Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "How do I know if my water is acidic?"
A. The telltale signs of acidic water (if you have copper pipe) are blue or green stains in the bottom of your sink or tub. If these appear or if you suspect you have acidic water, then a simple pH test will tell you whether your water is acidic or not.
Q. "How do I test for pH in my water?"
A. You can get a pH test kit at most any pool supply store. If your water has a pH of less then 7 then it is considered acidic and should be treated to raise it to 7 or above. We highly recommend any pH test be done on site at the water source. Driving a sample of water just 10 minutes away can cause a pH test to be inaccurate.
Q. "How do these systems increase the pH level?"
A. These systems operate by passing the acidic water through either the Calcite or Corosex minerals which are dissolved into the water to balance or increase the pH level.
Q. "Why does the acid neutralizer increase hardness?"
A. A calcite system uses crushed and screened white marble limestone which is dissolved in the water to neutralize acidic water. The dissolved limestone in the water is responsible for the increase in hardness. A Corosex system uses reactive Magnesium Oxide which, like calcite, is dissolved in the water.
Q. "My pH is 6.8 which is almost 7 (neutral). Do I really need to be concerned about correcting the pH or is it livable?"
A. Any pH level below 7 will cause your copper pipes to be eaten up over time. If this problem is ignored then you can expect to re-pipe your house in approximately 10-20 years.
Q. "What is Calcite and Corosex?"
A. Calcite and Corosex are both mineral substances that are found commonly in nature. Calcite is also known as food grade Limestone, and Corosex is a food grade magnesium oxide .
Q. "My PH is 6.4. How do I know if I need a Calcite or a Calcite/Corosex system?"
A. In most cases only Calcite needs to be used for pH balances between 5.9 and 6.9. However, if you are using just Calcite and find your pH is still falling below 7 then you can always add Corosex (magnesium oxide) to your system.
Q. "How much hardness will be added to my water if I install an Acid Neutralizer?"
A. There is no way to know exactly how much hardness will be added to your system by adding an Acid Neutralizer. The Calcite and the Corosex will add hardness but there are too many variable minerals and elements that can be in each different water supply to know for sure or even estimate how much hardness will be added.
Q. "Do we need both a pre-filter and a post filter?"
A. We recommend a 1" sediment filter be installed before the system to filter any sediment or turbidity out of the incoming water because upflow systems are not able to be back-washed. This means any sediment that enters the tank will stay in the bottom of the tank since it is heavier than the calcite or corosex media. This will not be a problem with very little sediment but can be a problem if there are a lot of particles entering the tank. The only way to then clean out the sediment will be to turn off the bypass valves, disassemble the tank head so the entire contents of the tank can be emptied and the tank cleaned out. The gravel and media (calcite and/or corosex) will then need to be put back in and the tank reassembled. We also recommend the same type of filter be used as a post-filter to catch any possible small chunks of undissolved calcite or corosex that may slip through the system. The filter will catch them and they will eventually be dissolved by the water flowing through the filter.
Q. "Does an up-flow acid neutralizer raise a low pH problem better than a down-flow backwash type acid neutralizer?"
A. An up-flow acid neutralizer does not raise the pH better or worse than a down-flow backwash type acid neutralizer. Contact time with the the minerals (Calcite or Corosex) is the all important factor. Contact time is determined by the gallons per minute flowing through the acid neutralizer.
Q. "If I install an Acid Neutralizer will I also need to install a Water Softener?"
A. We suggest you first take care of the low pH problem and find out how the water feels to you after the Acid Neutralizer is installed for a period of time, then decide if you need a water softener.
Q. "My water pH is 6.2 but the hardness is 5 grains per gallon. I was told I need a water softener not an acid neutralizer. Is this true?"
A. No. Any time your pH is lower than 7 which is neutral, then you need to correct the pH. Adding a water softener to your system without first adding an Acid Neutralizer to correct your low pH problem could cause your water to be even more soft and aggressive than it is already.
Q. "How much does a cubic foot of calcite weigh?"
A. Between 90 to 100 pounds.
Q. "Ok, I tested my water and it has a pH of less then 5.5 what can I do?"
A. There are other methods that must be considered such as a chemical metering pump to feed a liquid solution of soda ash or sodium hydroxide into the water system. It would be best to contact a local water treatment company for this type of system. Due to liability potential (and keeping our customer satisfaction above 99%) we do not offer systems for a pH of less than 5.5.
Q. "Why don't you also offer a liquid feed type system?"
A. Our system is virtually foolproof. A liquid feed system is a much more complex system and should be installed by a professional. There is much more that can go wrong with that type of system. It boils down to liability.
Q. "What brand is the system that you sell?"
A. We put this system together using top quality components from different manufacturers. It's the only way, we believe, we can offer the best at this price. No advertising overhead to pay for.
Q. "How often will I have to add neutralizing media?"
A. It depends on how acidic your water is, and the amount of water that you use. It's best to re-check your pH level once a month. A low priced pool pH test kit is usually all that you will need. When the pH level starts to drop then it's time to add media. Some customers don't have to add any media for a few years and some need to add in a few months. When your neutralizer starts to not neutralize as much, it's probably time to add media. Click here when ready to order some neutralizing media.
Q. "Are the two systems that you offer physically the same?"
A. Yes, the only difference between the two systems is the composition of the media.
Q. "How easy is it to install an acid neutralizer?"
A. For a handy person generally it isn't too hard. You do need access to a drain and you should place the acid neutralizer in a place near your main water line.
Q. "What are the negatives of using an automatic backwash system?"
A. If you purchase an automatic system it will backwash more than needed and will use (waste) a significant additional amount of media. This is the reason that we do not feature them. They are convenient but we do want our customers to know that automatic backwash neutralizers use a lot more media.
Q. "How do I adjust the neutralizer for my specific pH level?"
A. One of the nice features of the way they work is that there is no adjustment necessary. Many times one's water might have a pH of 5.8, and a few days later it might be 6.5. That is one of the reasons we refuse to sell metered systems. On our units, the more aggressive the water is, the more calcite/Coresex will be dissolved by the water.
Q. "What is the recommended flow rate for your acid neutralizer?"
A. For effective usage we recommend a flow rate of not more than 5 gpm. (The system includes a 5gpm flow regulator.) If you need more than 5 gpm, we recommend purchasing multiple units. Do not take out the 5-gallon per minute regulator. The 5gpm regulator is in the system for 2 reasons. The first is to ensure that the incoming water has enough "contact" time with the media. The second reason is for backwashing. If the neutralizer is back washed at a higher rate than 5gpm flow rate, it is possible it can cause damage to the distributor screen, particularly if there is not a filter before the acid neutralizer unit. Taking the 5gpm flow control out can create a "sandblasting" effect on the internals of the tank, causing damage to the distributor and possibly the tank. This neutralizer should last at least ten years (except you'll need to replenish the media) unless you put it in the sun, have it in freezing conditions or do not use the 5gpm flow restrictor. If you need more than 5 gpm, then you'll need to buy an additional unit(s) and place them side-by-side. If you take out the restrictor, you will not achieve what this unit is designed for. Any pH below 7 can cause problems to your copper pipes.
Q. "My copper piping is thin in places, and I would like to know the feasibility of moderately coating the inside of my copper piping with calcium to protect and strengthen the problem on a long-term basis?"
A. Installing an acid neutralizer will not help repair or coat your piping. All that you can hope to gain from an acid neutralizer (any brand), is that it will slow down or stop acidic water from causing any further damage to your copper pipes. Possibly an acid neutralizer can also stop your water from being toxic with too much copper residue. We cannot guarantee any results because water quality, gases, electrolysis, etc. is very complex, and even with thousands of dollars worth of testing, one cannot always be sure of the results with water treatment. If you have acidic water with copper, you must improve the condition of your water, and in most cases a quality acid neutralizer will help.
Q. "What is the total height from the floor to the control inlets/outlets?"
A. Approximately 46 3/8" on both models (the only difference between the two models is the mixture/content of the media). View complete dimensions for these Acid Neutralizers here
Q. "Five gallons per minute doesn't seem like enough for my family. Can I increase the gallons per minute or not use your flow regulator?"
A. Our acid neutralizers work best at 5 gallons per minute or less. In order to best raise your pH the water has to have "contact" time with the media. That means a relatively low flow rate. You can install/purchase two (or more) units and place them next to each other to increase the flow rate but do not remove the 5 gallon per minute flow regulator as it is part of the design of these neutralizers. Most people learn to live with 5 gallons per minute but for some families (or if you have very low pressures) 5 gallons per minute is not an acceptable amount of flow.
Q. "If I buy the corosex/calcite combination model N225, which media will be used more (which will dissolve faster)?"
A. Corosex generally dissolves at about twice the rate of the calcite. The main purpose of the calcite in the model N225 is to prevent the corosex from clumping together. Your #225 comes with more calcite than corosex. Since corosex dissolves faster, when you reorder/install replacement media we suggest ordering/installing two parts corosex and one part calcite.
Q. "My water has a pH of over 9. Do you offer systems that can reduce my pH to near 7?"
A. Sorry but that type of system can be very complex (such as adding white vinegar by chemical feed, etc), and we prefer to not offer them as we believe that it is best for you to buy that type of complex system from a local water expert who would know more about local water quality issues.
Q. "I currently have an acid neutralizer that uses soda ash as the neutralizing media. Can I add your Model #N210 to my current system to raise my low pH to 7.0 or above?"
A. Soda ash is sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and acts very similar to calcite, calcium carbonate (CaCO3), in treating low pH water conditions. We sell calcite systems because we believe the calcium carbonate is better for you than drinking the sodium the sodium carbonate systems put into the water. If the sodium carbonate is not raising the pH high enough then the chances are the calcium carbonate may not have any better effect on your water. Every water situation has a different chemical make-up and we are unable to say for sure our system will help you in this case. Using the N225 Acid Neutralizer with a mixture of Calcium Carbonate and Corosex (magnesium oxide) may work better for your situation, but we cannot guarantee it will work for you. If you already have neutralizing equipment, sometimes it can be best to try different neutralizing medias. Or, we suggest you take your water in to a lab and have a chemist analyze your water condition and diagnose your water to determine what neutralizer media will work best for your particular water.
Q. "I am installing my Acid Neutralizer and added the Calcite into the tank. I then realized I forgot to add the gravel. Will I need to empty the Calcite out of the tank and start over?"
A. No, you will not need to empty out the Calcite from the tank. Just go ahead and add the 13-15 lbs. of gravel in on top of the Calcite. The gravel is heavier than the Calcite and Corosex and will eventually settle to the bottom of the tank anyway.
Q. "I was refilling and accidentally added Calcite to the wrong tube. I put it in the distribution tube. So now the water flow is greatly reduced. Is there anything I can do to fix this problem?"
A. To immediately fix this problem you would need to remove the entire contents of the tank and flush out the distribution tube. If you remove the contents of the tank, put it into some clean 5 gallon buckets. You can then reuse everything that is removed from the tank. It will not matter in which order you put it back into the tank. The heavier gravel will settle to the bottom of the tank. Once the distribution tube is cleaned out, you would then need to re-install everything just like when you first initially installed it. However, since the distribution tube is only 1" in diameter and 45 inches long, the calcite will eventually dissolve. It could be a few days or a week before it completely dissolves. The water flow will be reduced, so it really depends on how much flow reduction you are willing to put up with and for how long. You may be able to use a wet/dry vacuum if you can find an attachment that would slide down inside the distribution tube.