NuvoH2O Saltless Water Softener Experiences

I've been looking at the NuvoH2O Saltless Water Softener as an alternative to a larger brine based system. Does anyone here have any experience with them? Thoughts?
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Denrael wrote:

Another snake oil? I bet you took chemistry/physics in school. There is no miracle in science.
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How does it work?
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Denrael wrote:

for a typical 4 person household.
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Snake oil, pure and simple. Basically, there are only two types of water softeners for household use: Reverse osmosis and ionic, using various salts, such as sodium chloride. Don't waste your money.
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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Sigh. Google on the words "snake oil".
The short version is that there are only two ways of reducing mineral content in water, commonly known as water softening. One is ion exchange (i.e. "salt"), the other is reverse osmosis.
Anything else, especially those systems with vague pseudoscientific words and standards that have nothing to do with water softening ("NSF" as in National SANITATION Foundation) is pure snake oil.
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wrote:

I dunno -- did you look at their site? They claim it works by chelation -- which is at least theoretically possible. I wouldn't be quite so quick to dismiss that. I am not a chemist, but I have had two years of college chemistry, so I'm not completely ignorant of the subject. Chelation is a well-known chemical phenomenon with numerous practical uses (for example, in treating lead or mercury poisoning, by binding the metal ion in a soluble form). It's at least possible in theory to soften hard water by chelating the magnesium and calcium ions it contains, as they claim to do. I don't know if it works in practice, but IMHO this should not be dismissed out of hand. Perhaps there's a chemist or ChemE reading this who will chime in with an opinion?
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To "soften" water is to remove calcium (among other things like iron) from water, not calcium deposits from pipes, and that is commonly done by one of two methods.
One method is ion exchange as done by a water softener. A water softener exchanges either sodium ions (if using NaCl) or potassium ions (if using KCl as a SALT SUBSTITUTE) for calcium (and other) ions in the hard water. That's it, no ifs, no ands, no buts, and no sales double talk. Simple chemistry and physics. Softening water is not black magic. It is physics and chemistry with a side of mechanics. No matter how hard sales people try (and want) to they can not violate the laws of physics or change the nature of chemical actions and reactions.
The other is by a filter and/or membrane technology or distillation, but no simple filter will remove calcium. You would need a reverse osmosis unit large enough to service your entire house. You would not want to pay for that big an RO nor pay for the service and routine maintenance it would require and RO water would be very aggressive in your plumbing and it would waste a lot of water.
NO magnet(ic) gizmo or electronic gizmo or "conditioner" will soften water but people waste their money on them EVERYDAY.
Check out this URL for one story <a href="http://www.nmsr.org / magnetic.htm"> http://www.nmsr.org/magnetic.htm </a> and there aremany more on the net if you Google.
Pick the right softener (not a box store brand), size it properly for your water conditions and usage and the SFR of your plumbing, and get a competent install and you should get 10-15 years of reliable service.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that water treatment begins with a comprehensive water test so you know what needs to be treated or filtered out to get the quality water you want.
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Please note that "commonly done by one of two methods" is not the same as "cannot be done except by those two methods". Ion-exchange and RO are not the only ways of softening water. A third method that is known to work is distillation -- obviously impractical for a whole-house water softener, but it *does* work.

NuvoH2O does not claim to use electronics or magnetism. They claim it works by chelation, and their explanation at least passes a first-order sanity check. Hopefully, a chemist or ChemE will join the thread at some point to offer opinions more informed than mine, but, having had two years of college chemistry, I believe that the chelation explanation is at least plausible.
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On Jul 8, 10:17am, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Doug,
If you'll re-read my post please note the line "The other is by a filter and/or membrane technology or distillation" and the word DISTILLATION.
Softening water by definition is removing the material in the water that causes it to be hard.
No reputable third party chemist or physicist has, to my knowledge, released a detailed study of the "conditioning" process in actual use in a residential installation where the "conditioned" water has provided ANY, let alone ALL, of the positive effects that soft water provides.
When that happens I'll be interested in reading those studies but, even then, water "conditioning" is not softening water and Merlin never figured out how to turn lead into gold.
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Sorry, missed the word distillation there.

Would you agree that IF a method exists by which calcium and magnesium ions could be prevented from forming insoluble compounds such as the carbonates and stearates that form "soap scum", that method could be said to have softened the water?
If not, then I think you've restricted the "definition" to exclude any methods other than the ones that you are sure are the only ones that work.

I would suggest that perhaps your knowledge is incomplete; Google on "water softening by chelation". You may be surprised at what you learn.

As applies to the electronic or magnetic water "conditioners" that serve mainly to separate the consumer from his money, I certainly agree with you. But do you understand what chelation is?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelation
Please note the phrase about half-way down the page, under Applications: "Chelators are used in chemical analysis, as water softeners, ..."

Look, I'm not saying that the NuvoH2O works. I'm just saying that the method by which they _claim_ it works is (a) radically different from the methods claimed by other vendors of saltless water "conditioners", and (b) from the standpoint of one who's had some college training in chemistry, is at least superficially plausible.
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On Jul 8, 12:08pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I didn't create the definition... look to the WQA wqa.org
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[Complete lack of response to any of the other points I raised is noted.]
If the WQA has a definition of water softening on their web site, it's not immediately obvious. Care to provide a link?
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On Jul 8, 1:14pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I believe it says "soft water is less than 0 hardness".
When your conditioners can show that reading on a hardness test then the water is soft.
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On Jul 8, 1:14pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Correction... my previous post SHOULD have said "soft water is less than 1 grain per gallon hardness"
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