How To Pick A Home Water Test Kit?
Water test kits are offered at wildly different price points. There are items available for less than $10 as well as kits that sell for hundreds of dollars.
So, which of those testing kits should you purchase?
If you’ve never tested the quality of water in your home, you may want to invest in the more elaborate lab testing kits. For homeowners who have previously checked their water quality before and are using filters, TDS meters and pH testers will do.
If you simply need to get a read on your water’s hardness level, the inexpensive testing strips are what you’ll need.
Most of the water test kits available today are great for checking your tap water. However, you can also find some kits that are compatible with testing well water.
Water Test Kit Review
- Tap Score – Best Home Water Test Kit
- The Perfect Water – Best Laboratory Water Test Kit
- Test Assured – Best Budget Water Test Kit
- SafeHome Ultimate – Best Well Water Test Kit
- Bang For The Buck – Best Instant City Water Test Kit
- Health Metric – Best Instant Well Water Test Kit
- KoolaMo pH Tester – Best pH Water Tester
- HM Digital TDS – Best TDS Water Tester
- Hach 2745250 – Best Water Hardness Test Strips
Tap Score – Best Home Water Test Kit
With Simple Water’s Tap Score water test kit, all you need to do is collect water samples from your well water as detailed in the package and send it to the Lab for testing.
The test results come back, not only with a list of contaminants lurking in the water but also with advice on how to fix them.
Variants: The well water test kit is available in three different variants, viz,
- Essential Well Water Test
- Advanced Well Water Test
- Extended Well Water Test
Contaminants Covered: The test kit is comprehensive in the sense that, it tests for a large number of water contaminants.
Even the most basic of these test kits, tests for 51 analytes. The number of contaminants tested increases across the higher variants and includes VOCs as well.
Additionally, you can decide to commission some of the optional testing kits in your package at an added cost.
US Water Systems Council Endorsed & EPA Standards of Testing: The Tap Score water testing kit is endorsed by the US Water Council. This puts to rest some of the fears on the minds of first-time buyers.
The lab follows EPA Lab Testing Methods and Quantified Results for 100+ Chemicals.
Turnaround Time: Using the kit, water samples can be collected and prepared at home and dispatched to SimpleLab for testing.
The Lab takes 5 days, after receiving the samples, to send you a report by email. This is one of the fastest turnaround times in this segment.
Other Features: Apart from the test report detailing out the contaminants, it also shares advice on how best to handle these. Also, if you have a commercial set up that needs to comply with the regulatory, SimpleLabs helps you with achieving the targeted contaminant levels too.
The Perfect Water – Best Laboratory Water Test Kit
The Perfect Water Analysis Kit is an exhaustive test kit that tests for microbial, chemical, mineral, and every possible contaminant that can affect your and your family’s health and finds its way through water.
Contaminants Covered: The kit covers an enormous number of tests for 104 harmful contaminants.
These include, bacteria (coliform, E.coli and Iron Bacteria), 17 heavy metals, 10 inorganic chemicals (such as fluoride, arsenic, and lead), five organic chemicals (such as chloroform), 44 volatile organic chemicals (such as benzene and MTBE), and 20 pesticides, herbicides and PCB.
Testing as per USEPA Standards: The analysis is performed as per USEPA and industry standards to meet state compliance requirements. Further, the testing lab is accredited by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP).
Turnaround Time: The lab returns the results within 7-10 days of having received the sample. The results are shared via an email and no phone communication is entertained over the results.
The lab strictly instructs that no samples should have a transit time of more than 24 hours and must not be dispatched on a day that is followed by a holiday. This is to keep the sample standing at the lowest.
Test Assured – Best Budget Water Test Kit
Some of the water testing kits that look for numerous contaminants tend to be quite expensive. They may not be the most sensible purchases if you have a tight budget already.
Affordable Price: What’s great about Test Assured’s Drinking Water Test Kit is that it enables you to inspect for some of the most common contaminants at a more reasonable price.
Test on most common contaminants: It checks for bacteria, pesticides, nitrates, nitrites, and also tells you how much chlorine is in your water. You can even find out the results within minutes of testing.
For those homeowners looking for a budget option, this water test kit is a good option to consider.
Be careful during the sample collecting process though as it’s easy to come up with false positives if you don’t follow the instructions exactly.
SafeHome Ultimate – Best Well Water Test Kit
Over 200 Contaminants: Similar to the kit detailed above, Safe Home’s Ultimate Drinking Water Test Kit tests for a wide variety of potential contaminants, over 200 contaminants that could be floating around in your home’s water supply.
Checked on Well Water Contaminants: It also targets different forms of bacteria including e-coli, but that’s not its only focus. You can also expect this testing kit to tell you if there are substances such as lead, chlorine, and aluminum in the water. The kit will also show you if there are heavy metals and VOCs present.
Tested in EPA Certified Laboratories: After you’re done collecting the samples, you can send them to the manufacturer so that they can be checked at their EPA-certified laboratories.
Wait Time: The only downside is that you will probably have to wait a while for the results to be provided. It will take around seven to 10 business days to process the samples and that does not even include the time that they will be in transit.
Bang For The Buck – Best Instant City Water Test Kit
Being comprehensive is a good thing when it comes to water test kits. You want the ones that will check for as many contaminants as possible.
Covers 170 contaminants: The “Bang-for-the-Buck” Essential Indicators Water Test from Drinking Water Specialists test over 170 potential contaminants in the water supply. Chief among those contaminants sought out by this kit are eight types of pathogenic bacteria, including e-coli and total coliforms.
85 VOC Test : In addition to the bacteria, this kit will also look at 85 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals.
EPA Approach: The manufacturers of this test kit make use of the EPA’s methodology to accurately determine if there are substances of concern floating around in your water supply.
Results in Six Business Days: After providing your samples, they should get back to you with your results in six business days.
Health Metric – Best Instant Well Water Test Kit
In areas where wells are used as primary sources of water, this kit from Health Metric should prove to be a great purchase.
Manganese in Well Water: One of the most notable features of this testing kit is that it looks for manganese. Manganese in the water supply is not a concern from a health standpoint, but it is problematic in the sense that it can stain clothes. This testing kit can alert you to the possible problem of manganese in your water.
8 Test in Total:Furthermore, it also conducts 7 different tests which include the checks on bacteria, nitrates, nitrites, hydrogen sulfide and etc.
Since this a test kit that you’ll be using to inspect well water, it would be nice if it also identified heavy metals in the supply. That’s a glaring omission from an otherwise solid testing kit.
KoolaMo pH Tester – Best pH Water Tester
Temperature Doesn’t Matter: It can be calibrated easily by just pressing a single button and you don’t even have to get the water’s temperature to a certain level before you start using this meter. The meter has a temperature compensation feature that will help you receive accurate results regardless of whether the water is hot or cold.
High Accuracy: It comes with a high sensitive electrode sensor which reads accurate pH level. It provides accurate and stable reading across multiple tests.
Wide Usage: The pH tester can be used in various places such as pool, aquarium, drinking water spa and etc.
To be clear, this item is only for checking the pH level. If you need something that will detect contaminants, you will have to get a different kind of tester.
HM Digital TDS – Best TDS Water Tester
Next up is the TDS-EZ Water Quality Tester from HM Digital. While this water tester doesn’t check for as many contaminants as the items listed previously, it can still play an important role in your home.
Dissolved Solid Tester: This water tester specializes in finding impurities in water which is also known as dissolved solids. TDS is usually used to measure impurities on some of the best reverse osmosis water filters as those systems claim to reduce dissolved solid.
Huge Measurement Range: The measurement range of 0-9990 ppm with an increment of 1ppm, ensures that you will get a good read on your water quality. The item itself is easy enough to use and the auto-off feature keeps you from wasting batteries.
You may have a tough time seeing what’s on the display though as it is on the smaller side.
Hach 2745250 – Best Water Hardness Test Strips
Hard water is a problem that can really sneak up on you. As the hardness level of your water increases, the amount of soap you need to use will similarly go up. You’ll essentially have to spend more on cleaning items such as soap because of hard water and that’s money that could be spent in other ways.
Easy To Use: With the Total Hardness Test Strips from Hach, you will be able to accurately tell if you have hard water in your home. The strips are remarkably easy to use and they will let you know immediately if there’s a problem that you have to address.
Multiple Tests: There are also 50 strips available for you to use, so you should feel free to perform inspections every now and then.
Instant Test Results: Compare the test strips to the results on the container, you can know how hard is your water source and start looking for water softeners systems.
Be sure to store the strips properly. Otherwise, they may expire sooner than expected.
Benefits of Water Test Kit
The benefits of using a water test kit are many. Here are the top few reasons you should get your test kit.
Stay Away from Contamination
This is of course the top reason you should test your water. If the test results clear the water of the presence of contaminants, well, it’s safe to use. Else, you know that you need to take measures soon to make your water safe for drinking.
While we are aware that water we drink can be high in pollutants, knowing exactly which pollutant is the cause of contamination is important.
Helps get the Right Devices
We all want the best for our family and devices are a great way to ensure the same. But installing just about any device won’t help. If the water in your locality is high in certain contaminants and undesirable physical properties, installing the device that can free water from these will help solve the issue.
A water test kit is helpful in this measure as it precisely tells you the contaminants that you need to be fighting.
Detects Hard-to-Find Contaminants
Even the most treacherous contaminants can be traced and fixed using the water testing kits.
Insights into Health Concern
Health issues that you have always been trying to cure medically may have its roots in the water you drink. Analyzing water periodically, can pave the way towards freedom from such diseases.
The Convenience of Test Results at Home
4 Types Of Water Testing Kits
Testing kits can vary in terms of what they actually identify. In order to be sure that you get the best water test kit for your home, you must purchase the right variant.
The kits that look for contaminants in the water are usually the more expensive ones. Still, they are items you should consider purchasing if you want to be certain that you are drinking safe drinking water.
These kits will usually check for bacteria, pesticides, heavy metals, and VOCs.
In the world of water testers, TDS stands for “total dissolved solids,” per Aquasana. Total dissolved solids account for salt and minerals that may be in your water.
TDS meters are not useful for the purpose of finding contaminants, but they should be helpful when you are trying to figure out if it’s time to change your water filters.
Devices that measure the pH level of your water will let you know how acidic or how alkaline it is. According to Healthline, water with a pH level lower than 6.5 can be considered unsafe to drink. On the other hand, alkaline water can have some positive effects on your body.
Use a pH tester to quickly see if the water you have at home is harmful or helpful.
For Water Hardness
Water hardness refers to the “amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water,” per the United States Geological Survey. If your water features a high hardness level, that likely means that you will have to use more soap to clean with it.
Hardness strips can be used to determine the hardness level of the water you’re using.
3 Ways To Perform Water Tests
Test strips are most often useful if you are examining characteristics of your water such as its hardness and pH levels. The strips can even provide you with the results within a short amount of time.
You will also be able to find other testing strips that can do more. They may even identify which contaminants are currently present in your home’s water supply.
You won’t be the one conducting the lab tests if you use one of these kits. Instead, you will simply be tasked with collecting the samples as well as sending those to the manufacturers of the kit.
It can take anywhere between a week to three weeks before you receive the test results.
These are often the most convenient items that can be used for testing water and they return results almost immediately. The only real downside to using digital testers is that they can only measure the pH level and/or the amount of TDS in the water.
FAQ on Water Test Kit
How often do I need water testing?
There is no objective answer to that. It really depends where you live and what contaminants you want to test the water for. Ideally, as per EPA recommendation, water should be tested once a year for microorganisms.
For elemental contaminants and harmful chemicals, water should be tested once every 2-3 years.
In case of flooding, earthquake, or any other land disturbance, water should be tested as soon as possible.
How do I determine if my water is contaminated?
The simplest and most convenient way to determine this is to use a water test kit. It comes with directions for use and the collected sample can be sent to a lab that will analyze and send the report to you. Additionally, there are some labs that may even help fix the issues with the water by advising the right kind of devices and treatment methods.
The best water test kit can have a significant positive impact your quality of life. With the information you receive from the kit, you can find out if you’re drinking and/or using clean water. Invest in one if you want to ensure that you are only using the best kind of water at home.