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Why Calcium Inhibitor Filters Don't Work On Patio Misters

Why Calcium Inhibitor Filters Don't Work On Patio Misters

During the summer months, people want to enjoy socializing outdoors, whether it’s a meal, a BBQ, pool party, or just an excuse to see friends and drink wine. The only problem with meeting outside is the heat. Temperatures can hit well over 100 degrees and drinks and fans can only do so much to cool down guests and the patio. A great way to drop the temperature and help friends and family feel more comfortable is to install a patio mister. Guests can expect to feel a temperature drop by as much as 15° of cooling just six to eight feet from the mist line. To enhance the cooling effect, having fans blowing within the area will allow for maximum cooling without the use of an air conditioner. 


patio mister


However, when using patio misters hard water problems should be expected. These problems come in the form of limescale buildup on the jets and hoses. Not to mention the damage that hard water minerals can cause by leaving limescale on surfaces such as tables, chairs, glass (windows and tabletops), stone, and cement. Cleaning limescale can be tedious and depending the amount of damage will determine the effort and type of chemicals needed to remedy the issue.  

There are products available in the market that claim to be calcium inhibitors and they are designed to connect between the misting system and the garden hose connection. These filters coat small mineral particulates in the tap water with polyphosphates that enable easier passage through nozzles without forming blockages. But the problem is, the polyphosphates in the filter are considered to be “sacrificial media.” This means when water comes into contact with the media, a little bit of the polyphosphate attaches itself to the water molecules to try and coat the minerals. 

In theory, this is a great idea. But there is a drawback to using a polyphosphate filter, it leaves a residue of white powder when it dries on surfaces. Unlike the semi-permanent white residue that limescale from hard water leaves, polyphosphate can be easily wiped off. However, having to wipe off the residue or clean off any type of staining is very inconvenient. And because of that white residue that it leaves, polyphosphate mister filters simply do not work and we do not recommend using them. Simply put, these types of filters give a person just as many issues with their mister system as they would have if they never used it. Overall, there really isn’t a benefit to using one. 

An alternative to a polyphosphate filter is to use a filter system that utilizes cation resin. If you’re not familiar with cation resin, this is the same media material that is used in whole house water softeners. The resin beads are designed to trap hard water minerals such as calcium and magnesium, allowing soft water to flow through the misters and not leaving any type of residue or buildup once the water dries.

pro aqua portable water softener

Since most patio misters connect to a garden hose, we recommend using the Pro+Aqua Portable RV Water Softener. Simply connect the softener to a spigot with the included garden hose, then attach the mister system. Turn on the water and let it immediately cool you and your guests down. Now that the water flowing through the system is devoid of calcium and magnesium, you’ll no longer have hard water problems. In fact, the soft water will prevent any type of limescale buildup that occurs with the mist nozzles. Soft water will not leave any type of residues like polyphosphate or limescale normally would. By using the portable water softer, you’re ensuring that your patio mister system becomes maintenance-free and lasts throughout the summer season and beyond. 

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