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Catalytic Water Unit Softens Without Salt

September 14, 1986|Dale Baldwin

Everyone knows the harm hard water does to home appliance and water heaters, not to mention the difficulty of getting enough suds out of a shampoo to do any good.

Water softeners of the ion exchange variety are often recommended but many municipalities around the nation are banning water softeners because they consider the salt brine produced by these systems to be a form of toxic waste, according to Jonathan Wolff of California Ecology Inc., 5365 Avenida Encinas, Suite C, Carlsbad 92008.

A no-salt alternative to water softeners is available in the form of Fre-Flo catalytic water conditioners, made by FUL-FLO Inc., Downey, and distributed by California Ecology.

Typical residential units cost from $300 to $650, plus installation, depending on the size of the household and the number of catalytic units needed. Each unit consists of a self-contained water conditioner with a non-ferrous, catalytic core and a choice of copper, PVC or forged or stainless steel casings, Wolff said.

There is no maintenance involved with the unit, once it is installed at the water meter or main shutoff end of the water system, he added.

The catalytic unit shown here is about 10 inches long and about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and is sized for standard 3/4-inch residential piping, Wolff added. The unit is also available for 1/2-inch piping, as well as pipe sizes up to six inches for industrial uses.

Understanding what an architect can and cannot do for a person contemplating building or remodeling a house is a difficult task made simpler by a 16-page booklet from the American Institute of Architects.

"You & Your Architect," and a companion flyer "What Can an Architect Do for You?" are written from the client's point of view. The flyer is free and contains an order form for the $3 "You & Your Architect." The flyer can be obtained from the AIA, 1735 New York Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006.

Ganahl Lumber Co., 1220 E. Ball Road, Anaheim, has sent me a brochure listing fall classes. Among the offerings are Beginning Woodcarving, Level II, starting Oct. 20 and running through Oct. 29; How to Install Hardwood Flooring, Sept. 22 and 24; How to Do Home Plumbing, Oct. 6,8; How to Do Home Electrical, Nov. 3,5, and How to Do Furniture Finishing and Stripping, Nov. 1.

Details can be obtained from Ganahl on these and other offerings of the company's School of Woodworking and Home Building.

CATALOGUES RECEIVED: DRI Industries offers many useful tools and gadgets for homeowners in its summer "Work Shops" catalogue, available from One Work Shops Center, Box 28114, Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128.

Among the items available are a utility trailer, jumbo plastic utility bins, dispenser bins for bulk products like dog food and fertilizer and a laminate trimmer from Ryobi that doubles as a mini-router.

Woodworker's Supply of New Mexico, 5604 Alameda, N.E., Albuquerque, N.M. 87113, also offers many Ryobi power tools, including the intriguing 10-inch portable planer at a very attractive price of $399.95 delivered. A planer is one of the most useful power tools in any shop, but many woodworkers have felt that planers are too expensive or too bulky--or both.

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