Calcium buildup in pipes

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Grouser
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Calcium buildup in pipes

Postby Grouser » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:46 pm

We have hard water and a lot of calcium buildup in the pipes in our village. Does anyone have experience of any gadjets to eliminate this? I believe there is an electromagnetic solution. Anyone know about this and whether it would need to be left on if the house was empty and water not being used. As a lot of our plumbing is buried in the walls, and I'm not sure exactly where, it would be painful to replace it. Thanks.
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El Cid
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Postby El Cid » Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:00 pm

The magnetic units do work. They don't soften the water, they realign the direction of the water molecules so they don't stick to the pipe - well anyway, that's the theory!

You would turn them of if the water was not being used.

Whether they are man enough to solve a real hard water problem is very questionable and there is no way you will know if they are working without looking inside the pipes. We have a proper ion exchange water softener which works really well and our water is really hard.

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Postby Grouser » Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:07 pm

Thanks Sid. Don't those ion exchange water softeners cost an arm and a leg?
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Postby El Cid » Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:11 pm

Afraid so Grouser. But they are cheaper than replacing the plumbing, not to mention the dishwasher and washing machine elements!

They are about €600 for a good one but some may be a bit less. On top of that would be the installation if you can't do it yourself.

Sid

nevada smith

Postby nevada smith » Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:31 pm

your 'view' to success or failure is
the calcium buildup at the end of your faucets...

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silver
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Postby silver » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:12 am

You would turn them of if the water was not being used.

What would happen if you forgot to turn them?...and how long is "when not being used"
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Postby El Cid » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:37 am

It would do no harm.

They are electromagnets so all you are doing by turning them off is saving a small amount of power.

Some of the cheaper units are not powered, they use high power ceramic magnets.

Sid

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calcium build up in pipes

Postby gavilan » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:08 am

?what do local villagers do to prevent this?

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Postby Grouser » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:12 pm

I suspect they have just learned to live with it. I guess it's not that long ago that it was a treat to have water piped into the house rather than having to flog up the hill to the communal tap
What initially got me worried about this was when I spoke to the local fontanero and he took me back to his workshop and showed me some large diameter pipes that were almost completely furred up. He spends much of his time replacing pipes in the streets and reckons they are good for about five years. Given that it is that much of a problem you would think it would make sense to treat the water at the pumping station.
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calcium build-up in pipes

Postby gavilan » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:56 pm

!just be careful what they treat it with!

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Postby jazper » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:00 pm

A standard water softner exchanges calcium ions with sodium ions. Excessive sodium ions are bad for the heart (like salt). In the UK you are expected to have a drinking water bypass tap in your house. I don't know what the rules are in Spain, but you certainly could not perform that function at the pumping station.

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Postby gretch » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:05 am

I’ve just had a little scare with my pipes. I’m not a plumber, but I decided to have a go at a little job which meant draining the system. When I’d finished and put the water back on there was very little pressure to the kitchen, not even enough to trigger the gas water heater. I guessed, maybe a small piece of calcium had come loose and lodged itself somewhere restricting the flow, and with all the pipes either in the walls or floor this caused some concern. :cry:
It turned out the little filter at the end of the tap was blocked, :oops: (take note all you would be plumbers).

Anyway after this scare, I’m going to buy one of these gadgets to reduce calcium, maybe better late than never :)

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Postby Shukran » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:17 am

We had a similar problem Gretch when we first moved to Spain. We called out a plumber and it took him 10 seconds to find the problem - we felt really stupid. We weren't aware of these little filters at the end of taps at that time. Where we are now the water is so bad that all the taps need the filters cleaning out twice a week. We're looking into these alternatives for our new house but don't know which to trust. We have a friend who has tried a very expensive (c€1,000) water softener and has given up on it.

It's not about the money so much, we just want something that actually works. We don't want an 'under-the-sink' thing where you have to have an extra tap, we want an outside contraption that cleans ALL the water before it enters the house, but we've heard so many contradictory reports.
Since I gave up hope I feel much better!

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Postby El Cid » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:40 am

I certainly have had no problems with my Ion Exchange unit and I know a few others who have them and are very happy.

It is vitually impossible for them NOT to work if they are installed properly and assuming that they do not have a defect.

The only way they can cease to soften the water is if the resin cylinder has not been regenerated frequently enough - that's what the salt is used for. They all have a setting which determines when they should (automatically) run the regeneration cycle. They either do this on elapsed time or the more expensive ones do it based on the actual amount of water passed though it. How often they need to regenerate depends on the amount of use and also the hardness of the water.

If you find that the water starts to feel hard again towards the end of the cycle, then you just change the settings until you get it right.

Sid

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Postby toddcl » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:55 am

OK. I'm about to have a gas water heater fitted and realise that I should do something now to prevent calcium buildup or I will be needing to replace the appliance in a few years.

Can you please tell me what these electromagnets are called in Spanish and how much they cost?
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Postby Grouser » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:34 pm

Todd don't know the Spanish name for them but here is a link to a website with a bit more info.

http://www.discoverymagnets.co.uk/ecofl ... ZwodREhdNg
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Postby El Cid » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:41 pm

Todd, try "Descalcificadora Magnetica"

Sid

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Postby toddcl » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:06 pm

Had a search and found the same magnet product for £44.26


Have a look at:
http://www.discoverymagnets.co.uk/ecoflow_water.htm

I also found some sites that asked 'do they work' The answer is the vast majority say yes. So I'm giving them a whirl.
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Postby Grouser » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:48 pm

Todd isn't that the same link I posted?
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El Cid
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Postby El Cid » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:00 pm

I remember these "amazing" Ecoflow products from 10 years ago in the UK. They apparently do everything. You can buy one for your dog that makes it climb stairs faster!

Why aren't all OAPs fitted with them if they work so well - it could save the NHS billions.

Oh yes - they save 5% on your fuel bills if you fit one to your car. Why hasn't everyone got one? BP and Shell must be very worried.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Sid


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