When water travels from lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water it picks up minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
These minerals are natural, but they can cause some issues for homeowners and apartment residents. These problems include buildup on surfaces, scum formation, plumbing issues, and decreases in soap and detergent effectiveness.
1. Install a water softener
Hard water is a major problem in apartments, causing plumbing problems and damage to appliances like dishwashers and coffee makers. It can also leave scale deposits in your hot water heater, reducing its lifespan. If you live in an apartment complex, installing a water softener is a great way to reduce your hard water problem and keep the water supply healthy for everyone.
Water softeners remove the minerals that cause hard water. This can help reduce your bills, improve the taste of your water, and make bathing and cleaning easier on your skin and hair.
There are several different types of water softeners, including ion exchange, salt-based, and magnetic. Each type uses a different process to reduce water hardness, and you should choose one based on your needs and budget.
Ion exchange water softeners use a process called ion exchange to swap calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. This process can improve the quality of your water, producing softer laundry and less soap scum on dishes and tile surfaces.
Some ion exchange systems are portable, making them perfect for small spaces. They take up far less space than whole-house water softener systems.
Another option for treating water in apartments is an electronic water descaler. These systems remove calcium and magnesium ions by using electromagnetic waves to change their adhesion properties. They can also be used to treat water with high levels of iron.
These descalers don’t require a top-up of salt to operate, so they are an excellent choice for people who aren’t keen on recurring maintenance tasks.
To install a water softener in an apartment, you’ll need to connect the unit to your building’s main water line. It is a good idea to get approval from your landlord before doing so, as most leases have strict rules about alterations.
It’s important to choose a water softener that fits your apartment size and your budget. The best way to do this is by calculating your water needs and looking for a model that has a grain capacity that matches them.
Grain capacity is usually measured in grains per gallon (gpg). This is a good indicator of how effective the softener will be at treating your hard water. If you have very hard water, you may want to purchase a more powerful model with higher grain capacities.
2. Install a showerhead filter
If you have hard water in your apartment and want to improve the quality of your shower water, installing a showerhead filter is an easy way to do it. While shower filters do not address all the contaminants in your apartment’s water supply, they can significantly reduce harmful substances, such as chlorine and other chemicals.
The first thing you need to do is determine which type of shower head filter will be most appropriate for your bathroom. There are a number of options to choose from, including in-line filters that connect to the shower pipe directly and all-in-one shower head filters that screw onto your existing shower head.
In-line filters are easier to install and often come with universal adapters, which make them compatible with most shower heads. The all-in-one option, on the other hand, is a bit more challenging to install. If you’re not confident about your plumbing skills, though, you can always hire a plumber to do the work for you.
When you’re ready to install your new shower head filter, it’s important to follow the instructions. The manufacturer should instruct you to flush the filter with water before attaching it to the shower arm. This process will remove any sediment or dirt that might be in the filter.
If you’re installing a shower filter for the first time, you may also need to tighten it to ensure there are no leaks. To do this, turn the shower nut and screw it on until it’s just snug enough to hold, then use channel locks or pliers to hand-tighten it another 1/4-turn or 1/2-turn without overtightening it.
You should also inspect the threads of your shower arm to make sure there are no cracks or holes that might cause a leak when you attach the filter. If you see any, replace the plumber’s tape with fresh tape and wrap the threads with it to prevent any future leaks.
Once you’ve done this, you can finally attach your new shower head filter to your existing shower arm. You should be able to do this in less than 5 minutes, and it doesn’t require any special tools.
3. Install a water filtration pitcher
Water filtration pitchers are an inexpensive way to improve the quality of your tap water. They can remove contaminants such as chlorine, zinc, chromium, copper, and lead, which can lead to bad tastes and odors in your water.
They’re also a great way to cut down on plastic waste. But you need to be careful when choosing a pitcher.
You should choose a filter that reduces the number of dissolved solids, or TDS. This can help to prevent the growth of bacteria in your water, which can cause sickness and other health problems.
If you want to remove more contaminants, a multi-stage water filter may be your best bet. They typically use carbon block filters or other high-quality filtration media.
These systems come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and features, so you should be able to find one that fits your needs. Some are easy to un-install when you move, which is important for renters who may have to move out in a hurry.
Some models include an app that tells you when to change the filter. This makes changing it easy and efficient, and can save you money in the long run.
Other water filter pitchers are designed to fit directly into your faucet, so they don’t require plumbing connections or any electricity. These options are perfect for apartment dwellers who don’t want to worry about getting a filtration system installed by a professional.
Another great option is a gravity-fed water filter system. They’re easy to install and are great for people who want to remove contaminants such as chlorine, lead, heavy metals, and sediment.
The Big Berkey water filtration system is another good choice for apartments that don’t have a plumber. It features 6 different filtration elements that each filter more than 200 contaminants.
Its slim design is ideal for a small kitchen space. It can be stored on a counter or other space in your apartment.
It also has a large 2.25-gallon capacity that effortlessly purifies water for 1-4 people per day. It’s also a great choice for a household that doesn’t have a plumbing connection or electricity, as it relies solely on gravity to work.
4. Test the water
If you have concerns about the water in your apartment, you can find out more information by testing it. This can help you understand the problems and decide whether you need a water softener or another type of device.
The first step is to measure the hardness level of your water. You can do this with a test strip or water-testing kit. These will give you the results in grains per gallon or milligrams of dissolved calcium. If the result is above 7 grains, you will probably want to consider a water softener.
Another easy way to test the water is to use a soapsuds test. To carry out this test, you will need a clear glass or plastic bottle with a tight-fitting cap and water straight from your tap. Fill it about one-third full and add a few drops of pure liquid soap.
When you shake the bottle vigorously, you should get copious bubbles that will be fluffy and milky if the water is soft. If there are no bubbles or if the rest of the water is cloudy, your water is likely hard.
While hard water is not dangerous, it can cause a variety of issues in your home. This can include mineral deposits that build up in coffee makers, water supply pipes, ceramic tile and water heaters, which reduce the lifespan of these appliances. It can also make your skin and hair feel drier than usual.
It can also contribute to high utility bills by using more water than necessary to rewash dishes, laundry and clothes. It can also leave mineral spots on glassware and affect the performance of your showerhead.
In addition, hard water can affect the quality of your tap water and lead to higher levels of copper and lead in the drinking water. This can lead to health problems, especially for children.
If you suspect that your water has too much lead, you can buy a filter that attaches to your sink or a pitcher to help keep it safe. They aren’t cheap, but they do a good job at reducing lead exposure.