Conventional salt-based water softeners bring plenty of benefits to any modern home, but often with some serious drawbacks. If you want a hassle-free system that does not rely on bags of salt, you should pick the best citric acid water softener for your home.
This system works like traditional salt-based water softeners, except that they remove water hardness minerals by chelation. The result? Soft water ensures more enjoyable showers, more fulfilling washings and cleanups, and better overall health. You will never worry about harming the environment, either.
Choosing a citric acid water softener will be less of a headache if you learn the factors contributing to the top-tier product. Worry no more because we have three parameters for your consideration.
- Capacity: Although citric acid water softeners are more compact than conventional water-softening systems, the top-rated product should still remove as many hard water minerals as possible. Hence, if you see a 20,000-grain citric acid water softener and a 12,000-grain unit, you will have a better chance of addressing hard water with the former.
- Installation Requirements: Some citric acid water softeners are more complicated to install than others. Buyers should consider their DIY plumbing skills to determine if they can set up the entire system themselves or if it’s better to call a professional, which can drive up the cost.
- Certification: It is rare for a citric acid water softener to have an NSF/ANSI certification. If you find one, grab it because this certification guarantees quality and performance. It assures you that the product removes calcium carbonate and magnesium from the water. A good example is NuvoH2O’s citric acid water softeners with NSF 169 certification.
If you are interested, let us start with a review of some of the fascinating citric acid water softeners on the market today.
Table of Contents
List of 6 Top-Rated Citric Acid Water Softener Reviews
1. Nuvo H2O DPHB-A Water Softener System
The NuvoH2O DPHB-A Home Water Softener System is the perfect choice for anyone who needs a safe way to address hard water problems. This product has a unique chemical formulation that does not affect detergent action while also preventing limescale buildup.
At the core of this ingenious system is a citric acid chelation system that attracts and binds water hardness molecules. The technology prevents magnesium and calcium from binding with detergent surfactant molecules. The same capability makes the minerals unavailable to surfaces, leaving your pipes’ interior surface limescale-free.
Use the softened water for ensuring a more enjoyable bath, more fulfilling plants and lawn watering, and more effective washing and cleaning. You also get to protect your water fixtures and plumbing system while removing limescale buildup in these items.
With a service life equivalent to 20,000 gallons, this product makes for a cost-efficient water softener. Installing it is a breeze, giving you more savings from not hiring a plumber. Maintenance is also fret-free because there are no electrical components, no salt regeneration, and no backwashing to make you worry.
2. Eddy Electronic Water Softener Alternative
You might be surprised to see the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler in many citric water softener reviews. The brand is not marketing it as a citric acid water softener. Instead, it offers it as a simpler and more efficient alternative to salt softeners, which is what citric acid softeners are.
Given that a citric acid water softener’s primary purpose is to prevent limescale formation, this small electronic device does that, too. The only difference is that this device relies on electricity instead of citric acid to draw magnesium and calcium from surfaces.
Calcium, magnesium, and other hardness minerals will never stick to surfaces. This action safeguards your water and plumbing fixtures from limescale formation, extending their lifespan for several years. You can generate more savings by not purchasing water fixtures every few years or so.
Installation-wise, this product is one of the most straightforward devices. You only loop the coils around your water pipe and plug the unit into an electric outlet.
The top-quality part is that there is no effect on water flow. Water filtration systems often reduce water flow because of water passage through a semipermeable membrane. This product does not have barriers that can impede efficient water flow.
As expected, the only downside to this descaler is its dependence on electricity. Power outages can be a real concern unless you have an emergency power backup system.
3. Nuvo H2O DPMB-A Manor Water Softener
Are you tired of clogged water fixtures because of limescale buildup? It would be best if you consider buying the Nuvo H2O Manor Water Softener System. This product gives you all the benefits of a salt-based water softener without the hassle of maintenance, harmful environmental effects, and tedious regeneration. Oh, you will never worry about jacking up your electric consumption, either.
This citric acid water softener is perfect for households with at least four residents. It effectively prevents and removes calcium and magnesium deposits in your water fixtures. This citric acid water filter makes it easy for you to extend your plumbing fixtures’ lifespan while also giving you the benefits of conditioned water.
If you doubt its performance, you will be glad to learn that it has NSF certification. Independent testing, validation, and certification offer greater peace of mind than having the company perform its own tests.
Installing this citric acid water softener is never a problem because it already comes with the right tools. The easy-to-read installation guide also adds to its effortless addition to your plumbing fixture.
I admire this citric acid water softener’s 50,000-gallon filter capacity. On average, you would only have to replace the cartridge every six months, and less frequently if your family uses little water like mine.
4. Hansing Water Softener System Alternative
Suppose you are looking for a saltless water softener alternative. In that case, I recommend the Hansing Whole House Water Softener System Alternative. It looks and functions like conventional salt-based water softeners, but without ever using salt.
This product has a robust design, thanks to the use of premium-quality 304 stainless steel. This metal’s unique properties give it exceptional stability against temperature and pH fluctuations. It also resists corrosion, ensuring you do not get rusty debris in your water.
I am amazed at the product’s scale-inhibiting filter design. First, there is a pleated polypropylene filter that ensures optimum water flow. It resists clogging up to 7 times better than other systems. Second, a carbon block filters up to 95% of chlorine and further reduces limescale by as much as 98%.
The performance is evident in every glass you drink. The water is crystal clear, does not have a nasty odor, and is very pleasant to drink. You will also appreciate the softened water every time you take a shower, wash your clothes or dishes, or clean your car.
The company designed the filters to accommodate up to 280,000 grains, making it far better than even the leading salt-based water softener brand. I think it is the perfect choice for families living in the countryside that depend on well water.
5. Tier1 Essential Series Digital Water Softener
In general, citric acid water softeners are water conditioners. They do not remove calcium, magnesium, and other hardness minerals from the water. These products use different processes to prevent minerals from sticking to surfaces, mimicking the action of salt-based systems.
So, suppose you want a system that removes hardness minerals from your water. In that case, you should not get a citric acid water softener. A better solution is to get a salt-based system, such as the Tier1 Essential Series High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener.
This product features an advanced digital meter control valve that is more effective than the Fleck 5600SXT system. It is an on-demand system that counts down to the next regeneration cycle.
The controller also improves the system’s energy efficiency. It only operates as needed, unlike other products that draw electricity continuously.
I appreciate what the company did with the system’s connections. Having these components pre-installed shortens the time needed for installation. It also eliminates guesswork and the resulting frustration from not being able to put the whole system together.
6. PurRite Shower Filter & Water Softener
Hard water makes showering quite unpleasant. It becomes almost impossible to enjoy a nice lather and feel more refreshed afterward. Your hair may also be sticky and difficult to comb. If you are already tired of showering this way, you might want to add the PurRite Shower Filter to your showerhead.
This product is compact and easy to install on your showerhead. No fancy tools or extensive plumbing experience required.
Inside this compact device is a 15-stage filtration-purification system that does several things to your water. It removes all the bad stuff that can harden the water and make showering less enjoyable.
The same filtration mechanism also removes other contaminants like chlorine, heavy metals, plus odors. Its water contaminant removal capabilities are so phenomenal that the shower water is drinkable.
Second, it adds vitamin C to water. This is why I included this product in my citric acid water softener reviews. The good news is that vitamin C can make your skin and hair healthy. The system also increases water pH by retaining beneficial minerals, making it slightly alkaline. The combination of increased pH and vitamin C is terrific news for those who want a healthier way to have showers.
Citric Acid Water Softener Buying Guide
Buying a citric acid water softener should never be a problem for you because there are not that many products to choose from. While the idea of a water softener citric acid system is not new, very few manufacturers dare create such technologies.
The reason is quite simple. You need precise amounts of citric acid introduced into the water at any given time.
Citric acid works as a chelation agent that attracts water hardness minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Instead of these minerals sticking to surfaces, they stick to the citric acid.
Chelation agents are also important in optimizing the cleansing properties of soaps and detergents. Calcium and magnesium do not react with detergent or soap surfactant ions. They react with the chelation agent, so detergents retain their cleansing properties.
However, most of the detergents and soaps we use already contain chelation agents. Adding too much citric acid can reduce the cleansing properties of the detergent’s alkaline molecules. They will not be able to clean that much. If you use too little citric acid, it can result in partial chelation. You’ll only have ‘semi-soft’ water.
Because of these water softeners’ precise citric acid requirements, you have to admire companies that offer such products in the market. Here is how you can narrow down your choice of citric acid water softener to bring home.
- Standalone or Part of a Water Treatment System?
Some households only require limescale prevention and removal. They do not need to remove contaminants, such as chlorine, chloramine, mercury, lead, arsenic, other heavy metals, agricultural chemicals, industrial solvents, microorganisms, and more. If you are this type of person, a standalone citric acid water softener is for you.
However, if you also want to remove the contaminants mentioned above, you might need to consider a water treatment system. These products incorporate the citric acid water softener into their water filtration and purification design. Do keep in mind that these products are not inexpensive.
- Consider the System Capacity
It is essential to determine the citric acid water softener’s capacity that translates to the number of gallons of water it can ‘soften’ before requiring a replacement. The greater the softening capacity, the longer the device media’s lifespan. You can enjoy better savings this way.
- Check for Ease of Installation
Ideally, you should always get a citric acid water softener you can install yourself. It makes no sense to get a system that requires a lot of guesswork to set it up and get it running. There may also be some products that require professional installation. It is your choice whether to call the plumber or not.
- Consider Your Budget
We are not only talking about the unit’s purchase cost. You also have to factor in the replacement media. Again, the lesser the media capacity, the more frequently you will need to replace it.
How Do Citric Acid Water Softeners Work
Does citric acid soften water? Understanding how citric acid water softeners work requires learning the difference between citric acid water softener vs salt systems.
Conventional salt-based water softeners remove hardness minerals by replacing them with other ions. They store the removed hardness minerals in a substrate, ready for discharge during regular brine solution recharging.
Citric acid water softeners work the same way, except that the system never discharges magnesium, calcium, and other hardness minerals. Citric acid binds to these minerals, preventing them from sticking to surfaces. In a way, it is a water conditioner.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who makes the most trusted citric acid water softener?
NuvoH2O makes the most trusted water softener using citric acid. Its CitriCharge Cell technology is one-of-a-kind, breaking calcium carbonate chemical bonds to prevent limescale formation. The DPHB-A enjoys substantially positive reviews from numerous users, underscoring its trustworthiness.
In the NuvoH2O vs. Pelican Natursoft debate, it is worth pointing out that the latter employs a different method. Pelican uses template-assisted crystallization to alter calcium carbonate’s ability to form limescale. In short, Natursoft is technically not a citrus water filter.
You can also trust Aquios to deliver a dependable citric acid water softener. Its DS300 model can handle 30 GPG hard water levels and offers a two-decade warranty. No company will cover its product for that long if it does not believe in the water softener’s quality and performance.
What is the lifespan of citric acid water softener?
The NuvoH2O citric acid water softener has a 20,000-gallon capacity, which should last about six months. Other citric acid water softener brands might have longer or shorter lifespans, depending on their quality.
You can post a query on Reddit or similar online forums to learn the real-life experiences of homeowners who use these water softeners. You might also ask about the pros and cons of such systems while you’re at it.
How much does it cost to install a citric acid water softener?
Conventional water softeners have a labor and installation price tag of $300 to $1,000, although point-of-use systems are more affordable (about $100 to $300). The cost should be similar to installing a citric acid water softener for whole-house applications.
How often do citric acid water softeners need to be cleaned?
Manufacturers have specific instructions about the cleaning frequency of citric acid water softeners. Homeowners should consult their service manual or user guide to learn how often they must clean their water softeners.
Citric acid water softeners are like in-line water filters. Most do not require cleaning because users only need to consume the filter capacity and replace the unit. For instance, NuvoH2O requires cartridge replacement every six months or 20,000 gallons.
Of course, the citric acid cartridge can be an integral water softener component. Hence, you might want to clean the citric acid water softener with Ban T citric acid cleaning solution during monthly brine tank refills.
How do you use citric acid in a water softener?
The only way you can use citric acid in a water softener is by installing a device that dispenses precisely-measured amounts of citric acid into the system. It is impossible to add citric acid manually. You can buy it from the drugstore. It is difficult to determine the correct amount to add to your water softener.
Installing a citric acid water softener into your existing water filtration system as a pre-filter is best. You get to soften the water before it goes through the system’s primary filtration mechanism.
The best citric acid water softener protects your plumbing and water fixtures from limescale without ever harming the environment. It also gives you all the benefits of soft water without a traditional salt-based system’s high-maintenance requirements.
While it is not a new technology, your options are somewhat limited. Nevertheless, the products we shared in this article should give you an idea about which citric acid water softener to add to your existing water filtration system. For the most suitable results, you might want to invest in a citric acid water softener cleaner, too.
Hi, I am Ronald, founder of Saveourh2o. With this website, we aim to solve all the problems related to your water filters, softeners, and heaters. I have five years working in water equipment sales & service. I hope to bring the knowledge gathered from my daily work to help you to achieve comfort and safety in your home!