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Types of Acid Neutralizers
And figuring out the right acid neutralizer for your situation is important. There are two different types of neutralizers: backwashing (or downflow) and non-backwashing (or upflow). There are also two different styles of acid neutralizers (gravel bed and Vortech).
Sizing Your Acid Neutralizers
After finding the right type and style acid neutralizer that fits your needs, you'll need to size your neutralizer based on your home and situation. Your water usage is the biggest factor for finding the right size neutralizer.
The easiest “rule of thumb” way to size your tank is the number of bathrooms in your home.
- 1-2 Bathrooms: 1.0 cubic foot acid neutralizer
- 1-2 Bathrooms 1.5 cubic foot acid neutralizer
- 2-3 Bathrooms - 2.0 cubic foot acid neutralizer
- 2-4 Bathrooms - 2.5 cubic foot acid neutralizer
- 2-5 Bathrooms - 3.5 cubic foot acid neutralizer
Q. How does an acid neutralizer work?
A. Water flows through your tank and becomes neutral by making contact with the calcite media. The calcite “media” slowly dissolves into your water, raising your ph level to neutral.
Q. What filter media does an acid neutralizer use?
A. The type of filter media you’ll use in your pH neutralizer depends on your water’s pH and the size of your water neutralizer. Generally, pH’s between 5.6 and 6.7 just need plain calcite. If the pH of your water is below 5.5, you’ll need to add FloMag to your neutralizer as well.
Q. How long does the filter media in acid neutralizers last?
A. Properly sized neutralizers require maintenance every 12-18 months depending upon water usage
All acid neutralizers should be cleaned and refilled with new calcite every 5 years. This is in addition to regular maintenance.
Q. What's the best water/acid neutralizer for well water?
A. Usually a Non-Backwashing Clack 2.5 Cubic Foot (13x54) Vortech Tank Acid Neutralizer With Calcite is best for acid neutralizer well water if you don’t have iron in your water. If you do have iron or heavy sediment in your water, you’ll need an iron filter and/or a sediment filter.
Q. Backwashing and non-backwashing? What are they and what's the difference between the two?
A. Backwashing is the process of removing sediment and cleaning your acid neutralizer media. During backwash, the water flow is reversed and flows down the distributor tube and through the media. The water flowing through the media is lifting and expanding the calcite, helping it stay clean and last longer. The backwashing cycle discharges 100+ gallons of water in total.
Non-backwashing acid neutralizers don't go through the backwashing process.
Q. In what situations do you recommend backwashing or non-backwashing acid neutralizer recommended?
A. Usually, a backwashing acid neutralizer is only recommended if your water supply contains iron or heavy sediment. You want to ensure the bed does not become fouled with either the iron or the sediment.
If you have acid water and no iron, we recommend our Vortech tank upflow acid neutralizers. The Vortech upflow acid neutralizer move the water from the bottom of the tank up through the media bed in a circular motion to the top of the tank just like a backwash cycle. Vortech tanks help avoid channeling of the media bed and you get excellent contact time with the media.
The upflow neutralizer does not waste water, does not need electric, does not need a discharge drain, future parts replacement are extremely minimal, and it's very easy to install.
We recommend the backwashing acid neutralizer for water supplies that contain iron levels above 0.3 parts per million the Fleck 700SXT is our best selling backwashing acid neutralizer due to the reliability and versatility of the 7000 valve.
We recommend never installing a unit smaller than 1.5 cubic foot. Although we do sell 1.0 cubic foot systems, 95% of the time they're too small for most households.
The key to an acid neutralizer is contact time of the water coming in contact with the filter media. The larger the media surface, the greater the contact time - especially during peak water usage like showers and washing laundry.
Q. What are the differences between a gravel bedded neutralizer and a Vortech neutralizer?
A. There are a couple key differences between Vortech tanks and a gravel bedded tanks.
Gravel bedded tanks have small distributor baskets at the bottom, surrounded by gravel and can slow down your flow rate. With a Vortech plate in the bottom of your tank, it covers the entire diameter of the tank, has slits cut throughout the plate, water comes in through the upflow inlet, flows down through the center distributor tube, and up through the Vortech plate in a circular motion.
Vortech tanks eliminate the problems of gravel bedded tanks like channeling or calcification of the filter media. They also give you much better flow rates than gravel bedded tanks.
Q. What are the different flow rates of each acid neutralizer?
A. Flow rates vary between the different sized neutralizers. Larger tanks have a larger flow rate. The different sized tanks with their flow rates are:
- 1.0 Cubic Foot Neutralizer - 7 GPM
- 1.5 Cubic Foot Neutralizer - 10 GPM
- 2.0 Cubic Foot Neutralizer - 12 GPM
- 2.5 Cubic Foot Neutralizer - 15 GPM
- 3.0 Cubic Foot Neutralizer - 17 GPM
Q. How often do you need to refill the filter media in your neutralizer?
A. Typically you’ll need to refill the filter media in your neutralizer once a year, depending on your water usage and the size or your neutralizer. Here are our general guidelines:
- Media in 1.5 cubic foot neutralizers' media needs to be replaced every 6 - 12 months.
- Media in 2.0 cubic foot neutralizers' media needs to be replaced every 12 - 18 months.
- Media in 2.5 cubic foot neutralizers' media needs to be replaced every 18 - 24 months.
The bigger your neutralizer, the more media it holds and the longer that media lasts. Larger neutralizers also have the benefit of giving your water more contact time with the media. Meaning larger neutralizers can handle lower pH's compared to smaller neutralizer tanks.
Q. How often should you backwash a water/acid neutralizer (for downflow tanks)?
A. Typically once per week. But it really depends on the acidity and sediment in your water. If your waters between 6.0 and 6.9 with little to no sediment in it, you'll typically need to backwash one day a week; two at the most. But if your water supply has light to heavy sediment in it and/or it has a lower pH than 6.0, you'll need to backwash the neutralizer at least every other day if not more.
There aren't hard and fast rules. Again, it depends on how much water your household uses; and the size of your neutralizer. On average, downflow acid neutralizers should be backwashed once every three to four days to make sure the filter media isn’t channeling or solidifying.
Q. What types of filter media should you use for your pH?
A. If the pH level of your water is between 6.0 – 6.9, you only need calcite in your neutralizer. For pH levels of your water between 5.5 - 6.0, you’ll need a 2.5 acid neutralizer with calcite. And for pH levels below 5.5, you’ll need a 2.5 acid neutralizer with a FloMag (Corosex) and calcite mixture.
Q. What pH range do you recommend for each acid neutralizer?
A. The recommended ranges are the same for each acid neutralizer. It's recommended that neutralizer that's using plain calcite as the filter media can handle pH's from 6.0 through 6.9. A neutralizer that's using a calcite/corsex (FloMag) blend can handle pH ranges from 5.0 through 6.0.
Q. What maintenance is required for neutralizers?
A. It depends on the type and style of pH neutralizer you have. The maintenance requirements are as follows:
Backwashing neutralizers generally require backwashing (which uses around 100 gallons of water) every couple of days - depending upon water condition. You will need to add calcite media every 6-18 months depending on water usage, ph level, number of people in your home and the size of your tank.
Non-Backwashing neutralizers usually requires very little maintenance. You will need to add calcite media every 6 months to 18 months depending on water usage, ph level, number of people in your home and the size of your tank.
Q. Are neutralizers difficult to install?
A. Not at all - even if you're a beginner. From start to finish, installation of your entire acid neutralizer should take around 1/2-hour to 1 hour. If you're handy, it'll be a little quicker. Plus, we have on-staff support with over 20 years experience. You can reach us at (800)-460-5810 or email@example.com and we'll be happy to walk you through the installation if needed.
We're even in the process of making installation videos to show you the step-by-step installation process.
Q. How much time does it take to install an acid neutralizer?
A. Even for our most mechanically-challenged customer can do this., upflow (non-backwashing) acid neutralizers are fairly easy to install. Downflow (backwashing) neutralizers take a little more work, but it can still be done by a beginner.
On average, installations can take from 1- 2 hours to complete for upflow pH neutralizers and 2 - 3 hours for downflow neutralizers. Plus, we have on-staff support with over 20 years experience. You can reach us at (800) 460-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to walk you through the installation if needed.
Q. Will the hardness level in my water increase once the acid neutralizer is installed.
Yes it will increase on average 4-6 grains of hardness per gallon of water. These are results we have gathered from retesting water within our service area for the past 17 years.
Q. What's the warranty on your acid neutralizers?
A. In short, the control head has a five (5) year manufacturer warranty. The tanks come with a ten (10) year manufacturer warranty.
Acid neutralizer tank warranty:
The fiberglass, polyglass or composite mineral tanks used in the assembly of this unit are warrantied to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for a period of ten (10) years on 6" - 13" size tanks, and five (5) years on 14" and larger size tanks used for softener/filtration applications, subject to the original manufacturer’s conditions and/or the conditions shown below. Warranty does not cover sandblasting of tank caused by faulty distribution systems, fractures caused by external impact and exposure to vacuum.
Control head warranty:
The Fleck and Clack control valves (if used in the assembly of the unit) is warrantied to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for a period of five (5) years subject to the original manufacturer’s conditions and/or the additional conditions shown below.