Water quality should be one of your main concerns as your encounter with it is inevitable – you need to drink it in order to hydrate yourself and maintain a good health, a lot of foods are prepared with it, and you use it when you bathe. The good news is that you can easily find out what are the issues concerning the quality of the water which runs through the pipes in your home with the help of a fast and accurate test kit.
- Top 11 Home Water Test Kits Compared
- 1. Test Assured cwa1000
- 2. Watersafe WS425W
- 3. JNW Direct 10-in-1
- 4. First Alert WT1
- 5. Safe Home STARTER-20
- 6. PurTest – 11 Contaminants
- 7. NovoBlue 14-in-1
- 8. Watts Premier 173006 All-in-One
- 9. Technically Pure 14-in-1
- 10. Industrial Test Systems 481199
- 11. HealthyWiser 9-Way 100ct
- Indicators that Your Water Needs Testing
- The Importance of Checking Water Quality
- Test Results
- Most Reliable Methods to Check Water Quality
- What to Choose
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 11 Home Water Test Kits Compared
|Photo||Model||What It Checks For||Highlight||Result Waiting Time||Price|
|1. Test Assured cwa1000||Lead, copper, iron, bacteria, pesticides, pH, chlorine, nitrates, nitrites, alkalinity||No lab testing required||10 minutes|
|2. Watersafe WS425W||Hardness, bacteria, lead, iron, copper, nitrates, nitrites, pH, chlorine, pesticides||Affordable and comprehensive||On the spot results|
|3. JNW Direct 10-in-1||Copper, iron, pH, lead, nitrites, nitrates, free chlorine, total alkalinity, total hardness, fluoride||Lifetime money back guarantee||30 seconds|
|4. First Alert WT1||Bacteria, pesticides, pH, hardness, nitrites/nitrates, lead, and chlorine||Up to EPA standards||Instant results|
|5. Safe Home STARTER-20||Total coliform, hexavalent chromium, copper, iron, lead, silver, zinc, mercury, free chlorine, total chlorine, chloride, nitrite, nitrate, sulfate, phosphate, alkalinity, dissolved solids, pH, hardness, and pesticides||No lab testing required||2 minutes|
|6. PurTest – 11 Contaminants||Bacteria, pesticides, lead, copper, iron, pH, hardness, nitrates, nitrites, and alkalinity||Lab certified product||Instant results|
|7. NovoBlue 14-in-1||pH, bromine, total hardness, lead, free chlorine, total chlorine, iron, copper, fluoride, total alkalinity, carbonate, cyanuric acid, nitrites, nitrates||Lab certified product||1 minute|
|8. Watts Premier 173006 All-in-One||pH, alkalinity, nitrite, nitrate, chlorine, chloride iron, hydrogen sulfide, sulfate, copper, lead, pesticide, and bacteria||EPA-approved||In a few minutes|
|9. Technically Pure 14-in-1||pH, total hardness, lead, fluoride, free chlorine, total chlorine, nitrite, nitrate, iron, copper, bromine, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, carbonate||Comprehensive use||1 minute|
|10. Industrial Test Systems 481199||Free chlorine, total chlorine, chloride, hydrogen sulfide, sulfate, iron, copper, pH nitrates, bacteria, and nitrites||Affordable asking price||Instant results|
|11. HealthyWiser 9-Way 100ct||Alkalinity, pH, hardness, chlorine, nitrites, nitrates, bromine, and cyanuric acid||No lab test required||30 second|
1. Test Assured cwa1000
There are a total of 10 different factors it helps you check for, more precisely lead, copper, pesticides, bacteria, alkalinity, iron, pH, nitrites, nitrates, and hardness. Thus, regardless of the type of contamination or imbalance you are dealing with, it is sure to reveal the problems at hand. This way, you will have a better idea of what type of water purification system you need to install, one which will specifically tend to the contaminants you are dealing with. It comes at a rather reasonable price, so it is unlikely for it to surpass your budget. However, what enchants the most is that it is easy to use. Not only this, but it provides results after only 10 minutes of waiting. Therefore, you won’t have to wait for days, even weeks, for the results regarding water quality to come back as you will receive these results almost on the spot.
2. Watersafe WS425W
Even though it provides you with a single test for each contaminant or water issue, balancing the asking price and the accuracy it delivers, we strongly recommend it to those who want to find out exactly what quality the water they use and consume boasts. It is perfect for use on water coming from the municipal source as well as well water, so there are no limitations to circumstantial use. It checks for 10 different factors which include iron, pesticides, lead, bacteria, copper, nitrites, nitrates, pH, hardness, and chlorine. It provides you with results on the spot, so there is no long waiting period as it would have been involved with lab testing. Those who were skeptic about the accuracy of its results were pleasantly surprised when they compared these results with the ones provided by professional laboratories, the results coinciding. Another mention-worthy fact is that it comes with easy to understand and follow instructions which make it one of the easiest to comprehend products on the market.
3. JNW Direct 10-in-1
In the package are included 125 strips, meaning that you can use it to check water quality for a long time. Considering the cheap price it comes at, it’s safe to say that buying it is a smart investment. it checks for 9 parameters, more precisely pH level, total alkalinity, total hardness, free chlorine, lead, iron, copper, nitrates, nitrites, and fluoride. It is easy to use – just dip a strip in the water sample, wait 30 seconds for the strip to change color, and when this happens, compare it to the color chart on the bottle to find out what type of water quality issues you are dealing with. Best of all, a lifetime money back guarantee is provided, so if you are ever displeased with the results it provides, you can return it and receive a full refund.
4. First Alert WT1
It includes everything you need to check the water for pH, bacteria, lead, pesticides, chlorine, nitrites, nitrates, and hardness. With the results provided, you will be able to make the right purchase when it comes to the water filtration system that is best suited for your needs. It will enable you to check if your existing filtration system performs well. What makes it a great purchase is the fact that it eliminates the need to take water samples to a lab in order to find out how clean the water is, providing answers in a matter of minutes without requiring you to leave the house. It is easy to use due to the fact that you only have to dip a strip in the water and check to see where on the color chart the strip falls. Best of all, due to the fact that it performs to EPA standards, you can rest assured that it provides not only fast results but incredibly accurate ones as well.
5. Safe Home STARTER-20
As the name suggests, there are a total of 20 contaminants that you can check your water for using this product, including total coliform, hexavalent chromium, copper, iron, lead, silver, zinc, mercury, free chlorine, total chlorine, chloride, nitrite, nitrate, sulfate, phosphate, alkalinity, dissolved solids, pH, hardness, and pesticides. What makes it all the more desirable is the fact that it can be used to check samples of city water, well water, lakes, streams, rivers, and even cisterns. Each test can be used only once, so there’s the issue that, if you want to check a different source for the same type of contamination issue, you will have to buy a new one. However, seeing how it comes at a low price and it checks for more water quality issues than most products on its market, this isn’t all that big of an issue. Furthermore, it is EPA certified, which shows that you can trust its results, so no further testing is needed.
6. PurTest – 11 Contaminants
Before you buy a water filtration system, it is smart to check the water and see what type of problems you are actually dealing with. This is where the PurTest comes in, providing accurate and fast results so that you know for sure what contaminants lurk in the water. Also, you can use it to check and see how well the water treatment equipment that you have performs in order to decide whether it is time for an upgrade or not. What makes it a popular choice is the fact that it checks for no less than 11 different contaminants, helping you do this right from your home, without requiring that you take water samples to a lab for checking purposes. It includes checkups for bacteria, pesticides, lead, copper, chlorine, iron, for pH, hardness, nitrates, nitrites, and alkalinity. Also, it is lab certified, so you know for sure that you will be working with a top quality product.
7. NovoBlue 14-in-1
Ideal not only for checking drinking water, but the pool, hot tub, spa, aquarium, or any other water body, it provides an easy and fast manner to figure out what are the problems you are confronted with. As the name suggests, there are 14 quality check parameters it provides, these tests including pH, total chlorine, nitrites, nitrates, fluoride, hardness, free chlorine, cyanuric acid, total alkalinity, carbonate, copper, lead, iron, and bromine. All you have to do is take a strip, dip it into the liquid you want to check, remove it, shake off any excess water, hold it horizontally for 15 to 60 seconds, and compare the strip to the color chart found on the container. It is an FDA approved product that even holds a CE certification for at home use. There are 100 strips included, so you can rely on it to provide you with info regarding water quality for a long amount of time. Furthermore, the asking price for the product is quite cheap, so you won’t have issues in regards to affording it.
8. Watts Premier 173006 All-in-One
For the price of approximately $40, you can find out on the spot whether there are issues with the water you drink or not with the help of the Premier 173006. It provides the answers that you are looking for in a matter of minutes, all that you have to do being to dip a strip in the water and see what color code it matches. With it, you will be able to check for chlorine, chloride, pH, alkalinity, nitrite, nitrate, iron, hydrogen sulfide, sulfate, copper, lead, pesticide, and bacteria. It is extremely comprehensive, so you do not have to worry that using it might be too difficult for you. Best of all, it eliminates the need to take water samples to a lab in order to find out what is the quality of the water you drink. Another aspect that delights about it is the fact that it contains an EPA-approved free chlorine strip. Therefore, you can rest assured that the results it shows are completely accurate, and you can use them in order to guide yourself better when buying a new water filtration system.
9. Technically Pure 14-in-1
A complete kit that provides answers regarding water quality issues in just a minute, the Technically Pure is one of the cheapest options to go for. It comes with 100 strips that you can use to routinely check quality of various water sources, as well as 4 tubes that you can use to collect the samples you are about to test. Using it is as straightforward as it can get – just fill a tube with the water sample, dip the strip in it for a few seconds, and compare it to the chart on the bottle to see how the sample checks. It puts a total of 14 different test factors at your disposal, more precisely pH level, free chlorine, total chlorine, total hardness, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, carbonate, lead, fluoride, iron, copper, bromine, nitrites, and nitrates. Furthermore, there’s a money back guarantee provided with it, so in case you find the test results to be faulty and you are displeased with it, you can return it and receive a full refund.
One of the cheapest options to go for, it puts at your disposal a total of 14 different test factors to learn in just a minute what water quality issues you are dealing with so that you make the right pick when it comes to filtration.
10. Industrial Test Systems 481199
Another amazing choice to go with if you want to check the quality of the water that you drink and use, or to check and see how well the water filtration system that you own works is the 481199. Due to the fact that it comes at the small price of approximately $28, you are ensured that it won’t be an inaccessible purchase. It is very easy to use, offering instant and accurate results. All that you have to do in order to figure out what contaminants and overall problems you are facing when it comes to the quality of the water is to dip a strip in the water, wait for it to get colored, and check it against the chart that comes with it. This makes it perfect for home use, not requiring you to take samples to a lab, but rather to wait a couple of minutes to find out the information that interests you. It is lab certified, being designed using cutting-edge chemistries that ensure it is of a great quality. When it comes to what it checks, it can be used for finding out important info about the water like the pH, free chlorine, total chlorine, chloride, hydrogen sulfide, sulfate, iron, copper, and nitrate/nitrite nitrogen.
11. HealthyWiser 9-Way 100ct
As it comes at a cheap price and provides almost instant results, results that you can trustfully rely on, the 9-Way is our top pick on this market. With its help, you can learn what are the imbalances in your water and what are the main impurities you have to reduce and keep an eye out for, thus helping you maintain proper water chemistry in order to lead a healthier life. Thus, as a result of using it, you will be aware of what filtration media you require to handle the issues at hand. Best of all, you learn everything you need to know without going through the time-consuming task of taking water samples at a lab to have them checked.
What is undeniable when it comes to it is its accuracy and speed. The results you have so eagerly been waiting for will appear in approximately 30 seconds, the procedure being a short-duration one. Furthermore, there are a total of 9 different factors for which it checks, including pH level, total alkalinity, total hardness, total chlorine, free chlorine, nitrites, nitrates, cyanuric acid, and bromine. Seeing how these are the main issues and contaminants that concern us all when it comes to the quality of the water we drink and use, you have a complete kit at your disposal if you go for the 9-Way. Additionally, there is a staggering total of 100 strips put at your disposal, thus enabling you to repeat the procedure of learning water quality any time you want.
How to Use
The 9-Way is as easy to use as it gets, all you need to do being to dip a strip lightly into the water you want to check for contamination and other issues, and wait for 30 seconds for coloration to appear. When the strip is colored, just compare it to the color chart that comes with it to find out the result.
Having an assurance that the product is actually qualitative is an important aspect for any buyer, and the best way to figure out if what you are looking at is of a high quality or not is by checking out its accompanying warranty. For the 9-Way, a 60-day replacement or money back guarantee is provided, meaning that, during this time span, you can either replace it in case anything happens, or you can return it altogether and receive a full refund if, for any reason, you didn’t like it.
Indicators that Your Water Needs Testing
Let’s face it, it is unlikely for anyone to ever test their water without any apparent reason as, after all, especially when it comes to water from the municipality, it is already filtered so chances are that contamination of any nature isn’t serious with it. But there are some clear indicators that you have to be aware of as they show the time has come to dig a bit deeper and test your water to see for sure whether or not it is safe for consumption to prevent serious health issues from arising.
|Conditions/Activities which Serve as Indicators||Recommended Tests to Perform|
|Off-putting taste or smell||Metals, hydrogen sulfide, corrosion,|
|Salty taste or the existence of a heavily salted roadway nearby||TDS, chloride, sodium|
|Corroded pipes or plumbing||pH, lead, corrosion|
|Intensive agriculture in the proximity||Coliform bacteria, nitrate, pesticides|
|Gas drilling operation in the proximity||Strontium, barium, chloride, sodium|
|Cloudy, colored, or frothy water||Detergents, color|
|Gasoline or fuel oil smell, or the existence of a gas station or buried fuel tanks in the proximity||Volatile organic compounds|
|Recurrent gastro-intestinal health issues||Coliform bacteria|
|Radon in the air indoors||Radon|
|Coal or mining operation in the proximity||pH, metals, corrosion|
|Lead in household plumbing||pH, lead, copper|
|Stained laundry or plumbing fixtures||Manganese, copper, iron|
|Water treatment equipment deteriorates rapidly||pH, corrosion|
The Importance of Checking Water Quality
People use water every day whether it is for drinking, cooking, bathing, doing laundry, or cleaning the house. Given the intense use of water and its connection to the health and well-being of people, it is essential to enjoy a clean and safe water supply. Unfortunately, the water we drink comes from sewage and is treated with all sorts of chemicals, like chlorine, designed to kill bacteria in it but that also alter its quality. Furthermore, water comes through very dirty pipes that fill it with a multitude of impurities.
Water filters can take care of all the contaminants in the water but for them to be 100% efficient, it is best to choose it depending on the impurities found in the water. This is where home water test kits come in handy to help you determine what exactly is in your tap water so that you will know what type of filter you need to buy.
Water quality checking patches for home use are very easy to use as they do not require additional lab research. The strips contain everything needed for checking the water and detecting whatever impurities it might contain. Their accuracy is very high and you can rely on the results when looking for the best water filtering methods. There are various types of products that can detect a wide range of impurities, as it follows:
For detecting chlorine
Chlorine is the main contaminant found in water that gives it the strong odor and the bad taste. Although chlorine is used to kill bacteria in the water, it also affects its quality and must be eliminated. They can detect chlorine levels in the water to help you determine whether or not you need a chlorine water filter.
For measuring pH
The pH of the water is very important in determining its alkalinity. When the pH level of the water changes drastically, there are changes in your body due to acidic imbalance as well. The only way to find out the pH of the water you drink or bathe in is to use strips that turn to a certain color when the pH level is either too high or too low.
For detecting heavy metals
Very often, water is contaminated with heavy metals that are highly dangerous to your health, like lead, copper, iron, zinc, or mercury. These metals can cause severe brain damage and many other health issues if ingested for a long amount of time. If chlorine can be sensed in taste and smell, heavy metals are harder to detect as they do not affect the color, taste or smell of the water. This is why it is so important to check the water with a product that can detect these dangerous metals.
For pesticides and nitrates
Well water, in particular, but also tap water contain pesticides, herbicides, and dangerous nitrites and nitrates that pose a serious risk to your health. Since you cannot discover them by yourself, you must use kits that can detect these harmful contaminants in the water. Many of the products available on the market contain strips that can detect these substances but be aware that not all of them can.
|#1 – Test Assured||#2 – Watersafe||#3 – JNW Direct||#4 – First Alert||#5 – Safe Home||#6 – PurTest||#7 – NovoBlue||#8 – Watts Premier||#10 – Industrial Test Systems||#11 – HealthyWiser|
|Checking to see exactly how accurate the products are took a while as we had to use each one of them on a sample collected from the same source – the tap water in our office building. After noting down the results provided for each factor the products checks for, we sent a sample to a certified laboratory as well. When the results came back from the lab, we compared the professional analysis to the one provided by our products in order to see exactly how accurate each one is.|
|For each product, there is a certain amount of time you must wait until results are provided. We used the chronometer function on our phones to see exactly how long we had to wait for results to appear. Obviously, we compared the products to each other, giving more points to the ones that provided results more rapidly. By doing this, we also checked the veracity of the information provided by the manufacturer on the spec sheets in regards to waiting time.|
Ease of use
|All manufacturers brag that their products are actually comprehensive and easy to use, but is this actually true? As we used the products to check their accuracy and response waiting time, we also paid attention to this equally important aspect, more precisely how intuitive to use each kit is.|
Most Reliable Methods to Check Water Quality
If you are afraid of all the dangerous pollutants that lurk in the water you use on a daily basis, you can rest assured because there are many ways of detecting them so that you will know what you are dealing with. It is important to find out exactly what are the chemicals you need to remove in order to find the most efficient method. As such, here is how you can determine the water impurities.
Every city has water authorities that handle the pollution issue and cooperate with labs that check the water in order to find the best way of filtering it. If you suspect that your tap water is not as clean as it should, you can always contact the lab and ask for water testing. The local authorities should be willing to guide you toward an independent local lab that has all the necessary equipment for performing all the check-ups.
The second way of finding the water impurities is to perform your own checks at home by using various kits. These products are certified and proved to be highly efficient in detecting a wide array of water pollutants. They are very easy to use and provide the convenience of home testing so that you do not have to take a water sample to a lab. Worry not as the results are 100% accurate and no further checks are required to confirm them. They come in different types, as follows:
- strips that include strips you need to soak in water in order to allow the components to react
- color discs that use a visual comparison method of color matching to detect the existing impurities
- digital titrator with titrant cartridges
- drop count titration consisting of dropping a reactant into the water
- portable colorimeters that instantly analyze a water sample
What to Choose
Home testing is the easiest and most comfortable way to check the quality of your tap water and it is fairly accurate compared to professional checkups. From all the options available, two of them are the most common because they are easy to use and affordable. Before buying, it is best to know your options and make a comparison between the commonly used methods.
- The first one is the drop-count that consists of a solution that you must put into the water. As the reactants detect water impurities, they change the color to inform you that the water contains a certain pollutant. Various types of drops are used to detect various impurities like chlorine or nitrates. Carefully read the instructions because the results rely on several multiplications and divisions. The accuracy of water drops is the highest and the results are worth taking into account.
- The second one is the home kit that includes strips for various impurities, and parameters including water acidity. In order to obtain a result, simply dip the strip in the water and allow it a few minutes until it changes color. These strips are the easiest to use and the cheapest but their accuracy is lower than in the case of drop testing. However, they remain a convenient way of detecting dangerous substances in your tap water.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What sets a high-quality product apart from a poor quality one?
Regardless of the source and purpose you are purchasing it for, you should opt for a product which checks for as many potential issues and contaminants as possible. To put it in simpler words, the bigger its checking span, the better as more testing factors are put to your disposal and the odds of uncovering real issues with water quality enhancement.
2. How long does it usually take until it provides results?
You will find out what is the contaminant in your pool or potable water in a matter of minutes. Thus, not a lot of time will be wasted until you know for sure what solutions you must turn to in order to fix the existing water issues. This makes them a perfect solution for speed answers as the other option you could take up is lab testing which can take a few days or even weeks until results are provided.
3. Can it show if bacteria are present in the water?
Some do include tests which specialize in determining whether or not bacteria are present in the water. Thus, you must look into the types of tests provided by the kit to figure out if the product you are interested in will serve you with this information or not.
4. Are the results provided as accurate as those from a lab?
All water tests which are certified and lab-tested in advance are trustworthy, so their readings are just as precise as those from a professional lab. Check for the product you take an interest in to be certified, and you won’t ever have to doubt the accuracy of its results.
5. Do they differ from each other?
Yes, seeing how there are multiple types of tests for water quality and contamination, you have plenty of options to choose between. More precisely, there are 5 different types of tests you can choose from – test strips, portable colorimeters, digital titrators, color discs, and drop count titrators. Details about each type of water test can be found in this article, so check it out if you want to learn more.
Checking water quality is of the utmost importance to the state of your health as you might otherwise risk a serious disease resulted from consumption of contaminated water. To be fully aware of what dangers lurk in the water you consume, it is obvious by this point that you need a testing kit. The HealthyWiser 9-Way 100c remains one of our favorites as it test for 8 different factors, including pH level and water hardness. Furthermore, it takes only about 30 seconds for it to deliver the results you are waiting for, so not a lot of time will be lost until you learn what the verdict is.
Another great selection to go for is the PurTest – 11 Contaminants, a laboratory certified product in which you can fully trust. Not only does it check for 10 different water quality issues, but it helps you keep an eye on how your water purifying equipment or treatments are working. For those who are on a budget, our best suggestion remains the First Alert WT1 that performs to EPA standard, so the validity of its readings is undeniable, and that checks for 8 different contaminants and quality issues.