Eighty-five percent of American households have hard water of varying degrees, and many need a water softener to prevent problems caused by hard water mineral. However, a high quality water softener system is a significant investment, and many people are unable or not ready to fork over the cost. Then some people may only need a water softener temporarily if they are renting a home or planning to move and may not feel the need to buy one.
This is why many water softening companies offer water softening rental packages.
However, is renting a water softener versus buying one worth it? There are pros and cons to both renting a water softener and buying one, and we will look at everything you need to know in this detailed guide.
Click To View Table Of Content
Benefits of Renting a Water Softener
Renting a water softener can definitely be worth your time and money. Here are some benefits:
- Low upfront cost
- Usually no repair/servicing cost
- Size and needs accounted for
- Installation is included
- Short-term use
- State or municipal law changes
- Try before you buy
First, a big benefit of renting a water softener is that you won’t have to pay a large fee upfront. If you need a water softener right away, but cannot afford to buy one, renting one is a great option. In addition, the repair costs are typically taken care of by the rental company. Maintenance costs are typically the renter’s responsibility, but not always. While the company will install the system for you, they will usually charge an installation fee.
Also, when you consult a water softening rental company, they will access the level of hardness and your water, your household size, and needs and match you with a system that meets those requirements. This means less research and busy work on your end.
In addition, maybe you don’t need a water softener long term, but you do need one now. This would be a good reason to rent one.
If your state or municipal laws change regarding softening water, and you can no longer use your water softener, you can just return it and be glad you didn’t buy it.
Maybe you just want to try one out to see how it works with your household. Then, of course, you can try before you buy! You can see how effective the system is and if it one you want to purchase long-term. Many companies offer rent to own plans (more on that in a bit).
Drawbacks of Renting a Water Softener
Even though there are plenty of perks of renting a water softener, there are some drawbacks as well:
- More pay in the long run
- Limited selection
- Used equipment may be used
- May require a 2-3 year contract
If you do the math, you will see that renting for an extended period of time means you will pay more in the long run than if you would have purchased the softener, so while you think you are saving money by renting, you may or may not be.
In addition, when renting a water softener, you may not have a large selection to choose from, and there’s a good chance that the softener will not be brand new.
Finally, some companies require 24-36 month contracts, while others don’t and will let you “cancel” anytime. This is something to know prior to renting.
Renting vs Buying a Rental Softener: The Cost
Obviously, the cost is an important factor in whether to buy or rent a water softener. A water softener’s price varies depending on the quality, capacity, and type of softener. On average, a water softener costs between $600-$2500, and the cost to install can range from $200 to $500. Of course, this is just on average. Some of the higher-end softeners can cost much more.
So, how much is it to rent a water softener?
Water softener rental costs range monthly from $20-$50, depending on the dealer. Some higher-end rental companies may charge more. Most companies also charge an installation fee, which is at least $100.
Typically, if you are looking to rent a softener long-term, you will be paying more money in the long run. For example, if you rent a model that costs $1000 and pay $30 dollars a month, you will have paid for the total cost of the unit in just under three years, but you will continue to pay because you are renting. This is not to discourage the renting option, but just know that if you plan to rent long-term, you will be paying more money over time.
Some dealers also offer rent-to-own options, and while in the long term this can end up being a more expensive option, you can do the math and see if this option would be worthwhile. In addition, some companies offer rent-to-own options where they refund the rental fees if the unit is purchased within a certain time frame.
Renting a water softener will stabilize your cash flow because you will be charged a fixed cost each month. Buying a softener will mean you pay for it upfront, although some companies will offer interest-free payment plans, so that’s something to check out.
Where to Rent a Water Softener
Culligan Water is a world leader water filtration and softening company that offers rentals. This company is headquartered in Illinois but has branches all over the world. You can contact your local Culligan Water Experts by filling out this contact form.
You can also Google “water softener rental” + your location to see what is available locally. I did that as I was writing this article, and I found three local businesses that rent water softeners.
If you need a water softener, but cannot afford the upfront cost, renting may be for you. Likewise, if you are renting your current home and don’t want to invest in a water softener, consider renting one. Knowing all the factors involved in this process will help you make an informed decision.
If you change your mind and decide to buy instead , head over to our water softener buying guide to avoid pitfalls.