Ohhh, for all of you who suffer hard water. My sincerest sympathies. Pete the Plumber lives where he can still put his face in crystal creeks and drink his fill, with no worries. But 85 percent of the US has hard (>121MG/L) water, and I do have a good buddy living fifty-miles over the mountain, who’s stuck with (‘hard-on-the-nose’), very over-mineralized deep-well water.
Attending a trade show recently, one of the exhibits was something that really caught my eye. I immediately thought of my buddy, for he has gone through numerous water softeners. On a display table was what you are looking at, the Housetron, by Fluid Dynamics USA. It is a conditioner that functions catalytically without electricity, moving parts or salts. (Basically it’s a stainless steel pipe with a special catalytic ‘corkscrew’ run down the center). The pipe has NPT (National Pipe Thread) male ends. It being stainless steel, no dialectic unions/couplings are required for installation with steel or copper pipe.
With a Housetron installed on the main service, my friend could kiss good bye the electrical-salt expense of operating traditional softeners. Even if he wanted to keep his softeners, the Housetron would greatly reduce the cost of salt and cycling frequency.
For the worst case hard water situation what I foresee is maybe two of them, joined with a brass union and also unions at both ends. Used in conjunction with an up-stream and down-stream isolating ball valve, the system could be opened up and the Housetrons removed, (if needed) cleaned, and put back in service very quickly, without having to shut off mains or pumps.
Peter Hemp is a San Francisco East Bay residential plumber and plumbing author and former R & D steam vehicle plumber. His hobbies are ocean kayaking and touring the Left Coast by bicycle.
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