25 Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

First and foremost the Care-Free Water Conditioner is a water problem solver. With a proven track record since 1980, our unique product has helped tens of thousands of people in Australia and around the world solve their water problems and improve their water quality. It can also help you improve your water supply... permanently.

If you experience scale build-up anywhere in your water system, including your electric kettle or iron at home for example, you are experiencing the same if not greater scale build up elsewhere. A Care-Free Water Conditioner reduces or eliminates this scale build up saving you in energy (electricity for heating water etc), maintenance costs (replacement of elements and other components), and improves the look and taste of your water supply.

With our 12 month money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose, except your water problems. 

The advantages of a Care-Free installation mean you can use it virtually anywhere you use water.

Applications include:-

  • Household / Domestic
  • Farm
  • Irrigation
  • Commercial / Industrial
  • Cooling Tower
  • Evap Cooler
  • Swimming Pools
  • Aquaculture
  • Hydroponics
  • Motorhome

Care-Free Water Conditioners work effectively on water with both high and low mineral concentrations: especially lime; soda; calcium carbonate and saline waters. Care-Free improves water from town supplies, bores, springs, creeks, rivers and wells. With more than one hundred thousand units now installed, we have experienced very good results in all areas.

 

Yes. Laboratory tests have confirmed you can look forward to a reduction of 70% in the concentration of residual chlorine in Care-Free conditioned water. This decrease is due to the freeing of the chlorine artificially trapped between the mineral particles of the water before being conditioned. It is freed into the atmosphere in gaseous form as water leaves your tap.

With a Care-Free system fitted you get the benefits of chlorination, but without the taste.

Turbidity (the measure of the degree to which the water loses its transparency due to the presence of suspended particulates) is caused by microscopic suspended particles in your water supply. Laboratory tests confirm a decrease of 20% in the turbidity of the conditioned water.

Your Care-Free Conditioner causes the mineral particles to repel each other, separate and become smaller (reducing micron size). Because there is less light refraction from the smaller particles your water becomes clearer. This is especially evident in swimming pools.

Yes. Conditioned water contains smaller particles, which pass more readily through the clothes being washed. The water tends to be “wetter”, and penetrates better to carry away dirt and grease.

In unconditioned water, larger particles and other substances can become trapped in detergent and in the fibres of the clothes you are washing, causing staining.

Bottom line…you will have greener, healthier more robust growth with less water. You can also look forward to increased yields, which means more profitability because:

a) The better “wetting action” of conditioned water improves soil texture by surrounding individual soil particles with tiny droplets of conditioned water. Not only does your soil become more permeable but also it is able to retain its moisture content for longer periods;

b) By improving the permeability, salts which previously accumulated around root systems and in the soil are leached away and do not reform. Plant stress is relieved and improved growth is noticed in weeks – sometimes only days; and

c) Mineral particles and salts in the conditioned water no longer adhere to leaves to the same extent and what’s more, leaf burn is reduced considerably – a major benefit.

NOTE: Laboratory LEAF ANALYSIS testing on an orchard of stone fruit trees between Conditioned and Unconditioned water, confirmed a massive 66% reduction in Sodium and 52% reduction in Chloride in the Conditioned water.

Our records confirm the successful flood irrigation of lucerne with bore water, which, after conditioning, had the following analysis:

pH 6.9
Conductivity 11,100 uS/cm
Chloride/td> 3400mg/L
Sodium 1640 mg/L
Total Hardness 1986 mg/L
Sodium Chloride 5600 mg/L

NOTE: This salinity level is about four times the tolerance for lucerne. Although the soil had good drainage, the saline water almost destroyed the lucerne crop before the Care-Free Conditioner was installed. (Installation details: 75mm Care-Free Conditioner fitted to a 150mm line.)

Yes. In fact, Care-Free has been granted a Soil Desalination Patent for it's remarkable ability to reduce soil salinity. Soil analysis tests in a number of applications have confirmed a substantial reduction.

For example, after irrigating turf grass at the Wagga Wagga Golf Course for only six months with the Care-Free Water Conditioner, the lowering of salinity in the soil was very apparent.

The following results were taken from a soil analysis test before Care-Free, and 2 1/2 years after installation. 

 SOIL ANALYSIS BEFORE AFTER % REDUCTION
Elec. Cond.  2,620 uS/cm 1,170 uS/cm 55%
Sodium 290 mg/L 167 mg/L 42%
Chloride 650 mg/L  220 mg/L 66%
       
       

Yes. Because conditioned water is absorbed more rapidly into the ground it reduces evaporation. Therefore watering time is shortened which means you save three valuable resources – water, energy and money.

We suggest reducing your watering time by up to 20%. In fact, some customers report water savings of 30%.

The National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines for CaCO3 hardness state 500 mg/L is the maximum. Care-Free has undertaken numerous tests with applications in very hard water and it has proved successful in reducing or in some cases eliminating scale build up. For example, the properties of the water in the following test was considered Hard to Very Hard and hot water systems used with this water had very short life expectancies. The water contained the following properties:

pH 7.5
Total Solids 915 mg/L
Calcium 77.2 mg/L
Chloride 301 mg/L
Alkalinity 267 mg/L
Hardness (as CaCO3) 346 mg/L (Hard to Very Hard)

 

After 18 months of Care-Free conditioning,  an inspection of hot water systems found no evidence of any scale build up. The Local Water Authority reported tubes and cylinders were in excellent condition.

Calcium Carbonate appears in predominately two forms, Calcite (CaCO3) and Aragonite (CaCO3). They have the same chemical composition but have different crystalline structures.

Calcite precipitates to form hard to remove whitish scale.

Aragonite is much softer and is more easily removed.

Testing by ANSTO confirmed that the crystalline structure of Calcium Carbonate in its Calcite form was changed to Aragonite when the Care-Free Water Conditioner was used, hence its easy removal.

Over the years, Care-Free has aroused the attention of several scientists. In fact, an Australian scientist recently completed a thesis on Care-Free and scale removal. Click here to read more.

Yes. We have found that with high concentrations of Manganese above 0.5 mg/L and iron above 1.0 mg/L, the Care-Free Water Conditioner requires more frequent cleaning.

Note: With iron and manganese problems – the conditioner must be down-sized. Please check with your dealer or contact us.


In conditioned water the mineral particles repel and lose their attraction to each other and the surfaces of pipes, elements, valves, rods and other equipment.

Being a solvent, the water now slowly etches, loosens and dissolves the existing scale and rust from the system. We have found that once clean your system will stay clean!

The Care-Free Conditioner causes a natural protective carbonate film to form inside the equipment and piping, which will not grow or increase in time. This self-healing greyish film is of negligible thickness and not only protects the system against scale and corrosion, but will not impede water or heat flow.

In old, corroded systems it is possible for scale to seal a leak. So removing the scale may cause the pipe to leak (In this case the pipe should be replaced). Nothing further will happen – except that you will have clean pipes!

Provided it is installed properly and maintained, your Care-Free Water Conditioner will last you a lifetime. It has no complex moving parts to wear out so you’ll enjoy big savings for years to come.

The conditioner is made from high quality 316 stainless steel which is extremely resistant to corrosion. Under normal circumstances they do not require replacing.

Care-Free treated water will maintain its conditioned state, unlike magnetic or electronic water treatment devices, where the water reverts quickly back to its original form.

Seed propagation tests using Care-Free treated water which had been stored for eight weeks, confirmed that the water remained in its conditioned state.

Periodically, it may be necessary to drain the lower region of the tank in order to expel any high concentration of dissolved solids that settle on the bottom.

The Care-Free Water Conditioner, by virtually eliminating the biofilm on the water, denies the algae its food source. This occurs because of the mineral separation process. With nothing to feed on the algae is either greatly reduced or completely eliminated.

Nominal capacity of the Care-Free Water Conditioner is 35kPa – 5PSI. Provided you abide by our flow rates there is minimal restriction. Headloss charts are available for all sizes.

Note: For a little pain in headloss, there's a lot to gain in performance. 

The Care-Free Water Conditioner neutralizes the negative influence of mineral particles, which otherwise tend to hinder the filter’s performance and reduce the working life of reverse osmosis membranes.

Installing a Care-Free unit before the carbon or reverse osmosis filter, keeps the filter cleaner and greatly improves its efficiency. We have seen longevity of membranes and filter cartridges extended by several times.

In most domestic household applications, your Care-Free Water Conditioner is best fitted into the main line after the water meter or pump and before any tee junctions or holding tanks, whereby the whole system will benefit. Your Care-Free Water Conditioner will operate at any angle, above or below the ground, however do not bury it.

When fitted below ground it must be installed in a suitable size box or pit, which allows access to unions for cleaning. On larger installations where it is impractical to install a Care-Free Water Conditioner on the water meter due to variation in flow, several smaller Care-Free Conditioners may be fitted on branch lines within the property.

NOTE: Do not install or test the conditioner at the end of the pipeline.

When watering or irrigating from a short discharge pipe, it is extremely important to prevent air from entering the conditioner as cavitation will result and oxide may form on the catalyst core, impairing performance. If cavitation occurs reduce the outlet slightly to obtain a “full pipe” of water and so eliminate this problem.

Establish the maximum flow rate of your pump or supply at the DELIVERY OR DISCHARGE POINT and order according to our flow rate table.

Domestic (household) Conditioners are 20mm (Australia, NZ and US),  or 15mm (Europe).

Swimming Pool, Evaporative Air Conditioner and Motor Home / Caravan Units are also set sizes.

View our range of sizes here. 

Remember DO NOT OVERSIZE.

Your Care-Free Conditioner has been designed for life, however it must be maintained. Periodic cleaning is required and is dependent upon your water conditions and usage. Use the following as a guide:

Domestic town supply: 5-10 years

Farm Use and Irrigation: 1-2 years

Swimming Pools: 10 years

Industrial / Cooling Towers: 1-2 years

Yes. WaterMark Certification (No. 23046) for the CF06 through CF50 Care-Free Water Conditioners to Australian Technical Specification ATS 5200.103.2004 – plumbing and drainage products Part 103: Water Treatment Systems (other than those specified in AS/NZS 3497).

In layman’s terms this standard covers water treatment systems for potable water – that for human consumption.

Each Care-Free Water Conditioner in this range carries the WaterMark Certification emblem.

After two years of testing, the State Electricity Commission, Portland Victoria, (Powercor) endorsed the conditioner. To quote: – “We conclude that it was beneficial to install these units to lessen the costly replacement of hot water cylinders, anodes and elements. It would be a real benefit to install a water conditioner on all residences within the Portland Water Board region.”

The Benalla office of the Victorian Health Department has also given an endorsement of the Care-Free Conditioner as an alternative non-chemical means of managing the aquatic environment of cooling towers, in a way that precludes the proliferation of bacteriological contaminants. To quote from an extensive report: – “After a two year field test experiment, every condenser tube was completely clean and shining like a gun barrel. In addition, test results as provided by a NATA certified testing agency have identified the lowest detectable levels of all legionellas. This is an excellent result for cooling towers which are using chemicals, but is an exceptional result from cooling towers which are using no biocide or algaecide chemicals".

The range of Care-Free Water Conditioners CF06 to CF50 comply to hydrostatic tests performed by the Water Corporation, Plumbing Testing Laboratory at 2 MPa or 285 PSI for 60 seconds. It also withstood burst pressure testing of 3.5 MPa (500 PSI) without failure. The Care-Free Water Conditioner will function from 5° C to 85° C.