Can You Install a Water Softener in a Mobile Home?

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If you want to eliminate the damaging effects of limescale in your home, you need a water softener.

But can water softeners be installed in a mobile home? What do you need to consider when buying a water softener for a home where space is a premium?

Find out in this guide.

📌 Key Takeaways:

  • You can install a water softener in a mobile home – but you will need a smaller, compact unit for your smaller install location.
  • Water softening systems produce soft water, which prevents scale buildup in your plumbing and appliances, improving their performance and extending their lifespans.
  • Before installing a water softener unit in your mobile home, consider your available space, your home size and flow rate requirements, your access to electricity, and your preferred water treatment method.

🏠 Can You Install A Water Softener System In A Mobile Home?

Yes, you can install a water softener system in a mobile home – but you will need to choose your water softener carefully due to the space limitations of a smaller home.

The good news is that mobile homes don’t have the same water pressure or demand requirements as a typical two-floor living space, which means you can save money and buy a lower-cost water softener that’s ideal for your situation.

Our top recommended water softener for a mobile home is an apartment water softener or RV water softener.

Apartment water softeners and RV water softeners are essentially the same thing: they’re both smaller versions of full-size conventional water softeners, and have the advantage of taking up less install space and being low-hassle to maintain. You’ll also hear these systems referred to as portable water softeners.

If your mobile home has limited space and you just need enough soft water for a single bathroom and a couple of water-using appliances, an apartment or RV water softener is the best water treatment system for you.

Portable water softener installed outdoor of a mobile home

🤔 Why Might You Need A Water Softener In A Mobile Home?

Mobile homes, like any other homes in the US, are typically supplied with hard water.

An estimated 85% of the country has hard water, whether that water is supplied by a municipal water utility or a private groundwater well.

Hard water isn’t dangerous, but it’s a major water quality concern, damaging appliances and increasing your energy bills as a result of scale deposits in your plumbing and appliances.

Some of the effects of hard water include:

  • Reduced water flow due to scale buildup in your plumbing and pipes
  • Decreased appliance performance efficiency and shortened lifespans
  • Water spots on your dishes and glassware
  • More soap required for laundry, and more shampoo and soaps required for showering, due to hard water’s reduced ability to lather with soap
  • Dry skin and hair damage caused by soap scum from washing in hard water

If your mobile home has hard water, you’ll have to spend more money on appliance energy bills, soaps, and limescale cleaning products to mitigate the damage caused by your water supply.

Installing a water softener will eliminate all these issues by producing mineral-free softened water that’s unable to leave scale deposits or soap scum around your home.

Hard water effects in mobile home

📝 What To Consider When Installing A Water Softener In A Mobile Home

There are a few things to consider when deciding on the best water softener for your mobile home:

Your Available Space

First, consider how much available space you have at your installation location.

A water softener should be installed as close as possible to the main water line’s entry into your mobile home, upstream of your water heater.

Find a location that fits this description and take measurements of the available space. You can then compare these measurements to a water softener’s dimensions when you’re shopping.

Remember, you don’t only need enough room to house the softener – you will also need space for maintenance and servicing over the unit’s lifetime of operation.

If you don’t have enough room inside your home, consider installing the softener outside. You’ll just need to take additional measures to protect the unit from the outside elements, including UV damage, rain, and freezing. Refer to our guide to installing a water softener outside if you’re keen to consider this option.

Small water softener under sink of a mobile home

Your Mobile Home Size & Required Flow Rate

The size of your mobile home and the number of appliances and fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom will determine your required flow rate.

Different water softener systems have different flow rates. Portable softeners have a flow rate of around 5 gallons per minute (GPM), which is more than enough for most mobile homes.

Or, if you’re keen not to interrupt your water flow in the slightest, consider an electromagnetic water conditioner, which sits on the outside of your water pipe and won’t cause your water pressure to drop.

Access To Electricity

Your installation location will also determine the type of water softener you can install in your mobile home.

A typical portable water softener for use in RVs and mobile homes is non-electric, which means you can install the system at any point along your water line – indoors or outdoors – without having to worry about being close to a power outlet or using an extension lead.

This is a big advantage over conventional softeners which need electricity for regeneration cycles.

If you do have access to a power outlet in your installation location, you can also consider scale prevention systems that use electricity, like electronic de-scalers (more on these below).

A non-electric softener is the best option if you only use your mobile home for vacations or extended stays and you don’t want the softener to use power while you’re not at the property.

Unplugging the water softener system

Method Of Water Treatment

Finally, decide on a water treatment method that addresses scale in your mobile home, based on the above considerations.

There are a couple of water softening or conditioning options for a mobile home, RV, apartment, boat, or smaller property with less installation space.

These are:

  • Portable water softening systems
  • Electric water conditioners

Portable water softeners are the most popular choice for folks who want all the benefits of conventional water softening. These softeners are salt-based and use the traditional process of ion exchange to remove hardness minerals from water, replacing them with sodium ions. Portable water softeners are our top recommended option for anyone who wants to soften their water completely, eliminating the potential for scale accumulation in their mobile homes.

Electric water conditioners are a small, compact salt-free alternative to water softeners. These units are installed horizontally on your main water pipe and alter the adhesion abilities of magnesium and calcium minerals by treating water with electromagnetic waves. An electric water conditioner doesn’t soften water in the literal sense because the hardness minerals are still present. This unit isn’t as effective as a water softener system, but it’s still a good choice for mobile homeowners who want to reduce hard water damage.

Portable water softener and electric water descaler for mobile home living

📑 Final Word

You can definitely still install a water softener in a mobile home, even with limited space – but a full-size two-tank conventional water softener is probably out of the question.

Instead, you’ll need to look at a smaller alternative. You can achieve the same great results with a portable water softener, which is compact enough to fit into tight spaces and is much quicker and easier to install than a conventional softener.

Take plenty of time to research the softeners that are available to you and pay particular attention to customer reviews. You want to make sure a water softener is worth the upfront investment – even if that investment is a fraction of the cost of a full-size softener.

👨‍🔧 If you’re ready to start shopping, you’ll find our top recommended softeners for mobile homes in our guide to the best portable water softeners.

  • Jennifer Byrd
    Water Treatment Specialist

    For 20+ years, Jennifer has championed clean water. From navigating operations to leading sales, she's tackled diverse industry challenges. Now, at Redbird Water, she crafts personalized solutions for homes, businesses, and factories. A past Chamber President and industry advocate, Jennifer leverages her expertise in cutting-edge filtration and custom design to transform water concerns into crystal-clear solutions.

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