water, and the claim is that by charging the water it will over ride the attractions of the calcium and the magnesium, so the break down or the attraction of the minerals is null and void, similar to that the gas company does by adding a charge to the pipe to keep the natural electrolysis, from occurring

      in the ION exchange they remove the offender minerals and replace it with a neutral mineral to the system, in the "electronic" systems the claim is that they charge the minerals with a charge that temporally renders the bond in the minerals inert or even opposite (like the charge on the pipes system to prevent electrolysis), thus keeping the negative effects from occurring (most all I have read indicates that it is for a short period of time the mineral in the water will remain "inert'),

      now the question is do they work or not, some say they have independent labs that confirm that they have discovered how to charge the water effectually to break the bonds of the water and the minerals,

      not one I know claims to remove the minerals
      the problem is the current hardness test measure the minerals in the water, or the alkalinity of the water,

      not the strength of the bonds of the minerals in the water,

      (this is kinda of a back wards illustration, if one put oil in water the oil will float on the water and it separates, now mix in a soap or emulsifier, of the correct type, the oil and water will mix and remain mixed, the repelling bonds that keep the oil and water separate were broken by the emulsifier, and they mix, not separate, and now the liquid appears one, if the liquid enters a container with more water and oil that is not mix, and the new mixed liquid enters some of the standing oil will enter the water as the repelling bonds of the water and oil are broken and in time if enough emulsified liquid would pass through the tank with the no mixed oil and water in time it would all be emulsified, now in time the emulsified effects may break down and the water and oil may become separated again),

      the other type which was show on a link above by some one else, is called a catalyst type, and says they use some type ceramic medium, that alters the minerals bond inert, and they just then pass on through the water, a definition of a catalyst is to be able to carry on a reaction with our being used up,

      do any of these alternate systems work I DO NOT KNOW if they do, I do think it is possible,

      and I am sure there have been many a system sold and people took or riped off, on either out and out false claims or a product to scam some one,

      it is like the old high school science experiment, with the micro wave oven, the claim is boil water in the microwave and let it cool and water plants with it and it will be detrimental to the plant, some say it is true and some say it is false, and both sides have pictures claiming truth,

      there has also been mentioned the difference of temporary hard water and permanently hard water, in that one can soften some water by boiling or adding calcium hydroxide to it, and soften it, some water you can and some you can not,
      "Temporary hardness
      Temporary hardness is caused by a combination of calcium ions and bicarbonate ions in the water. It can be removed by boiling the water or by the addition of lime water (calcium hydroxide). Boiling promotes the formation of carbonate from the bicarbonate and precipitates calcium carbonate out of solution, leaving water that is softer upon cooling."

      water is complex, with its mixture of chemicals and minerals in it, and some treatment systems will work and some will not depending on the chemistry of the water. (Ion exchange is fairly universal in it's ability to change the chemistry of the water for the considered better).

      I think in general that most will agree the the ION exchange does work to soften water, as it removes some minerals from the water,

      the new salt less units that do not remove the minerals from the water, but say they alter the minerals, to equate softness,

      most are still skeptical of, as of now there is little in any of way of a positive proof test, one can field do to prove there effectiveness, as with a hardness test.

      so in summary do they work or not, I do not know, I think they should if properly engined and tested, but I really do not know if it is snake oil or not, it would just be nice to see, the UL or some independent laboratory take a bunch of scaled up pipe and put in line with some of these units and see if they work or how effective they are and some long term tests to see the effects of water, and if nessarly some high tec tests on the mineral in the water and the charges they possess and how long the effects last if there are any at all on the attractions and repelling of the bonds, (IF it is only for 3 seconds after passing through the field, then I would say it is useless, if it is for a few hours, or days then I would say it is effective in a home water system),

      but with out some scientific testing by independents and it easily verifiable and obtainable via third party sources,

      (simply I think there is a science there and it possible, but besides manufacture info is all I have to go on and not willing to be the Guinea pig, on a product that is not proven by third party testing,)
      Last edited by BHD; 11-03-2010, 10:15 AM.
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      • #18
        Re: No Salt Water Conditioners

        I wanted to get some info or brands to check out water softeners without salt. The water isn't that bad. I think it was a 13 on the hardness and a 6 with iron. It is for my own house.
        Getting back to the original question. Andy_M answered it very well in my opinion. Ion exchange is the only way to REMOVE hardness. All the other claims can and will be argued back and forth for decades, just like the Magnetic Softeners have been. But truth be known, to remove Calcium and Magnesium, you will be using either Potassium or Sodium Chloride.

        The best two filtration heads on the market today in my opinion are Autotrol and Fleck. Parts are readily available and many filtration guys will work on them. All the proprietary units are another story.


        • #19
          Re: No Salt Water Conditioners

          First, there is no such thing as a "No Salt Water Conditioner".

          I speak from experience being an industrial/commercial/instutional water treatment contractor since the early 80's, and throw in a couple of years of chemical engineering on top of that.

          I am not going to repeat what has been written by others, however if anyone needs some diffinitive understanding P.M. me and all get back to you with either a note or my cell phone number.

          Here is a great web sight I send everyone too when the "Magic Bullet" water treatment systems come into a conversation.

          Its hosted by Stephen Lower, his credentials:

          B.A. Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley
          Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of British Columbia
          (SFU Chemistry faculty: 1965-1999)

          The link to the debunk of every known "magic bullet" water treatment system.