What is limescale and where does it come from?
Limescale is simply the word used to describe the build up of layers and layers of calcium carbonate (and other minerals in smaller proportions) in their precipitative form of calcite. It describes the crusty build up of this concrete-like substance, that bonds onto all the equipment, looks revolting and diminishes their lifespan and efficiency. The calcium carbonate is naturally acquired (like all the other minerals) as rainwater passes through the rocks in the earth, making its way to the rivers, reservoirs and aquifers, that are then used to supply our homes.
Is Halcyan a water softener?
No. But our water conditioning units do help to make your hard water ‘behave softer’. You’ll find the water is gentler on skin, helps keep your hair shiny and requires less soap, shampoo, conditioners and washing detergents.
How do Halcyan Water Conditioners compare with a salt softener?
A salt softener removes every last one of the healthy minerals in hard water.
By removing the minerals it removes any particles that can create limescale, however these minerals are healthy for you and the saline solution created by salt softeners is not, hence British Water recommending that installers fit a separate drinking water tap.
The Halcyan system alters the state of the water at a molecular level – it makes limescale soluble and unable to cling and build up inside pipes and on other surfaces – but it still retains the natural goodness of the hard water.
So with a salt or resin softener you need to ensure you have enough space to house the body of the machine (that’s a kitchen cupboard gone!) and the extra drinking pipework, you need to purchase salt or resins on a regular basis to top up the system (you need to be diligent about this or they can’t work properly!) and they often require maintenance. Whereas with a Halcyan unit once its fitted you can simply forget it, for over 30 years – no top ups, no maintenance, no space needed. For a detailed comparison of Salt based softeners and Halcyan units, please click here.
Can Halcyan remove, as well as prevent, limescale?
Yes, Halcyan units are just as good at removing limescale as they are at preventing it. That said, we cannot accurately predict how long the removal process will take as each situation is unique, sometimes a few weeks, sometimes months, occasionally longer. Varying factors, such as how long it’s taken to accumulate, and the composition of the scale, all affect how long it can take to clear away. We do know that the more frequent the contact of the limescale with Halcyan treated water, the more quickly it will be dislodged and dissolved.
Will I see any residue on my surfaces?
Yes, but this is not limescale, it’s simply the non-bonding calcium carbonate particles resting on the surfaces. To explain; the change made to the mineral’s structure/shape as they pass through the Halcyan unit lasts around 21 days (far longer than other treatment systems which normally change the structure for about 24-48 hours). After these 21 days the minerals will start to revert back to their original structure, but this period allows ample time for the water to enter your home, be used or stored, and leave your property. As nothing is added or taken away during the process, the composition of the water is identical before and after the treatment, which is good as this means that all the healthy minerals are still in the water but not bonding, and so not creating a build-up of limescale. However, clearly if the minerals are still in the water, when the H2o evaporates e.g on a shower door, anything in the water will be left behind. With untreated water these minerals will chemically bond strongly to the surfaces, but with Halcyan treated water the minerals are simply left resting on the surfaces, as a soft dust or powder, ready to be wiped away as part of your normal cleaning process and without any requirement for stronger anti-limescale chemicals. It is this soft residue that you may see and that just needs wiping away to keep your surfaces in good order.
Will it clear the scale out of my kettle?
Yes, all except a very thin, non-damaging layer on the heat plate itself. To explain further what to expect, you already know that a Halcyan doesn’t remove the minerals but treats them so that they don’t chemically bond to your surfaces. However, we see a slightly different effect on heating elements, such as inside your kettle. On the heat plate or element, you may still see a very thin, hard residue, this is normal and as long as it stays a thin layer and does not build up into crusty lumps you can rest assured that the Halcyan is working properly. What you’re seeing is the calcium carbonate precipitating onto the surface, due to the very high temperatures, which temporarily reverse our process, but then that layer is being dissolved by the treated water surrounding it. This process of ‘deposition’ and ‘removal’ is happening on a continuous basis when the element is heating. The important thing is not to empty your kettle each time you use it or there will be no surrounding water left to dissolve any bonded particles.
From time to time, this thin hard layer will break up and need swilling out. This thin layer has no detrimental effect on any heating elements, and unlike a build-up of limescale, it does not interfere with its heat transfer, or create damaging hot spots.
As you can imagine, a similar process may be happening on your boiler and washing machine elements. So whilst there may be a very thin, non-damaging layer of scale it will also be clearing itself away as quickly as it’s being deposited.
What protection does the 12 month guarantee provide?
We were the first in our industry to provide a 12 Months Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee. It covers our promise that the unit will efficiently and effectively remove and prevent limescale in systems in hard water areas. If you are not fully satisfied with this aspect of the product within 12 months of installation, we will work with you to identify the cause of any issues, and resolve them, including replacing any faulty units. If we can’t fix it, then we’ll refund you the full purchase price. No quibbles. See our Returns policy here.
Why do you offer a 30-year warranty?
To ensure your complete peace of mind for the life of the unit. It’s a manufacturer’s warranty and is included with your purchase at no extra cost. Halcyan Water Conditioners really are a ‘fit and forget’ product and we are confident that the unit you install will still be in good physical working order 30 years down the line.
Our UK home is a fairly typical size, which unit should I order?
In our experience, the H2o9 is the optimum unit to protect more than 95% of households in the UK. Despite its modest size, the H2o9 delivers an excellent upper flow rate of 17 lpm and can therefore supply ample water for the vast majority of home requirements. To check your size, click here
What types of household require the larger-size Halcyan unit?
It only happens very rarely but, if a household regularly uses a much greater volume of water at peak times, the larger H2o18 model is the best unit for the job. Think this might apply to you? Contact Us
Can I swap the unit if we find we need the larger size?
Absolutely. We’re happy to exchange the units with you, before or after installation. However, you will need to make an additional payment, just to make up the price difference between the smaller and larger size.
Does Halcyan affect my pressure?
No. Each Halcyan unit has been expertly engineered so that it has a negligible effect on pressure. The design of the fins and gateways are such that it avoids any significant pressure drop, whilst still creating the turbulence needed for the galvanic reaction. For the H2o9 unit, the calculated drop across the unit is 4.27 PSI, which is irrelevant in a domestic context.
Could you please recommend a plumber?
We do have Registered Installers in some areas but given the ease of installation we usually recommend you visit the CIPHE website: CIPHE (Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers) and pop your postcode into their ‘Local Plumber Finder’ service, if you don’t have your own trusted plumber.
Is it easy enough to install the unit myself?
Possibly but it rather depends on your level of DIY experience. The Halcyan unit usually takes a skilled DIY enthusiast between one and two hours to install. Click here for our easy-to-follow fitting instructions
Is treated water safe to drink?
Yes, Halcyan water is 100% safe to drink. In fact, its good healthy hard water full of valuable minerals for your body and mind. A Halcyan won’t add or remove anything from the water, it comes out of the tap with exactly what it came into your house with, we just make it behave nicely. Our WRAS certification is your peace of mind in this regard as it’s the UK standard for any equipment being installed into drinking water systems.
Will the Halcyan unit change the ‘quality’ of the water?
No. The quality of your water is preserved. This is because our system doesn’t require any salts or chemicals. Nothing is added or taken away from the water – apart from its ability to create limescale, of course. You’ll find your water quality report to be identical to what was reported before the unit was installed.
Does Halcyan filter out impurities?
Halcyan units are not filters, they do not remove, or add, anything to the water. A Halcyan unit can help protect and extend the life of any filters in a system.
Does it improve the taste of the water?
Regarding taste, that’s trickier to be definitive about. We have customers who have commented that the ‘taste’ of the water has improved since their Halcyan was installed, but technically all the same constituent parts are in the water so it should ‘taste’ the same. However we are told that the drinking experience is improved, which is probably due to the ‘texture’ of the water being refined. Whatever the taste, with Halcyan the water retains all its healthy minerals.
Do I still need a water filter for the taste?
What we suggest is that you install the Halcyan unit and see if it has enough of a positive effect on your water to make it more palatable, if not then you’ll probably want to include a simple filter jug into your drinking water process. The good news is that the Halcyan will help protect these filters so they will last a lot longer. If however your aim is to remove a particular contaminant from the water then you will need to specify a filter but yet again Halcyan can help protect and elongate the life of these often expensive filters. With or without a filter, Halcyan water retains its healthy minerals.
Is Halcyan water good for my plants and garden?
Yes. The mineral rich, ‘re-engineered’ water, has lowered electrical conductivity, which makes it easier for plants to absorb the water and any included fertilisers, via osmosis. Which is definitely a bonus for gardeners. Click here to see a horticultural case study showing improved root and flower growth.
How environmentally friendly is Halcyan
Very. Using no power, no chemicals, no salts, avoiding any effluents going into water courses, and with an incredible lifetime of over 30 years (at which point all parts can be recycled), this makes Halcyan THE sustainable choice for hard water treatment.
Why is the Halcyan priced as it is?
It’s absolutely true that there are plenty of devices and a wide variety of price points in the hard water treatment sector. A number have rather questionable success rates, there are also a number of systems that work well, but as a consumer it’s really hard to tell the difference as there are no industry benchmarks or standards. Coupled with this, lots of people have bad experiences because they purchase the cheaper end of the range and get poorer results. Generally speaking, as the price increases the product moves from being a cheap inline inhibitors that are designed to inhibit some scale formation, last for about a year if they’re decent, and protect just one piece of equipment e.g. a boiler, through to cheaper conditioners that prevent and remove more scale, through to higher quality conditioners which should prevent the vast majority of limescale, remove existing scale and offer some of the ‘softer’ water benefits such as gentler on skin, use less products etc, but these final elements are clearly quite subjective. There are few leading brand names in our business, so as a rule of thumb you tend to get what you pay for. Halcyan is a premium conditioner, which means it’s highly effective at preventing and removing limescale and providing a good range of the ‘softer’ water benefits and it’s priced to reflect this, plus of course its exceptional longevity. You’ll really only ever buy one Halcyan for your home.
How will I know if it’s working?
As the Halcyan unit doesn’t add or remove anything from the water, a standard dip test won’t be helpful at all, as the PH and water composition will be the same before and after the treatment – it’s the structure and behaviour of the minerals that we’re addressing. The very best way to ensure you’re happy with performance is to take some photos of your equipment at the time of installation, whether that’s with existing residue (perhaps in a retrofit situation) or clean as a whistle in a new build. These will provide you with a definitive comparison when you look back a few weeks and months later at the effects on your equipment. You should notice, over a period, a change in how your water feels when you’re washing your hair or clothes. You may notice more lather, many people notice after a little while that their skin is less irritable. You have a full 12 months to monitor the results and if you’re unhappy at any point then just get in touch with us.
How long has Halcyan been in use?
Over 35 years, worldwide, in a multitude of industries including healthcare, farming, manufacturing, hospitality, construction, mining… you name it!
If Halcyan is so good why haven’t I heard about it before?
Halcyan is newish to the UK market (and it’s a slow moving market!) so we’re not a well recognised brand as yet, but we’re working on that and with over 35 years track record overseas in industry, it’s really not a new fangled product. To give you an idea, we’ve been adopted by Wates construction as one of their chosen Sustainable Technologies and Halcyan’s have been fitted into all sorts of places including leisure centres, hotels, banks and blocks of flats across the UK.