Q. What is water hardness?
A. Water hardness consists of charged calcium and magnesium ions. Beacuse of the charge in the ions, they are attracted to anything without a charge, namely your pipe walls and plumbing fixtures. As water with the calcium and magnesium ions passes through your plumbing they attach themselves to the piping walls and form scale. Over time the scale increases, slowly closing off the pipe and restricting the flow of water through it. The charged ions also attract detergents (soap), creating soap scum and decreasing the cleaning ability of the detergent.
Q. How does the Scale Sentry System Work?
A. The Scale Sentry system uses a specialized scale prevention media. This media works by converting the calcium and magnesium ions to crystals. As the water passes through the Scale Sentry system the calcium and magnesium ions run into the scale prevention media and attach themselves to it. The unique configuration of the scale prevention media particles work as a template, causing the ions to convert into crystals and attracting more ions to add to the crystal. (A similar process can be seen with a glass of saltwater: place a piece of string or yarn in the glass and the salt attaches to it and begins to form crystals). Once the crystals have reached the proper size, a mere few nanometers (microscopic), they break loose from the media and continue on. Since they are no longer charged, they are unable to form scale or attract detergents, yet the benificial magnesium and calcium are still in your water. In some cases you may occasionally see the crytals, but they will simply wipe clean.
Q. Is existing scale removed from pipes and fixtures?
A. Yes and no. The crystals will attract existing scale buildup as it passes through your pipes until it is completly gone. Depending on your plumbing and the amount of buildup this may take up to 90 days. On your fixtures there is not enough contact time to allow the crystals to attract the scale, so you will need to use a good quality scale removal product.
Q. Can the Scale Sentry replace my existing softener?
A. Yes! The Scale Sentry system is designed to replace traditional salt based softeners. You will still experience all the same benifits, including no scale build up, reduced soap and detergent usage, cleaner laundry, and less soap scum. The Scale Sentry system also elimminates existing scale in your pipes, and leaves benificial calcium and magnesium in the water. Since the calcium and magnesium are still in the water, the slippery feeling some people associate with standard softeners is eleminates as well. With the prefilration that comes with the Scale Sentry system, sediment, turbidity (floating particles and/or cloudiness in the water), chlorine, and a number of tastes and odors are eliminated as well!
Q. Why doesn't the water condtioning media media need backwashed?
A. Most systems are "Downflow" systems, meaning the water enters the top of the tank, passes down through the media and is then pushed up the riser tube into your house. This keeps the media compacted, allowing it to trap the contaminates. As the system is used it fills up with contaminates and must be backwashed, where the water is passes down through the rise tube and lifts up through the media, allowing it to separate and clean itself. The Scale Senty system is an "Upflow" system, where water passes down the riser tube and up through the scale prevention media. This creates a "fluidized bed" where the media is suspended and allows for maximum surface area for the catalyst reaction (forming crystals). Since the media is suspended it does not trap anything, in effect it is constantly in backwash, but no waste water is created!
Q. Can the Scale Sentry remove more than 25 grains of hardness?
A. The systems as designed will only treat a maximum of 25 GPG at the stated flow rate. Higher hardness levels (up to 100 GPG) may be removed by using additional scale prevention media. Contact us for options for treating higher hardness levels
Q. Why am I still getting spotting and/or a salty taste in the water after the system is installed?
A. If your home has scale buildup in the pipes, the crystals formed by the scale prevention media system will attract it and over time (up to 90 days) will remove it from your pipes. During this time you may still notice some spotting on the glassware in your dishwasher, and if a salt based softener was in use before the Scale Sentry was installed you may also get an occasional salt taste as the residual scale and sodium are removed. To help reduce spotting until the pipes are clean add a half cup of household vinegar to the rinse cycle of your dishwasher. You will also want to switch to a phosphate free dishwasher detergent and reduce your detergent usage to compensate for the higher efficency of conditioned water. To eliminate any residual salt a system can be used to provide bottled quality drinking water.
Q. Why do tests indicate my water is hard even after installation of the Scale Sentry?
A. Hardness tests rely on measuring the calcium and magnesium in your water to provide a hardness level. Since the scale prevention media does not remove the calcium and magnesium, tests will still indicate that your water is "hard". If you want to verify that your system is working properly, simply boil some treated water in a saucepan. You will notice crystals swirling in the bottom of the pan as the water boils down that will easily wipe away. Hard water will create the white scale buildup as it boils down. Note: During the cleanout process after the system is first installed you may still get some scale in the boil test as some hardness from your pipes may be in the water.
Q. How long does the scale prevention media last?
A. The manufacturers life expectancy for scale prevention media is between 5-10 years depending on water quality, prefilter maintenance, water chemistry, and water use. Under perfect conditions the media can theoretically last indefinately.
Q. Is the scale prevention media safe?
A. Yes. The scale prevention media has been tested and approved by WQA in the USA to ANSI/NSF standard 61, the standard for material saftey for contact with potable water. It also carries the WQA gold seal.