NuvoH2O Reviews and General Info
A Water Softener That Uses Citrus – Not Salt
Hard water is a major problem for a lot of homeowners. Not only does it leave spots on dishes and fixtures, but if left untreated, it can lead to more serious and expensive problems with major home appliances (particularly water heaters). And yet many people are reluctant to buy a traditional water softener for various reasons – most of them having to do with their use of salt and all the inconveniences that entails.
That’s why there’s been so much interest in saltless/salt-free water softeners in recent years. One of the more popular options is the nuvoH2O Salt-Free Water Softening System, a water conditioner that uses citrus instead of salt to treat hard water. But does it work? Read on for a roundup of NuvoH2O reviews and general information that can help you answer that question for yourself.
How it Works
Standard water softener systems use a process called ion exchange to remove the minerals that cause hard water problems. In contrast, no salt softeners are designed to leave the minerals in the water – but change its properties so that it doesn’t form scale. In the case of the NuvoH2O system, this is done by filtering water with citric acid.
A Nuvo water conditioner attaches to your home’s incoming water supply. It’s one of those reverse osmosis systems that you can put on a counter. It adds citric acid to your water, which binds to hard water ions and prevents them from reacting with your plumbing or other surfaces.
Unlike other salt-free softeners, this system uses no electricity. However, you do have to periodically replace a filter cartridge. This means that you don’t necessarily save in maintenance costs over a traditional system.
Pros and Cons
The NuvoH2O conditioner has a lot of selling points – some of which are shared by other no-salt systems, and others which are unique to this system. Here are the major ones:
- No need for salt
- No electricity
- Easier to install than conventional systems
So what are the cons? There’s only one worth mentioning: Effectiveness. There are doubts about how well the system actually softens the water. There are a lot of opinions on both sides, and in the absence of objective, hands-on reviews from publications like Consumer Reports, the best information available comes from customer reviews.
Customer reviews for the Nuvo system are mixed, but generally positive. They translate to something like a 7/10 rating, with most of the complaints centering on how well the system actually works to soften the water. This is the opposite of what you see with salt-based systems, which all work the same and tend to do a good job softening the water, but come with lots of long-term maintenance issues.
While 7/10 might not seem that great, there are a couple of points you might want to consider when evaluating reviews:
1. A lot of salt-free softeners are not sold on Amazon.com and do not make customer reviews public (cherry picked testimonials don’t count). The fact that NuvoH2O doesn’t hide its customer reviews is a plus.
2. Some of the negative reviews come from people who haven’t necessarily tried the system, but are using the product page as an opportunity to express their skepticism of saltless water softening in general.
3. Different people have different levels of water hardness. That can have a big impact on how well the system works, and how people judge it.
As always when making a major purchase, you should read as much as you can about the product before deciding. Fortunately, the NuvoH2O conditioner has a 30-day money back guarantee in case you decide afterward that it isn’t working as it should.
Is it Really a Water Softener?
The Nuvo conditioner calls itself a water softening system. However, it’s important to note that it works very differently from what most people think of as a water softener. Its not an advancement on water softening technology (which hasn’t changed much in years), but rather an alternative way to achieve the same thing.
The key difference is that Nuvo and other conditioners don’t actually remove calcium, magnesium, or other minerals from your water. Traditional systems replace those minerals with sodium, which is why softened water often tastes slightly salty (depending on how hard the water was to begin with, and thus how much sodium was needed to soften it). Removing those hard water minerals obviously prevents them from causing havoc in your home.
Why is this important? Well, for one thing, consumers should simply know what they’re getting when they buy one of these systems. But for another, it has implications on how such systems are evaluated. Traditional softeners are easy to evaluate because you can measure water hardness before and after they are used. On the other hand, there’s not a simple test to objectively measure how well a no-salt system is working.
The Nuvo system uses unique citrus-based filtering to treat hard water. Other saltless options are based on magnetic and/or electronic treatment. And if you don’t like the Nuvo brand, then we recommend Harvey’s water softeners. Like most salt-free softening technologies, they’re somewhat controversial and have their detractors. However, they also have many happy customers, and perhaps best of all, they’re much more affordable than traditional softener systems.