First, how clean is your water to begin with?
What is the concentration of minerals that can cause you problems?
For that matter, what are the minerals that can cause misting system problems?
Water is a problem.
Water is a problem in your quest for a trouble free misting.
There are solutions. The question is, how much money you want to spend. I personally side with not spending anything when is come to clean water for an Outdoor Patio Misting System. Can you get by cleaning your nozzles? In some cases it may take buying extra nozzles. They are relatively inexpensive, averaging about $6.00 each. I don't necessarily want to sell you allot of extra of nozzle. I want to help with your problems.
If you have relative clean water, bless your heart. People are envious.
And to think we drink some of that dirty water.
Fortunately our body is marvelous filter. But we can't use our urine in our misting system. So we have to use something similar to our body. A filtering process that removes the minerals, both dissolved and sustained, to the proper levels for misting.
The dissolved minerals are the tough to get rid of. These are the minerals that can bypass filters and get through nozzles and into the air stream. Calcium and iron are two examples. Yes, Iron can dissolve enough to bypass the best of filters.
DI System Pictures © Misting Solutions.com
Can Water Get Too Clean?
However, we cannot remove all the minerals. Water can become too clean. Clean enough to be considered a solvent. Pure water is known by chemist as the Universal Solvent. Water in its purest state has the ability to dissolve virtually anything. It has what's considered a high energy state and wants to achieve some sort of equilibrium. It wants to, has the ability to dissolve things. In the cast of misting systems, it dissolves the components it touches, piping, valves, pumps, nozzles, etc. Some components are made of materials that don't dissolve easily. Stainless Steel, Glass is two of these common materials.
So, we don't want pure water and we don't want dirty water. What do we want? Is there a mix, a blend of water right for your misting systems?
The Best Mist Water
What does it take? How can it be achieved? Well, in many instances it takes Culligan, yes Culligan as in the water purification company, or any other company that does water purification. In other words it takes dollars. Do you want to spend the money or clean nozzles?
Seriously, what does it take? Well, you want to remove enough minerals, enough of the right minerals but not to much. You want to keep your nozzles clean and not corrode or dissolve your system components. It takes a balance of the right minerals. This balance also prevent dusting from taking place in the misted area. Dusting as in a powder that accumulates on the surrounding surfaces. Dissolved solids in the water that transform themselves in a solid substance (dust) when the mist evaporates.
Your Local Water Specialist.
So, if you want to do it right and you have the money, call in a water specialist. They take a sample, evaluate the chemical makeup and propose a solution.
But, back to the right balance. The balance of minerals in the water that achieve the desired purpose, no maintenance. Or !?!?!?, have you just exchanged your maintenance from one to another. Cleaning nozzles to maintaining a water purification system. Hummm, interesting.
Ok, Ok, water makeup. What is that right mix of minerals and water needed for my misting system? Here I go again, asking questions. Should I make the answer two fold? What can the most commonly used water treatment process do to clean up you water? Or for that matter, what are the most commonly used water treatment process?
The four most common are.
3) Reverse Osmosis
Which one is the best? Is it 1, 2, 3, or 4?
If you guess # 3 you are correct.
Reverse Osmosis or RO Systems do the best job of cleaning up the water but not making it to clean. RO leave enough minerals behind to prevent the corrosion problems that DI can cause.
Are there issues with RO Systems?
Yes, one, cost. RO Systems are cost prohibitive for most small misting systems. They are especially cost prohibitive when it comes to residential outdoor garden variety misting systems.
You will find RO Systems for sale in many places these days. They are sold at Home Depots to Hardware Stores to eBay. Their problem is they don't have the output capacity needed for even the smallest of misting systems. A typical low cost low volume RO System is measured in gallons per day. 15 gallons per day may be an average value. That is not much water. Even though misting systems also don't use much water, 15 gallons a day is equal to (1) one small capacity nozzle running all the time. Even a small patio misting system may have 5, 10, maybe 15 nozzles, that equates to thousands of dollars for a RO System to supply the necessary capacity.
An RO system can make sense in an Industrial Environment. Some plants need high capacity humidification systems for their processes. Many plants already have RO systems for manufacturing purposes. The additional RO water requirement for humidification is typically small compared to the plant requirements.
Where are we at now?
RO systems can be too costly, DI Systems need ongoing maintenance and monitoring. Filters work to a degree, they get the sustained particulate content down so you don't clog the nozzles. Softener also work to a degree, exchange calcium and magnesium ions for sodium ions. But the sodiumn participates out as dust in the misting area.
So the best we have is probably filters and softeners. One note, there are allot of emerging technology out there now that claims to purify your water in some way or another. I will say that they all work in some form, in some special situation, but not all the time, and in varying degrees. Generally they don't do much to help your misting pleasure. I will attempt to review these purification placeboes as time permits.