As a renter, it can be frustrating to find your new home has hard water or other impurities. Not only does hard water sometimes have a funny taste, but it can also leave stains on laundry, leave white limescale on dishes and fixtures, and cause dry hair and itchy skin. Fortunately, there are water softening solutions even for renters.
1. Point-of-Entry Systems
Point-of-entry systems are the most effective because they hook directly into the water main, thus softening all water before it reaches a single tap or water line in the home. Unfortunately, these are also the most expensive and most permanent softening solutions so they aren't always suitable for renters.
If you live in an apartment or condo, you may be able to petition the management to have a softener installed, particularly if the water is quite hard and damaging the plumbing fixtures. You may have better luck if you are renting a house from a private landlord that wants to improve and protect their investment. If you plan to stay in the rental for a couple of years or longer, it may be worth it to get permission from the landlord and then install the softener at your own expense.
2. Point-of-Use Systems
Point-of-use systems are hooked up to specific water lines inside the house. Most people hook them up to their kitchen water line, but they can also be useful when attached to the bathroom or utility room water lines depending on where hard water bothers you the most. These small systems can fit inside a cabinet or small closet, so they are suitable for both apartment and single-family home dwellers. Most renters pay for point-of-use systems with their own money, since they are less expensive than point-of-entry systems. Further, you can disconnect them and bring them with you to your next home once you move.
3. Portable Systems
Portable systems are typically aimed at RVers and boaters since you can take them anywhere and they are made for quick and frequent installation. Portable systems can not process as much water as the other types of systems, but they do work well if you live in a small apartment and have no other viable options. Most portable systems do require more hands-on maintenance, as you will likely have to add softening salts more often.
Contact a residential water softener installation service for more information on the options that will work with your rental.