Looking to get rid of hard water stains that build up on your pots and pans? Or protect your appliances from hard water damage? Industrial and commercial manufacturing facilities have contaminated water supplies for decades. So everyday households also need a way to filter harmful contaminants from their water.
One method of water softening is using citric acid in water to separate minerals and chemicals. But how effective is citric acid as a softener? What are the risks of installing citric acid water softeners in your home?
1. Citric Acid In Water Has Its Benefits
Citric acid can help your body absorb nutrients and is effective as a disinfecting and cleaning agent. You can find citric acid in many health supplements. The citric acid enhances absorption and preserves the active ingredients in the supplement.
Calcium citrate supplements, for example, use citric acid to help prevent kidney stones. The citric acid in dishwasher detergents also helps clean up hard water buildup from your dishes.
2. Citric Acid Softening Is a Precise Process
Citric acid’s disinfecting power is what makes it work well as a water softener. But the citric acid softening process, called chelation, is complex. Citric acid softeners work by gradually releasing citric acid into the water. The hard ions such as calcium then attach to the citric acid.
To achieve a good balance of citric acid, you have to make sure your softener is metering the perfect amount. Otherwise, you could have way too much acidity in your water or so little acidity that the job doesn’t get done.
3. Citric Acid Could Corrode Pipes
Remember how citric acid is a great cleaning agent? Well, it could clean up your copper pipes too. Too much citric acid could even corrode your copper pipes.
The likelihood of copper pipe corrosion from citric acid is low. But a few customers who bought citric acid softeners have indeed experienced this phenomenon. So, citric acid softening could become a big headache for your copper pipes.
4. There’s a Lack of Data Supporting Citric Acid Softening
Top researchers have not found any concrete evidence that citric acid softening reduces hard water. Researchers find that the process can be effective but lacks consistency in results.
The effectiveness of a citric acid water softener makes this a questionable solution to your hard water problems.
5. Citric Acid Filters Can Be Costly
Did you know that citric acid softener systems can cost over a thousand dollars, not even including filters? You’ll also need a professional to install the system for you. This will ensure a proper amount of acid is metered into the water.
And if you’d like to make sure your softening system lasts or your money back- then you’ll have to pay for a warranty as well! These individual parts also will need replacing, so you’ll be shelling out cash regularly for maintenance.
The Final Call On Citric Acid
With unreliable effectiveness and a hefty price tag, citric acid in water softeners may not be worth the cost. It is an effective cleaning agent and citric acid offers some worthy health benefits. But it may be smartest to keep your citric acid out of your water filtration system.
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