The sole responsibility for the quality and control of private water wells belongs to the well owner. This means that well owners should regularly test the water for contaminants, check pH levels, and take the necessary measures if the water is not up to the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For instance, if the water is acidic, meaning it has a pH level of less than 7, the well owner should treat their water to adjust the pH levels to 7 (neutral) by using an acid neutralizer device.
The best acid neutralizer for well water is the Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer which uses calcite media backwash to adjust the pH levels of well water in the 6 – 6.5 pH range.
Best pH Acid Neutralizer for Well Water:
- Best for Well Water With a pH of 6-6.5: SpringWell Calcite pH Neutralizer – If your water supply has pH levels in the range of 6-6.5, the SpringWell Calcite is the best solution thanks to its lifetime warranty, high-quality build, and amazing flow rate.
- Best for Well Water With a pH of 5-6.9: APEC Water Systems WTS-Calcite-15 Whole House Water Filter Acid Neutralizer System – If your water has an acidity level higher than usual, meaning a pH level that’s between 5 and 5.5, then the APEC WTS-Calcite-15 is the ideal acid neutralizing system for you.
- Best for Well Pumps With a Flow Rate of 10-20 GPM: US Water Systems Matrixx pH Balancing Backwashing Filter System – Thanks to its impressive flow rate, the US Water Matrixx can accommodate large houses where the well water has a pH range of 5.8 to 6.9.
- Best Budget Option for Small Houses: Fleck 2510SXT pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter – Despite being the most affordable item on our list, the Fleck 2510SXT can neutralize the water acidity in small – medium houses as long as the pH range of water is from 5.5 to 6.9.
SpringWell Calcite pH Neutralizer – Best Acid Neutralizer for Well Water With pH of 6-6.5
- pH range: 6 to 6.5
- Technology: Calcite media with backwash
- Flow rate: 12 GPM during normal service, 7 GPM during backwash
- Warranty: Lifetime on both tank and valves
- Price: $1,482.21
- A high-quality build is likely to last you a lifetime
- Decent 12 GPM flow rate
- A system head that allows you to observe and control the acid-neutralizing process
- Lifetime warranty
- Useless against water with lower pH than 6
- Needs to be installed by a professional
SpringWell Calcite pH Neutralizer is the best acid neutralizer for well water thanks to its ability to neutralize water in the pH range of 6-6.5, which is the most common pH range for wells in the United States. This systems comes with sturdy build, and lifetime warranty on both the tank and valves.
Since the lack of minerals, especially calcium and magnesium bicarbonate, makes water acidic in most cases, the SpringWell Calcite system utilizes a calcite bed that introduces these minerals into the water to raise its alkalinity. This is not an arbitrary process, as the system automatically measures the pH of incoming water and adds adequate calcium and magnesium bicarbonate minerals to neutralize it. On top of that, once every two weeks, the system backwashes itself so that the acidic water can’t cause the calcite to solidify and lose its efficiency.
The SpringWell acid neutralizer comes with a system head that connects to a smartphone application via bluetooth. This connection allows you control the backwash cycle of the device by monitoring the pH of incoming water and the flow rate with which it passes through the system.
Most acid neutralizers max out at a peak flow rate of 7 gallons per minute (GPM). The SpringWell Calcite pH Neutralizer offers flow rate up to 12 GPM, which provides adequate water pressure for houses with 1 to 6 bathrooms. The flow rate decreases only during the backwash cycles, but even then, it’s equal to the peak flow rate of its competitors – 7 GPM.
Lastly, the SpringWell Calcite pH neutralizer has a lifetime warranty on its tank and valves. We recommend hiring a professional plumber to install the system to avoid inadvertently voiding the warranty due to improper installation.
APEC Water Systems WTS-Calcite-15 Whole House Water Filter Acid Neutralizer System – Best Acid Neutralizer for Well Water With pH of 5-6.9
- pH range: 5 to 6.9
- Technology: Calcite media with backwash
- Flow rate: 7 GPM during normal service
- Warranty: 10 years
- Price: $1,249.95
- Its pH range of 5 to 6.9 is the most versatile on the market
- Its calcite media features a highly effective blend of calcium and magnesium carbonate
- It features a distributor palate that helps it save 30% of water during backwash
- 7 GPM flow rate isn’t suitable for large households that have more than three bathrooms
- No BlueTooth app
- Only ten years of warranty
We consider the APEC WTS-Calcite-15 a worthy alternative to the SpringWell model above simply because it can neutralize water with a pH level as low as 5. Yet, that’s not only what makes the device so attractive. Like the SpringWell Calcite pH neutralizer, the APEC WTS-Calcite-15 is an affordable, efficient, low-maintenance system with a high-quality build.
If you’ve been reading about acid-neutralizing devices, you may have noticed that most systems can only handle a minimum pH of 5.5. That’s mainly because going any lower than that requires a dexterous blend of calcium and magnesium carbonate in the calcite media.
As you may already know, water rich in calcium and magnesium content is hard water, and may require you to also install a water softener after an acid neutralizer. So, since most manufacturers, like, for example, US Water Systems, which we’ll review next, can’t get the blend of calcium and magnesium right, they don’t go below 5.5 pH as they don’t want to subject their customers to hard water.
APEC Water Systems, however, has nailed the perfect blend of calcium and magnesium in their specially engineered media. With an active ingredient list of 95% minimum calcium carbonate and a maximum of 3% calcium carbonate, the APEC WTS-Calcite-15 can provide neutralized water that is not considered hard.
This special calcite blend is made of high-end and naturally occurring marble without synthetic additions.
Another thing we enjoyed about the APEC system is that it has a distributor palate at the bottom of the tank. During the backwash cycle, this palate lifts up the calcite media to ensure maximum contact time, thus saving 30% of water, which is not the case with systems like the SpringWell that don’t have this feature.
Like the SpringWell Calcite pH Neutralizer, the APEC WTS-Calcite-15 has an electronic system head that allows you to control the backwash cycle and observe the neutralizing process. However, unlike the former, you can’t connect to the system head of the APEC device via a BlueTooth application.
That’s not the only downside of the APEC WTS-Calcite-15 compared to the SpringWell Calcite pH Neutralizer. Its 10-year warranty and its 7 GPM peak flow rate that makes it suitable for households with only 1 to 3 bathrooms are the two main reasons why it’s the runner-up on our list despite its impressive pH range.
US Water Systems Matrixx pH Balancing Backwashing Filter System – Best for Well Pumps That Have a Flow Rate of 10-20 GPM
- pH range: 5.8 to 6.9
- Technology: Calcite media with backwash
- Flow rate: 10 and 20 GPM options during normal service, with respectively 5 and 11 GPM during backwash
- Warranty: 10 years
- Price: $1,297.95 for the 10 GPM option, $1,416.95 for the 20 GPM option
- The 20 GPM option is ideal for neutralizing acidity in large houses, small offices, and restaurants
- Its calcite media can reduce rust levels in water in addition to acidity
- It requires very little electricity to operate efficiently
- Vortech backwash technology helps you save water and cleanses the calcite bed evenly of contaminant buildup.
- For water with a pH lower than 5.8, it requires a special media that increase the water’s hardness
- Very difficult installation
- The BlueTooth app might not work unless you’re close to the device
The US Water Systems Matrixx has one of the most powerful acid neutralizer flow rate options with 20 GPM, which is why we think it deserves its place on our list. Its flow rate is not the only reason we like it. The unit is also highly efficient and can neutralize water within a pH range of 5.8 to 6.9.
Similar to the APEC WTS-Calcite-15, the US Water Systems Matrixx Acid Neutralizer employs a naturally found white marble limestone in its calcite media. The particular media of this product is also effective at removing free carbon dioxide from water, which means that it’ll reduce ferric iron levels, often referred to as rust.
The manufacturer also has a special media blend of calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide on offer for those whose water supply has a pH level lower than 5.8. However, this special media isn’t as innovative as the one in the APEC WTS-Calcite-15, so if your well house’s water is within a pH range of 5 – 5.8 pH level, we urge you to stick with the APEC option.
Similarly to the SpringWell Calcite pH Neutralizer, the US Water Systems Matrixx Acid Neutralizer comes with a system head that can be connected through a BlueTooth app (Waterlogix). This app allows you to control the system, set and adjust the backwash cycles, and monitor the water flow and battery life of the system head itself.
More often than not, acid-neutralizing devices use quite a bit of electricity, like the APEC system above, which requires 120 volts of power. In the case of US Water Systems, that number is only 12 volts, which roughly translates to around $2.00 on your annual electricity bill. This makes the unit one of the most economical acid neutralizer in this list.
Although the Matrixx system doesn’t feature a distributor palate for saving water during backwash, it has a Vortech system that creates a vortex inside the tank when the system is backwashing. This vortex ensures the backwash process is as thorough as possible by removing contaminant buildup evenly from every media surface.
Unfortunately, the installation process of the US Water Systems Matrixx is easily the most difficult on our list, and even with a competent plumber, it can take more than 8 hours to set it up. Also worth mentioning is that some users have complained that the BlueTooth app doesn’t work unless you’re within a few feet of proximity to the device, which might make it practically useless sometimes.
Fleck 2510SXT pH Neutralizer Calcite Water Filter – Best Budget Option for Small Houses
- pH range: 5.5 to 6.9
- Technology: Calcite media with backwash
- Flow rate: 7 GPM
- Warranty: 10 years on the tank, 5 years on the valves
- Price: $1,007.00
- It’s the most affordable device on our list
- Its 5.5 to 6.9 pH range is quite decent
- Its system head is easily plugged in and out
- 7 GPM flow rate is suitable only for small households
- It doesn’t come with a BlueTooth app that allows you to control the system from afar
- The 5-year warranty on valves is not impressive when compared to other devices on our list
If you have a small house with minimal water needs of < 7 gallons per minute, then you should look no further than the Fleck 2510SXT pH Neutralizer which neutralizes water at 5.5 to 6.9, and is one of the budget-friendly options on the market.
Like all the acid neutralizers in this article, its technology is based on calcite media that adds calcium carbonate to the water as the acidic water passes through, dissolving the calcium molecules inside it. As a result, you get neutral water that’s not a corrosive risk to your plumbing and appliances.
The Fleck 2510SXT has an easily controllable system head with a straightforward design. However, similarly to the APEC WTS-Calcite-15, this system doesn’t connect to a BlueTooth app, so you manually have to adjust the backwash cycles and monitor the neutralizing process.
That said, the system head of the Fleck 2510SXT pH Neutralizer has an advantage over the other acid neutralizers we mentioned. You can easily plug it in and out without needing a wrench or a screwdriver, so when it’s time to check the condition of the calcite media or to replace it, you should have no trouble whatsoever.
One thing other customers and we like about this system is that the manufacturer helps you find a plumber through their local installation package. This offer saves you the trouble of looking for a capable plumber in your area, and also saves you money on the installation cost.
A downside of the Fleck 2510SXT pH Neutralizer is that its 7 GPM flow rate is only suitable for small households that have 1 to 3 bathrooms. Another downside is that the manufacturer offers only ten years of warranty on the tank and five years on the valve. But considering that it’s quite a simple, efficient, and affordable system, we find that these drawbacks don’t take away from its appeal.
What is Acidic Water?
Acidic water is water with pH lower than 7. However, since pH levels between 6.5 and 8.5 in water are considered to be no risk by the EPA, the term acidic water mostly refers to water with a pH lower than 6.5.
Tap water across the United States is regulated and monitored by municipal authorities, governing bodies like the EPA, and water suppliers. So, tap water rarely presents a cause for alarm in terms of its pH.
However, that’s not the case for well water. Since private wells draw water from underground water reservoirs, they can have very acidic water due to many natural causes such as acidic rain, which makes its way to underground sources through surface water runoff. In addition to acidic rain, rock formations that naturally contain acid, soil microbes, and even the roots of some trees, like pines, can contribute to the acidity of groundwater.
Of course, the improper handling of industrial waste, especially around chemical plants, mining sites, and landfills also plays a role. Lastly, we should also note that reverse osmosis systems can make the water acidic since it removes the minerals that gives water its alkalinity.
Such acidic water can easily corrode pipes and lead to greenish or bluish stains on appliances with which it comes into contact. This is why most people prefer to neutralize the acid levels of their water supply.
Health Concerns Associated With Acidic Water
The corrosion of pipes represents a health problem and a problem for the piping system. Especially if heavy metal components, like lead, copper, or cadmium, are in your pipes, solders, and fixtures, the corrosive character of the acidic water will cause them to dissolve and leach into drinking water. As a result, acidic water might become a serious threat to our health.
Water that has high acidity can lead to heavy metal toxicity with symptoms including:
- Respiratory problems
Additionally, high acid content and exposure to heavy metals in water can also lead to bone disease. Although water with a pH range of 5 to 6.5 is a rarer threat to teeth health than water with a pH lower than 5, long-term consumption might still erode your teeth’s enamel and expose it to further problems like bone decay.
So, for private well owners, it’s best practice to keep an eye on the pH levels of their well water and take necessary measures if need be.
How to Measure pH Levels of Water
Luckily, measuring the pH levels of water is relatively easy. There are 3 methods we recommend to all well owners:
- Digital pH meter: A digital pH meter provides the easiest and most accurate way of measuring the pH of your water. Just attach the device to a water container, press its calibration button, and wait for it to give you a stable reading.
- pH test strips: pH test strips are a more affordable alternative to digital meters. Just by dipping a strip into a glass of water and waiting for 15 seconds, you’ll learn the pH levels of your water supply.
- Litmus paper: The litmus paper is the most affordable and traditional way of testing water for pH. If the paper turns blue once you dip it into the water, it means that you have alkaline water. If it turns red, on the other hand, it means that you have acidic water.
We should note that only the digital pH meter will give you an exact reading of the pH level of water. pH test strips and the Litmus paper can only provide a range.
If the tests show that your water has a pH level below 6.5, it means that it’s time to look for solutions like an efficient acid-neutralizing system.
How Do Acid Neutralizers Work?
Acid neutralizers work like water-softening devices in reverse. While water softeners remove calcium and magnesium from water to decrease its hardness, acid neutralizers add these minerals to water through their calcite media to raise their alkalinity.
The calcite media of acid-neutralizing systems are made of naturally-occurring calcium sources like white marble. Some systems designed to handle lower pH levels (to be precise, lower than 5.5), like the APEC WTS-Calcite-15 on our list, also utilize materials that contain magnesium carbonate or magnesium oxide.
Similarly to water softening devices, contaminants might build up, and too much acid might solidify the calcite resin inside the neutralizer tank. To that end, most acid-neutralizing devices come with pre-programmed backwash cycles that clean the calcite media once every one or two weeks, depending on the acidity level of the water.
Most calcite media on the market need to be replaced once or twice a year. You can identify the time for replacement when the efficiency of the acid-neutralizing system decreases by a decrease in flow rate and an increase in the acidity of the water coming out of your faucets.
However, we should note that calcium and magnesium are minerals that add hardness to water. So, you might need to combine your acid neutralizer with a good water-softening system for optimum results.
What to Look For When Buying an Acid Neutralizer
The first and most important thing to check when on the market for an acid-neutralizing device is compatibility with the pH levels of your untreated water. As our list proves, not all acid neutralizers can handle all acidity levels.
That said, compatibility is not the only thing you should look for. Different devices come with different flow rate options, so it’s important to choose a device with high flow rate.
Of course, the warranty and price of any consumer item are also important factors when making any purchase. When it comes to water treatment products, the warranty is especially important because these are complicated and expensive devices, so it’s only natural to want the manufacturer to respond promptly to any problem the device might have.
In that sense, we can say that the lifetime warranty of the SpringWell Calcite pH Neutralizer inspires trust and assurance.