Table of Contents
- 🥇 Best Acid Neutralizer
- ⭐ Reviews – Best pH Neutralizer Systems
- 🧾 Acidic Water Neutralizer Buyer’s Guide
- ⚗️ What is Acidic Water?
- ☔️ What Causes Acidic Water?
- 👨🔧 Effects of Acidic Water on Plumbing
- 🔠 Types of Acidic Water Neutralizers
- 💡 How Acid Neutralizers Work
- 💭 Considerations When Purchasing an Acid Neutralizer
- 🔧 Well Water Neutralizer Maintenance
- ❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Acid and low pH are common well water issues. Some 42 million people in the US get their water from private wells, and a good majority of these are likely to experience issues with acidity.
Luckily, neutralizing acidic well water is simple to do, and I’m here to help you find the best solution for your needs. At WaterFilterGuru.com, I offer reviews and guides like this one to an audience of more than 130,000 monthly readers. I’ve built up years of expert industry knowledge, and I want to share it with you.
I’ve ranked the best acid neutralizers in this guide based on several aspects of performance, longevity and quality of build.
Having scoured the internet for reviews, reading everything I could find about each product, and even speaking directly with the manufacturer in some cases, I’m confident that the acid neutralizers on this list are the only ones worth knowing about in 2021.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Which acid neutralizers are a good investment for well water treatment
- The causes and effects of acidic water
- What to consider when buying a pH neutralizer
… and much more.
🥇 Best Acid Neutralizer
- Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer
- SoftPro pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter
- US Water Systems Matrixx pH Balancing Backwashing Calcite Neutralizer System
- Fleck 2510SXT pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter
|Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer||pH rage: 6 - 6.5|
Flow rate (GPM): 12
|SoftPro pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter||pH rage: 5.5 - 6.9|
Flow rate (GPM): 11 - 15
|US Water Systems Matrixx pH Balancing Backwashing Calcite Neutralizer System||pH rage: 5.8 - 6.9|
Flow rate (GPM): 10 - 20
Media: Calcite or Calcite-Magnesium Oxide
|Fleck 2510SXT pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter||pH rage: 5.5 - 6.9|
Flow rate (GPM): 13
⭐ Reviews – Best pH Neutralizer Systems
Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer
The Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer incapable of neutralizing water in the 6 to 6.5 pH range. The system uses calcite, which slowly dissolves into water. This boosts pH and reduces the risk of contamination from metals like lead and copper in plumbing.
As a single tank system, the Springwell Neutralizer is relatively slim and compact. If you have basic DIY skills, you’ll be able to install this unit yourself. There’s a downloadable installation guide available, as well as an in-depth video that walks you through every step of installation.
The Springwell features a smart Bluetooth control head that allows you to remotely program the system from your mobile device. You can also use the control head to review performance efficiency and troubleshoot problems with the unit.
You’ll need to replace the calcite in the tank once it becomes depleted. To check the calcite levels, remove the tank’s jacket and use a flashlight to illuminate the tank, which will show you how much is left. When the calcite drops to 10 inches, the manufacturer advises that you refill it to around 25 inches.
👍 What I Like
- Handy video for installation guidance
- Bluetooth control head for remote programming
- Slim, single-tank design
👎 What I Don’t Like
- Can’t be used for water with pH below 6
SoftPro pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter
The SoftPro pH Neutralizer is a water filtration system that uses calcite to adjust the pH of water. Assembled in the USA, this unit uses an NSF-certified smart control valve to add the optimum concentration of calcite to water, preventing green stains and corrosive acid damage to your pipes.
The system is designed for water with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.9, and can boost pH to 7.0. There are no filters needed in the SoftPro unit – simply fill the tanks with calcite media once or twice a year. The easy-access dome-fill plug makes this a quick and simple job.
With an auto-backwash feature, this system will flush out any trapped sediment and prevent drops in flow rate. There’s a backwash manage valve, too, which can be used to adjust backwash and rinse cycles to help you save water.
The large 1″ ports also prevent low flow rates and boost media lifespan, improving the unit’s overall efficiency.
Included with the SoftPro pH system is a calcite mineral tank (free media is also provided), bedding gravel, and the system’s smart control valve. An average family of 4 will need to top up the calcite with 1 0.5 cu. ft bag of calcite every 6 months.
The system has a 6-month satisfaction guarantee, as well as a limited lifetime warranty on the tank and additional warranties on the other parts.
👍 What I Like
- Limited maintenance
- Good warranty
- Fairly affordable
👎 What I Don’t Like
- May require a plumber for installation
- Some customers experienced minor problems with water flow
US Water Systems Matrixx pH Balancing Backwashing Calcite Neutralizer System
The Matrixx pH Balancing Neutralizer System is a calcite/corosex backwash system that treats acidic water with a pH of between 5.1 and 6.9. The unit is sold in two flow rate sizes: 10 GPM and 20 GPM.
This unit is built using NSF and FDA-approved components, and performs automated backwash cycles to flush contaminants from the media when needed.
For this system, the manufacturer recommends using calcite to raise pH for water with a 5.8 to 6.9 pH level. For pH of 5.1 to 5.7, a combination of calcite and corosex is recommended.
The Matrixx can also target low levels of iron if you choose to use corosex, as this media can neutralize free carbon dioxide.
You can connect the Matrixx to your phone using the Waterlogix app. This lets you program the system to perform its backwash cycles, including setting a time of the day and selecting frequency of backwashing.
If you’re dealing with blue or green stains from acidic water or damage to your copper pipes, the Matrixx will put a stop to the issue. It has a lifetime warranty and a 10-year warranty on electronics and valves.
👍 What I Like
- Automatic operation requires low maintenance
- Easy to fill tank with replacement calcite
- Using corosex may also reduce iron
👎 What I Don’t Like
- No online reviews so far
Fleck 2510SXT pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter
The Fleck 2510 is a calcite pH neutralizing system that’s sold in two sizes: 8 GPM and 13 GPM, addressing pH in the range of 5.5-6.9. This auto-backwash system is made from FDA and NSF-approved parts and is designed to eliminate acidity problems and corrosion of copper pipes in your home.
The system features an electronic control center, which requires a quick, simple setup to program backwash cycles. After this, the Fleck will remember your settings, and you won’t need to input information into the system again. In the event of a power outage, the system has a capacity backup that retains memory.
Media top-ups are simple with the Fleck 2510, too. The calcite tank is transparent, so there’s no need to replenish the media based on guesswork. The dome hole plug makes it easy to add more media when required.
The system uses less than $3.00 of electricity per 12 months, so it doesn’t cost much to run. As well as altering pH, the Fleck 2510 can also reduce sediment and sand that could cause additional destruction to pipes.
The tank comes with a lifetime warranty, while the valve and electronics have a warranty of 5 years, and all other parts have 1 year.
👍 What I Like
- Easy-fill calcite tank
- Uses minimal electricity
- Only one initial setup required
👎 What I Don’t Like
- Many customers received no installation instructions
🧾 Acidic Water Neutralizer Buyer’s Guide
Looking to learn more about water neutralizers before you buy a system for your home? I’ve covered everything you’ll need to know in this buyers’ guide.
⚗️ What is Acidic Water?
Acidic water is water that has a pH level of 6.5 or below. All liquids have a pH measurement of between 1 and 14, with 1 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline, and 7 being neutral.
There are many natural acid water sources, including acid rain. When rainwater absorbs minerals and nutrients from rocks and soils on the ground, it causes a natural rise in pH.
This will typically produce water with a pH level of at least 7.5. Sometimes, water can absorb an even greater mineral content, which can result in a higher alkalinity. Alkaline water is said to have numerous health benefits.
☔️ What Causes Acidic Water?
During precipitation, when water combines with carbon dioxide, acid rain is formed. Evaporated water from streams, oceans and lakes rises and condenses, forming clouds. This evaporation process acts as natural filtration, and contaminants like minerals, hardness and bacteria are removed. This results in soft, pure, acidic water.
When precipitation (rain) occurs, water is returned back to earth. Carbon dioxide in the air dissolves into the rainwater, and carbonic acid is formed. This results in a rainwater pH of around 5.6.
The rain then hits the earth, where its pH will adjust again as it passes through rock, soil, organic matter and sediment.
The exact pH of the groundwater depends on the local environment; for instance, rainfall on calcium-rich limestone will produce much harder, more alkaline water.
If the area has a lot of granite rock, on the other hand, the pH of water will hardly be raised at all. Igneous and metamorphic rocks have a much lower calcium content, which makes them unable to neutralize pH.
As many wells use shallow groundwater, it’s more likely for these water sources to have a more acidic pH. Chemical runoffs and other human activities like mining can also increase the likelihood of acidic well water.
👨🔧 Effects of Acidic Water on Plumbing
As an extremely corrosive substance, acidic water can be highly damaging to pipes and plumbing. Over time, acid water can dissolve copper pipes, resulting in blue or green stains on your faucets and fixtures.
If you notice this staining, it’s an indication that your plumbing system is becoming eroded. Left untreated, leaks may spring, which poses a serious flooding risk.
Replacing your home’s water system doesn’t come cheap, which is why it’s better to prevent acid water from getting into your property in the first place.
Your plumbing and pipes aren’t the only victims of acid water damage. Water with a low pH will also harm your heater and water-based appliances over time. Hot water appliances are especially prone to acid damage, as the heat can make the water even more corrosive.
Acidic water will shorten the lifespan of your appliances and eventually cause premature failure.
Another acid water problem worth being aware of is leaching. Because acid water has a very low mineral concentration, it’s more susceptible to grabbing hold of metal ions from pipes, such as zinc, copper, and lead.
When you drink acid water, it will likely be contaminated with these metals. Lead is considered toxic in even tiny amounts, and discoloration from iron and copper can produce unsightly staining on your sinks, bathtubs and faucets.
🔠 Types of Acidic Water Neutralizers
There are three common types of acid water neutralizers: calcite, magnesium oxide, and soda ash & caustic soda.
Calcite is the most available and affordable means of neutralizing acid water. Many neutralizing systems use calcite to raise water’s pH. The calcite is stored in a tank and used to treat water before it enters your home.
Made from crushed white marble, calcite media is naturally calcium-rich and alkaline. When water comes into contact with this media, it will dissolve some of the calcium minerals in the tank. This works almost as it would in a natural environment, when water seeps through high-calcium rock.
Now that it contains calcium, water’s pH will be higher. Calcite can raise the pH of water by around 1, so it’s ideally suited for water with a pH level of between 6 and 6.5.
Being self-limiting, calcite will only elevate water’s pH level to neutral. However, having enough contact time is essential. If water flows too quickly through the calcite media, it’s unlikely that there will be enough time for any pH adjustment at all.
Another pH-boosting option, which is often used in conjunction with calcite, is magnesium oxide, or corosex.
Magnesium oxide can neutralize acidic water by counterbalancing water’s free carbon dioxide levels. Combining both calcite and magnesium oxide can raise pH by up to 1.5.
Something to be aware of is that corosex, unlike calcite, can raise pH beyond neutral if you add too much to your neutralizing system. This results in overcorrecting – potentially making water too alkaline.
Another issue with adding too much magnesium oxide to your water is that it can produce a laxative effect. It’s important that you neutralize your water without this unpleasant side effect.
To avoid overcorrecting and disagreeable reactions to your drinking water, you need to get your calcite/corosex combination right. It’s generally recommended that you add around 10%-20% magnesium oxide to the tank, along with up to 90% calcite media.
Soda Ash and Caustic Soda
Finally, a combination of soda ash and caustic soda can also effectively remedy water with a low pH. This is a particularly effective solution for water that has a very low pH of around 4 or 5, which calcite media and magnesium oxide are unlikely to resolve.
Water with such a high acidity requires chemical injection, which will boost pH to neutral. Raising the pH using this method requires a chemical called soda ash. This pH adjuster is dissolved and injected into the water in whole-home treatment applications.
Maintaining a chemical injection system takes more work, but if your water does have an unusually low pH level, it’s especially essential that you implement the most effective means of getting it back up to a reading of at least 7.
💡 How Acid Neutralizers Work
There are several types of acid neutralizers, and they all offer a slightly different performance to reach a similar end result.
Backwash systems are the most common acid neutralizer units on the market today. These systems consist of a mineral tank and a control valve. The mineral tank contains a calcite media, or a combination of calcite and magnesium oxide.
Water enters the tank through a distributor tube, where it passes through the media, dissolving calcium carbonate along the way. It then makes its way into a distributor basket and leaves the tank through a riser tube, where it is sent to all parts of your home.
The water in this type of system will choose the path that’s easiest to flow through – which means it’ll flow through the same few channels over and over again. As a result, some of the media in the neutralizer tank sees virtually no exposure to water, while other media is constantly exposed to acidic water. This is why backwashing is needed.
During a backwash cycle, water is sent into the tank at a high pressure in the opposite direction to its usual flow. This causes the media bed to lift, spin, and redistribute around the neutralizer tank. The water (usually around 30 to 40 gallons) is then drained out of the tank, and the redistributed media is suitably replenished and ready to raise the pH of acidic water again.
Upflow systems use Vortech plates to provide consistent performance with no need for backwashing. The system uses a mineral tank with a distributor tube that enters from the top center.
At the very bottom of the tank is a Vortech plate, which sends water from the distributor tube spiraling upward. The force of this spiral sends the media spiraling alongside the water, which eliminates the need for backwashing.
The benefit of upflow systems is obvious: no water is wasted and no time is required for backwash cycles, allowing for a more efficient performance.
Chemical Injection Systems
A chemical injection system uses a chemical feed pump to inject soda ash into acidic water. The system consists of a single tank and a control valve, which can be programmed to add a precise amount of soda ash based on your water’s existing pH level.
As water flows into your home, it’ll divert into the tank of the chemical injection system. In here, the injector pump will inject the right amount of soda ash. The majority of chemical injection systems use electricity to operate, but water flow isn’t typically an issue. The system will need to be primed before use.
💭 Considerations When Purchasing an Acid Neutralizer
When it comes to price, you should expect to pay at least $800 for a quality neutralizing system. While the upfront cost is fairly high, the price of maintenance is much more affordable.
Calcite and corosex media isn’t too expensive, especially as you’ll only need to fill your tanks once every 8-12 months or so. You can usually bulk-buy larger batches of this media for a lower price per kilogram.
Daily Water Usage
The size of your family, or how many bathrooms you have in your home, will determine the size of the tanks you need. This is easy enough to work out: typically, for 1 or 2 people, you’ll need a 1.0 cubic foot acid neutralizer, while for up to 4 people, you’re best choosing a system that has a 1.5 cubic foot tank.
Tanks are available in sizes up to 3.5 cubic feet, if you happen to be looking for a solution for more than 8 people.
Your home’s flow rate will affect the tank size you need for your acid neutralizer. The speed of water that runs from the tank will have an effect on the system’s ability to alter water pH. It’s essential that you buy the right-sized tank for your home’s flow rate.
The pH of the water in your pipes will determine which system you should opt for. If you have a pH of around 6 to 6.5, calcite and corosex should work well for you. Anything lower than this, and you’ll likely require a chemical injection system.
A good warranty offers reassurance that you’re covered if your tanks, valve, distributor tube or other components don’t live up to expectations.
I’d highly recommend reading through a warranty carefully before purchasing a system. You’re making a big investment, and it’s important that refunds and free replacement parts are provided for faulty systems.
Installation and Maintenance
Most neutralizing units will require a relatively complex installation at your home’s main water line. If don’t have a natural affinity for DIY, you might need to consider hiring a plumber for the job. This will usually cost up to $200-$300 extra on top of the initial price.
Maintenance depends on which system you’ve purchased. Usually, you’ll need to perform maintenance of some sort every 6 to 12 months.
🔧 Well Water Neutralizer Maintenance
Like the majority of residential water treatment units, whole house acid neutralizers require a low level of maintenance.
While you won’t need to tend to these systems every day, you’ll need to keep up with regular cleaning and maintenance as instructed by the manufacturer.
If you’ve installed a calcium and corosex neutralizer, you will need to replenish the calcium carbonate/corosex media when it gets low.
For systems that use a calcite cartridge, the entire cartridge will need to be replaced once it has surpassed its gallon capacity. You can find information on filter changes or media top-ups in your user manual.
Your home’s flow rate and daily water usage will typically affect how frequently you need to add calcite and corosex to the tank.
If you’ve purchased a whole house chemical injection system, consult your user manual to learn how often you will need to replenish the soda ash.
Maintenance for any acid neutralizer is unavoidable. If you don’t change the filters or top up the media, the system won’t be able to raise the pH of your water, and you may as well not be using it at all.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
How much hardness does an acid neutralizer add to water?
You may be wondering, especially for the filter systems that add calcite to water, whether an acid neutralizer will make your water hard.
To increase water pH, a calcite acid neutralizer will dissolve calcium carbonate into your water. Calcium, along with magnesium, is one of the minerals that is responsible for water hardness.
The obvious benefit of adding calcite media to your water is that it reduces corrosive acidity. But calcite filter systems will affect your water’s hardness.
Water hardness is measured in GPG (grains per gallon), and a typical calcite water treatment system will increase hardness by about 5 grains.
You’re trying to eliminate damage to your pipes and plumbing by using a neutralizing filter, but hard water can pose its own aesthetic problems in your home. Just like acidity, hard water scale can damage your pipes and appliances and present cleaning challenges in your kitchen and bathroom.
If a calcite type of filter raises your water’s hardness too high, you should look into installing a water softener. This will boost your water quality by reducing your hardness without affecting its pH. This is important for maintaining good water quality in your home.
Of course, you won’t require a water softener if your water supply is naturally soft.
Does an acid neutralizer remove iron?
An acid neutralizer won’t typically remove iron unless it’s combined with an iron removal filter or an oxidation media.
The neutralizing type of water treatment dissolves calcite and corosex into water, which increases pH. A neutralizing system doesn’t usually have the ability to filter out contaminants like iron, unless you’re using corosex, which may target low levels of iron by neutralizing the free carbon dioxide in the water.
You’d need another type of filter for effectively treating high levels of iron, manganese, sulfur, and other common well water contaminants. I’d recommend performing a well water test if you don’t already know what your water contains.
How long does an acid neutralizer last?
Most acid neutralizers last for at least 10 years. A good indication of how long a system will last is its warranty. You’re looking for a warranty of 10 years at least. A limited lifetime warranty is even better.
How often should you backwash an acid neutralizer?
If your system requires backwashing, you can expect it to flush with water once every 1 or 2 weeks. Follow the instructions in your user manual to pre-program backwash cycles on your control valve according to your home’s flow rates and water pH.