Whole house water softeners may be the answer for hard water problems, but what do you do if you live in an apartment? A standard water softener probably won’t do the trick because of the way the apartment complex is plumbed. Besides, it’s quite likely it’s not allowed, and if it is, the system may become the property of the apartment owner when you leave. If you need an apartment water softener, your options are limited.
The first thing you should do is try to convince your landlord to get a water softener for the whole apartment complex. It shouldn’t be too hard to make the case. After all, if hard water is a nuisance to you, it’s likely costing the apartment owner a lot of money. Calcium buildup makes water heaters work less efficiently, and ultimately reduces their service life. The same goes for dishwashers and washing machines.
But knowing how shortsighted landlords can be, it’s possible even the best argument will fall on deaf ears. In that case, you can still ask about the feasibility of installing a water softener system for just your apartment. But if that’s not possible, there are still a few options to consider.
Shower Head Water Softeners
If your impetus for buying a water softener is the effect hard water is having on your hair and skin, then there is a nigh-perfect solution for you. You can buy a shower head water softener that works on the same principle as whole house systems. Of course, these softeners are designed for one purpose only and won’t address any of the other hard water issues you may be having in your apartment.
Electronic or Magnetic Water Softeners
These types of saltless water softener attach to the exterior of your plumbing. One of these systems could likely be fitted to your incoming water pipes without violating any apartment policies. They’re also cheap and easy for a layman to install. On the downside, the effectiveness of this technology is in dispute.
Portable Water Softeners
There are also portable water softeners, many of them designed for RVs and professional vehicle washing. One of these mini systems could also work for you, provided you have a good place to connect it.
Cleaning Products That Combat Hard Water
If all else fails, there are plenty of cleaning products that reduce or eliminate the harmful effects of hard water. These include special clarifying shampoos, washing machine performance boosters, and dishwasher cleaners for hard water. This is the most affordable option, but it doesn’t deal with the root of the problem, and you’ll have to continue to purchase the products to make the results last.
If your apartment has very hard water, then your landlord is frankly nuts for not installing a softener to serve the whole complex. To drive the point home, you might want to test your apartment’s water and show your landlord where it falls on the water hardness scale. But if that still doesn’t work, trying a shower head water softener or one of the other options listed here might give you the results you’re looking for.