Water scale comes from hard water, water that has a high mineral content, primarily calcium and magnesium. When the water dries, scale -- stains and spots -- are left on items. Water softeners are the primary solution to hard water. A water softener replaces the calcium and magnesium ions in hard water with sodium or potassium ions leaving the water "soft". Soft water feels slippery when used for bathing and many do not like the feeling while hard water makes it difficult to form a lather with soap.
Many appliance manufacturer's recommend the use of an inline filter to soften the water prior to use in appliances to avoid the effects of hard water. The inline filters used for this purpose trap the calcium and magnesium ions present in hard water and replace them with sodium or potassium ions. The softening of the water removes the ability of the water to build scale on the water line into the appliance. When these types of inline filters are used, you must remember to install replacement filters periodically to prevent damage to the appliance.
CuZn Inline Filters
CuZn inline filters rely on the principles of oxidation and reduction to remove contaminants from a water stream. CuZn filters remove heavy metals, chlorine, methane and hydrogen sulfide. The redox media keeps the calcium and magnesium ions in solution, minimizing the amount of scale that is able to coat the walls of plumbing. The CuZn alter the character of the calcium and magnesium ions so that they cannot plate out of solution and form scale deposits. The water acts much like water from a system that utilizes a water softener.
Ion Exchange Systems
The best solution to eliminating scale is to eliminate the cause -- hard water. The primary culprit is calcium carbonate but magnesium also adds to the problem of hard water. Installation of ion exchange columns to treat the water supply is effective. The ion exchange columns exchange sodium and potassium ions for the calcium and magnesium ions in solution as the water flows through the column. An automated regeneration system makes the use of ion exchange columns more economical.