Testing your water at home is a great way to tell how safe it is to drink. Even with built-in filters, it’s hard to tell which minerals and bacteria are present.
While those types of filters are handy, some people have trouble keeping up with them. Changing the screens or filter boards every so often can get annoying.
With a home water test kit, you can find out how safe your water is quickly and efficiently.
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The Importance of Quality Home Water Testing
Many people just assume that their home has clean, filtered water coming in. A quick taste of bottled water vs. your tap water can tell you how untrue that is. More often than not, your built-in filters aren’t doing a lot of good.
While it’s true that filters do help some, a lot of the bacteria can still come in. It’s easy to taste the difference between water treated by low-end filtering products.
It’s important to filter your water for several reasons. Firstly, this water is going into your body! Small amounts of toxins become big problems over time.
Another reason to filter your home water independently is because of the area you live in. While your water is treated by your local water treatment facility, it just does a general sweep.
It doesn’t go into a detailed inspection of what your water needs to be treated properly. This is important because even though you live in the same area, your water can be different.
People who live near creeks or lakes have certain contaminants in their water. On the other hand, those who live by oil rigs or gas stations have other things to worry about. And all of these people can get their water from a single water tank!
It goes to show that relying on city water tanks and filters to do the job is not a good idea. You need something specific for your neighborhood and even specific to your home.
Yet another reason why you should test your water at home is because it helps you understand your water. When you know which minerals and bacteria are in excess, you can combat them accordingly.
Some people complain of having a bitter taste in their water and just chalk it up to bad filtering. But no amount of filtering is going to remove the taste. In this case, learning what your water has can tell you what it needs.
Adding minerals and substances into the water can counteract existing flavors. The makeup of every source of water is different, so testing for this makeup is informative.
In short, testing your home water is important for your health. It also helps you become more informed about your home’s water system.
The 10 Best Water Quality Test Kits for Your Home
There are many different types of water kits out there. They all test different things, and some are just better than others. With this table, you can understand the differences and find the best one for you.
|Pictures||Test Kits||Tests For|
|Test Assured Drinking Water Test Kit||Lead, Bacteria, Pesticide, Iron, Copper, Alkalinity, pH, Hardness, Chlorine, Nitrates & Nitrites|
|Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit||Lead, Bacteria, Pesticide, Iron, Copper, pH, Hardness, Chlorine, Nitrates & Nitrites|
|Total Hardness Water Test Strips Kit||Hardness, Iron, Copper, Lead, Fluoride, Mercury, Chromium, Sulfate, pH, Alkalinity, Nitrate, Nitrite, Bromine, Chlorine|
|Water Hardness Test Strips – Quick and Easy Hard Water Test Strips||Hardness|
|Lead Iron Copper and Mercury - Home Water Test Kit||Lead, Iron, Copper, Mercury|
|JNW Direct Drinking Water Test Strips||Lead, Iron, Fluoride, Copper, pH, Hardness, Alkalinity, Nitrite, Nitrate & Chlorine|
|HoneForest Digital TDS Meter||TDS, EC, Temp|
|JNW Direct Water Total Hardness Test Strips||Total Hardness|
|Bulk Water Hardness Test Strips||Hardness|
|First Alert WT1 Drinking Water Test Kit||Bacteria, Lead, Pesticides, Nitrates/Nitrites, Chlorine, Hardness & pH|
Home Water Test Kits Reviews
1. Test Assured Drinking Water Test Kit
First on the list is the Test Assured drinking water test. This test is the perfect way to start looking into your water contaminants. To start off, it has met all of the EPA standards.
Knowing that your water test kit is approved is a big relief. You don’t have to worry about the fake test or inaccurate results.
The Test Assured drinking water kit looks at 10 different elements in your water. It looks for bacteria, copper, chlorine, iron, pesticides, and many other substances.
In other products, these all come as separate tests. This product saves money because it does all of that in a single go.
Another great quality of this product is that it is an at-home test kit. You don’t have to take this to a lab or send it to an outside company. All you have to do is take a sample yourself.
Another good quality is that the provider has a great return and refund policy. You get a 100% money-back guarantee.
The only negative quality is that the bacteria test can show false positives. It’s easy to mess up the instructions for that test. So, if you’re not very skilled with testing, this may not be good for you.
- 10 tests in one product
- No outside lab involvement
- 100% return guarantee
- Simple to perform at home
- Instructions are not simple
- Possibility for a false positive
2. Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit
The next test is the Watersafe water test kit. This test is fast and easy to use. You know it’s accurate because you compare results with the EPA’s recommendations.
This test measures several different kinds of contaminants. For one, you can look at the copper, lead, and iron levels in your water. You can also test for harmful bacteria and pesticides.
One thing that many water test kits overlook is chlorine. High levels of chlorine change the taste of the water and are also dangerous to ingest. With the Watersafe well water test kit, you can test for chlorine and many other substances.
This product also allows you to test at home and see results for yourself. You use simple testing tabs to dip in the water. The tabs change color to let you know how much of a certain substance is in the water.
One negative quality of this product is that you can get inaccuracies with misuse. You have to let your water run for five minutes before taking a sample. If you don’t do that, the results are often inconclusive.
- Product checks for chlorine
- Follows EPA’s recommendations
- Uses easy-to-understand testing strips
- Tests 10 different elements
- Have to wait five minutes before the testing sample
- Can be inaccurate if directions aren’t followed closely
3. Total Hardness Water Test Strips Kit
The next test is the Total Hardness water test kit. This test is for comparing your water hardness. It can tell you if your water has too much calcium or magnesium.
One positive quality for this product is that it has 100 strips. So, you can test multiple samples of water hardness.
When testing the water hardness, simply compare the colors to the colors on the product. Once you know the level of water hardness, you can easily add a water conditioner.
Alternatively, you can use the strips to test your water periodically. These test results are also available in seconds due to the test strips.
One negative quality for the Total Hardness water test kit is that it’s difficult to tell the results. Some users found it very hard to differentiate the colors on the strip. Even though the process is simple, the actual results are hard to understand.
- Simple design for testing
- 100 testing strips included
- Fast results
- Can only test the hardness of water
- Difficult to tell the difference between colors
4. Water Hardness Test Strips – Quick and Easy Hard Water Test Strips
This is the Health Metric water hardness test kit. These test strips follow a color-coded chart to distinguish your results. They are easy to understand because it goes from red to green.
This product is meant for testing your water hardness. You can use it in all areas that have a water source flowing through them. It can be used in a shower, spa, pool, or dishwasher.
This product comes with 50 strips. It allows for several tests, but it does not have as many strips as most water hardness tests do.
Another great feature of this product is that you can contact the team if there’s confusion. The added benefit of having a team of scientists to explain your results is not found in many products. This makes it very cost-efficient.
One negative quality for this product is that the number of strips included is far less than what is the norm. Other tests include at least 100 strips in the price. This ends up costing a little more than usual.
- Easy-to-read colors for test results
- Can turn to the team for help with results
- Can test multiple times
- Fewer strips included than normal
- Ends up costing more than other products
5. Lead Iron Copper and Mercury – Home Water Test Kit
This is another Health Metric product. This one is different because it tests for heavy metals. The main thing it looks at is lead, copper, mercury, and iron.
One good feature that this product has is the highly sensitive design. Unlike other versions, the strips measure in very small increments. The small changes in your water make it easy for you to add specific amounts of conditioners.
Another excellent feature that the Health Metric product has is individual results. This tells you exactly which metals are in your water. Other products give a general look into your water but don’t specify metals.
Even though it’s good to know the different metals in your water, that can also be a problem. It only comes with four tests overall and severely limits the number of things you can test.
- Tests for specific metals
- Gives a deeper look into the amount of metals
- Water test strips are easy to use
- Limited amount of tests
- Doesn’t test for anything other than four substances
6. JNW Direct Drinking Water Test Strips
The next product is the JNW Direct drinking water test strips. This is a great testing product for several reasons. Firstly, it tests for 10 different substances.
The tabs just need to be dipped in the water, and the results are available in seconds. You don’t have to mail the samples to a lab, as you can tell the results from your own observations.
A great quality that the JNW Direct product has is that it comes with 125 strips. That means you can test many times more with this product than with other products.
A great touch that JNW Direct product gives is the included E-book. The E-book explains your results to you in more detail. The E-book also comes with the EPA standards that the product follows.
One negative trait is that some users complained of inaccurate results. You may have to test the sample several times before you get accurate results.
- Tests for 10 different contaminants
- Simple testing process
- Comes with 125 strips; more than any other product
- Comes with helpful E-book
- Possible inaccurate results
- Testing may be done several times before good results
7. HoneForest Digital TDS Meter
The HoneForest TDS is probably the easiest way to test the quality of your water. This device uses a quality titanium probe and automatic temperature compensation for results.
The design allows accuracy at various temperatures. The probe uses LCD lighting for easy reading when results are in.
The HoneForest TDS has an auto-lock function to keep results locked on the screen. The probe device also saves energy by shutting off when it’s not in use for two minutes.
Great quality for the HoneForest TDS product is that it comes with a three-year warranty. There is also a 90-day money-back guarantee if the product is not up to standards.
One negative quality for this product is that there’s no way to replace the batteries once it runs out. You would have to purchase a new product. That is going to cost extra and add to the overall price.
- Electronic design makes it easy to read results
- Large, bright screen also helps with visuals
- Energy-saving design
- Three-year warranty included
- No replacement for batteries
- Not like normal tests; may take some time to get used to
8. JNW Direct Water Total Hardness Test Strips
This is another product by JNW. These Total Hardness test strips provide an easy and reliable way to tell your water’s hardness. The product comes with 150 strips.
Instead of having a technical aspect, this is very simple to test. After dipping the strip into the water, allow it to rest for a minute. Comparing is simple with the labels on the bottle.
Like the other JNW product, this one comes with an E-book. It provides more information about your results. You can also use it for EPA standard information.
One negative quality is that some users complained that the strips didn’t work on the first try. You may have to use a few strips in one sample for good reading. That uses up strips unnecessarily.
- Strips are simple to use
- Cost-effective product
- Comes with 150 strips
- The e-book has valuable information
- May have to waste some strips
- Somewhat cost-effective for defective strips
9. Bulk Water Hardness Test Strips
This is another great product to test your water’s hardness. This utilizes the regular method of testing strips. In this product, you get a total of 35 strips.
Though 35 is plenty for one sample, it’s still a small amount. You can buy many more for the price that these come in.
On a positive note, these strips have very sensitive readings. They can test from 0-30 grains of water hardness in a single-use. Their resealable design also keeps in freshness and maintains quality.
One negative trait of these strips is that they’re a little expensive. The company also doesn’t have a return policy associated.
- Comes with 35 strips
- Very sensitive readings
- Tests from 0-30 grains of hardness
- No return policy
- More expensive than other products for fewer items
10. First Alert WT1 Drinking Water Test Kit
Last but not least is the First Alert testing kit. This kit combines testing for both harmful substances and water hardness. There’s only one test in a package.
First Alert is a leader in home safety, so you know this product is of high-quality. The higher quality also makes for a higher price, though.
When using this product, you take a small sample and dip the strip in. The strip then changes colors according to the hardness and bacteria level. Overall, it’s very simple and quick to use.
Like many products of high quality, this follows the EPA standards. You can rest assured that you’re getting accurate readings with it.
One negative trait of the First Alert kit is the price. It only comes with one non-reusable test, so it ends up costing much more than other products. The quality is there, but so is the high price.
- High-quality product
- Meets EPA standards
- Tests both bacteria and water hardness
- Non-reusable test
- Only has one test
- Higher price than other products
How to Choose Water Test Kits for Your Home?
When it comes to choosing a testing kit, first consider the area you live in. Depending on which elements your water is exposed to, you’re going to need different tests. Some elements have a greater impact on the water, so you need a stronger test.
Another way to choose your testing kit is to narrow down which bacteria you want to test for. You can ask at a local lab or water treatment facility about what you should be testing for.
You can’t just say that you want to find every bacteria or substance your water has. No test is that comprehensive. Specific results are more effective in treating your water correctly.
You should also consider how old or damaged your home’s pipes are. This plays a big part in the contamination of your water supply. Depending on how old everything is, you’re going to need a stronger test.
How to Test Water Hardness at Home?
Testing your water hardness at home is a simple process. Most of the DIY kits you use have instructions attached, but they’re generally the same.
First, start by collecting a small sample of the water you’re testing. Keep this in a labeled vial if you’re testing multiple sources of water.
Once you have your water ready, place the testing strip in and allow it to sit for a few minutes. You should notice that a portion of the strip is changing colors.
Take this color and match it to the colors included with the kit. This tells you how hard your water is. You can then use this information to buy the conditioner accordingly.
How to Test Well Water at Home?
Well water testing can be done by yourself or with a professional. It’s recommended to test well water at least twice a month at home and yearly by a professional.
DIY projects cost less but are generally less effective. However, they still provide accurate results if done correctly.
Because well water is different from tank water, your test is slightly more complex. You need a comprehensive test to rule out all possible contaminants before drinking.
As a basic rule, you should test your well with general mineral analysis. This tells you about the iron and manganese levels in your water.
A general mineral test also looks at nitrate, sulfates, iron, copper, and water hardness. This is a pretty good base for understanding what your well water has.
Additionally, you should test your well for coliform bacteria. These types of bacteria live in the soil and on vegetation. Because you’re testing a well, you need to make sure these things aren’t running into your supply.
Well tests are more complex but give you peace of mind. You can take advantage of crisp, freshwater this way without worrying about contamination.
Because we drink water every day, it can easily build up in our system. Testing your water with the best water testing kits is an easy way to keep you and your family healthy. A simple test can prevent years of damage and high costs of restorative health care.