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Water, Water Everywhere 
27th-Apr-2008 11:44 am
Even some to drink.

We've taken the plunge.  We bought a no-salt water conditioning system.  Not a water softener.  This is an important thing to understand, because there are a lot of "no salt water softener" claims out there.  This system does not soften the water; it renders the hard water to avoid the bothersome affects of hard water.

Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. (serving the area since 1931, credentialed by the Water Quality Association) is our supplier of a system patented and manufactured by Next Filtration Technologies.  Their product is called the Next Scale-Stop.  This product is based on TAC (Template Assisted Crystallization) which has a whole lot to do with advanced surface chemistry techniques to change the chemical form of the calcium so it does not scale or cause scum, but flows through to the sewer/septic system. 

There is currently only one standard-setting organization currently for physical water treatment(PWT.)  Formulated by the German Society of Gas and Water Specialists (DVGW,) which is roughly analogous to the US public health departments, the test is called the DVGW W512 test.

In essence, the test puts water into two water heaters, one of which has the product being tested in front of the water heater so it gets "treated" water.  For 20 days, the heaters are cycled through normal household level use.  The heaters are drained, the scale is collected dissolved by a mild acid, and the levels of scale found on the two heating coils measured.  To pass the test, the tested device must get a score of 80%, which is to say the treated water heater leaves no more than 20% of the amount of scale left in the raw water heater.  The Next ScaleStop is the only one so far to pass the test -- with a score of 99.6%

There are many PWT systems touting the TAC technology, but they have yet to be tested.

For the scientifically inclined, the skeptics and the curious of my readers, here is an article on the technology and test for your reviewing pleasure.  (Requires Adobe reader.)  Important - There are many, many water treatment systems out there, the majority of which are based on licks, promises and bogus science.  Filtersorb, for example, will crop up in a lot of Google searches for "template assisted crystallization."  It might be ok, but it has yet to undergo the W512.  In addition, the claims they make for their product are lifted specifically from the W512 test report for the Next product.  Buyer beware!  (The woman who sold us our unit used to work for Filtersorb and left to go to Reynolds and the Next system for ethical reasons ...)

We're excited about this.  Making ecologically-friendly choices during our construction is a priority for us.  An area not far from us has already banned water softeners (ion exchange) and is offering breaks to get folks to trade current water softeners to other systems, to avoid the brine effluent.  There is no effluent from the ScaleStop; water comes in, and the same water goes out.  Very green.

No more hauling salt.  No more nagging Husband to haul salt.  No recharging times.  Less water usage.  Minimal maintenance.  What's not to love.  Yeah, this is the first time we've dared to go on the edge of the technological wave; we usually like to be the second generation user, not the beta tester.  But we've made an exception for this.  I will keep you all posted.

I drank the treated water last week.  Tastes like well water, which is not my favorite, but it is significantly better than the water at Havoc House.  For the time being, we will not be putting in an osmosis unit, although we may add it after we move in and I really use the water.  Since installing the system (fronted with an iron filter) we've seen no build up of any kind, including rust, on our white fixtures.  So far so good.

If you read the WCP article referenced above, it will explain why the ScaleStop claims to not only prevent scale, but to eliminated existing scale from old water systems.  Just thought you'd like to know.

I received another benefit from this decision.  The saleswoman and I hit it off instantly.  We've exchanged email and personal information so we can keep in touch.  She wants to see how the house develops, and I want her help in creating my cutting garden.

See -- building my dream house has been very good for me!
27th-Apr-2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Might I ask how much that system was?
27th-Apr-2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
You might.

In the neighborhood of $4K, installed. This is for both the iron filter and the ScaleStop -- the latter is a bit more expensive than a comparable water softener, but close enough to the high end systems to be comparable.

Reynolds will replace the ScaleStop with a traditional ion-exchange (salt) system within 1 year, if we are dissatisfied with the ScaleStop.

We figured we couldn't loose.

If you want a complete breakdown, I'll dig up the paperwork and send you email.

(Re your email: [firstname] at [first initial + lastname] dot com -- yes?)
28th-Apr-2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
The rough number is what I needed, since we can't do anything until the Atlanta house sells. Now to see if there is a local retailer/installer of same here and whether we can get a deal on combining it with a new water heater as well.
1st-May-2008 10:14 pm (UTC) - Dental Office
Glad you took the plunge. Congratulations.
I am in Canada and someone recommended getting Next Scalestop. The current water in the city is very hard and damages the dental handpieces that are used in the office. The plastic water tubes and fine components we use in the office can not tolerate the hard water in the city. The existing water softener has done a good job but always need to add salt. We use
a salt that is from the ocean and is quite costly. The water softener company says the salt is of high grade and cost more. However, it isn't cheap and we go thru about $1 t 2K per year.
Do you know if the system is suitable in a dental environment?
Any questions or suggestions you may have?
2nd-May-2008 02:52 pm (UTC) - Re: Dental Office
Being completely unfamiliar with what "suitable in a dental environment" might include (I presume high pressure, tiny water lines, at least) I will pass on judging how ScaleStop might work for you.

That said, you can email their sales department at sales@nextfiltration.com according to Next Filtration's website. They can also tell you who the certified dealers are.

Good luck!
12th-May-2008 02:25 am (UTC) - Re: Dental Office
Thanks for your time and honest opinion.
2nd-Sep-2008 05:26 pm (UTC) - Re: Dental Office
I also live in Canada and in a residential home. Did you buy the Scalestop? If yes, did it stop the calcium built-up around your equipment? Carol: you have mentioned that rust is prevented but what about calcium built-up especially around faucets and such?
2nd-Sep-2008 07:27 pm (UTC) - Re: Dental Office
Yes, we did go with the ScaleStop.

So far, it's great. But, we only started really using water in the house about one month ago, so I wouldn't call it a fabulous test.

Dishes are coming out of the dishwasher cleaner/clearer than in the old house; that could be because the ScaleStop works as well as promised, or it could be a function of our water being different. The water tests said we had less iron (it would be hard to have more) but more calcium than the old house.

The water still spots, but the spots rub off easily. So far, no buildup.

Meanwhile, the water tastes much better!
3rd-Jun-2008 04:42 pm (UTC) - Scale-Stop
I got a question: How hard is your water?, I'm living in far west Texas (in the Desert)and I waould like to use a salt-free conditioner, Have you read aboout the Pelican Natur-Soft? Is it the same?.
3rd-Jun-2008 04:47 pm (UTC) - Re: Scale-Stop
Pelican's product is not the same. That was where I started, in fact. Then I learned that all their illustrations of how the technology works, and their mention of passing the German test with 92% actually refer to NextStop, not their product. The media offered by NextStop is patented.

NaturSoft says it's had the test, but so far, no one has seen the resulting report.

The person who sold me our unit used to sell NaturSoft. She stopped and moved to her current dealer (who deals with NextStop) because she was uncomfortable with the product she was selling.

Our water came in at a hardness of 22, if I remember properly. I have to run right now, but I'll double check and repost if I've got it wrong.

Good luck!
3rd-Jun-2008 07:36 pm (UTC) - Re: Scale-Stop
WOW!!! Thanks for your fast response and the answer, because I almost go for the Pelican one! I read about the Scale stop, just yesterday.... Thanks again!! in fact I live in Mexico side (border with El Paso) and to buy a water conditioner represent a big investment, I think that I go for the scale-stop.

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12th-Aug-2010 02:52 pm (UTC) - scalestop
I am thinking of installing a scale stop system and also would love to hear how yours is performing as every plumber I talk to says there is no way a no-salt system can perform over time. Thanks!
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