This review will focus on the Nuvo H2O DPHB, which is an excellent water conditioner (not a softener) for those looking for a “no-frills” type system. Making it an excellent first water softener for a homeowner. It also doesn’t use salt.

As always, we will give you a quick run-down of the features, what we like about the system, what we don’t like, the installation, and our final verdict.

This is part of a large section about water softeners. For more information about water softeners, please visit this link.


As mentioned earlier, this unit is not a water softener. This is because it does not reduce the hardness to less than one grain. Instead, it removes the ability of the magnesium and calcium to scale on your appliances.

  • Cartridge Life:50,000 gallons (6 months)
  • Method: Salt-free Filtration (conditioner, not softener)
  • Cartridge Size: 5” x 5” x 24”
  • Resin Capacity: N/A no resin
  • Display: None
  • Flow Rate: 12-15 GPM
  • Warranty:  Must be use Nuvo cartridges and not install outside. Follow all guidelines in the user manual to qualify for the lifetime warranty.

What We Like

nuvo h2o dphb

We like that this unit does not have any salt. The big problem with most water softener is that they use a large amount of salt to remove the calcium and magnesium. This makes the water taste salty.

No one likes salty water.

The Nuvo does not use ion-exchange (salt), so it doesn’t have that problem. However, not using ion-exchange comes at a cost. That cost is that this unit does not remove the calcium or magnesium from your water.

Anyway, we like that this has easy to replace cartridges that have no salt. That is the main selling point of this unit.

Other motivating factors include the cost and the warranty. Ion-exchange tends to be expensive to purchase and to maintain. Ion exchange systems tend to not offer lifetime warranties as well.

In fact, Nuvo is one of the only manufacturers that offer a lifetime warranty. Something that we really, really like about them.

What We Don’t Like

As you can see, the Nuvo has some big selling points. However, it has a few glaring weaknesses that make it a less than ideal system.

First, this system does not soften water. I repeat, this is not a water softener. This is a water conditioner, which means it has some problems.

Mainly, it does not work particularly well. Yes, the unit you will purchase to soften your water does not do a good job at softening water.

Who would have thought?

I know this might be a scathing review and it sounds like we don’t recommend this system. That’s false.

We still recommend this. However, it will not work if you have extremely hard water or water from a well. That is not a knock against Nuvo. It’s just the reality of using a salt-free water conditioner.

A salt-free water conditioner just isn’t as effective as an ion exchange water softener.

Keep this in mind before making a purchase.


tools on a work bench

You can usually install this system in your home without hiring a professional. However, if you have unusual plumbing or are not comfortable cutting pipes, then please hire a professional.


  • Ability to cut pipes.
  • Knowledge about the type of pipes in your home.
  • Space to install before your water heater on the main water line.
  • Plumber’s tape.
  • Pipe cutter.
  • Brass hex bushing (2x) this depends on the size of your piping.
  • Plumber’s wrench.

One last thing. The inlet/outlet size on this unit is 1 inch. Keep that in mind before installing. If you’re piping is a different size, then you will need to use brass hex bushings and install a different sized pipe.

Anyway, here are the steps to follow. We just pulled these steps from their DVD video. You can find that on YouTube.

Step 1: Turn off the main water supply.

Step 2: Attach the wall mounting panel to the wall studs. It’s super important to attach it to the wall studs. Concrete works as well, but you will need to purchase your own concrete screws.

Step 3: Attach the C-brack to the mounting panel. One of these screws should be attached to a stud.

Step 4: Remove the housing head. You should be able to unscrew it by hand, but use the filter wrench if you can’t do that.

Step 5: Attach the housing head to the bracket. You should use plumber’s tape on the pipe threads to ensure no leaks form. Also, make sure to attach this the proper direction.

Step 6: Insert cartridge body into the housing. Make sure to place the O-ring on the top of the body.

Step 7: Attach housing head to body. Use the filter wrench to tighten it, just don’t overtighten it.

Step 8: Turn on water and look for leaks.

Final Verdict

Well, our final verdict is not that great. We only recommend this unit for those of you that have soft water and want it to be softer.

We don’t recommend this system for those of you with hard water or if you use well water.

In that case, our recommendation is the Fleck 5600SXT. It uses ion exchange, which adds salt. However, it will actually soften your water and save your appliances.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the cartridge last?
The cartridge should last 6 months. This depends on the amount of water you use though.
Do I need a softener if I have a whole house filter?
Maybe. A whole house filter will not remove minerals from water. If you have hard water, then the only way to make it soft is with a softener.
Does this help eliminate rust?
Yes. Rust forms when the iron that is attached to the calcium and magnesium rusts. Calcium and magnesium won’t stick to your appliances, so rust does not form.
Is a cartridge included?
Yes. A cartridge is included.
Will this spot my car when I wash it?
Yes. There will be less spots compared to hard water though.