Does NuvoH2O Really Soften The Water?

Does NuvoH2O Really Soften The Water?
By Mark Timmons
More from this author

Does NuvoH2O Really Soften The Water?

I recently received this e-mail from a woman in Utah regarding NuvoH2o Saltless Water Softeners:

"We installed Nuvo h2o in February, and have the largest cartridge they make, much bigger than needed. Have hated it. We use five times more soap,shampoo, cleaning products etc. It leaves scale so they sent us a new different cartridge that would stop this. It’s worse! Much worse. It was called the scrubber. I now have heartburn, and gerd, because the citric acid is killing me. We have to buy bottled water to drink, but you can’t cook everything in it or bath in it. We have complained many times and get nothing but a snippy answer that it is working, and we just can’t tell! It’s like the story of the emperor’s clothes. He was naked but they told him his clothes looked good,so he believed them and was happy. I’m not that stupid! This does not work and is harming our health. It’s made in Utah where I live. They know better, they know the water here. Now it’s time they made it right by us! Waiting for reply..."

Before I reply to this inquiry, I went to their website, located HERE and read what they had to say about their product:

"Enjoy healthy, salt-free soft water that not only prevents, but also removes hard-water buildup that clogs and corrodes your water heater and other home plumbing fixtures and appliances. This amazing, compact system uses an eco-friendly process to condition all the water throughout your entire home. NuvoH2O accomplishes this through the use of the same FDA-approved chelation technology utilized by luxury hotels and restaurants across the world. The resulting water is soft and healthy for all of your houshold uses, including drinking, bathing, washing, and lawn and plant watering."

So, they do say that a NuvoH20 System makes the water soft and that it is healthy.  I only have two problems with that:

  1. Adding Citric Acid to the water doesn't make if soft; and
  2. Adding much Citric Acid to the Water doesn't seem healthy to me.

Let's get this out of the way first - adding Citric Acid to the water does help prevent scale.  It is used in some commercial and food service applications, but it almost always involves protecting some equipment from scale formation caused by hard water.  It doesn't soften the water, but rather does a very good job of preventing and eliminating scale.  It does this by chelating the calcium ions, preventing them from precipitating out and forming scale, and also lowers the pH of the water to reduce or eliminate scale formation. 

I have used it in commercial applications such as steamers and it works very well at preventing scale.  The problem I have is that it does not soften water, so it should not be called a "water softener."  Call it what it is: a "water conditioner" or a "water softener alternative." By almost all definitions, except by NuvoH2O, "soft water is water that contains low concentrations of ions and in particular, is low in ions of calcium and magnesium."  Yes, NuvoH2O does a good job, when introduced into the water in proper concentrations, of preventing scale. But NO, it does not soften the water.  The only thing that gives me pause is whether NuvoH2O introduces enough citric acid into the water to treat an entire home.  That's not quite as clear to me and I am neither endorsing nor condemning the product - I am just delivering the facts. 

Dr. Sapna Parikh of D-News does an excellent job of explaining the difference between soft and hard water. 

So, in response to your situation, I am sorry for your problems and I do feel it is deceptive that NuvoH2O, and other companies call their products "water softeners" when in fact, they do not soften the water.  I think that is just plain wrong and misleads the consumer.  The Water Quality Association or "WQA" has a Code of Ethics that prevents companies from doing this, and effective January 1, 2020, any member of the WQA that engages in such practices will have their membership revoked.  However, in looking at their website, I do not see where they are members, so I guess they don't feel they have to comply.

December 21, 2019