Understanding Hard Water and why it needs Conditioning
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that has high mineral content.
Drinking hard water is not harmful to one's health, but can pose serious problems in our appliances and other equipment that handles water.
Water's hardness is determined by the concentration of multivalent cations in the water. Multivalent cations are cations (positively charged metal complexes) with a charge greater than 1+. Usually, the cations have the charge of 2+. Common cations found in hard water include Ca2+ and Mg2+. These ions enter a water supply by leaching from minerals within an aquifer. Common calcium-containing minerals are calcite and gypsum. A common magnesium mineral is dolomite (which also contains calcium). Rainwater and distilled water are soft, because they also contain few ions.
The following equilibrium reaction describes the dissolving/formation of calcium carbonate scales:
CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O ? Ca2+ + 2HCO3-
Calcium carbonate scales formed in water-heating systems are called limescale.
What does limescale do?
Scale can have an adverse effect on many appliances in the home including the dishwasher, water heater, fridge, sink faucets and shower heads. Scale will clog these items or cause damage to o-rings and valves that result in costly repairs.
In your water heater, heating up the water causes scale to form quicker and can result in your heating element burning out much faster than normal. 'Hardness' that is trying to scale can also interfere with your detergents and form soap scum.
How do salt softeners deal with hard water?
Ion exchange. In the tank of a salt softener, you'll find resin. This resin collects the sodium from the salt. As water with hardness passes through this resin, the resin with sodium attract the hardness and releases the sodium into your home. At the appropriate time, a backflush will remove the hardness collected on the resin and flush the hardness down a drain. This process does waste over 6,000 gallons of water per year in a typical 2 bath home. The sodium is now in your water, salt softeners require an RO system for drinking.
How does the KlearFlo Salt-Free Conditioner work?
The KlearFlo Salt-Free Conditioner transforms calcium ions into calcium crystals using a Template Induced Crystallization (TIC) media, so the calcium ions cannot attach to pipes, surfaces, hardware or heat exchanger components.
The Science Behind it?
The KlearFlo Salt-Free Conditioner media has calcium carbonate crystal structures on its surface that will attract excess dissolved hardness and remove it from solution by integrating it into the crystal structures on the media. This results in the crystals on the media surface to grow larger. The movement of water and friction among the individual media granules rubbing against each other will cause fragments of these newly grown crystal structures to be fragmented off the media and released into the passing water.
Those free flowing calcium carbonate crystals then continue to travel through a plumbing system as suspended particles where they perform the same role as the media in the treatment itself, i.e. acting as seed crystals further buffering the effects of any changes in the scale potential of the water downstream by absorbing excess mineral into their structure and themselves spawning the creation of additional micro crystals.