Scale Reduction

Physical water conditioners can offer a low cost, environmentally friendly alternative for controlling the build up of scale where heat exchange takes place.

These devices don’t radically alter the water chemistry, are easy to install and inexpensive to run.

In general they inhibit the formation of scale by changing its physical properties, and are ideal for protecting specific appliances at the point where the water flows into them. Some will also offer entire house protection.

 

Permanent magnets

These encourage the formation of larger, needle shaped crystals as opposed to the normal, small cubic pattern. This reduces the ‘stickiness’ of the scale, and enables it to be washed away by the flow of water.

They are ideal for the protection of individual appliances. BWT distributes a number of these products under the Liff and Aqua-Dial brands.

Electromagnets

These encourage some of the dissolved calcium in the water to precipitate as minute seed crystals in the water itself. When the water is heated these ‘seed crystals’ attract further scale to them rather than the metal surfaces around them. The larger crystals which result, are washed away in the water flow.

These can be used to protect the entire household as well as individual appliances.

Electronic devices

These use very low power electrical energy flowing through wires wrapped around the pipes. Again, these encourage the formation of seed crystals which attract further precipitation to themselves rather than the metal surfaces around them. The larger crystals which result, are washed away in the water flow.

These devices are ideal for protecting individual appliances, but can be used to protect the entire house if they are powerful enough.

Electrostatic devices

These use the flow of water through the device to create an electric field, which encourages the formation of needle shaped seed crystals, which attract further precipitation to themselves rather than the metal surfaces around them. The resulting crystals are washed away in the water flow.

Electrolytic devices

These add minute quantities of metal – usually zinc or iron – to suppress the formation of scale by altering the chemical equilibrium of the water. They also act as sites for the scale to precipitate on to, consequently protecting metal surfaces.

Physical water conditioning devices, unlike water softeners, do not soften the water by lowering the calcium and magnesium content.

The performance of all water treatment devices is dependent on a number of factors, including the quality of the water locally, and the nature of the specific heating system involved.

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