LABORATORY TEST OF DIME WATER
CATALYTIC/MAGNETIC SCALE PREVENTION DEVICE
DIME WATER, INC
2575 FORTUNE WAY STE. JVISTA, CA 92081Phone 760-734-5787 Fax 760-734-5798 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The use of catalytic and or magnetic water treatment for scale reduction/elimination has been going on for many years. Contact with professional water treatment dealers, engineers in the industry, and plumbers indicates that all of the currently available systems and technologies work to some degree in scale prevention but a common comment is that sometimes the systems perform quite well and sometimes the results are minimal at best.
Dime Water conducted an exhaustive search of patents, literature, and technical papers to try and find the effects that these devices had on water and why there was such an inconsistency in their effectiveness. The company was driven by a need to have a product to pre-treat large R.O. units to prevent element failure without the use of traditional softeners or chemical feeds. Much of the work the company does is in areas where salt discharge is prohibited or salt and chemicals are not readily available. This search led to some interesting findings
- Magnetic devices work best on water the have colloidal size particles present prior to being exposed to a magnetic field.
- Magnetic devices work best in re-circulation type systems.
- There are many testimonials available but absent are controlled test results.
- The effect on water is one where the hardness remains in the water but in a form that does not readily collect on hot metal surfaces and does not interfere with the normally used soaps, detergents, and shampoos as much as does the untreated water.
- The most comprehensive lines of products are from European firms.
- No patents were found that utilized similar technologies or were initiated by or assigned to companies.
- Catalytic devices employ solid surfaces that tend to collect scale and require periodic cleaning.
With the above findings in-hand the company decided to embark on a new product design program to overcome the application limitation of the existing available products, develop application guidelines for the newly developed product, and perform a meaningful test that would establish the efficacy of the newly designed product when it was tested concurrently with the same water at the same time with that water being untreated.
DESIGN CONCEPT OF ESF (catalytic/magnetic)TEST UNIT
It was decided that to best create a single pass (no need for re-circulation) non-chemical scale prevention device, it would be necessary to:
- Provide the colloidal type particles going into a magnetic device and/or—
- Create a catalytic device that was not flow sensitive and did not have a catalytic surface that would cause scale to form on it.
Data on the Spiractor Process as detailed in Water Treatment for Industrial and Other Uses by Eskel Nordell of the Permutit Company led us to the need for a variable orifice that would change (increase) as water flow increased to give a constant pressure drop (approx. 3 psi) regardless of the flow rate. This pressure drop causes release of some dissolved Carbon Dioxide and the beginning of the formation of insoluble calcium carbonate particles from the dissolved state of calcium bicarbonate hardness. Creation of the necessary colloidal particles begins.
To prevent the scaling of the catalytic surface, a material based on the properties of stainless steel was employed. To further eliminate the possibility of this scale formation, the surface was constructed of a wool like material that flexes with even minor changes in flow to break free any collection of scale that could form. Colloidal particles should propagate in the presence of a catalytic surface.
With particles now available for magnetic fields to act upon, a chamber was designed to (a) increase the speed of the water in ft./sec., (b) separate the water from the high flux rare earth magnets without reducing the magnetic flux, and (c) create the necessary number of fields and polarity to cause agglomeration of the formed particles.
The entire assembly consists of PVC and stainless steel components to prevent the formation of any corrosion or galvanic cells that could cause aberration of test or field results.
The test was conducted on a municipal water supply provided by the city of Escondido, CA (the location of Dime Water when the testing was conducted). The water chemistry was:
- Calcium Hardness: 290mg/L as CaCO3
- pH: 8.2
- Total alkalinity: 150mg/L as CaCO3
- P alkalinity: 0
- Total dissolved solids: 651 mg/L
- Iron: less than 0.1 mg/L during entire test run
- LSI (Langelier’s Saturation Index): +1.6 at 140 Deg. F
All water was passed through a one cubic foot bed of acid washed carbon to remove chlorine/chloramines from the test water supply.
All water passed through a 5 micron cartridge filter to minimize the effects if any of existing turbidity in the water.
Water was split into two streams. One stream as treated above and the other through the previously described ESF unit which is the active scale prevention component in Dime Water Aquafer and Maxi-Cure systems.
Each stream of water was fed to its own 6 gallon electric water heater (with both heaters being of the same size, wattage and manufacturer. All piping after the 5 micron filter was PVC or braided Tygon tubing.
The outlet of each heater consisted of ½ inch galvanized pipe and ½ inch copper tubing separated by a galvanic union and the flow controlled by a solenoid valve wired to a common timer.
Pressure to the inlet of the test station was controlled by a Watts pressure regulator.
- Inlet Water Temperature: Range 54 to 91 deg. F.
- Hot Water Temperature: Range 134 to 141 deg. F.
- Water flow from heaters: Range 1.86 to 2.10 GPM
- Duration of water flow from heaters: 91 seconds per on cycle.
- Daily Number of cycles fro heater to drain: 6. Water heating 4 hours, drain 91 seconds(approx. 3 gallons or half of heater volume), heat 4 hours etc.
- Parameter checks. Once daily Monday through Saturday for duration of test. Three periods of 4 days each when test was not observed but heating and automatic draining continued without interruption. Logs maintained.
- Test interruptions: There were no observed power outages or water shut-off periods during the duration of the testing that exceeded more than 10 minutes. Timer confirmed the electrical continuity.
- Duration of test: 9:45 a.m. April 11, 1996 to 10:30 a.m. March 1, 1997. This is 324 days. At above flows and cycle frequency and times this measures out to 5,830 gallons per heater.
Based on a daily water consumption of 60 gallons per person and that heated water accounts for an average of 60% of water used within a home, then a family of 4 will use 144 gallons of heated water daily. The above water used by each heater will amount to 40 days of use or in the range of 1.5 months.
Dime Water elected to use heater and pipes rather than hot water on test coupons to more closely replicate actual water usage. This enables us to extrapolate data more readily to actual anticipated applications.
At the end of the 324th day, 5,832 gallon test, the outlet piping was dismantled, heaters were drained, and the heating elements removed. This was done in the presence of a number of impartial observers who were neither paid by nor offered any other form of compensation to view the results. The entire disassembly was video taped.
The most dramatic difference between the two test heaters was observed in the 1/2 inch galvanized pipe fittings and pipes where they exited the two heaters. The pipe on the heater that received untreated water was heavily scaled and the same fitting and pipe from the treated water heater showed virtually no scale at all. These two pipe sections were allowed to dry and then were weighed with the following result:
- Hard water galvanized fitting: Original dry weight was 609.5 grams. After exposure to 5,830 gallons of untreated water, the dry weight was 646.4 grams. A total of 36.9 grams of calcium hardness scale was deposited in a length of pipe 12 inches in length.
- Treated water galvanized fitting: Original dry weight was 595.4 grams. After exposure to the same test conditions as the other except that the water passed through the catalytic/magnetic ESF device, the new dry weight was 598.2 grams. An increase of 2.8 grams.
The untreated water put 13 times as much scale in the pipe as the treated water. This represents a 92% reduction in scale forming by the ESF device.
As of this writing the other components of the test units are being dried for eventual weight comparison.
CONCLUSION AND FUTURE ACTIVITY
It is demonstrated that the use of a catalytic/magnetic device under controlled conditions can significantly reduce the formation of hardness scale in pipes as caused by the heating of water to a level typical of that found bathing, clothes washing, and dish washing applications.
By applying the test flows and temperatures along with the water test results to a simplified Langelier Index, it is probably safe to assume that at a Index number of plus 1.6 or less the ESF process will significantly reduce scale formation. As of this writing there are many field test devices utilizing this process protecting R.O. elements on equipment with daily flux from 150 to 10,000 gallons. We estimate that in actual field application we have treated 500 million gallons of water going to a variety of element materials with no reported failures. There are additional test units that have been applied to car washes, homes, hotels, motels and agricultural irrigation projects; again with no reported failures.
The most important contribution that Dime Water can make is to continue its testing and broaden the flow rate and Langelier envelope so that more applications and test sight can be included. Simply put, we must add more points to the curve.
There have been numerous reports of ESF treated water increasing water penetration into plants, reduced use of soaps and detergents, and a generally improved “feel” to the water. We are currently exploring ways to validate these comments in a scientific manner using controlled testing as we have for scale formation.
Hardness is not removed by this process. The form of the hardness in the water is altered. It is intuitive that the hardness will return to its dissolved state over a period of time. The exact time is unknown, but contact with people field testing units indicates a “life” of this water in the range of 48 hours. We thus consider this a transient treatment. Understanding that an average home uses 140 gallons daily of hot water and an average heater is in the 40 to 50 gallon range, water resides in a heater for less than 12 hours or well under the 48 hour effective time. Traditional methods that remove hardness with the use of chemicals should be employed where the water must have softened properties for a prolonged period of time such as in a product or when in application the positive Langelier’s Saturation Index exceeds plus 1.6.