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Thread: Calcium Scale prevention by CATALYST - does it work?

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    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    The Woodlands, Texas, USA
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    243

    Calcium Scale prevention by CATALYST - does it work?

    Hi guys,

    Wanted to see if anyone out there could weigh-in on this one. Trying to decide if it is legitimate or B.S.

    The idea is that a catalytic surface is placed inline with a water supply (house or pool), the catalyst causes Ca++ ions to precipitate and wash through the system without adhering to the inside surfaces of the pipe, heat exchanger, shower glass, etc. .... effectively eliminating calcium scale buildup without removing the calcium.

    So here are 3 of the best links I could find. First two by WATTS which I always thought made reputable water filters. I have one of their R.O. units. Other company is fluid dynamics which claims to have been selling these things for over 30 years. Please let me know what you think....

    http://www.excelwater.com/downloads/ScaleNet%20FAQ.pdf

    http://media.wattswater.com/WQCP_ScaleN ... aleSys.pdf

    http://www.fluiddynamicsna.com/


    Thanks,

    Lee
    IG 24k plaster with overflow spa. Goldline PS-8 SWG. Tristar 0.75 HP filter pump, Polaris 280, large cartridge filter, 400k BTU NG Max-E-Therm HD, SR Smith Turbo Twister, Life Saver pool fence, ORP managed.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    San Rafael, CA USA
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    12,082

    Re: Calcium Scale prevention by CATALYST - does it work?

    The ScaleNet explanation is pretty much bunk if taken literally. How does a "constellation" of calcium ions, which are positively charged, result in "bonds" that result in crystals? Crystals are neutral, not charged. The FluidDynamics explanation is better and is probably how ScaleNet works as well. The system basically just seeds or encourages calcium carbonate precipitation by using a polyacryl matrix in the case of ScaleNet or a special alloy with turbulence in the case of FluidDynamics. The presumption is that the water is already super-saturated with calcium carbonate so the creation of calcium carbonate precipitate in the water would then have to be removed elsewhere. In fact, if it works too well, it could cloud the water.

    It is not true that calcium is removed. It is precipitated into calcium carbonate that will have to come out somewhere, such as in a filter or as cloudy water. It doesn't just disappear. The FluidDynamics system presumably favors the formation of Aragonite crystals rather than Calcite and such crystals tend to adhere more strongly to each other than to other surfaces.

    Now if the ScaleNet system uses something like sodium polyacrylate, then that acts more like a sequestering agent to hold calcium ions, but their description sounded more like some form of calcium precipitation than sequestration.

    Why do you ask?
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas, USA
    Posts
    243

    Re: Calcium Scale prevention by CATALYST - does it work?

    Thanks for your response.

    I ask because:
    1. My shower glass doors accumulate hard water deposits very quickly. I have tested my city water with my TF100 and Calcium is 40. Was considering a water softener when I ran across the above catalyst devices.

    2. Fluid Dynamics offers a model for swimming pools. As I just finished a drain and refill for high calcium levels I was wondering if their device would allow calcium to precipitate out and then be removed by either my filter or Polaris. Was also thinking this device would provide an additional margin of error against scale accumulation on pool tile and heat exchanger.

    I agree with you that the mechanism is most likely pushes calcium to precipitate in solution.

    There are simply a LOT of "snake oil" products out there in the water treatment world right now. So I was and still am skeptical of these products. They certainly do appear attractive: Much easier than dealing with a salt softener and ion exchange resins.

    So I would appreciate any insight or experience anyone has with these types of devices.

    Thanks

    Lee
    IG 24k plaster with overflow spa. Goldline PS-8 SWG. Tristar 0.75 HP filter pump, Polaris 280, large cartridge filter, 400k BTU NG Max-E-Therm HD, SR Smith Turbo Twister, Life Saver pool fence, ORP managed.

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Calcium Scale prevention by CATALYST - does it work?

    Well, this link on pseudo-science water techniques talks about the Watts ScaleNet system. Of course, as I pointed out, some of the info on the ScaleNet website is clearly wrong, but that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't work though it's not a good sign. The Fluid Dynamics at least has more rational explanations. The thing is that these systems don't explain where the precipitated calcium carbonate goes except that it is in the form of aragonite trapped in suspension.

    You'll need to talk to some people who actually have a Fluid Dynamics system to know if it really works or not.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Calcium Scale prevention by CATALYST - does it work?

    There is a long history of magnetic, electrostatic, and catalytic water treatment devices for boiler and cooling tower water. The only proven effect these devices have (that I am aware of) is to separate funds from and eventually embarrass the purchaser.

    They all seem to share a pseudo scientific explanation.

    I think the chemical water treatment industry has contributed to the existence of these devices by selling drums of high priced chemicals as magic elixirs with exotic names rather than selling them as chemicals with a straight forward explanations of how they work (e.g., this phosphate solution precipitates the calcium in your feed water and lets you remove it by periodic blowdown).

    Reminds me of my local pool store's recommendations vs. the BBB system which works so well for me.


    Curmudgeon

    350 gal Infinity using BBB

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