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About Acid Neutralizers

Q. What size Acid Neutralizer should I get?

A. If you have 1 bathroom and there are 1 or 2 people in the home, the 1.0 cubic foot calcite neutralizer models (which come with 110 lbs of calcite media) are the best.

For most homes with over 1 bathroom up to 3 bathrooms and 1 to 4 people in the home, 1.5 cubic foot model systems are best. If you have a larger home or large family and use a lot of water you can get the 2.5 cubic foot model.

One important consideration is the backwash flow rate. Your well only needs to flow at 5 gallons per minute to backwash the 1.0 and 1.5 cubic foot models, where as your well must produce 10 gallons a minute at least, in order the 2.5 cubic foot model to work.

Q. What if I don't know my well's flow rate?

A. It is very easy to find out! Click here for easy steps to measuring your well flow rate in gallons per minute.

Q. What maintenance is required for an Acid Neutralizer?

A. There is very little maintenance required with Acid Neutralizers. A quick once per year refill of the Acid Neutralizer tank with calcite is all that is usually required. Periodically, and depending on raw water pH and the amount of water used, additional mineral is easily added to the filter tank. This is typically once a year for the average home.

In some cases, the calcite or calcite-corosex blend is added twice a year depending on the pH and amount of water that is used through the neutralizer filter. Because our acid neutralizers have a top fill plug and a bypass valve it easy to add the mineral.

Just put the neutralizer on bypass, release the pressure by manually backwashing the neutralizer filter and unscrew the top plug using any medium sized channel lock pliers or crescent wrench (available at any hardware store).

Stick a tape measure into the fill plug hole and determine if the calcite mineral is less than 2/3rds full. If it is, simply add more calcite until the neutralizer tank is 2/3rds full again. Next, re-install the fill plug and backwash the acid neutralizer. This entire process takes about 20 minutes.

Q. Does the Acid Neutralizer system come with the media, or do I need to order the calcite separately?

A. Yes, the acid neutralizer systems come with the calcite.  It is included in the price. You can get a discount upon check out if you want to order additional calcite or calcite corosex blend, but you won't need it for six to twelve months at least.

Q. How much does it cost to ship the calcite neutralizer to me?

A. Nothing, it is included in the price.

Q.I have heard that the calcite (or calcite-blend) neutralizers will make my water hard, and then I will need a water softener. Is this true?

A. The calcite and calcite-blend neutralizers work by adding calcium to the water and it will increase the calcium hardness of the water, making the water ‘harder'. However, most acidic well water is soft to begin with, and after passing through the neutralizer, will be harder, but still not hard enough to warrant a water softener.

Generally, if the well water is less than 170 mg/L or 10 grains per gallon, most customers can avoid having to use a water softener. If your water is 3 grains/gallon, to begin with, after the neutralizer it might be 5 to 7 grains per gallon, as the neutralizers will add 3 – 4 grains per gallon on average.

You can always add a water softener later if you find you want one, but we generally do not recommend a water softener be installed. If you are having white spotting on fixtures and you want a water softener, you could install them both at the same time, but it is better if you wait for 3 – 6 months to give the neutralizer a chance to stop the copper corrosion before adding the water softener.

I do not want the water hardness to be altered at all, what can I do?

In that case we recommend a Soda Ash Acid Neutralizer.  This system injects a soda ash solution (similar to baking soda) and will not raise the pH at all.

Q. Is there a pressure loss through the system?

A. Properly sized, the acid neutralizer system produces a very low-pressure drop at service flow rates, usually around 3 to 5 psi and is not noticeable. At the peak flow rate, or the absolute maximum flow rate the control valve can allow, there would be a pressure drop of 15 to 20 psi.

However, for most typical homes with 1 to 3 bathrooms and wells with flow rates of 10 – 20 gallons per minute, and the average flow rate of 8 gallons per minute, (a shower running, washing machine filling, or toilet flushing at the same time for example) the pressure drop is hardly noticeable at around 3 – 5 psi.

However if you have a very large home with 4 or more bathrooms, and a larger family, or commercial application with special requirements, we have other larger sizes available.  Please contact our office for more details.

Q. How do acid neutralizer filters work?

A. Acidic neutralizers slowly dissolve the calcium and/or magnesium media on contact as the water flows through the filter, raising the pH of the water and increasing the alkalinity. This eliminates the effects of corrosive water, eliminating the effect of acid well water, and can help to prevent corrosion of piping and fixtures.

They contain either 100% calcite, or a blend of calcite and Flomag (also sold under the brand name Corosex). Calcite is a natural calcium mineral that is mined for this purpose.

Corosex or Flomag is a trade name that is a natural mineral product which contains magnesium oxide. Also read our guide How to Treat Acid Well Water.

Q. Do you offer manual backwash neutralizers? I don't it want to backwash automatically, I want to do it myself manually.

A. Yes, we do manual non-electric backwash acid neutralizers.  We have them in both standard calcite for pH 5.0 to 6.0, and calcite-blend containing Corosex for pH below 5.0. However, one problem with the manual backwash neutralizers can be that the neutralizers end up being backwashed very infrequently.

We often hear from customers who set up or purchased manual backwash neutralizers over the years, and then discovered the filter media had partially solidified. The calcite and particularly the calcite-corosex blend neutralizer media can start to form solid blocks and become partially solid if they are not backwashed at least once every two weeks. Generally, it is better to get an automatic control but for many people off-the-grid, or those who do not have electrical power nearby the manual backwash Fleck 2510 neutralizers are a good option.

Q. I have a very small space the neutralizer needs to go in and I do not have the height required. Do you offer smaller tanks that have a lower height?

A. Yes. Please contact our office with your height requirements.

Q. Why not use an up-flow neutralizer, which does not have a backwash control valve?

A. We have these too and they are lower in price than standard backwash neutralizers, however for most residential well water systems, a backwashing type works better. Many people call us regularly with problems they are having with the upflow neutralizers.

The biggest problem is channeling where the water flows up the side of the tank and the media does not dissolve properly and forms balls or solid blocks of calcite or corosex inside the tank. It is better to use a backwash control because the acid neutralizer media is periodically flushed with water (usually once every one or two weeks) which keeps the media in good shape and prevents channeling.

Q. I notice in your diagram that you show the neutralizer after the pressure tank. Why can't I install the neutralizer filter before the pressure tank?

A. All backwashing water filter systems (such as iron filters, softeners, any type of backwash system) must be after the pressure tank because when the backwashing filter goes into a backwash, say at 2am on a given night, there must be pressurized water entering the inlet to the sediment filter in order for it to backwash properly.

If the pressure tank were after the water system, and the filter system went into a backwash, the well would not turn on because there is a check valve before the pressure tank to prevent the water from being discharged back into the well.  The pressure switch would not register that the pressure had dropped and the pump must turn on.

If the check valve was down the well, or on the other side of the sediment filter, say on the inlet to sediment, when the sediment filter went into a backwash, the water would enter the sediment filter through the outlet on the sediment, not the inlet, causing it not to backwash and causing other problems.

The pressure tanks have the in and out pipe (typically one pipe on captive-air pressure tank) on the direct bottom of the pressure tank, so usually no sediment will build-up in the tank. But in any case, there is no way to use a backwashing filter before the pressure tank. Also, say you wanted to use a cartridge filter instead of a backwashing filter system, and you placed a cartridge type filter before the pressure tank.

After awhile if this filter became plugged up, your well would not be able to shut off properly because the pressure on the inlet side of the filter from the well is much higher than the pressure tank pressure. This will cause the pressure switch to rapidly turn on and off and eventually cause damage to the well pump motor.

Generally it is NOT a good idea to put any type of flow restriction such as a filter cartridge or backwash filter before your pressure tank and it is not necessary in any case because modern pressure tanks are lined with a special coating to prevent corrosion.

Q. Regarding the drain line for the backwash, can I run that with a garden hose and use it to irrigate my garden?

A. Yes, the backwash line can be run with a garden hose. In some areas local codes prohibit the re-use of backwash water from filter systems or water softeners.

Q. Can I run the drain line up and over the top of the acid neutralizer filter? My drain is in on the ceiling above the where I want to install it.

A. Yes, it is no problem to run the drain line up several feet higher than the top of the acid neutralizer tank because of the neutralizer filter backwashes under line pressure from your pressure tank and well pump system.

Q. Do you ship to Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, or internationally?

A. Yes, for an additional charge but we do ship regularly all over Canada, Alaska and many parts of the world at a discount over the actual freight cost. Please email us with your postal code and we will quickly give you the cost.

Q. Is Corosex different than calcite?

A. Yes, it is a much more powerful agent than calcite. On a per weight basis, magnesium oxide (sold under trade name Corosex or Flo-Mag, can neutralize five times more acidity than can calcium carbonate. Unlike calcite, which will never raise the pH above 7.0, Corosex (also called Flomag, another brand) is powerful to the point where it can over-correct and raise your pH too high- which is why it is used in small amounts. Getting your pH anywhere in the range of 7.0 to 7.8 or so is ideal.

Q. Does Corosex or FloMag cost more than calcite, and does it last as long?

A. It does indeed cost more than calcite. It tends to last about as long as calcite, but as you’re using less in the system, it may sometimes need replenishing a little sooner than the calcite. We include a free pH test kit so you can monitor the effectiveness of the system over time, and use that as a basis to determine whether you need to add more corosex or not.

Q. What is pressure drop for these neutralizers?

A. It’s pretty minimal- around 3 to 5 PSI for the Fleck 7000 1.5 CF system.

Q. Do you offer large commercial size of pH neutralizers?

A. Yes. We have sizes up to 1200 lbs or 12 cubic foot, so contact us if you need a quote for a commercial or other special need.

Read our report: “How to Treat Acid Well Water” using calcite neutralizers
Read our report: “How to Treat Copper Pipe Corrosion”
See our page on Acid Well Water and Low pH

  • Clean Water Systems & Stores, Inc., Water Treatment Equipment,Service & Supplies, Santa Cruz, CA

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