Page 6 - Winter 2018 Travelore Issue 44
P. 6

Page 6 - DRVC Travelore
Part 5
Water Processing in the Motorhome
by Rod B. Kenly, President
This is fifth and last of article concerning the processing of water in our RVs, I will present some facts while providing my opinion on what should be done. Your opinions may be different than mine, but I will try to present the data as clearly as I can.
In the last four articles I discussed the following subjects:
• Water Input
• Water Filtering
• Water Softening
• Water Conditioning
I hope that you have found at least some of the informa- tion provided to be of use and a starting point for you to learn even more. Now let’s get started.
In the first four articles, I discussed getting water from your residence or
RV park to your
motorhome through
two filters. Their
purpose was to
clean the water and
improve the taste.
In article three, my
recommendation was
that the two, 10-inch
cartridges (and housings) performing the functions of filtering sediment with a 1-micron capability and a carbon block filter with 0.5 micron capability. In the most recent article I discussed water softening using a salt-based system.
In this article, I’ll discuss “conditioning,” as opposed to softening, the water. A lot of people who sell other things to “soften” your water don’t really condition it. They really are trying to refer to “softening” the water without using salt as the medium. These products are attempting to accomplish the same result with magnetic or electronic devices (without salt) though achieving varying levels of success.
Shown in the inset above is a table which provides a sum- marized overview of the various conditioners that are generally available and commonly used.
Magnetic and/or electronic water “softeners” are not well understood. I have looked at several different units at RV shows. It seems that different explanations are offered
for the process in how they “soften” the water. They’ll also state that the hardness chart (from article four) doesn’t apply (that should be a clue). There are several studies that have been done and the results are mixed. However, there are a lot of fans – given their price, and ease of use. (See the illustration on the opposite page).
But I will again state – they do not soften the water – they might condition the water to where it may reduce scale, but the calcium and manganese are still in the water. As a result, you do not get the benefits of reduced soap usage.
The other “salt-less” water softeners are systems that use citrus based products
to “soften” the water using a chelation process. It has been determined that they partially work in a mild or hard water situation but struggle to work in very hard water situations.
The citrus based units use a cartridge that needs replacing every six months or so. These cartridges are not cheap, and a spare cartridge needs to be carried with you (versus going to the store and purchasing four boxes of table salt).
The main thing to keep in mind with respect to the self- contained, magnetic systems is that they are only effective when clamped around copper lines. This is common in a house but not common in an RV.
The issue with these units – both the electronic/magnetic and citrus based units – is that they are intended for systems in which water is used directly from the supply source and not stored in a tank. Since they don’t actu-
ally remove anything from the water, they only alter the downstream effects while the water is moving through the system. If the water is stored in a tank, the effects placed
Water Softener Type
Salt Water Softener
Very High
Magnetic Water Conditioner
Very Low
Very Low
Electronic Water Conditioner
Very Low
Very Low
Other Saltless Water Softener

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