PolyHalt®, What is it and how does it work?
So, you want to know how PolyHalt, one of the core Cascadian ICS products, softens water without salt and how it works to solve the many different water quality problems this powerful water treatment tool is tasked to solve. This gets a bit technical but we are talking science, so please read at least the next two paragraphs. Further reading will explain more about solving specific water quality problems and answer common questions.
What is PolyHalt?
PolyHalt is a technically a chemical, a proprietary polyphosphate, it comes from naturally occurring phosphorous bearing rock. PolyHalt, is a negatively charged semi-solid polyphosphate while metals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese dissolved in water are positively charged. As positively charged metals flow through negatively charged PolyHalt an amount of PolyHalt equal to that required to form a new ionic-bond is automatically proportionally released to form new ionic complexes. These new complexes are very different than the original ions, they are chemically different with new behavior properties compared to before treatment.
How Does PolyHalt Work?
PolyHalt works because of differences in electrical charges between dissolved metals in the water and PolyHalt. Technically PolyHalt treats dissolved metals via a well known process called Ionic-Bonding resulting in a new ionic complex with new properties. Simply put PolyHalt works on the “Opposites Attract” principle and once the attraction is made a new bond is formed and water problems are resolved.
What new properties do PolyHalt complexes have?
Hardness Minerals – Calcium and Magnesium;
Cannot form hard scale or stick to surfaces. Cannot bind with soaps to form a curdy precipitate (soap scum). Complexed hardness minerals remain in the water and the water behaves as if they are not present, scale formation is prevented, water is easy to work with. Water is softened without salt
Evaporative water spots;
Water spots formed when water evaporates are much easier to clean up. Most often all that is required is to simply wipe the spots away without hard work or chemicals.
Removal of existing scale;
Treated water tends to solve existing hard water scale from surfaces cleaning them over time.
Prevention of curdy precipitate (soap scum);
Treated hardness minerals cannot bind with soaps. Use less soap cleaning and get cleaner easier.
Protection of plumbing and appliances from Low pH or aggressive water that can soften and dissolve metals causing plumbing leaks and appliance failure;
A very thin coating of PolyHalt forms a protective insulating layer on the metallic surfaces of metals exposed to Low pH or aggressive water.
Silica etching and pitting;
Though we are not sure of the chemical reason we know PolyHalt prevents etching and pitting of glass from silica.
Iron and Manganese treatment;
Dissolved iron and manganese in water are clear. Treatment with PolyHalt keeps them clear, it prevents them from reacting with oxygen and changing to their colored form. Treated iron and manganese remain in the water unable to cause typical orange / red and brown / black form staining.
Blue and Green Staining;
Blue / green staining happens when copper leached from plumbing by water that is low pH or low TDS (total dissolved solids). Blue / green stains are prevented with treatment because PolyHalt forms a very thin protective insulating layer on the metallic surfaces of metals exposed to Low pH or aggressive water
PolyHalt is a unique polyphosphate formula derived from naturally occurring phosphorous bearing rock. Levels of polyphosphate allowed in drinking water are regulated by the USEPA.
Automatic proportional control and safety is tested and certified by NSF, an independent third-party testing agency.
PolyHalt has no color, taste or odor so it will not change these features of treated water.
Testing Hardness, Iron and Manganese:
Because PolyHalt softens water by forming complexes with rather than removing hardness minerals through ion exchange and replacement with salt as with a conventional salt-based softener your water will test the same for calcium and magnesium before and after treatment.
A water hardness test shows how much calcium and magnesium are in the water, it does not show how the treated water behaves. Though there are differences in PolyHalt and conventional salt-based softened water, they both essentially behave the same, they make untreated hard water with calcium and magnesium minerals easier to work with. One leaves the hardness minerals in the water, the other replaces them with salt.
This same principle holds true for iron and manganese in the water. A new complex with iron and manganese through ionic bonding. Without removing these metals they are rendered harmless unable to convert to their colored form. Because the new harmless complex remains in the water after treatment testing will show the same concentration before and after treatment.
Another difference between conventional salt-based softeners and PolyHalt saltless softeners you need to be aware of is how the water “feels”. Unlike salt softened water, PolyHalt treated water does not feel “slippery” so if you like and want to have the slippery feeling created when salt is added to your water a PolyHalt saltless softener may not be for you.
PolyHalt is consumed during the treatment process and so it must be replaced to prevent water problems from recurring. Maximum filter life is 1 year for whole home systems and 6 months for smaller Point of Use systems. Most often PolyHalt will last a full year but water quality and volume treated may affect or shorten filter life. Spots that are hard to clean after treatment indicate it is time to replace your filter. So you never end up with bad water problems again consider our “Filter Reminder Service” or our “Subscribe and Save” options.
Just as with salt-based softeners your water may still produce spots as it evaporates. And water spots after treatment will be much easier to clean, usually only requiring a simple wiping. Spots that are hard to clean after treatment indicate it is time to replace your Cascadian filter or, if using a conventional salt-based softener, it is time to add salt.
Your water may be worse after treatment. This is a normal effect of using PolyHalt as it begins to loosen and clean away existing scale buildup in plumbing pipes and fixtures. This is a temporary condition that usually stops after 30 to 60 days ending when existing buildup is cleaned up.
The new complex made by the binding of PolyHalt with minerals is strong and stable at temperatures less than 140° F. and will not break down or
More really Good Information:
Ever wonder what hard water really is? Check our this Cascadian Clear blog post: Hard Water Defined
You likely noticed this blog does not discuss soft water, for that you will need to see our Cascadian Clear blog post Soft Water Defined.
Ever have someone test your soft water only to have them tell your your water is hard when you know it’s soft? Check out this Cascadian Clear blog post Why Does Soft Water Test Hard?
If you wonder what a hardness test actually tell you please see our Cascadian Clear blog post: What Does a Hardness Test really tell us?
If you’d like to know more about chemical treatment of hard water see Cascadian Clear blog post: What is PolyHalt® and How Does It Work?
Do you have a salt-based softener but still have problems with spots on your glassware, shower doors and windows? Check out this Cascadian Clear blog post: Silica – The other white spot