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Electromagnetic Water Conditioners Explained

It is widely known that calcareous scale build-up in all domestic and industrial plant causes considerable damage and high operating costs including:

 

Dutypoint EC with control box
Dutypoint EC - Electromagnetic Water Conditioner

Why does scale build-up occur?

Water from both the mains supply and natural sources (such as boreholes) contains minerals that are vitally important contributors to good health and wellbeing. One of these elements is Calcium Bicarbonate, which along with magnesium and various other dissolved salts contributes to the level of hardness of water. 

As water temperature is increased, the inherent calcium bicarbonate [Ca(HCO3)2] releases carbon dioxide [CO2], leaving calcium carbonate [CaCO3], the cause of limescale build-up.

Ca(HCO3)2 → CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O

 

What is an electromagnetic water conditioner?

Water conditioners are the ecological solution for overcoming the lifecycle cost associated with the build-up of hard limescale in water systems. An electromagnetic water conditioner reduces the energy consumption and extends the life of equipment by eliminating the build-up of hard calcareous limescale, without introducing harmful chemicals or additives. 

 

Treating hard water with a water conditioner ensures that the quality of the water is maintained; none of the essential minerals present in potable drinking water are removed through the treatment. 

How does a water conditioner prevent scale build up?

Calcium carbonate commonly occurs in two different crystal structures, calcite and aragonite. Although calcite and aragonite have the same chemical composition, their crystal structures are completely different:

The trigonal structure of calcite crystals has a high level of aggregation and adhesion (see below), causing rapid calcareous scale build-up within pipes and connected equipment.

Caclite Crystal

Calcite Crystal - high level of aggregation and adhesion.

The orthorhombic structure of aragonite crystals has a low level of aggregation and adhesion, preventing calcareous scale build-up. Extensive testing has conclusively proved that the innovative distribution of the electromagnetic forces within the Dutypoint EC unit ensures that the calcium carbonate in the water downstream of the unit forms only as aragonite (see below).  Therefore, although the chemical composition of the water is not changed, the aragonite crystals generated have a low level of aggregation and adhesion preventing calcareous scale build-up.  The unit is WRAS-approved, demonstrating that potable water upstream remains free from contamination downstream.

 Aragonite Crystal

Aragonite Crystal - low level of aggregation and adhesion.

In practice, this change in crystalline structure prevents the build up of scale in plant room equipment. The two images below illustrate the effects of the water conditioner:

Pipework with treated and untreated water

How is an electromagnetic water conditioner different from a water softener?

Electromagnetic water conditioners, which are also known as a type of physical water conditioner, are becoming the preferred option in the majority of installations over water softeners because they do not alter the chemical composition of the water, or introduce any chemicals into the water. As a result, there is no requirement for a separate 'softened' water supply - if drinking water is passed through a Dutypoint EC it retains its quality downstream of the unit. No chemicals are added and no essential minerals are removed - this also means there are no chemicals to replenish. The unit is WRAS-approved, illustrating that no contaminants are introduced to the water. This benefit will result in significant cost saving when compared to installing a water softener.


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