Does a Water Softener Change the Water’s pH?

Does a Water Softener Change the Water’s pH?

Maintaining a healthy pH for drinking water is absolutely necessary for the well-being of your family. When the pH is too high or too low, there are many ways to adjust the problem, but a question arises – can a water softener help?

Although water softeners remove the minerals that affect the pH of your water, a properly operating water softener has very little impact on the pH. If the pH of the water you are drinking is not neutral, other mechanisms exist to address the change, such as injections and filtration systems.

If you are curious about how water softeners impact pH, what you can do to change the pH, and what the ideal pH for drinking water is, you are in the right place! Read on to learn more about the pH balance of your drinking water and how to keep it in the proper range!

Can a Water Softener Impact pH Levels?

A common question that comes up when people want to change the pH level of water is how different materials can affect the balance of pH in water. It is a common misconception that a water softener can change the pH level of water.

When you install a water softener, it does little to change the pH of the water. Instead, a water softener works completely differently, using a chemical process to remove hardness (calcium and magnesium) in your water.

A water softener uses a base-exchange system. This is a chemical change in which calcium, magnesium and other minerals in the water are replaced by sodium. While removing these minerals can have a slight effect on the pH of the water, the change in pH is extremely minor.

So, if you want to change the pH balance of the water in your home, using a water softener is not the correct method to get results.

Read my ultimate guide to water softeners for more information.

The Ideal pH for Drinking Water at Home

If the terms pH and minerals in the water can seem a little confusing, that is an entirely normal response.

What most of us will remember about pH is studying acidic and alkaline substances in school and being able to test the pH to see whether a substance is more acidic or alkaline. That is a simplistic way of looking at pH. In fact, this is a measure of the number of hydrogen ions available within the water.

The pH scale goes all the way from 0-14, with the lower end of the scale representing acidic substances and the higher end representing alkaline substances. For example, vinegar is an acidic solution, and bleach is an alkaline substance. However, if there is one thing you will remember, it is that water is supposed to be in the middle of the scale, at a pH level of 7.

This is considered a neutral pH. While this is an ideal scenario, in reality, water can range anywhere from 6.5 to 9 on the pH scale. But what makes it so hard to find water at a pH of 7? In truth, most drinking water contains a ton of chemicals and minerals that are absorbed into the water.

Here’s a video you can watch about this while you read:

These minerals have an impact on the pH of the water and are quite beneficial if they are present in the right quantities. In general, you will most likely find that drinking water lies in the range between 6.5-7.5 on the pH scale, and that would be the healthiest water to drink.

What Happens When Water pH Is Out of Balance

If the pH of water becomes too high or low, it can start to have adverse effects on our health. Drinking water that is too acidic can impact our immune system and lead to issues with digestion. Water that is too alkaline can also be harmful as it can affect the absorption of nutrients in our bodies.

Another concern regarding the pH balance of water is its ability to corrode plumbing systems and pipes. This can end up costing homeowners a lot of money in repairs and can also lead to the release of harmful chemicals into the water supply.

Overall, it is important to monitor drinking water’s pH levels and ensure they stay within a healthy range. If you have concerns about the pH balance of your home’s drinking water, it is important to contact a water treatment professional. They will have the proper equipment and methods to test and treat your water, ensuring it is safe for consumption.

How pH Is Adjusted For Drinking Water

In most cases, the pH of the water you drink is impacted by the geological conditions from which the water was extracted – which means it is primarily affected by the minerals in the water. While water softeners are unlikely to make a huge difference, there are other ways to adjust the water depending on what pH you are trying to achieve.

Neutralizing Filters

Neutralizing filters are devices that can be used to bring up the pH if your drinking water is acidic in nature. It does this by adding a neutralizing chemical to the water – however, this can raise the hardness of the water.

This helps to reduce the corrosive nature of the water. In most cases, the pH is improved using calcium carbonate or magnesium oxide.

Soda Ash Injection Systems

If the water available for drinking is extremely acidic, soda ash can be used to increase the pH of the water, so it is close to the neutral mark. The benefit of using these systems is that they do not affect the hardness of the water.

This is a highly effective method to deal with very low pH water, allowing it to return to a neutral and drinkable range without impacting the hardness.

Acid Injection Systems

Similarly to the example mentioned above, there is a way to treat water that has too high of a pH by using an acid injection system. This helps keep the soda-like taste of the water and keeps your plumbing safe from corrosion as well.

This system feeds acetic acid into the water used. Other acids can also be used in some cases, but they must be handled carefully and may have additional costs. The acid is injected through a point of entry until the water’s pH is neutral.


While water softeners do not have a huge impact on the pH balance of drinking water, other methods can be used to treat and adjust the pH levels.

It is essential to keep an eye on the pH of your drinking water, as it can have adverse health and financial impacts if it becomes too high or low. If you have concerns, it is best to contact a water treatment professional for assistance.

The Filter Guy

Scott Birch is a water filtration installer and designer. He has worked in the industry for many years and is very familiar with and knowledgeable about residential water treatment equipment. Scott enjoys helping people get the most out of their water filtration systems and ensuring that their homes are getting the best possible quality of water.

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