It is an indisputable fact that we can’t live without water. But what does that have to do with the best water test kit? Drinking, doing laundry, cooking, or washing up – all these things would be impossible without this precious liquid. However, we hardly ever think about the quality of the water that we use. Researches show that water is one of the things that is contaminated very quickly and thus can get full of bacteria.
This is the reason a lot of people have recently become worried about the quality of the water they use. Fortunately, there is an easy way to check it, and it is through using a water test kit. There is already a great variety of such sets on the market; they vary in size, price, and characteristic features. In our guide, we have prepared water test kit reviews to help you in search of your product. We hope that after reading them, you will have the necessary information to get the product you require.
Signs That Your Tap Water May Be Dangerous to Drink
From a very early age, we are taught at school that water has no taste, color, or odor. This should ideally be the case with tap water that we drink. However, it is not always like this, and water sometimes gets dangerous to drink. So whenever we see that the water running from the tap has some color, odor, or smell, we should be alert that there is something wrong.
Then it will be great to use a water test kit to check the contaminants in the water. Before applying the water test, though, there are some clear signs that your tap water may be dangerous to drink. Read them and start observing your tap water:
You should check your tap water for cloudiness we should be warned that cloudy water contains some chemicals which are not safe to drink. They may not be too dangerous to our health, but they are a sign that the water is not pure.
Observe Your Hands
Observe your hands after washing them with water and soap. If you feel them slimy after washing, this could be a sign that the water you use contains excessive magnesium and calcium, which make it hard. Magnesium and calcium may not be dangerous to our health, but hard water may also mean that it contains lead, aluminum, or manganese.
Any color of your tap water should make you concerned about its quality. If your tap water is colored in yellow, this may be a sign that it contains chromium – 6, which causes cancer. The yellow color may also mean that there is iron, lead, copper, or manganese in the water.
If your tap water is brown, or orange, this may also mean that it contains lead, iron, or manganese, or that the pipes of your water system are rusty, which may cause bacteria. If the water is blue or green, this shows that there are excessive levels of copper, which happens when the pipes get corroded. Small quantities of copper are not harmful to us, but more significant amounts may lead to serious health problems as kidney or liver problems or anemia.
Be alert if your tap water smells like bleach. This smell means that the water contains excess chlorine. Chlorine is indeed used in the water supply in the USA to eliminate bacteria, but it may create dangerous bioproducts whenever it mixes with other organic elements.
The smell of rotten eggs is not only unpleasant, but it is also a sign that your tap water contains hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is a gas with no color which may get converted into sulfate. Sultafe causes diarrhea and dehydration.
The fishy odor of water is also an indication of dangerous contaminants. It may contain elevated levels of barium or cadmium. The excess of barium may cause liver, heart, or kidney problems, or high levels of blood pressure. Larger quantities of cadmium in the drinking water may also cause kidney and liver issues, and even bone problems.
If your tap water has a metallic taste, it may contain copper or iron at elevated levels. Sometimes if the pipes of your water system get rusty, this can lead to the presence of lead, iron, manganese, copper, or zinc in the water. Another reason for the metallic taste may be low pH.
Apart from the contaminants that we mentioned above, there are other elements that we cannot see. In most cases, tap water contains more than one dangerous chemical. So it is a good idea to have a water test kit to test the quality of your tap water.
We would like to advise you to check our homepage to find out about different products and water filtration solutions. There you will find detailed buying guides and reviews on water filtration products from the best refrigerator water filters to the best water ionizers. Remember that the quality of the water we drink is of crucial importance to our health. Your water filtration solution is just one click away. Visit our website and enjoy the purity of your drinking water.
The other thing that you have to do after realizing that your water is contaminated and after getting a water filter is to purchase a water test kit. Thus you will be able to check your water on a regular basis and see if the situation has changed. We are sure that water filters will improve the quality of your drinking water.
Why You Should Consider Using a Water Test Kit
Now you know about the different water contaminants that may be harmful to your health, and you are aware of the signs showing you that your water is dangerous to drink. You are probably convinced that you need to test your tap water regularly to be on the safe side. If you are still not sure whether it is worth getting a water testing device, read the following advantages of using water test kits:
- The water test kit can show you if the water supply in your house is contaminated with any bacteria or not.
- You can use your water test kit not only at home, but you can also check the water in swimming pools, spa centers, wells, or different public places.
- You can test not only drinking water at home but also water that you use for household chores. Sometimes the bacteria legionella can be found in household water. So it is advisable to use a water test kit to check if this bacteria is present.
- Water test kits are typically very easy to use; you don’t need to be an expert in applying them by yourself. Some of the tests show you the results in minutes; others require you to send sample water to laboratories.
- If you use a water test, then you reduce the risk of getting affected by any bacteria.
- Most of the water test tools are combined with a practical chart, which allows you to refer to the EPA standards and compare them to the results of the conducted tests.
- Many of the kits contain tests for different elements so that you can test your water for a number of contaminants.
- The best water test kits are EPA certified.
Best Water Test Kits Comparison Chart
TDS Water Quality Test
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HoneForest Water Quality Tester
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Premium Water Hardness Test Kit
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Drinking-Water Test Kit
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Digital Aid Professional TDS
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Safe Home PREMIUM Drinking Water Test Kit
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Drinking-Water 10 Minute Test Kit
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Best Water Test Kit Reviews – Top Picks
In this section, we are going to show you the products that we think are the top ones on the market. We would like to inform you that they are not presented in any specific order:
1. TDS Water Quality Test
The first thing that strikes us about the TDS Water Test is its price, which is much below the average one. There are also several other characteristics that make this product worth buying. This device is very quick and accurate when it comes to measuring the quality of water. When you place the titanium alloy probe into the water, you will see the TDS figure in no time. This test can be used to test water at various places like wells, swimming pools, aquariums. The TDS meter is combined with a temperature and an electric conductivity meter, so basically, you get three things in 1 and thus save a lot of money.
The device is very easy to use – you just need to press one button, and it starts operating. It comes with a battery that lasts for two years. Another convenience of this tool is that it has a reference chart at the back. A disadvantage to this device is that it doesn’t detect bacteria or chemicals in the water, just total dissolved solids.
- This is a 3-in-1 meter, and it can measure total dissolved solids, temperature, and electric conductivity.
- It is very easy to use – just press a button, and it is ready to use.
- Its price is very low.
- You can use it to test multiple pools of water. You don’t need to buy an additional well water test kit, for example.
- The battery of the device is not rechargeable.
- The instructions in the manual are not very detailed.
2. HoneForest TDS Water Quality Test
HoneForest Water Test is one of the top products on the market because of four main reasons. The first one is that it is a multipurpose test – you can use it to check your drinking water, or the water in your swimming pool, spa center, or aquarium. The second reason is that it is very accurate thanks to its titanium alloy probe and the Automatic Temperature Compensation it is equipped with. Then, it is a 3-in-1 meter, and it can measure TDS, temperature, and EC.
The fourth reason is that this device is easy to use and shows you the readings instantly – you need to put it in the water and stir it a bit, and then you will see the results. This product comes with a 3-year warranty. In addition to this, if you are not satisfied with the product, you can return it and have a full refund of your money within 90 days after purchasing it.
- The tool is light to carry – you can place it in your pocket with no difficulties.
- This water test is very easy to use – the only thing you need to do is to put it in the water and stir it a bit.
- It is a very reliable 3-in-1 meter, and it measures TDS, temperature, and EC.
- The device comes with a 3-year warranty.
- The battery of the test cannot be replaced.
- Some customers find that the red light is not useful, and it is very misleading.
3. Premium Water Hardness Test Kit
A very low price, top-notch accuracy, and an easy-to-understand color chart are just some of the characteristics of the Premium Water Hardness Test Kit. You will definitely be surprised when you compare the price of this test with similar ones as it is much cheaper than them.
The Water Hardness Test Kit consists of test strips, which are very accurate when it comes to measuring the hardness of the water. The kit is equipped with a color chart, which makes it very easy to distinguish the test results. There are also very well-written instructions that will further assist you in using the water test kit. Basically, the only thing you need to do is to put one of the strips into the water, and then compare the color that it gets with the colors on the chart at the backside of the bottle. There are 50 strips in the kit, and you can use them within ten months after you open the bottle.
- This test kit is budget-friendly as it comes at a very low price for its characteristics.
- The chart at the back of the bottle makes it easy to distinguish the test results.
- The strips are very easy to use.
- The bottle consists of 50 strips.
- You can use the strips within ten months after opening the bottle.
- Some users complain that the results are not easy to read as the colors on the chart are very similar to each other.
- The test tends to show that the water is hard, even when it is soft.
4. Drinking-Water Test Kit
This drinking water test kit is one of the top products because of four main reasons. The first one is that it will save you a lot of money that you would otherwise give to test your drinking water. We know that it’s advisable to test our drinking water every six months, but checking it separately for every different element would cost a lot of money. Then, the kit is easy to use as there are very detailed step-by-step instructions.
The third reason is that this tool can test water for bacteria, lead, copper, as well as for other elements. Another idea that makes this product worth it is the fact that it has EPA-approved guidelines with whose help you can check the results of the quality of your drinking water. If you want to carry out the tests for all elements, you have to wait for around 35-40 minutes. It is not recommended to rush, as this may result in errors. Before you get the product, you should know that the strips are not reusable.
- This test kit is easy to use. You just need to follow simple instructions.
- This product can test your drinking water for a number of elements such as lead, copper, and different bacteria.
- You can see the results in less than 45 minutes.
- Using this product, you will save money as you won’t have to go to the laboratory every six months.
- Some customers warn that some of the results are hard to read.
- Some users find the instructions not very well written.
5. Digital Aid Professional TDS
This test comes at a very low price, which is surprising, having in mind that it is a professional water test kit. This meter is professionally accurate and reliable, and it tests the conductivity of water and the number of particles in it. Bear in mind that this meter does not test water for bacteria. This tool can warn you when it is time to change your filter.
This test kit comes with a built-in battery, which you can easily change when needed through the access panel. The battery is calibrated, and it is supposed to last for years before you will need to change it. You should keep in mind that after using the test kit, it is advisable to rinse it with distilled water. If you do not have distilled one, you can just boil some water and rinse the tool with it. Or, you can choose to buy one of the best water distillers to distill some water.
- This meter is simple to use.
- The test gives accurate results.
- Whenever you have an issue with the testing pen, you can call the help desk. They are very kind and supportive.
- There is a built-in battery that lasts for years.
- This kit tests the conductivity of water.
- An inconvenience is that you need to hold a button in order to see the digital readout.
- The batteries sometimes don’t make good connections, and it may see that the product doesn’t work.
6. Safe Home PREMIUM Drinking Water Test Kit
This product may seem a bit expensive in comparison to other products of the same type, but it is worth the money. First of all, it is EPA tested and certified, which guarantees that it is accurate and reliable. Moreover, it was proclaimed to be among the top new products at the National Hardware Show.
This product can test 50 contaminants, all of which are enlisted at the back of the box of the test. In order to get the water tested, you need to send sample water to one of the EPA certified laboratories. All the fees for the laboratory that will conduct the tests are included in the price of the product. Whenever the results are ready, the laboratory sends them to you by e-mail. This process typically takes up to 10 business days. The return shipping of the sample water to the laboratory is free; you don’t need to pay for this.
- The sample water collection procedure is easy.
- The sample water is sent to EPA certified laboratories, which stands for quality.
- This kit tests for 50 contaminants.
- The laboratory fees are included in the price of the product.
- Some customers complain that the report that comes from the laboratory is very complicated to understand.
- The price of the product is a bit high.
7. Drinking-Water 10 Minute Test Kit
If you want to get your water tested and see the results in less than 30 minutes, this test kit is the right one for you. The only test that takes a long time is the one for bacteria – it takes three days. This is one of the top home water testing kits for drinking water, as it can examine water for lead, copper, pesticide, bacteria, iron, and other elements. The kit contains ten tests for different components.
One of the significant advantages of this test is that you don’t need to send any water samples to laboratories. You can get the results quickly and easily. The test tool is calibrated according to the EPA standards. Thus you can refer to the EPA requirements and check whether your water is good to drink. If by any chance you are not happy with this test kit, you can return the product, and you will have all your money back. If you consider buying this product, you should keep in mind that it doesn’t test for chemicals. This test kit is intended only to be used for water samples; you cannot check any other liquids such as alcohol, for example.
- The kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions.
- The product contains ten tests for different elements.
- It meets the EPA standards.
- The test comes calibrated, so you don’t have to do this by yourself.
- The product is a bit pricey in comparison to other test kits.
- It is a bit hard to decipher the results because of the colors of the strips.
Types of Drinking Water Contaminants
To understand better the importance of clean water, we are going to go through the different types of drinking water contaminants. For the purpose of this article, we are going to accept that the term ‘contaminant’ means every element that is different than the water molecule. It is acceptable for drinking water to have some small quantities of pollutants.
Some of them are not harmful to our health; others can be hazardous, though. The contaminants that need to be tested further to check whether they may affect human health are enlisted in the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). Only a few of the common contaminants fall into this list.
There are several categories of contaminants:
These are compounds or elements. Some of them occur naturally, others are made by men. Some of the chemicals we know are bleach, different metals, salts, nitrogen, pesticides, and toxins.
These contaminants affect the physical outlook of the water and the characteristics of it. Some of them are organic or sediment material, which is caused by the erosion of soil and can be found in rivers, lakes, and streams.
These are the ones that we find the most dangerous. They are unstable atoms, which are formed by an unbalanced proportion of neutrons and protons. These atoms are hazardous because they may emit radiation of the ionizing type. Some of the radiological contaminants are uranium, cesium, and protozoan.
These are organisms that live in water. You can also find them under the name microbes. Such microbiological contaminants are viruses, bacteria, parasites, and protozoan.
If, after using your water test kit, you notice that the water at your home contains any dangerous contaminants, there is no need to panic. There are at least three things you can do to change the situation. The first one is to get filters that will clean your water, as we have mentioned above. The second one is to use the best filtered water bottles. The third thing is to use the best water purification tablets to purify your water. If you are interested in these water filtration solutions, you can visit our home page.
Drinking pure tap water is of crucial importance to our health. Sometimes there may be different dangerous contaminants in tap water that can make it harmful to us. In this buying guide, we have talked about the different types of pollutants and why they may be dangerous to us. We have all concluded that every household must have a water test kit as they have a lot of advantages.
In our reviews on water test kits, you can see that there are a lot of different variations of test devices – some of them you can use by yourself, others require you to send sample water to laboratories to get it tested. We hope that our buying guide will help you to find the best water test kit. We would like to remind you once again to check our homepage to read about different water filtration systems. Thus after using your water test kit and getting your water tested, you can filter it to get rid of any unwanted contaminants. Thanks for reading and as always – stay put!