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Home Water Treatment Options for Renters

Left Facing For Rent Real Estate Sign In Front of House.; Shutterstock ID 1010611831; team: Editorial; job:  ; client: Culligan; purchase_order: Liam Green


Renters who are looking to avoid some of the principal challenges that new homeowners face may find it more comfortable – and affordable – to sign a lease than to take out a mortgage. However, that doesn’t mean that renting is free from its own headaches. Exploring options to make sure that you have soft, high-quality, great-tasting water on demand can seem like a hurdle without owning your home, but the good news is that there are actually some great home water treatment options for renters.

After all, for many people, renting isn’t just a temporary pit stop on the road to homeownership – a money-saving alternative while they improve their financial situation and work toward a down payment on an affordable starter home. In fact, according to a recent study from Apartment List, 18% of American millennials who rent say they’ll probably do so forever. In Canada, a survey from Finder reported the same figure: 18% of Canadian millennials who don’t currently own a home believe they never will.

If you plan to continue renting for the long term, you can’t afford to put off investigating home water treatment options. Even if you do plan to own a home soon, why wait until your new home closes to enjoy great-tasting water?

Fortunately, you have options that can provide you with all the benefits of better water without making the commitment to a purchase. Some water treatment companies will also even include equipment servicing and repairs in your monthly rental fee, and some also offer rent-to-purchase agreements.

Of course, you should test your water regularly, because not all water problems that require treatment can be seen, smelled or tasted. In this article, we’ll explore common perceptible water problems that renters might experience, and we’ll provide suggestions for how to handle them. 

Renters’ Concern: Hard Water at Home

Water hardness is a common problem for renters and homeowners alike. Hard water contains a high concentration of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium, and it can create a lot of issues around the home. People who have hard water might experience problems related to soap scum, mineral buildup, and difficulty cleaning.

Hard water can also make it challenging to produce a lather and rinse the soap away when washing your hands or bathing. This problem, combined with the direct impact of hardness minerals, can ultimately affect your hair, skin and nails.

Taken together, the problems posed by hard water are unpleasant, unsightly and damaging – for appliances, plumbing fixtures and even your body. As such, renters may be looking for solutions that they can implement to address these concerns without investing in the full cost of purchasing and installing their own water softener.

Renting a Water Softener

Fortunately, you can also rent softeners for your home water treatment needs. Working with a professional to understand your test results, you can determine which type of softener will be best for your water quality profile as well as your location and usage needs. Most water softeners use salt, but salt-free conditioners are also available for brine-restricted areas. 

It’s important to make sure that installing a rented water softener is permitted by your lease and approved by the building owner. Hopefully, your landlord or property manager will recognize the value of soft water for extending the lifespan of water-using appliances and avoiding buildup in pipes and plumbing.

Renters’ Concern: Your Drinking Water Water Needs an Upgrade

In your house or apartment, you may find that improving the quality of your drinking water specifically is a priority. Whole-house filtration systems can provide a certain level of support throughout your home, from the kitchen to the bathroom and for water-using appliances. Nevertheless, many renters decide that their drinking water deserves particular attention.

A professional can help you determine if you need to take special steps for drinking water treatment based on your test results. You might also just decide that “OK water” isn’t good enough for your cooking or hydration needs – you want great-tasting water instead.

Renting a Reverse Osmosis System

Renting a reverse osmosis (RO) drinking water treatment system may be the right solution for your household. RO systems are installed at the point of use, typically under a sink in the kitchen, providing refreshing drinking water straight from a tap. The process often entails a pre-filtering stage ahead of the reverse osmosis process, during which feed water is pushed through a semipermeable membrane. Treated water is then stored in a tank, so it’s ready to use as soon as you turn on the tap. Make sure to coordinate with your building owner or property manager before having a rented RO system installed in your house or apartment.

Home Bottled Water Delivery

Another option for satisfying home hydration is to sign up for bottled water delivery. Talk with your supplier to find out which drinking water treatment options they use. Many providers offer water that’s been treated with reverse osmosis, allowing you to enjoy RO water at home without having to install any specialized equipment. Instead, 5-gallon jugs are delivered right to your home, on your schedule. This is also more convenient – and possibly less expensive – than purchasing your own supply of single-use water bottles and lugging them into your home on an as-needed basis. Bottled water delivery with 5-gallon sanitized jugs may also generate less waste than if your whole household were to rely on single-use bottles for your everyday needs.

Concern: Stains, Streaks and an Unpleasant Taste or Odor

Some of the most common signs that you might require additional home water treatment show up when you’re cooking or cleaning around the house or apartment. Contaminants and excess mineral content may noticeably affect the taste or smell of your water.* They can also lead to:

  • Rust stains left on appliances
  • Streaks on dishes after washing
  • The odor of rotten eggs or an unpleasant flavor

In addition to these signs, test results may reveal the presence of imperceptible contaminants like arsenic, lead, nitrates and PFOS.* Far from just being unsightly or undesirable, problem water can cause damage to pipes, plumbing and water-using appliances while also negatively impacting your health or the well-being of family members. Any of these test results or observable water issues could be signs that you’d benefit from a whole-house water filtration system.

Renting a Whole-House Water Filtration System

Consulting with a professional is the best way to determine which type of whole-house filtration system might work best for your particular home and the kind of water you have. Broadly speaking, this kind of treatment option, which is known as a point-of-entry system, ensures that every tap in your home has treated water. These systems often use a tmutliple stages of filtration such as activated carbon filters to address bad tastes and smells, filters designed to reduce sediment like dirt and clay, and those that neutralize acidic water that causes corrosion on pipes. 

If you rent your home, you may not want – or be able – to purchase and install a whole-house filtration system outright. Fortunately, depending on the terms of your lease, you may still be able to rent a suitable system for your home from your local water treatment expert. Consult with the building owner to find out if this is permitted, and work with a professional to select the right filtration system for your needs.

With an Array of Options for Renters, Sometimes It’s Best To Combine Solutions

Every renter is unique, and that means their water treatment solutions will also vary. A range of factors can influence which combination of treatment options you ultimately decide to use, including:

  • Your test results and the specific properties of water in your home
  • How much water you use for various purposes
  • Your priorities for water used for cleaning, cooking and drinking
  • Your budget for implementing water treatment solutions
  • The nature of your lease and what your building owner is willing to approve

Some renters may find that they need both a whole-house filtration system and a water softener, as well as an RO system or a bottled water delivery service. It’s important to know that you have options, and your home water treatment solution can be tailored to your unique needs. The added benefit of using rental solutions and bottled water delivery is that you can reconfigure water treatment systems as your needs change – you’re not locked into a single solution.

Find the Right Water Treatment Solutions for Your House or Apartment

As a renter, you have choices available to help you meet your whole-house filtration and drinking water treatment needs. You can also rent water softeners to help you treat hard water in your home. Even without owning your home, you have the opportunity to enjoy great-tasting water. You don’t have to put up with issues like staining, buildup or soap scum. Start exploring your options today by getting a water test. A professional can help you explore your home water treatment options based on the results.

*Contaminants may not necessarily be present in your water.

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