The Essential Guide to Buying an Acid Neutralizer

When your household water's pH falls below 7, it becomes acidic. This could cause issues ranging from cosmetic staining to serious health concerns due to the potential leaching of harmful metals into your drinking water. Acid neutralizers can offer an effective solution to counteract these problems. This comprehensive guide will arm you with crucial knowledge and factors to consider when purchasing an acid neutralizer.

Identifying Your Needs

Before diving into buying an acid neutralizer, it's essential to identify your needs. This process involves testing your water's pH level to confirm its acidity. Understanding the exact level of acidity can guide you towards the most suitable neutralizing system. Acidic water will have a pH of 6.9 or below, and its treatment would differ significantly based on its specific pH. For a deeper dive into understanding acidity levels and neutralization, check out our Complete Guide to Acid Neutralizers.

Understanding Your Treatment Options

There are two primary ways to treat acidic water - acid neutralizers and chemical feed systems. Acid neutralizers work by dissolving a filter media into the water, which raises its pH, neutralizing the acidity. On the other hand, chemical feed systems are designed to treat multiple water issues simultaneously. While the chemical systems offer certain benefits, they require monthly maintenance and are a hassle to deal with. For this reason we do not advise using chemical systems for a residential household.

Choosing the Right Acid Neutralizer

Acid neutralizers come in two primary forms - backwashing and non-backwashing types.

Downflow Backwashing Acid NeutralizersUpflow Non-Backwashing Acid Neutralizers

  • Backwashing types have a mechanism for removing sediment and cleaning the neutralizer media, making them more suited for water containing iron. While better for more acidic water, they discharge anywhere between 100-150 gallons of water during the backwashing process, which can be wasteful for households with less acidic water.
  • Non-backwashing types are simpler and more efficient, requiring no electricity or backwash drain. These systems are often preferred when dealing with slightly acidic water (closer to a pH of 7) as there is no backwashing process, saving on large amounts of potentially wasted water.

Additionally, neutralizers also come in different styles - traditional gravel bed and the more recent Vortech. Gravel-bedded tanks are more difficult to service and clean, along with having lower flow rates and efficiency. On the other hand, Vortech tanks are more reliable, offer better flow rates, less water usage, and are easier to clean and service. Vortech tanks also eliminate channeling of the media bed and solidification. Our Collection of Acid Neutralizers offers a variety of options for you to choose from, including both traditional gravel bed and Vortech styles, although we typically highly recommend the Vortech options.

Sizing Your Acid Neutralizer

Choosing the correct size for your neutralizer primarily depends on your home's pH and water usage. This can be estimated based on the number of people in your home. The easiest “rule of thumb” way to size your tank by the pH of the water in your household.

  • If the pH is 6.0 and above, use a 1.5 cubic foot acid neutralizer.
  • If the pH is 5.5 and above, use a 2.0 or 2.5 cubic foot acid neutralizer.
  • If the pH is between 4.0 and 5.4, use a 2.5 or 3.5 cubic foot acid neutralizer.

The correct sizing ensures that the neutralizer performs optimally without unnecessary waste.

Selecting the Correct Filter Media

The choice of filter media depends heavily on your water's pH. For slightly acidic water, plain calcite is a popular choice. However, for more extreme acidity (pH below 5.5), it's advisable to use a FloMag and calcite mixture.

Understanding Maintenance Requirements

Acid neutralizers, while mostly efficient, do require some maintenance. This usually involves adding more calcite to your tank approximately once a year, depending on your water's pH and usage.


Neutralizing the acidity of your water is crucial for your home's plumbing health and your family's well-being. Understanding the factors that influence the purchase of an acid neutralizer will help ensure you make an informed decision.

In our upcoming articles, we'll delve deeper into what to consider when buying acid neutralizers, compare where to buy them, evaluate their quality, and share tips for online purchasing. Stay tuned to equip yourself with comprehensive knowledge about acid neutralizers.

We're Here To Help

If you have any questions on which acid neutralizer you should purchase, we're here to help, contact us at 800-460-5810 or email us at Our experts are ready to help you make the right call with fixing your household water problems today!

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