The NuvoH2O provides a remedy to limescale that traditional water softeners offer, but without the salt. Find out how effective it is in our NuvoH2O reviews.
The NuvoH2O provides a remedy to limescale that traditional water softeners offer, but without the salt. Find out how effective it is in our review.
The NuvoH2O is special in that it actively reduces limescale which is already affecting your appliances and prevents it from happening again. It won’t soften your water, but it’s a great salt-free alternative to limescale problems.
Warranty: Lifetime warranty with 90-day money back guarantee
Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 20 inches
Water Flow Rate: 15 gallons per minute
Suitable Size Home: 1000-2000 square feet
Filter lifespan: 35,000 gallons
Similar Models: Nuvo DPMB (for bigger homes)
The NuvoH2O DPHB is a household water conditioner. It doesn’t work as a traditional salt-free water softener would, in that it doesn’t soften the water like some water softener reviews and articles would suggest; it simply alters the chemical composition of hard water to prevent the build-up of limescale. It is not considered an official water softener because it doesn’t use salt. There are a few positives and also some drawbacks to this. The main positive being that it is much kinder to the environment, and the main negative being that it doesn’t actually remove any hard minerals to give you softer drinking water. Check out our own water softener reviews (specifically the Eddy Electronic Descaler review) to read about more this.
The NuvoH2O DPHB is designed to prevent limescale. Nuvo claims that its system can extend the lifespan of household appliances by up to 30%. A key selling point is a fact that it will actually target and remove existing limescale deposits. Most systems may prevent it from happening, but will not help rid your pipes and appliances of pre-existing problems. By retrospectively acting like this, the Nuvo H20 can restore efficiency to household water heaters and appliance that other models can’t.
It has a compact design and doesn’t require any electricity or extra water for cleaning. It uses a cartridge “filter” system, free of salt and easily maintained.
The NuvoH2O solves the problem of hard water in two ways:
- Unlike conventional water softeners, it doesn’t remove the problematic minerals like calcium and magnesium. It simply prevents them from forming limescale. It binds the troublesome particles to its filter media and stops them from binding to appliances and pipework and forming limescale. As these particles are stopped from interacting with appliances, they simply flow through the water network like normal. This scientific process is commonly known as chelation. Calcium and magnesium are important healthy minerals for us to consume, so keeping them in the water is a big positive draw of this system, and is one advantage it has over conventional water softeners.
- It lowers the pH of the water to make it very difficult for limescale to form. The main ingredient of the filter media is citric acid. Citric acid is a weak organic acid found in food and soft drinks. Limescale thrives in alkaline water (pH of above 7), so by slightly lowering the pH and pushing it towards 7 (pH neutral) those ideal limescale conditions are removed. As the pH scale is logarithmic, even a tiny decrease in the pH level makes a huge difference. For example, reducing the pH by just 0.5 decreases hydrogen ions by 50x. That substantially decreases scale build-up.
The system requires no electricity or extra water. It is cartridge-based with cartridges needing to be replaced after 35,000 gallons of use. Of course, this figure would depend on water conditions. With water usage for an average family of four nearing around 100,000 gallons of water each year, then the filter lifespan works out at around 4 months for a household of this size.
The cartridges are easily removed and replaced and are compact in their design. The filter media of the cartridge is called CitraCharge and contains the citric acid solution. It is actually sold separately as a solution to limescale problems. It is considered an effective remedy to scale and reviews well. The filters are available to purchase on Amazon.
The NuvoH2O provides a water flow of up to 15 gallons per minute through 1-inch ports. This should result in a very little drop in household water flow.
Installation & Maintenance
The NuvoH2O package includes:
- A mounting back plate
- Mounting bracket
- Housing wrench
The system doesn’t require a drain runoff or any calibration so installation is pretty straightforward. The design is compact and means it won’t take up the space that large water softeners will.
The unit should be mounted on the main cold water line, and the whole process needn’t take any longer than an hour.
Filter changes are simply due to the built-in bypass system. This means no complicated additional shut-off valves need to be installed. By turning off the water supply and leaving a faucet running, you can reduce some of the water pressure to make life easier.
It should be possible for most people to install it themselves, but for others a professional plumber is only a click away.
Pros & Cons
|Reduces existing limescale build up||Doesn't soften water
|Salt free||Not ideal for really hard water|
|Doesn't remove healthy minerals|
Why Should You Invest in a NuvoH2O DPHB Water Conditioner?
As you read through this article, keep in mind why the NuvoH2O DPHB Water Conditioner could be the right choice for you. We all know there are so many water softeners and conditioners to choose from on the market. Price, the certification, set up difficulty, compactness, warranty, and how eco-friendly it is should all play into your decision-making process.
Most NuvoH2O DPHB Water Conditioner styles are affordable. Some styles like salt-based systems will cost less than you would expect. All three of the Nuvo models are certified according to the NSF Standard for general purpose control. They are not only easy to install but also do not require programming.
Unlike most other types of water conditioners, they are compact and will fit in almost any location. The company offers a 90-day money back guarantee on all of their products as well as a lifetime warranty. If you are not satisfied with this product for any reason, send it back.
In this section, we will cover common questions about soft water including those about how water softeners work, what they are, salt-water free water softeners, citric acid water softeners, installation cost factors, why you need a soft water conditioner and more.
What Does a Water Softener Do?
Water softeners work by removing trace minerals of calcium and magnesium in your water supply and replacing them with softer ones (e.g. sodium or potassium). One of the greatest benefits of using a water softener is that your hair and skin will look and feel healthier. Hard water often dries them out. A second benefit of using a water softener is that your plumbing fixtures will last much longer. You won’t have to deal with that frustrating calcium buildup.
Water softeners work by reducing the minerals that cause clogged pipes and corrosion. They also work to reduce soap scum left behind. While water softeners are not cheap (they can often run between $1,000 – $2,000), they can double the life of your household appliances and last for well over fifteen years. They do not need as much regular maintenance as you would think. Most water softeners are fully automatic.
What Is a Water Conditioner?
An alternative style to a water softener is a salt-free water conditioner. Each of the styles addresses hard water problems. Water conditioning removes calcium through various systems. Conditioners do not soften water. Water softeners use more energy and water with backflushing. When you are shopping for your water conditioner, keep in mind that companies often advertise with misleading information.
According to the Water Quality Association, scale-control devices can reduce scaling in pipes and fixtures. However, they do not claim to remove calcium and there are no tests to prove that they do either. Before you hire a water conditioning or softening company, do your research. We strongly advise against investing in a product if they do not offer a money-back guarantee or good warranty policy. Learn about the companies you are interested in purchasing from before you invest, check in and see how hard the water is in your area. Read plenty of customer reviews.
How Do Salt-Free Water Softeners Work?
Water softening works through ion exchange, removing magnesium (Mg2+) and calcium (Ca2+) from water. During ion exchange, a polymer resin attracts the minerals in hard water and replaces them with sodium ions. This removal of hard water minerals is what defines water softening. A common misconception is that salt-free water softening removes hard minerals like their salt-water based counterparts actually do. Salt-free waters do not actually soften water at all. They condition it.
Saltless Water Softeners vs. Saltwater-Based Softeners
As we mentioned previously, salt water softeners used negative ion beds to attract and remove hard minerals from your water supply. They also use salt to clean the water softener and the regenerate the negatively-charged resin bed. When regeneration occurs, positively charged sodium ions replace the hard minerals in the resin bed and the hard water is flushed down your drain.
Salt-free water softeners, on the other hand, do not remove hard water minerals from your supply. Instead, they chemically transform the hard minerals so that they do not precipitate. Since hard water minerals are not captured, there is no need for a regeneration cycle to flush them down the drain. Water softening requires hard water minerals to be removed. Salt-free processes only change these minerals and allow them to remain in the water.
What About Magnetic Water Softeners?
Third party studies show that magnetic water treatment devices are not adept at getting all the advantage of soft water. Research suggests that water treatment devices are not always adept at providing the advantages you get with soft water.
Why Do You Need a Water Softener?
Water softeners are devices needed by households all around the globe. Whether or not you need one depends on the type of water that your household uses. Municipal water supplies contain a high number of minerals, rendering water ‘hard.’ This type of water contains a large amount of dissolved iron, magnesium, and calcium.
You might be wondering why hard water is bad. After all, people take minerals as supplements. Hard water leads to domestic inconveniences. It leaves annoying residue on your dishes, faucets, and even your skin after showering. Have you ever felt dry or itchy after a shower? Hard minerals are the culprit.
Hard water also causes a mineral buildup in your pipes and deterioration of water-related infrastructures in your home. Water heaters are not safe either. Hard water is one of the primary causes of low heating efficiency, corrosion, and rust. Now that we have listed all of the main issues, it is time to take a look at how using a water softener can eliminate them. However, before we review that in-depth information, we will talk about the benefits of water softening.
The Benefits of Using a Water Softening System
Below, we have listed the most common benefits of using a water softening system. Not only do they positively affect your budget but they also lead to good results for your healthcare. Here are the benefits in no particular order.
- Softer skin, hair, and clothes: As the water is gentle on your hair and skin, it will also be gentle on fabric. The overall cleanliness of your clothes increases too.
- Prolonged use of your appliances: Lack of mineral buildup will always increase the longevity of your appliances which use municipal water.
- Energy efficiency improvements: Appliances use less energy when they are operational. Your heating bills should go down.
- Stain-free surfaces. Removing cloudy residue in hard water will also bring about stain-free surfaces. Your faucets will look clean and glossy both inside and out.
Most Popular Types of Water Softeners
Now that we have informed you why you need a water filter, you should also become familiar with the types of water softeners on the market. By doing so, you can determine how effective each type is and understand why it is right for you. Take some time to read through the most popular types of water filters below.
Salt-Based Water Softeners
You will find a wide array of types of salt-based water softeners. The most well-known type of salt-based water softeners is the Ion Exchange.
Salt-Free Water Softeners
These are actually water conditioners. They will not remove anything from your water. They function by converting hard minerals chemically and allow them to remain within your water supply. Their main goal is to prevent the buildup of hard water minerals in your pipes. While they are not as effective as salt-based water softeners, they are better to have than no water treatment at all.
As the name suggests, these water softeners come in pairs. You will receive two large iron tanks. These heavy-duty systems are suitable for households that use a lot of water. The construction of dual-tank softeners provides you with soft water any time you want. With normal water conditioners, resin regenerates at night or after a few gallons of water are processed. Keep in mind that you cannot enjoy soft water during the regeneration process.
Dual-tank systems bypass this hassle. When one tank is regenerating, the other is still fully functional and can provide you with soft, processed water. While your investment for dual-tank softeners will be larger than for a normal one, you will enjoy better overall results.
Magnetic Water Descalers
These are the last type of water softeners on our list and the most unconventional. Since they are alternative systems, they are not very popular. However, don’t let this dissuade you. They definitely have their advantages, one of them being a hassle-free service. Are you interested? Read on.
As electrical devices, magnetic water descalers will not interfere with your water pipe system. There is no installation required. All you have to do is coil some wires around your water pipes and you are good to go. Yes, it really is that easy. The plug-in devices generate a magnetic field around the pipes and the water will have all of the mineral properties reshaped. Similarly to non-salt softeners, this device will prevent limescale buildup in your water supply and fixtures.
How to Choose Your Water Softener
In this section, you will find experts’ tips and tricks on how to choose the right water softener for you. We will also compare different types of water softeners (outlined above) and give you tips to consider when you are making your purchase.
General Tips and Information
Before we give you a comparison of the different types of water filters, we have some general tips and information for you. Having these insights will make you a smarter buyer. Do not just fall for what you see on the surface of a manufacturer’s box. Read about the company, its history, the full product description, warranty, and plenty of customer reviews.
The first thing you need to know is whether you should get a one piece or two piece water softener. Generally, a two-piece is the better choice. Do you have space to fit the system in your home? As long as you have the space for it, you should be set. Two-piece water systems might be more expensive but they are worth the investment.
If you have a smaller household, a one-piece water softener is probably a better fit. Consider the workload that it is able to handle. It will use much less salt but much less water too. One-piece water softeners would be good for a one or two-person household. If you have a large household or high water consumption, don’t try to squeeze by with a one piece water filter. It won’t cut it.
Don’t just stick to name brand products. Sure, they will provide good quality but you also want units with non-proprietary components. You will fare well with something you could get spare parts for at your local Home Depot if need be. Think about it. If your brand name product gets discontinued or sells out, how would you get replacement parts if you need them? Opt for a proven piece of technology that has a well-known history. If you are going to be spending a good chunk of change on this system, you need to get a water softener that is reliable. This is what we love about the NuvoH2O DPHB Water Conditioner.
It matters who you buy the water softener from. Purchasing through a local dealer is always a good idea. They will be able to talk to you directly and find out what your requirements are. You can sit down with them and discuss exactly what your needs might be. Customer support is always appreciated.
When you are shopping for the right water conditioner, seek scaled down industrial versions. You want something sturdy and dependable. See which of the models is the easiest to maintain. Would you have to take apart the entire body to replace one part? If so, that is not a rational purchase.
Key Features to Look For
In this section, we will share some key details with you on the most important components of water softeners. This will give you a better idea of what to look for and how to address your unique needs.
Have you decided to go with a salt-based water softener? If so, you need to focus on its rein capacity and find out how much water you use in your household on average. This will vary by the number of family members you have. When water softeners have a large capacity, they need to regenerate less frequently. Grain capacity varies from 16,000. Some units can be as large as 96,000. Your water softener’s capacity is also related to the brine tank. Does your media tank house a lot of resin? If so, you will need more than the usual amount of salt.
This leads us to our next question. How much space do you have available in your home? Even if you want a large water softener, you can’t buy one if you don’t have the space necessary for it. What if your intake pipes are too small? Most households will be okay with a middle of the road size water softener. This means that you can get by with a two-piece item (holding both an iron and brine tan). As we mentioned earlier, dual-tank systems come with a well-equipped brine tank. Due to its large capacity, the area it needs can be quite substantial. Once you are sure that a specific model will fit in your home, then go purchase it. Make sure to get accurate measurements from the manufacturer and that they match up with the product’s posted dimensions online.
Another important part of the water softener is the bypass valve. This is the part that actually softens the water. You can use it in many different ways. One of the most important things is finding an easily operable valve.
Have you thought about whether you want a metered or timed water softener? A metered system will allow the resin to regenerate after a certain amount of water is used (you decide the limit). When you use a timed water softening system, the device automatically regenerates every few days based upon your water usage. A downside to the timed water softening system is that even if you are not home over an extended time period, the system will still regenerate and use both water and salt. Metered softeners only regenerate when it is necessary.
How Do These Water Softening Systems Function?
In order for you to choose the right system for your water filter needs, we have outlined the various devices for you. Instead of drawing a comparison among models, we will explain the properties of each and allow you to arrive at your own conclusions.
Salt-water softeners are the bread and butter of their industry. They do not filter anything out of your water (they only use resin). Ion exchange systems will remove all metal particles and other types of pollutants from your water supply. Its magnetic properties pull minerals away, leaving you with soft water. Resin has a number of ionic beads. As water flows through the resin bed, calcium, magnesium, and other unwanted particles are removed from it. Then, the system returns the clean, soft water to your home.
These types of water softeners often come in two tanks. The main tank contains the water-cleaning resin. The second tank contains salt (aka a brine tank). If you look in the brine tank, you can see fine salt particles. At the very bottom of the tank, you will find the salt brine. Every few days, the water is flushed into the resin tank to remove the hardness of the ions. These ions are rinsed down the drain. Salt water systems are low maintenance and easy to use. All you have to do is put the bags of salt in the brine tank. The resin can last anywhere between five and twenty years before it has to be replaced. Salt water systems reduce the scale of buildup, extend the lifespan of your plumbing, resulting in healthier skin and hair, and might produce water with a slightly salty taste.
Non-Salt Water Conditioners
As we previously mentioned, we call these devices water softeners. Water conditioners do not actually soften water. Non-salt water conditioners typically come with magnets or cartridges. These types of filters realign ions. Realigned ions repel one another. What does this mean?
They will not stick to surfaces or cause buildup. Although you do not get protection from hard water, the system reduces the presence of harmful particles. Descalers pull chlorine, chloramine, and other things out of the water. Customers invest in these types of filters to avoid chemical interaction. Pairing them with a whole house water filter is a good idea to get maximum efficiency.
Heavy duty systems are scaled down versions of industrial units. While they take up a good deal of space and are expensive, they guarantee that you will always have soft water available at your disposal. They work much as typical salt-based water softeners do. Using resin and salt, they provide you with two tanks. You can always use one while the other is regenerating.
These water softeners are interesting in the way that they are installed. Remember what we said earlier? They do not need professional installation. Simply wrap their wires around your pipes and a magnetic charge occurs. Water is emulated without the alteration of TDS. They eliminate limescale buildup and your appliances will function better because of them.
How Do You Install a Water Softener?
Do you want to hear some good news? When it comes to whole house water filtration systems, their installation is pretty much the same. However, learning how to install such a system can be a daunting task. In this section, we will walk you through the main steps of the process in order to gain the most clarity.
- Turn off the main water supply and locate the inlet pipe. It will be either in your garage or your basement.
- Cut the pipes to your water meter before it enters your house. You will want to attach your three-valve pipe connection here. The first valve will stop the water from entering your softener, the second will prevent water from leaving the softener, and the third is the bypass valve.
- Ensure the conductors are well in place.
- Connect the media tank to the brine tank with ⅜ plastic tubing.
- Link the drain pipe up to the drain elbow with a hose clamp.
- Connect the discharge pipe to the wastewater drain.
How Much Does it Cost to Install a Water Softener?
As you may have guessed, there is a multitude of factors that can influence the cost of a new water softener. We have found that manually regenerating systems are the least expensive type of water softener to install. In some cases, they can cost around $400. Metered or timed systems can cost much more. The average reported the cost of installation is $3,000 and the maximum cost is $10,000. Do you have the correct plumbing setup for installation? If not, this can cost you up to another $500 to correct your pipes.
These prices are taken from national averages. Of course, there are ways to reduce installation cost. Keep your budget in mind as you shop to make sure you do not overpay.
The Size of the Water Softener
Different homes require different types of water softeners. It costs more to install a system for a large home than for a small home. When it comes to the size of the water softener, your local plumber will look at a number of factors. Several of these factors include how much water your household uses, the hardness of your water supply, how many water fixtures you use, and more. The higher these numbers are, the higher the price of your water softener.
Testing Your Water’s Condition
Depending on where you live, some water is harder than others. As we previously mentioned, the higher these numbers are, the higher your costs will be. This means you will need an intensive system to soften your water. If you are connected to a city water supply, the water department should be able to provide you with a report on the hardness of your supply. If you rely on well water supply, you can purchase home test kits to measure the pH level, iron content, and hardness of your water. These kits will cost about $50. The types of water softeners on the market are ion-exchange, salt-free, dual-tank, and magnetic.
Water Softener Prices
Maintenance and repairs are all part of the renters’ and homeowners’ process. Whether you are talking about staining your floors, patching your roof, or cleaning your tank, it all costs money. Unfortunately, water softeners are not a type of appliance that you can just leave alone. Unless your system is salt-free, you will have to periodically add salt to it. As we mentioned earlier, the salt helps to remove the water’s hardness. The more your filter uses, the faster you have to replace it.
Consider replacing the brine tank once a year. If you do not clean it out regularly, it may not work or need costly repairs. Most water softeners will need attention every few years. Make sure to choose one with a good warranty. Water repair costs should not cost you more than $400.
Why Should You Add a Water Softener?
Some water feels rougher on our hair and skin than others. Besides our skin and hair, there are plenty of other reasons people are installing water softeners. As you may already know, hard water is not safe to drink. In addition, it does not adhere to soap as well as soft water does. This can make cleaning your dishes and washing your laundry difficult. If you have ever seen white spots on your silverware and laundry, hard water is to blame. Last but certainly not least, hard water is not good for your pipes. It can cause buildup and demand repairs. The average cost of pipe repair is $194.
How Water Softeners Work
We get it. Listening to extensive details on how water softeners work is boring. However, it will pay off in the long run to know the basics of their function. All water softeners have three essential parts – the mineral tank, brine tank, and control valve. The mineral tank begins to work after it is installed as close as possible to your water supply. Hard water runs through the beads and into your mineral tank. These beads attract calcium and magnesium. Then, the hard minerals are exchanged with sodium and potassium in the salt (brine) tank. This completes the ion exchange. Water is pushed through the system. The final step occurs when the control valve cleans the beads. Some control valves operate on a timer and others are automatic.
Types of Water Softeners Available
The most common type of water softener available is the ion exchange one with the resin bed. As we previously mentioned, this type of water softener uses sodium, potassium, and hydrogen to remove unwanted pollutants from your water supply. The resin bed holds a negative charge at all times and metal ions carry a positive charge. As the water runs through the resin bed, unwanted materials are filtered out.
Within the water softener, there are three different subcategories under which they could fall. They could fall under the category of by meter, timer, and manually. Water softeners that are based on meter regeneration will operate based on the amount of water that they use in the home. This kind of setup is the best for those who want maximum efficiency. Since the softener will only produce the needed amount of water, you don’t have to worry about waste. However, most water softeners operate on a set timer. Regenerative systems program the softener to produce a specific amount of water at the same time on a daily basis. This is convenient because the system runs at the same time and the homeowner will always know when to change it out. Lastly, you can choose to manually regenerate the water softener. These are the least expensive of the models.
Water Softener Sizes
As you have heard before, the type of water softening system you need will largely depend on your household’s water usage. Water softeners consider grains per gallon (GPG). While it is difficult to determine exactly how much water your family uses on a month to month basis, there are some simple ways to make a rough estimate. To calculate the number of grain requirements you need, multiply the number of people in your household by 80. Then, multiply that number by 10. This is the number of grain requirements that you need per family. The higher the grain requirement, the stronger the water softener needs to be. For example, if your family only uses 3,000 grains of water, you may only need a 24,000 CPG type of softener. This will be fairly affordable. However, families with larger water consumption may have to pay as much as $2,000 for an effective water system. The size of your household and how much water you use will greatly affect the water softener price.
Water Softener Benefits and Drawbacks
Any good system comes with a series of pros and cons. Water softeners are no different. There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to installing this type of system. You should take all of the possible pros and cons into consideration before you make your final decision. The biggest and most obvious advantage is saving money on long-term repair costs. Instead of allowing your plumbing system to degrade from magnesium and calcium buildup, you can preemptively invest in a water filter system. Many people who have transitioned from hard to soft water will agree that the transition leaves their skin feeling smoother and more healthy. This goes for your hair too. While using soft water definitely is a transition, those who make the change eventually prefer it to hard water when bathing.
Water softeners do not require much maintenance. Besides occasionally adding salt to the system, they won’t take much of your time or energy. You might be wondering ‘what are the drawbacks to using a water softener?’ The upfront cost can be intimidating. Since the average cost of installation is $3,000, this is a significant investment. Since it is not a complete necessity, most homeowners would rather allocate these funds elsewhere. If you have a manual unit, it can be hard to know when you need to turn your water softener on.
Do It Yourself or Hire an Expert?
Another question to consider is should you do the water softener installation yourself or do you need to hire an expert? Installing a new water softener is not easy by any means. Like other plumbing projects, you can do it on your own – it just requires skill, patience, and technical know-how. After all, any mistakes you make could have long (and expensive) effects. If you choose the wrong size or cut the wrong pipe, you could end up having to spend much more on repairs than you would have on installation costs.
Are you interested in finding a plumber? Before you go around seeking quotes, make sure you know all of the possible factors that could influence the water softener cost, pros, and cons of installation, and all of the different types of water softeners on the market. Then, you are prepared to see if the water softener is right for you. To find out more about water softeners, please read our guide… We also have comprehensive resources on water filters. Or, read more NuvoH20 reviews.