Saltfree Water Conditioners – Boom or Bane?Hello ‘Water Doctor’ Mark,
I have spent a long time over the past couple of days doing what research I can on these saltless water conditioner. The whole issue has become confusing…but I’m trying desperately to properly evaluate my options.
We have a nasty problem with scale and yet I DO NOT like soft water via typical sodium or phosphorus softening systems…I can’t stand that damned ‘greasy/soap ain’t gone’ feeling. That I’ve gotten this far in the Google list (think you’re on about page five of my search) is a testament to how concerned I am.
I’ve noted that numerous companies hawking the ‘next-stop media’ type systems use the same justifications for their worth…many even using the exact same textual references. This strikes me a bogus. Also, one article I read mentioned that only ONE salt-free conditioning system had ever met the German test criteria/certification, and that was a cathotic system…not these ‘next-stop’ or ‘SP3′ crystallization systems.
Now I read above that you’ve found fault with some of these companies as marketing ineffective media. I’m glad to avoid an expensive mistake. However the media you DO recommend; what are its ‘certification’ credentials? Does it meet the…perhaps fancy but non-applicable…German DVGW standards?
More importantly, if the crystallization-suspension of the calcium only lasts for a short period of time…what happens to water that passes through the unit, on to a hot water heater and then remains static for hours or, perhaps, days? In those length time periods would the calcium not move out of suspension and back into dilution?
If the GreenWavesystem can be verified as effective I’m very much interested in learning that.
The Water Doctor Replied:
First, let me address the nextScaleStoip media - Which media are you refering to? The original German media that was allegedly tested under DVGW-512 or the media that was made in Canada after that or the media that is allegedly made in Wisconsin now or some other media they use that we don't know about.
Do I sound bitter? Well, I'm not bitter, but I'm smarter after our company had to "eat" a lot of bad next Scale Stop media, as have lots of other companies. The failure was always explained by next Scale Stop to be the fault of some water characteristic. It was never the media. We spent thousands of dollars replacing media and systems in next scale stop systems to satisfy the customers. We have a perfect record with the BBB. This pattern of blaming the water and not the media is pervasive in residential and commercial applications. I personally know of many commercial failures by the next Scale Stop media within a few months of installation, and next Scale Stop refused to stand in back of the failure. That's why I no longer use next Scale Stop and why they have no credibility with me.
DVGW-512 is an "urban legand" as far as I am concerned. We have tested many medias and our current MEP Media, Version 3.1 is the best we have found. It's been two years since we switched to that version and have had only two failures. Icannot tell you why they faiuled, however as the water they were on was the same water where many other Green Wave Systems worked well. It may be that "the crystallization-suspension of the calcium only lasts for a short period of time"
like you asked and "what happens to water that passes through the unit, on to a hot water heater and then remains static for hours or, perhaps, days? In those length time periods would the calcium not move out of suspension and back into dilution?"
I can tell you that the suspension seems to last for 72 hours or more, but more research is needed on this issue. In the meantime, it's "Dodge City" out there. Companies are making all kinds of outrageous claims (I guess the unpolitically correct name for them is "lies"). Things like this are pure fiction:
- The media lasts a lifetime.
- Uses 50% less soaps and detergents.
- This is naturally softened water.
And the biggest lie is when they call it a "saltfree water softener." IT DOES NOT SOFTEN THE WATER - You can only soften the water by removing the calcium and magnesium and replacing it with sodium. It can be called CONDITIONED WATER, but it's "Caveat Emptor" - Let the buyer beware.
We disclose very little about our MEP media as we don't really want to "tip off" our competitors as to how we have been successful in the saltless water treatment market. We are continually looking for new and better media, but to date MEP 3.1 is the best we have found. This all sounds very self-serving, and it is, but it is also the truth. That' the best I can tell you.
Sometimes, you just have to check a company out. See if they are "straight shooters" and trust them to do what they say. I think we are that company, but you will have to decide that for yourself.