It’s estimated there are around 15.9 million water wells in the US. These typically serve entire households but they can suffer from high acidity levels, mainly from acid rain.
Best for Smartphone Control
Best for 3 – 4
One of the direct issues with acidic water that makes it into your house is with plumbing problems due to residue buildup. Water that is high in acidity is typically bad for all appliances that require water such as dishwashers. But acidic water can also be detrimental to your health.
Acidic water is the type of water with a low water pH (typically lower than water pH 7). Water that is above water pH 7 save is considered alkaline (up to water pH 14).
So how can you still drink acid water? You need a water neutralizing filter or an acid neutralizer for pH-stable water flow.
Best Acid Neutralizer for Well Water – Our Top 5
1. Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer – Best for smartphone control
2. SoftPro pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter – Best for high flow rate
3. AFWFilters pH10 Digital pH 10 Water Neutralizer Backwashing System with Fleck 5600SXT 3/4″ – Best budget acid neutralizer
4. APEC Water Systems WTS-CALCITE-15 Whole House Water Filter System for Low-ph, Acid Neutralizer – Best for 3-4 bathrooms
5 Best Acid Neutralizers for Well Water Reveiwed
Not all calcite neutralizers are the same. Depending on your water’s pH levels you can choose one of the following best acid neutralizers for well water. These balance the hard effects of acidic water.
Best for smartphone control
- Price: $$$$$
- Media: calcite
- Process: backwash
- pH range: 6 to 6.5pH
- Flow rate: 12 GPM
Springwell’s Calcite Neutralizer is one of the large-scale performers suitable for large wells. This pH neutralizer is our favorite due to both its high performance and added smartphone connectivity and in-app control. It’s also efficient for shallow groundwater given its large tank capacity.
This model features a Bluetooth-connected control head that allows you to control everything from your smartphone. You can start regeneration and backwash cycles right from your phone. This would be really useful for my elderly parents whose basement is cold and dark, saving them trips downstairs to manage the device.
You also get a detailed view of your water usage, with historical data. This will help you to save water and better understand exactly how the system works.
One of the biggest advantages of these Springwell water softeners is their high flow rate. If you’re coming from an entry-level acid neutralizer you know that you might have pressure issues in your home if you use more than 1 bathroom at a time. Springwell’s pH Neutralizer easily handles 3 showers turned on at the same time.
Most importantly, it neutralizers 6.0 and 6.5 pH, which are common pH levels for water wells. It turns this acidic water into neutral water. You can say goodbye to corrosion of your home’s plumbing and you might even improve your health by drinking neutral water over-acidic water.
Health benefits and plumbing benefits are mainly a result of lower leaching copper, lead, and metals from typical pipes.
2. SoftPro pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter
Best for high flow rate
- Price: $$$$
- Media: calcite
- Process: backwash
- pH range: 5.5 to 6.9
- Size: 1.5 cu.ft.
- Flow rate: 15 GPM
SoftPro’s pH Neutralizing Filter is the best on this list if you need a high flow rate. With a various flow rate of up to 15 GPM, it’s ideal for large homes coming from slower rate calcite filter cartridge filters. Based on calcite media (0.5 cu. ft. every 6 months), this pH water neutralizer is ideal for pH 5.5 to 6.9.
This low-maintenance calcite tank features automatic backwash cycles. It features a user-friendly LCD for easy adjustments and various cycle modes. The acid neutralizer even has a vacation mode for automatic backwash both when you’re at home and when away.
In terms of efficiency, it’s right up there with the best performers that make corrosive acidity water as good as naturally soft water. The way it works is by dissolving the calcium carbonate in the calcite media bed when water comes into the tank. This raises the pH level, a process also known as neutralizing water.
3. AFWFilters pH10 Digital Water Neutralizer Backwashing System with Fleck 5600SXT 3/4″
Best budget acid neutralizer
- Price: $$$
- Media: calcite
- Process: upflow
- pH range: 6.0 to 6.8 pH
- Size: 1.5 cu.ft.
- Flow rate: 3.6 GPM
This acid neutralizer is our best budget system and is also ideal for small families. So if you’re on a budget and have a small home with just one or two family members then you should definitely give the AFW filters Acid Neutralizer a look. It ships with calcite medium included so that you can start using it right away.
Users note the first results in acid neutralization are seen fast, in a matter of days or even a few hours. It can raise the pH to levels of 7.0 to 7.1, mainly from pH levels as low as 6.0.
Build quality is also an area where the AFWFilters Acid Neutralizer has high satisfaction levels. Installed within an hour, this water softener is seen as highly durable. This is a pleasant surprise given it costs less than its competitors.
4. APEC Water Systems WTS-CALCITE-15 Whole House Water Filter System for Low-ph, Acid Neutralizer
Best for 3 – 4 bathrooms
- Price: $$$$$
- Media: calcite
- Process: backwash
- pH range: 5.0 to 7.0
- Size: 1.5 cu.ft.
- Flow rate: 7 GPM
Apec’s WTS-CALCITE-15 neutralizer is the opposite of the hybrid AFW Filters ph10 acid neutralizer as it’s made for the largest homes. Considerable flow rate makes it ideal for large homes with up to 4 bathrooms.
This means the neutralizer also has a consistent capacity of neutralizing water with a pH level as low as pH 5.
The neutralizer is also fully automated, as expected from a filter of this level. It comes with a programmable control valve that stores your settings. It’s also capable of self-cleaning and automated backwashing.
What is Acid Water and How Do You Treat It?
Acidic water is the type of water with a pH level below 6.5. This type of water mainly comes into wells and water sources directly from the rain. It forms depending on the types of rocks, minerals, and sediments it gets in contact with. The problem with acidic water is that it typically bonds to metals such as copper or zinc.
To illustrate what a pH level below 6.5 characterizes acidic water is you need to know the scale of water pH is measured between 1 and 14. A pH level of 7 is considered a neutral level.
Acidic water is treated by raising its pH level, typically to 7.0 or 7.1 using a water neutralizer.
Causes of acid water
Acidic water is caused both by natural events and by human activity. If pure water has a pH level of 7, acidic water has a lower pH level. The pH level of water refers to its capacity to absorb or release hydrogen ions.
· Natural causes of acid water
Acidic water is caused by rainfall through the air with carbon dioxide. It’s specific to industrialized areas as a result. But acidic water can be carried air currents even in areas that aren’t populated.
· Human activity caused acid water
Chemical runoff is another cause of acidic water. This is specific to industrial areas and mining areas which are notorious for chemical runoffs. On the other hand, water that is higher than pH 7 is seen as high alkalinity water. It’s also caused by unbalanced soil, mainly by calcium-rich limestone rocky soil.
Effects of acid water on pipes and plumbing
There are various effects of acidic water a typical home is exposed to. The first sign of acidic water damage is green stains on plumbing.
· It dissolves copper
Acidic water slowly dissolves copper pipes. This can be seen by green metal ions buildup around copper pipes, particularly where the pipes are joined together. Green residue buildup from copper dissolving can also be seen on faucets.
· It destroys water appliances
Acidic water is also known as the enemy of hot water appliances such as washers. High-temperature acidic water accelerates the metal dissolving process in plumbing. It affects a home’s plumbing.
· It creates the perfect storm for water leaks
Eventually, all pipes with acidic water are going to fail. This means acidic water can be responsible for house floods. Acidic water is also responsible for water appliance failures.
· It’s detrimental to health
Since water dissolves metals these can end up in your stomach if you drink it directly from the faucet. Zinc and copper make it into the stomach where they can cause stomach upset. In an end, constantly drinking acid water leads to health problems such as kidney stones and gallstones.
Types of acid neutralizers
Acidic water can be neutralized by using water neutralizers. These use calcite, magnesium oxide, or soda ash to filter and rebalanced water acidity levels.
Calcite neutralizers are effective at neutralizing acidity and balancing water pH levels. These neutralizers use calcium carbonate which comes from marble . Calcite medium is used in acid neutralizers that connect the main water supply line which carries water from the water supply to your house.
Calcium carbonate or magnesium oxide are also chemically used to treat acidic water. Magnesium oxide or manganese oxide is generally more aggressive than calcite. This is why too much magnesium oxide can be troublesome as well, especially without a good chemical feed pump. It can be used either independently or together with calcite for very low pH water levels, typically under pH 6.0.
Soda ash and caustic soda
Soda ash or sodium carbonate acid neutralizers are used for low pH water , typically in ranges between pH 5.0 and pH 5.5. While more potent in low pH water, soda ash water neutralizers need more maintenance compared to calcite water softeners.
How do acid neutralizers work?
There are two main types of water neutralizers you can use for acidic water treatment at home. Backwash and non-backwash or upflow acid neutralizers are the main options.
A backwash acid neutralizer is complex as it backwashes the mineral tank and it also keeps track of the water that goes through the tank. Various automation features are available through an electronic control valve. The valve is installed on top of the calcite tank)
Backwash acid neutralizers clearly indicate calcite levels. These are more popular than non-backwash water neutralizers.
Non-backwash or upflow
The non-backwash acid neutralizer is sometimes referred to as upflow acid neutralizer. It doesn’t feature an electronic valve at the top of the acid neutralizer tank with calcite which makes it ideal for remote areas.
A non-backwash acid neutralizer doesn’t backwash the tank. Water comes into the acid neutralizer tank and it makes its way out by making contact with calcite. Calcite is added to non-backwash acid neutralizers at least every 12 months. Some manufacturers recommend adding calcite every 6 months. But this is the only maintenance needed for non-backwash acid neutralizers.
Chemical injection neutralizers or a chemical feed system use a soda ash mixture to raise very low pH level water levels. Chemical injection water neutralizers balance water regular calcite acid neutralizers can’t neutralize. A normal chemical injection system is used for water with a pH level below 5.
Chemical injection systems are also made for standard water flows passing through a distributor tube such as the water main of the house, from the well. They are more efficient in their job to raise pH levels and to essentially improve water quality to exact pH where calcite systems can’t.
Which size acid neutralizer do I need for my home?
You need a 1.0 cubic feet water neutralizer as a minimum for a single-person home or homes with 2 residents. 1.5 cubic feet water neutralizers are better-suited for homes with up to 4-5 family members. A larger 2.5 cubic feet water neutralizer is ideal for large homes with up to 8 residents.
|6.5 to 7
|6.0 to 6.5
|5.0 to 6.0
|Number of house residents
|Up to 4
|Up to 8
How to Choose The Best Acid Neutralizer?
Choosing the best acid neutralizer isn’t complicated. You need to consider water pH levels in your well (measurable with a pH test kit). You then align these levels with the number of house members you have living under one roof.
Consider pH levels
A smaller acid neutralizer is ideal for small homes but also for water that is only mildly acidic. You can buy these for water with an exact water hardness pH of at least 6.5.
Medium-sized water neutralizers of 2.0 cu.ft. can deal with lower pH levels and they come with better gallons per minute performance. A higher flow rate recommends these for homes with up to 4 residents.
Large-capacity acid neutralizers of around 2.5 cu.ft. are ideal for low pH water and large homes with up to 4 bathrooms and up to 8 family members.
Other contaminants in your water
If your well contains iron or manganese, check out our article The Best Iron Filter for Well Water and consider combining your filtration with another system.
Well water can also contain large amounts of silt, sand, sediment, and other large debris. A good sediment filter for well water will remove these before they get to your main filtration stage, helping to extend the life of your filter.
Flow rate is essential when considering the tank size of your acid neutralizer. The higher the flow rates your home needs the larger tank the acid neutralizers need to come with.
One of the main reasons people consider chemical injection acid neutralizers is their better flow rate. Yet, a large-capacity calcite water neutralizer also comes with a higher flow rate. This is particularly helpful for homes with many bathrooms.
You should always aim at no-maintenance acid neutralizers. Adding calcite should be the only task to consider at a 6-12 months mark.
Most non-backwash neutralizers can be installed without much help to neutralize acidic water. DIY fans are going to install these in about an hour. More complex backwash cycles water neutralizers might require a plumber for installation. This might add up to $300 to the final cost of the water neutralizer.
Frequently asked questions about Acid Neutralizers
How do I reduce the acidity of my well water?
You can reduce the acidity level of your well water by installing a calcite acid neutralizer. Connected to your water main, this neutralizer acts as a neutralizing filter that can raise the pH to a level of pH 7.
Do I need an acid neutralizer for well water?
Not all well waters need acid neutralizers. However, since well water comes from underground water sources these can often be acidic. After testing well water’s pH you can neutralize it using a water neutralizer.
How do I test the pH level of my well water?
pH water testing kits are the easiest method to determine drinking water pH levels in your well. A more scientific method involves using a pH meter that only uses water probes to determine acidity levels and for concomitant pH adjustment.
Most acid neutralizers are made to last for years. These are almost fully automatic as they only require adding calcite once or twice per year. Most water neutralizers come in different sizes so that you can match their flow rate to the number of residents and bathrooms your home has.
Our favorite is the Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer due to its excellent performance and the added convenience of having a smartphone app to control the unit from anywhere in the house.
Alternatively if budget is an issue, go for the AFWFilters Acid Neutralizer Calcite filter which is excellent value for money but is also suitable for medium to large families.