Frequently Asked Questions: Zeta Rod Home Water Conditioning Systems

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Zeta Library Collections: FAQ’s

What is a Zeta Rod® System for Home Water Conditioning, and is it afford­able? The Zeta Rod® green tech­nol­o­gy offers a high­ly eco­nom­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal­ly sound method of water con­di­tion­ing that uses the phys­i­cal and elec­tro­chem­i­cal effects of elec­tro­sta­t­ic fields to dis­perse bac­te­ria and nano-crys­tals that form biofilm and scale. A Zeta Rod sys­tem will nor­mal­ly pay for itself in chem­i­cal sav­ings (salts), water con­ser­va­tion (no back-flush­ing) and main­te­nance over a peri­od of months rather than years.

Why the name Zeta? Zeta Corporation bor­rows its name­sake from the term zeta poten­tial, which is sim­ply defined as the mea­sure­ment of elec­tro­ki­net­ic forces that cause sus­pend­ed col­loidal par­ti­cles to repel each oth­er. By increas­ing the zeta poten­tial of sus­pend­ed col­loidal par­ti­cles in flu­ids, they remain in sus­pen­sion, rather than unit­ing to form hard scale or bio­log­i­cal deposits. Visualize all the sus­pend­ed par­ti­cles in your water, each with its own nat­ur­al force field. The Zeta Rod boosts and strength­ens that field, caus­ing par­ti­cles to repel each oth­er.

How does a Zeta Rod sys­tem work? The Zeta Rod forms a capac­i­tor involv­ing the sub-col­loidal par­ti­cles with­in the water, the pip­ing, and the ves­sel walls. Within this capac­i­tor, tiny par­ti­cles that would oth­er­wise become part of scale, sludge or bac­te­r­i­al deposits are elec­tron­i­cal­ly charged to the same sign. Behaving with­in the laws of phys­i­cal chem­istry, described as DLVO the­o­ry, hav­ing been charged to the same sign, they repel each oth­er. Since the col­loidal par­ti­cles can’t link togeth­er or stick to the ves­sel walls, they pass through the sys­tem with­out form­ing harm­ful deposits.

Are chem­i­cals used? No chem­i­cals, acids or oth­er addi­tives are required for a Zeta Rod sys­tem to cre­ate this capac­i­tor.

Will the Zeta Rod replace my water soft­en­er? Many peo­ple do not care for the slip­pery feel of “soft­ened” water, some love it. That being said, the Zeta Rod func­tions dif­fer­ent­ly than salt or potas­si­um based ion exchange sys­tems and is often cho­sen as a pre­ferred alter­na­tive, elim­i­nat­ing the need to store salts and re-gen­er­ate media. The main­te­nance and space required by tra­di­tion­al salt-based water soft­en­ers is also elim­i­nat­ed. Because the Zeta Rod does not change the chem­istry of the water, the water treat­ed can be used for irri­ga­tion and drink­ing. The Zeta Rod is an ide­al choice in areas where gov­ern­men­tal bans on salt-based soft­en­ers are in effect in an effort to pro­tect ground water qual­i­ty.

Will the Zeta Rod puri­fy my water? No, a Zeta Rod sys­tem affects the phys­i­cal behav­ior of water with­out adding any­thing to the water or remov­ing any­thing from the water. The sys­tem acts as an elec­tron­ic con­di­tion­er that mit­i­gates the effects of hard water with­out the use of salts or oth­er chem­i­cals. The Zeta Rod is not a puri­fi­er, how­ev­er, if puri­fied or fil­tered drink­ing water is desired, the Zeta Rod sys­tem will keep those fil­ters or mem­brane sys­tems from foul­ing, thus enhanc­ing their per­for­mance.

Does the Zeta Rod cause cor­ro­sion? No! One of the main uses for the Zeta Rod in indus­tri­al water treat­ment appli­ca­tions is for cor­ro­sion pre­ven­tion. Because the Zeta Rod is a true capac­i­tor, there is no elec­tri­cal cur­rent flow­ing across the water. Other con­di­tion­ing meth­ods that pulse elec­tri­cal cur­rent through the water have the poten­tial to cause cor­ro­sion by elec­trol­y­sis.

Will old deposits of scale and biofilm be removed? The Zeta Rod is not sold as a scale removal sys­tem, how­ev­er, any exist­ing bond between old deposits and the wet­ted sur­faces to which they are attached will be affect­ed by the action of the Zeta Rod.  Existing deposits may dis­solve slow­ly over time, or may flake away from pipe or ves­sel wall sur­faces in a faster, more notice­able fash­ion. The removal process is nor­mal­ly very gen­tle and usu­al­ly occurs over a peri­od of time.  Chips of scale caught in aer­a­tors are signs of scale removal, not scale for­ma­tion, and can be flushed by open­ing and rins­ing the aer­a­tor.  Hard sludge in hot water heaters will tend to re-flu­idize and may move through pip­ing, caus­ing tem­po­rary cloudi­ness in your water.  Best prac­tice is to flush water heaters and remove hard scale from fix­tures at the time of instal­la­tion.

Will the Zeta Rod stop those spots from form­ing on my show­er walls & bath­room fix­tures? As water droplets evap­o­rate, they leave their salts behind. This is sim­ply a fact of physics. Because the Zeta Rod does not add or remove any­thing from the water, spots cre­at­ed by com­plete­ly evap­o­rat­ed salts may still form. However, because the Zeta Rod reduces the sur­face ten­sion of the water, the crys­tal­liza­tion behav­ior of those salts is altered, allow­ing them to be more eas­i­ly wiped away, rather than form­ing hard etch­ing scale. Unfortunately, the Zeta Rod is not a maid, and you still have to clean your house :(((!  A Zeta Rod sys­tem will allow the user to back off sig­nif­i­cant­ly on the amount of soap used for laun­dry, dish wash­ing, etc., while at the same time improv­ing the per­for­mance of those appli­ances.

What will hap­pen if there are exist­ing deposits in my pipes? It is pos­si­ble that the biofilm “glue” bond­ing old scale deposits to pip­ing and tanks may lose its bond­ing, allow­ing old scale to be dis­lodged, rather than to dis­solve slow­ly over time. It is also pos­si­ble that some dis­lodged old scale deposits may become entrapped in show­er heads or aer­a­tor screens in sink faucets. Simply open those screens and flush with water. Of course, new scale and biofilms are pre­vent­ed from form­ing.

Will the Zeta Rod keep my evap­o­ra­tive (swamp) cool­er clean? Yes, the Zeta Rod has been used for many years to keep indus­tri­al and com­mer­cial evap­o­ra­tive cool­ing equip­ment free of scale and bio­foul­ing with­out the use of any chem­i­cals. Given the low vol­ume of water in a swamp cool­er, the con­stant make up with fresh­ly treat­ed water ensures that the cool­ing pads remain clean (pro­vid­ed that they are even­ly wet­ted), dis­tri­b­u­tion tub­ing and noz­zles won’t plug; and fan belts, motors and recir­cu­la­tion pumps last longer since there is no scale accu­mu­la­tion. Evaporated salts on the out­sides of pads are eas­i­ly rinsed off and in many cas­es allow for their use over many sea­sons with­out hav­ing to be replaced. The best part is that the swampy odors inside the home are elim­i­nat­ed because there is no bio­foul­ing of the water.

Will the Zeta Rod pro­tect my water heater? Yes, if the Zeta Rod is installed upstream from the water heater, then the water going into the heater will be pre­con­di­tioned and the heater will be pro­tect­ed against scale deposits.

I have a reverse osmo­sis (RO) unit under my sink, will the Zeta Rod affect its per­for­mance? The Zeta Rod will help your RO sys­tem per­form bet­ter. Many indus­tri­al and munic­i­pal RO sys­tems are being pre­treat­ed with the Zeta Rod to help reduce mem­brane foul­ing, increase mem­brane life span and improve the flux of the sys­tem (that is the amount of water pro­duced at its nor­mal oper­at­ing pres­sure).

The water where I live is very hard, will the Zeta Rod be able to pro­tect my plumb­ing and fix­tures? Yes, the Zeta Rod has been used for many years pro­tect­ing indus­tri­al evap­o­ra­tive cool­ing sys­tems oper­at­ing at with very high lev­els of hard­ness, it has also been used for many years in pro­tect­ing heat­ing and cool­ing equip­ment in sea water appli­ca­tions. One major inter­na­tion­al air­port in Texas treats all of their domes­tic hot and cold water with the Zeta Rod. The result has been a dra­mat­ic decrease in main­te­nance costs to replace flush valves, seals and faucets in restrooms, as well as reduced effort required to keep these areas clean.

Is the Zeta Rod® System ener­gy effi­cient? Because there is no con­tin­u­ous elec­tri­cal cur­rent flow with­in a capac­i­tive sys­tem, pow­er use is almost too low to mea­sure. A Zeta Rod® System costs about two cents a day to oper­ate.

Does the Zeta Rod require main­te­nance? No, since there are no mov­ing parts, fil­ters to change, or wear com­po­nents, your Zeta Rod sys­tem should require no main­te­nance oth­er than to peri­od­i­cal­ly check the sta­tus of the green LED indi­ca­tor lamp.  The green LED indi­cates not only that the sys­tem is receiv­ing pow­er, but that its out­put is with­in spec­i­fi­ca­tion for effec­tive oper­a­tion.

Is there any dan­ger in being around the Zeta Rod sys­tem? There is no dan­ger of being around a prop­er­ly installed Zeta Rod sys­tem. The sys­tem is com­plete­ly insu­lat­ed and unless the pro­tec­tive con­duit, insu­la­tion or ground­ing wires have been dam­aged, there is no pos­si­bil­i­ty of shock. While the volt­age used to cre­ate the elec­tro­sta­t­ic field is very high, the avail­able cur­rent is very low. The inter­nal con­trols built into the pow­er sup­ply will instant­ly reduce the cur­rent out­put to near zero if the sys­tem ever shorts to ground. All Zeta Rod sys­tems are IAPMO cer­ti­fied, assur­ing con­for­mance to appro­pri­ate UL elec­tri­cal stan­dards as well as to the Uniform Plumbing Code require­ments and NSF/ANSI stan­dard 61 for Drinking Water Systems Components — Health Effects. Because the Zeta Rod affects the way water behaves rather than adding or remov­ing any­thing from it, assum­ing that your water is safe to drink to begin with, your water will remain safe to drink once treat­ed.

When should the Zeta Rod System be turned on? Once prop­er­ly installed and ground­ed, the Zeta Rod sys­tem may be turned on and should then remain on at all times in order to prop­er­ly pro­tect plumb­ing from deposits, scale, and biofilm. Other devices that attempt to cause scale to pre­cip­i­tate out of water, are flow depen­dant and will only oper­ate when the water is flow­ing across them. The Zeta Rod’s elec­tro­sta­t­ic field treats the water and pro­tects the pip­ing at all times, even when there is no water flow­ing. Because the field gen­er­at­ed by the Zeta Rod extends both upstream and down­stream from its point of instal­la­tion, the plumb­ing sys­tem will be pro­tect­ed even dur­ing long peri­ods of min­i­mal water flow, such as dur­ing an extend­ed absence from the home. This makes the Zeta Rod sys­tem an ide­al choice for peo­ple who own homes that are lived in for only part of the year.

How will I know if the Zeta Rod sys­tem is oper­at­ing cor­rect­ly? The green LED on the Zeta Rod pow­er sup­ply enclo­sure is not sim­ply and on/off indi­ca­tor, it is con­nect­ed to the high volt­age out­put of the sys­tem. As long as the green light is illu­mi­nat­ed, the pow­er sup­ply is sup­ply­ing its nom­i­nal volt­age out­put and the integri­ty of the sys­tem is ensured.

Are there any com­po­nents that will have to be replaced as part of rou­tine main­te­nance? No, a Zeta Rod sys­tem is designed for a main­te­nance-free, long life. There are no fil­ters or media to replace. Zeta Rod sys­tems car­ry a three year lim­it­ed war­ran­ty for parts and work­man­ship and most sys­tems would be eas­i­ly repaired for a nom­i­nal fee after the three year war­ran­ty peri­od has expired. Zeta Corporation uses advanced mate­ri­als and elec­tron­ics in all of its prod­ucts, with the expec­ta­tion that they will last for many years of ser­vice. Since the elec­trode is not a sac­ri­fi­cial anode or cath­ode, there is no wear to the elec­trode; and since there is no mea­sur­able cur­rent being drawn from the pow­er sup­ply, the elec­tron­ic com­po­nents are rarely put through stress­es that would cause fail­ure.

Is a Zeta Rod sys­tem easy to install? The Zeta Rod is installed in the main water line com­ing into your home or build­ing. While the instal­la­tion of the sys­tem is rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple and straight for­ward, Zeta Corporation rec­om­mends that a licensed plumb­ing con­trac­tor per­form the instal­la­tion and if nec­es­sary, a licensed elec­tri­cian pro­vide an AC pow­er source near the instal­la­tion site.