Hard water is water, which contains the dissolved salt of Calcium Carbonate. Acidic rainwater falling through a geological rock formation consisting of Calcium Carbonate crystals such as Limestone or similar causes it to dissolve into the water. The main reason the rain becomes acidic is because Carbon Dioxide gas (the greenhouse gas) becomes absorbed by the rain turning it into a weak acid called Carbonic acid. It is this acid that dissolves away the Limestone rock. The dissolved salts become free ions of Ca++ and HCO3– and these stay in solution until the water is heated at which point the Carbon Dioxide “blows off” and the ions join together again to form solid crystals of Limescale. A sudden reduction in cold water pressure will also remove the CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and cause precipitation. This can be seen in cold water pipes where there is a sharp bend and scale develops and on the washers on cold taps, both places where the pressure can change suddenly.
The hardness of the water depends on how rich it is in free Calcium ions. The higher the Calcium contents the harder the water. Of course, hard water is very good for your health. It is the fundamental building block for teeth and bones. It also has a beneficial effect on the heart. Soft water is reckoned not to be so good for you.
To make hard water soft it is necessary to remove the Calcium ions in solution and this is normally done with a water Softener using salt. Here, the Sodium ions in the salt (Na+) are exchanged for Calcium ions in the water. This process is known as “ion exchange”. Many people however because of the cost, plumbing requirements and addition of chemicals now favour the preferred method of hard water treatment – ELECTRONIC!
So, how else can we sort out the problem of free Calcium ions in hard water? The answer is by treating the water with a selection of low frequency electro-magnetic radio waves.
This is how it works:
By coiling aerials around the cold water feed to a building or individual appliances, a series of very low frequency radio frequencies can be induced electronically into the water. This effect runs in BOTH DIRECTIONS in the body of the water and causes the bonding together of tiny impurities, probably atoms of Iron or other metals. These minuscule “sub-microscopic clusters” are so small that they cannot be seen by normal optical methods. Remaining in the water in huge quantities for up to 8 hours they nevertheless will start to break up as soon as the water loses connection with the main body of water being treated. This is important with water in a header tank, which is unconnected with the rising main, but providing the water is used in a reasonable period, it still remains “conditioned” and will continue to perform by preventing and removing limescale.
Now, when the cold water is heated, the Calcium and Carbonate ions in solution use these clusters as nuclei for crystal formation instead of the normal deposit areas such as heating elements. The reason for this is that the total surface area of the clusters is so vast that they become the preferred alternative for crystal seeding. The result is water in which the Calcium and Carbonate ions have deposited out to form what can be likened to “chalk dust” in the body of the water. These tiny crystals remain in suspension and do not form deposits although they can form a white sludge at the bottom of a tank if the water is static.
Once this “chalk dust” has been formed, the surrounding water is now much softer although there will still be some free Calcium ions so the water cannot claim to be totally soft-just softer. The softer water causes Limescale to now gradually break down and eventually even the most scaled up appliance will become free of scale.
Strangely enough, the amount of energy required to achieve this conditioning effect is quite small and the skill is in producing a sharp clean square wave. Little Plumber employs a specially designed digitally enhanced circuit to produce an extremely efficient range of square waves with low power consumption. There is simply no need to produce huge voltage outputs to achieve excellent results. This is simply like taking a “sledge hammer to crack a nut”
Dr Abioun has conducted research into the efficacy of electronic water conditioners.