Water Softener to Prevent Incrustation of Wafer Fronts,etc
The construction of a water-softening device of this type, and its application, are shown in Plate 57. In Fig. A the device is shown connected to the return pipe of the range connection, which is the ordinary practice, although, as shown in Fig. B, it may be connected to the boiler supply. If desirable in any case to soften hot water, it may be connected to the hot water piping with equally good results.
The softening is accomplished in a very simple manner, by passing the hard water over a "Kompost" brick, a water-softening composition which converts the sulphates or carbonates in the water into phosphates. As shown in Fig. C, the cylindrical "Kompost" brick is contained in a basket, and this is placed in the feed cylinder of the device. As the water flows about this brick, after a time it wears away, and may be easily replaced with a new brick. Following are instructions for using the water softener:
After it has been connected, and water turned on, hot water faucets should be opened to allow all grease to be drawn out of the system. The two valves should then be turned off, the drain cock opened, the screw cover removed, and the basket with its brick, dropped into the chamber. The cover is then replaced, and the valves opened not more than one-quarter turn, the water softener then being ready for use.
As long as any of the softening composition remains in the chamber, all water passing through it will be thoroughly softened, and turbid water clarified. The composition used is of a mineral nature, containing nothing that is in any way harmful to health or to fabrics.
As the water is thoroughly neutralized before it reaches the water front, it is clear that incrustation of the water front with lime cannot occur in the use of this water-softening device. The deposit of lime takes place chiefly in the heating of the water, so that the water front and hot-water flow-pipe between range and boiler suffer mostly.
A feature that deserves special attention is that while the deposit of lime fills the water front and connections, thereby reducing the effective size of piping, this coating also acts as an insulation, which makes the heating of the water much more difficult, and in the use of instantaneous heaters and gas water-heaters especially, greatly increases the amount of gas used, and therefore the cost for gas.
In Fig. B the device is shown connected to the supply to the boiler, with a special tank in use for the collection of sediment, which may be removed from time to time through the sediment cock. The coating of the coils of instantaneous heaters with lime takes place in a comparatively short space of time, and the employment of soft water will be found of special advantage in their use.
The water-softening device which has been described may also be used to very great advantage in the case of heating-boilers. As the water is softened before entering the boiler, there is no possibility of the formation of scale, and if such a device be applied to a boiler already affected by scale, this will gradually disappear, as the soft water disintegrates the lime.
The water softener has a valuable application also for automobile garages. Considerable difficulty is occasioned in using hard water in automobiles, which soft water would entirely overcome. An excellent plan for garages, where only cold water is required, consists in the use of a range boiler without boiler tube, the boiler being supplied through a top opening with soft water. The supply of soft water may be piped from one of the top openings to points of delivery.
It may be stated that generally the attempt to clear water fronts of lime deposit by the use of acids is not very successful. A plan which seems to work successfully, however, is to make use of two water fronts. When one becomes useless, owing to lime deposit, it may be removed and replaced with the other water front. By the time the second water front is in bad condition, the lime in the first one will have become disintegrated by the action of the air.