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Hard water entering the anti-scaling device inlet flows across the catalyst element. The surface of the catalyst element consists of millions of bi- and tri-metallic junctions similar in geometry to calcium carbonate, the dissolved mineral that makes hard water. Through a phenomenon called lattice matching, minerals attach to each other and form crystals. Minerals in solution can also be made to attach to other surfaces with similar lattice patterns. Calcium carbonate collects onto these catalyst element junctions. These deposits from microscopic crystals that are less stable, but still attractive to the calcium carbonate still in solution.

This process is called nucleation and is familiar to those scientists who work in the area of semiconductors, physical chemistry, and metallurgy. These crystals grow to a size believed to be between .0000004" and .000004", which is too small to be seen with an optical microscope, before they are flushed off the catalyst surface due to combination of crystal instability and the shearing force of the flowing water. Billions of these calcium carbonate crystals, or calcite "seeds" are not in the treated water exiting the Anti-Scaling device.

These billions of calcite "seeds" appear to be more attractive to dissolved calcium carbonate than those surfaces that do not closely match their geometry, so the surface of the pipes and those devices using the water lose their tendency to build scale. In addition, since these "seeds" also seem to be slightly more attractive to calcium carbonate than the rectangular structure of normal hard scale, over a period of time, calcium carbonate that has already been deposited as hard scale should slowly be drawn to the "seeds" and then removed with water.

Since the calcium carbonate in the treated water is not actually removed; only "converted", the treated water that dries on a surface might leave a small amount of calcium carbonate residue. However, this powder does not strongly attach to the surface and, if visible, can be easily wiped off. Beneficial mineral content is not lost.

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