9 Best Water Test Kits – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2021)

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Water is always at risk of contamination by harmful bacteria. Whether washing, drinking, bathing or swimming, there is always a risk of exposure to contaminants. Therefore, water quality is a concern for many people.

Did you know that you can test the quality of the water you use? There are water test kits that allow you to check whether your water is good or not. There are different types of kits as well, and they have multiple prices to allow people to use healthier water.

In this article, you will learn more about water tests and how they work. We have also prepared some analysis of domestic water test kits for you. It is important to avoid dangerous water at all costs, so as not to get sick. At the end of this post, you’ll find the best water test kit for you.

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 10 Best Water Test Kits To Buy In 2021

Last update on 2022-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Water Test Kits Review

SaleBestseller No. 1
Water Testing Kits for Drinking Water - 125 Strips 16 in 1 Well and Drinking Water Test Kit - TESPERT Water Test Strips with Hardness, PH, Mercury, Lead, Iron, Copper, Chlorine, Cyanuric Acid
  • ALL FOR HEALTH: Global water quality problems are frequent and affect our health, we need to quickly identify and ensure that the home drinking water is safe and clean, free from common contaminants, and not contaminated above EPA Recommended Safe Levels (Maximum Contaminant Levels).
  • SAVE MONEY / TEST 125 TIMES: Water test kits for drinking water supports 16 parameters for each test strip, 125 strips in total, which equals 2000 water tests with one piece of product. This would save you from lab testing these separately at the cost of thousands dollars and long times. You can stay up to date on your water quality.
  • 16 IN 1 HOME WATER TEST KIT: Water tester kit for drinking water are contain 16 paramete, it covers all the main contaminants you need to worry about, and it can test Total Hardness, Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Bromine, Total Alkalinity, pH, Nitrate, Nitrite, Copper, Iron, Lead, Nickel, Carbonate, MPS, Cyanuric Acid, Sulfite. It can detect problems in drinking water.
  • A BRAND YOU CAN RELY ON: TESPERT is a company with 30 years of experience in the water quality testing industry, which integrates research and development, production and sales, with the world's top laboratories and research teams, and we now have over 100 million users worldwide. We are committed to working together with global users to identify water quality problems and find professionals to solve water quality problems, so that everyone can use clean drinking water.
  • DEDICATED TEAM OF EXPERTS: You can always count on our team of experts, with more than 30 years of expertise in the water quality industry. We will do our best to solve all your questions about water test kit products. We are always with you.
SaleBestseller No. 2
17 in 1 Premium Drinking Water Test Kit - 100 Strips + 2 Bacteria Tests - Home Water Quality Test - Well and Tap Water - Easy Testing for Lead, Bacteria, Hardness, Fluoride, pH, Iron, Copper and more!
  • ✓ SAVE MONEY / TEST 100 TIMES! - Testing each element separately at a lab can cost hundreds of dollars, which prevents people from testing every six months. Use this test to stay updated on your water quality without spending hundreds! 100 Strips means 100 tests!
  • ✓ SIMPLE AND ACCURATE - No need to be a professional. Get your results quickly and easily whether it’s your tap, well, filtered, or any other water source!
  • ✓ COMPLETE TEST - Our test currently offers the widest array of parameters on the market. This 17 parameter kit covers all the main contaminants you need to worry about. Includes: Lead, Bacteria (E. Coli / Water Contamination), Mercury, Fluoride, Iron, Copper, Sulfate, Zinc, Hydrogen Sulfide, Total chlorine, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, Total Alkalinity, Hardness, Sodium Chloride, and Manganese!
  • ✓ SUPPORTS CHARITY - A portion of all sales are donated to our brand partner, Water For Good, a non profit charity tackling water poverty in the Central African Republic. Test your water knowing you're making worldwide change! #CleanWaterWorldwide
  • ✓ LIVE CUSTOMER SUPPORT - Our team of water quality experts offer very fast and effective responses through our 24/7 live chat, as well as our email! Our customers voice is very important to us, and thats why we make it so easy for them to contact us!
Bestseller No. 3
The Original Watersafe Premium Drinking Water Test Kit for Well and Tap Water - the Most Sensitive Lead in Water Test, Bacteria, Nitrates, Hardness, & More. Easy Instructions and Lab-Accurate Results!
  • 💧 DETECT A WIDE RANGE OF CONTAMINANTS IN WELL AND TAP WATER. This drinking water test kit contains the most sensitive and accurate rapid tests available for lead, bacteria, nitrate, nitrite, pH, hardness, chlorine, and more!
  • 💧 EPA LEVEL DETECTION. Each of our tests detects contaminants down to the EPA Action Level - and every test is extensively Lab-Validated as highly accurate and reliable.
  • 💧 THE MOST SENSITIVE WATER LEAD TEST AVAILABLE. Our rapid lead test detects lead in water down to 3.8 parts per billion - no other water test kit has such sensitive detection.
  • 💧 SIMPLE AND QUICK. Our instructions were written to be as simple as possible - every test can be run quickly in just minutes. Test results are easy to read and provide definitive answers.
  • 💧 DONT TRUST YOUR WATER. Lead in water contamination happens in USA cities too often. Our test kit for drinking water is trusted by governments, universities, and tens of thousands of families around the country.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Premium Water Hardness Test Kit | Fast and Accurate Hard Water Quality Testing Strips for Water Softener Dishwasher Well Spa Pool, etc. | 0-425 ppm | Calcium and Magnesium Total Hardness (150 Strips)
  • 💧 QUICK AND ACCURATE - Save time and get accurate test results within seconds. Simply dip the strip into the water and compare it to the large color chart on the bottle. No need to visit a store or wait for someone else to test the quality of your water. Enjoy consistently accurate and reliable results whenever you need them.
  • 💧 EASY TO READ RESULTS - The oversized color chart makes reading your results effortless. Compare your results from red to green, with values of 0-25 GPG and 0-425 PPM.
  • 💧 Varify FreshSeal (EXTENDED SHELF LIFE) - This kit includes a ready to use bottle and two separately sealed pouches of 50 strips. Simply empty the refill pouch into the bottle once the initial strips are used up. Test confidently knowing that your strips are sealed for guaranteed freshness and reliability.
  • 💧 24/7 DEDICATED SUPPORT TEAM - With more than 20 years of experience in the water testing industry, our devoted team of EPA water quality experts are ready to offer timely and informative responses based on your needs. Your question is just one click away from a live team member.
  • 💧 SUPPORTS NON-PROFIT CHARITY - Each sale sponsors clean water for someone in the Central African Republic for a year. Support worldwide change while monitoring your water hardness. #WaterForGood #CleanWaterWorldwide
SaleBestseller No. 5
16 in 1 Drinking Water Test Kit |High Sensitivity Test Strips detect pH, Hardness, Chlorine, Lead, Iron, Copper, Nitrate, Nitrite | Home Water Purity Test Strips for Aquarium, Pool, Well & Tap Water
  • COMPLETE WATER TEST KIT – Everything you need to test your water; tests for 16 parameters, ensures lead free and pH safe drinking water; testing tube and dropper included in every kit for easy sample collection
  • SEPARATE PACKAGE – 100 testing strips packed in 10 sealable bags with dry agent to ensure long shelf life and reliable results. Strips in an open package need to be used within 90 days while in an unopened package can last up to two years. You don't need to rush using all 100 strips within 90 days because we bag our strips separately.
  • MULTIPLE USES - Test every water source around your home, including drinking, well and tap water, pool & spa, hot tub and aquarium
  • RELIABLE AND FAST RESULTS - CE certified for proven, reliable and quick results in 2 minutes – easy to use and great for school projects
  • ENJOY THE PEACE OF MIND – Detects low levels of impurities and foreign substances and keeps your family safe
Bestseller No. 6
16 in 1 Drinking Water Test Kit, Water Testing Kits for Drinking Water 100 PCS Water Quality Test Strips for Well Tap Water Easy Testing Total Alkalinity,Free Chlorine,Copper,Lead,Nitrate and More
  • 【16 IN 1 WATER TEST KIT】: Water testing kits for drinking water is equipped with 16 major parameters which including:total alkalinity/PH/hardness/cyanuric acid/total chlorine/free chlorine/free bromine/nitrate/nitrite/iron/chromium/lead/copper/mercury/fluoride/carbonate root.
  • 【RELIABLE AND FAST RESULTS】: 1.Dip the well water test kit into water for 2sec and then remove the drinking water test kit. 2. Gently shake off excess water from the strips, hold the water testing kit horizontally for 30sec. 3.Compare the pads to the color chart over the next 30sec to ensure the results.
  • 【WIDE APPLICABILITY】:This water test strips applies to tap water and well water, also pool, spa, hot tub, and aquarium water, Our home water test kit is also a good helper for check water softener.
  • 【SAVE MONEY】: 100 water quality tester mean 100 drinking water tests. You can test it yourself at home, and water tester for drinking water offer an affordable water testing option at a low cost, so you don't have to spend a fortune to test your water.
  • 【CUSTOMER SERVICE】: Drinking water testing with drinking water test strips is a great way to help you improve your water supply easily. We offer one year warranty. If you have any questions, please contact us. Our customers will quickly answer any questions and keep you satisfied.
SaleBestseller No. 7
Drinking Water Test Kit - 15-in-1 Chlorine Drinking Water Test Strips with eBook - Lead Testing Kits for Drinking Water - Test Iron, Bromine, pH, Hardness, and More - 100 Tests - JNW Direct
  • ULTIMATE TEST KIT: The perfect kit to test drinking water! Our 15-in-1 drinking water test kit detects impurities and potentially harmful substances. Enjoy total peace of mind and stay on top of your water quality with this water testing kit
  • TESTS FOR 15 PARAMETERS: Our water testing kits for drinking water test for iron, copper, lead, fluoride, pH, cyanuric acid, total alkalinity, residual chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, ammonium chloride, total hardness, carbonate, nitrate, and nitrite
  • QUICK & ACCURATE: Our water hardness test kit takes the guesswork out of your water maintenance. Simply dip the home lead water test into the water source to get your results within seconds and adjust your water levels accordingly
  • 100 TEST STRIPS: Get more for your money with our water test kits for drinking water. The water lead test kit contains 100 drinking water hardness test strips and an insightful eBook packed with information about your drinking water levels
  • CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Taking a test for drinking water is a great way to help you to easily improve your water supply. Our friendly customer support team is here to ensure you get the most out of your water testing kits for drinking water
Bestseller No. 8
Safe Home® CITY WATER Test Kit – DIY Testing for 13 Different Parameters in a City Water Supply – 181 Total Tests/Kit – Includes Lead, Copper, Iron, Fluoride, Nitrate, pH, Hardness & More.
  • NEXT GENERATION – CITY WATER TEST KIT for 2022 & beyond, with patented technologies never before available in one test kit.
  • INCLUDES 16-testing mechanisms that provide 181-total tests/kit, for 13-different parameters. See attached image of package-back, for a complete list of parameters to be tested.
  • EXCLUSIVE BRAND of water test kits to earn the Good Housekeeping Seal. Named one of the Top-10 New Products at the National Hardware Show. Includes trilingual instructions. MADE IN THE USA!
  • BONUS BENEFITS with each purchase – Promo Codes, E-Learning Center & Water Treatment Options. See details on attached image with this listing.
  • YOUR PURCHASE MAKES A DIFFERENCE in people’s lives. Safe Home donates a portion of every test kit sale to clean water initiatives around the globe. See attached video to learn more! (NOTE: Safe Home branded products purchased through this website will only be guaranteed when purchased from the manufacturer - EnviroTestKits.)
SaleBestseller No. 9
16 in 1 Drinking Water Test Kit - Hofun Professional Hardness Testing Kits, Tap and Well Water Test Strips with Hardness, PH, Mercury, Lead, Iron, Copper, Chlorine, Chromium/Cr, Cyanuric Acid
  • ✔[ 16 IN 1 WATER TEST KIT] Hofun water test strips is equipped with 16 major function, including: PH, Mercury, Lead, Iron, Copper, Total Alkalinity, Hardness, Nitrite, Nitrate,Bromine, Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine , Fluride, Chromium/Cr,Carbonate Root,Cyanuric acid , helps you to have a clear mind of how clear and healthy your water is.
  • ✔[ EXTRA ACCESSORIE & EASY OPERATION ] Hofun spa test kit is sweet enough to equip with dropper & test tube, which would avoid water pollution and make a convenient operation.
  • ✔[ WIDE USAGE WATER TEST KIT ] Hofun 16 in 1 water test strips can be applied to a wide range of water inspection, like drinking water, pool, hot tub, spa, pond, aquarium, industrial waste water,etc.
  • ✔[ THE MOST ACCURATE & SCIENTIFIC WATER TEST STRIPS] Hofun specializes in testing & measuring area for years and adopts the most reliable strips on our products to assure the accuracy of testing water quality.
  • ✔[ PERFECT VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY ] - Hofun water testing kits for drinking water is absolutely economic,which will last 6 months if tested 2 times per week.It’s also time-saving due to convenient operation.
Bestseller No. 10
Water Quality Tester, Accurate and Reliable, HoneForest TDS Meter, EC Meter & Temperature Meter 3 in 1, 0-9990ppm, Ideal Water Test Meter for Drinking Water, Aquariums, etc.
  • ✔ACCURATE AND RELIABLE: To achieve high accuracy, equipped with premium quality titanium alloy probe, and reliable Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) ensures reading always be accurate at various temperatures.
  • ✔MULTIFUNCTIONAL AND UPGRADED: Professional TDS, EC and Temperature Pen 3 in 1. Upgraded with big backlit LCD for easier reading, and auto-lock function for easier use.
  • ✔EASY AND INSTANTLY: Just turn TDS meter on and stir water gently, then stabilized readings will be auto-locked on LCD in seconds, and the tds ppm meter will shut off automatically if without operation over 2 minutes.
  • ✔MULTIPURPOSE TDS TESTER: Test the purity of drinking water to ensure it's healthy, monitor if Reverse Osmosis (RO)/DI System works properly, whether filter need replaced, maintenance aquarium, hydroponics(test nutrients), pool and spa, etc.
  • ✔3 YEARS WARRANTY. And we offer 90 days Money Back Guarantee if not totally happy with the digital TDS water tester meter.

Last update on 2022-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Do Water Kits Test For?

Water test kits have one goal – to detect the contaminants in your water, so you can take the proper measures to ensure your safety. Water test kits detect many contaminants, such as iron, lead, nitrate, nitrite, alkalinity, pesticides, hardness, bacteria, and many others. Home water test kits could detect these and not only in different water sources, allowing you to live a healthy life with safe and contaminant-free water.

In case you are interested, you can check our blog posts on acidic water facts, how to make alkaline water, and maybe even pick a top-notch water ionizer for yourself.

Water Test Kits and the Benefits They Come With

When you purchase an item, you need to be aware of the benefits it comes with, so you can decide if the investment is worth it or not.

  1.  The Comfort of Your HomeWhat is great about home water test kits is that you can use them at home, and you don’t need to hire an expert to complete such a test. All you have to do is fill up some recipients with water and use the test kit you purchased. In various ways, the tests will show you if the water you use is safe or not. Thus, they help you take measures in case the water is bad.
  2. No ContaminationDrinking water that is contaminated by chemicals could have a serious impact on you and your health. If the test is negative, then you know you have to take some safety measures to stop the contamination and start drinking clean water again.
  3. Fix DevicesSometimes, in order to get rid of the contamination, you have to install devices that help the case. For example, instead of getting a conventional showerhead, you could purchase a specialized one with disinfectant properties. Even though you will have to spend some money from the wallet, t least you will know that you and your family are safe.
  4. Detect Various ContaminantsEven though you don’t need a professional’s help to test your water supply, you can still find out the exact contaminant/s in your water. Home water test kits may be different than lab tests, but they still do their job properly. Therefore, not only that you will find out whether your water is contaminated or not, but you will also know exactly what the contaminants are.

Do Home Water Test Kits Work?

A lot of people may find themselves wary of buying a home water test kit. This is especially true if they do not have to mail in their sample. Do at-home water test kits really work? Do they provide accurate results? The simple answer is yes, they do.

Tests done with home water test kits might not be performed in a lab by a chemist but they are still reliable. The kit will notify you whether or not the water is contaminated. Furthermore, the test kit will also show what is contaminating the water. Knowing the specific contaminants lurking in your water is important for fixing the problem. This will provide you and your loved ones with safe and healthy water for drinking and bathing.

Are Home Water Tests Accurate?

Home test kits have consistently improved from their humble beginnings. Now, home testing kits can give peace of mind. They are constructed to be reliable and provide accurate results. The testing kit will provide detailed information on whether or not the water is contaminated. It will also show which contaminants may be inflicting your water supply.

Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Water Test Kit

If you are planning to use a home testing kit you want to make sure you are using one that is reliable. It should also and offer accuracy to better understand your water quality. With that in mind, we searched high and low for the best products. The decision is based solely on features of the test kit and reviews from actual purchasers.

What Is A Pool Test Kit?

best pool test kit

Pool owners can use a test kit to accurately check the water in their pool. It’s the best way to measure specific chemical levels, like the chlorine levels or the pH balance of the water to ensure a swimming pool is safe and healthy for use.

Without using a test kit, you can only guess the amounts of different chemicals to add to the water, and once you start guessing, you’re most likely going to get it wrong.

Regular testing of the water quality in your swimming pool is one of the most important tasks of pool ownership. You need to ensure the water is safe to swim in, and the pH levels are within a safe range. If not, you’ll experience skin irritation, red eyes and the water may even bleach and ruin your swimsuits.

Plus, once the balance in the water is gone, algae and bacteria will flourish.  

Smart pool owners are the ones who take care of their pool, after heavy rains, excessive use, or even at minor signs of algae. Armed with the best pool test kit, you can determine exactly what’s going on in the water, to keep your pool crystal clear, healthy and safe.

What Types Of Pool Tests Are There?

Swimming pool testing kits come in a variety of forms, each with their own unique features, build quality and vastly different price-points to boot.

In this section, I’ll cover the different types of test kits you can buy for your pool as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Digital Pool Test Kit

A digital pool test kit uses a set of metallic probes to measure the quality of your pool water.

To use it, you simply wet the probes with a sample of water from your pool, and after a couple of seconds the readings will show on the electronic display.

Often called an electronic pool water tester, you can use it to check the pH levels, total dissolved solids, and some models even measure total alkalinity and calcium hardness.

These kits are one of the most efficient and precise options for testing the quality of your pool, and they make it simple to conduct even daily water tests. The only downside is the price, they are one of the most premium kits on the market.

Photometric Pool Test Kit

Photometric pool test kits use a photometer (a device that measures light) to accurately determine the concentration of chemicals within your swimming pool.

To use it, you use a test strip dipped in a sample of water from your pool, which is then inserted into the device. Instead of having to eyeball the results like a traditional pool test strip, the photometer uses a beam of light to calculate the water quality and provide you with a highly accurate set of results.

I love how easy it is to use a photometric pool testing kit, however much like a digital testing kit, these are one of the most expensive on the market.

Turbidimetric Pool Test Kit

Turbidimetric pool test kits measure the cloudiness of the water in a swimming pool.

These types of tests are rather simple, and usually come incorporated with more economical pool testing kits that also do color changing and color matching tests.

It works by taking a sample of water from the pool, which once mixed with reactionary chemicals, is then visually compared to a sample chart. Allowing you to approximately gauge what’s going wrong with your water, so you can adjust accordingly.

These types of testing kits are the most affordable, however they aren’t the most accurate, and there is much left to individual interpretation of the color shades in the water.  

Titrimetric Pool Test Kit

Titrimetric pool test kits are one of the most precise means of testing the chemicals within your swimming pool, short of buying a digital or photometric testing kit.

You simply take a sample of water from your swimming pool, and place it in the comparator tube within the kit. Depending on the specific test you are doing, you add the appropriate reagent to the sample, drop by drop. Once a reaction occurs, you can calculate the concentration of that particular chemical within your swimming pool by counting the number of drops of reagent used.

Titrimetric kits are quite accurate, and remain one of the most affordable ways to understand what is going on in your pool.

Colorimetric Pool Test Kit

Colorimetric pool test kits involve dipping a test strip into a sample of water from your swimming pool. The resulting “color” is then matched to a chart, allowing an approximation to be made of the concentration of that particular chemical in the water.

These are the most cost-effective of all the testing kits, but they are also the least accurate. Different people will interpret colors differently, and even the light, or the background color you’re holding the test strip up against will affect your interpretation.

And that’s before we even get to the colorblind people.

But Which Type Is Better?

The most common pool testing kits are a combination of colorimetric, titrimetric and turbidimetric tests, giving pool owners a comprehensive understanding of the chemical concentrations within their swimming pools.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution, I’d recommend finding a testing kit that relies mostly on titrimetric results. They strike a balance between ease of use while being remarkably budget-friendly, and will help you understand what’s needed to keep your pool crystal clear.

However, if you’re looking for efficiency, you can’t go wrong with digital. Nothing beats the speed, and accuracy of these little devices, which will make your life far easier as a pool owner. It’s worth the investment if you really care about your pool.

What Should You Look For In A Pool Test Kit?

Knowing which type to look for will narrow down your options, but it doesn’t help you measure the nuances that make or break a product.

Let’s go over some of the main criteria you should apply to your decision making process when looking for the perfect test kit for your pool.

It Should Be Accurate

Accurate readings of the different chemicals in your pool are critical, because you will be adding different products to the water based on the results.

But these products get expensive fast. If your testing isn’t accurate, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars on pool supplies and treatments you actually do not need.

Colorimetric pool tests are the least accurate, titration tests are better, and at the top of the scale are your photometric and digital pool test kits which are always spot on. If you’ve only got a hot tub a basic level of accuracy should be fine, but a large pool that needs an exact balance is probably worth investing in a more accurate testing solution.

It Should Be Consistent

Next, it’s important to consider consistency. If you’re the only one doing the testing, you’ll quickly get a feel for the readings and it’s highly likely you’ll be consistent.

But if there are other people testing your pool, it can cause major problems. They may interpret the colors of a colorimetric test differently, and miss a potential problem.

It’s vital you stay ahead of problems developing, like a growing imbalance within your pool, so you can treat it proactively, before it becomes a major problem. I’d always recommend looking for a test kit that has a proven track record of consistent results, and if there are many different people using the test kit, consider a digital or photometric solution.

It Should Be Comprehensive

No matter what pool test system you choose, it needs to cover the basics.

The most important tests to run are the chlorine levels, the pH balance of the water, and the total alkalinity within your swimming pool.

At the most fundamental level, if you keep these three in check, your pool should be safe for swimming. Any kit you buy should offer these as a bare minimum.

The best pool test kits will also monitor for things like calcium hardness, salinity, and even phosphates in the water, and what you’re likely to get if you buy a high-end photometric test kit or a digital reader.

It Should Be Easy To Use

Taking care of your pool can often feel like a chore, and it’s important you find a pool test kit that is simple and easier to use. You want to make your life easy.

The most basic pool test strips are rather easy. Place it in water, they change color, and you compare it to a color spectrum on a card. Find the matching color, and that’s the reading.

Titrimetric pool test kits can be fiddly, and will require 10-15 minutes of your time when you want to run through all the tests as you will need to do the tests one by one.

Digital readers are probably the simplest, you don’t have to even compare colors. If you’re not comfortable fiddling around with lots of different reactions these are your best options.

It Should Be Designed Well

Finally, you need to think about the design. I like to stay organized, and many of these products come with a case that it simple to pack away once I’m done.

Strong and sturdy, what you don’t want is pieces breaking off or falling into your pool while you’re trying to collect samples. Especially in winter, you won’t want to fish these out.

Good design also means its intuitive and straightforward to use. I don’t like having to spread a hundred things out in front of me while I’m squatting next to the pool. Find a kit that is designed well, and not a hassle to use.

What to Test For in Aquarium Water?

Freshwater Aquariums

The pH of the water is important in a freshwater tank because pH levels that are too high or too low can really stress out your fish. The pH scale ranges from acidic to alkaline and is measured from 0 to 14.

Most fish prefer something neutral which would be in the middle of the scale between 6.6 and 7.8. You may need to make adjustments depending on what the test results show and what kind of fish you have. Some like a more acidic environment than others.

It’s also important to know the ammonia levels because too much ammonia can kill your fish. Ammonia comes from the breakdown of waste and uneaten food. For a healthy tank, ammonia should always be zero.

Nitrites and nitrates are also important to check for. Nitrites are the result of the beneficial bacteria in the tank breaking down ammonia. Nitrates are the result of broken down nitrites. Nitrites aren’t as harmful as ammonia but can still cause a problem if they get too high.

Nitrates are the final stage of what is known as the Nitrogen Cycle. They’re not really harmful and can be seen as a sign that the bacteria in your tank are doing their job breaking down the ammonia and nitrites.

Hardness measures dissolved materials in water, particularly calcium and magnesium. Soft water can be a problem because the pH can drop if it’s too soft.

Alkalinity is an indicator of stability and how well the water can maintain its pH. Too low and the pH fluctuates easily and could harm your fish and plants.

Saltwater Aquariums

For saltwater tanks, check everything that you would for freshwater as well as salinity and chlorine.

Reef Ranks

For reef tanks, check all the same parameters as with saltwater tanks as well as phosphate, calcium, and magnesium.

Calcium and magnesium are important for healthy coral growth and too much phosphate can lead to too much algae growth.

Planted Aquariums

Test the same things as you would for freshwater as well as General water Hardness (GH) & alkalinity (KH) which is essential for plant growth.

Types of Water Test Kits

Water quality test kits are divided into three types. They have divided in a sense that each type gives out different functions and purpose. Also, the price of each kit is different in each type.

  • Test Strips

If you are looking for a very affordable home water test kit, then this one is the best one that you’ve got. This one is also the most common and a very easy-to-use one. The downside of this type of kit is the level of accuracy. A single strip of paper would not quantify the exact measurements of the chemicals found in the water, that’s why it is not as reliable compared to the other types of drinking water test kits. To use this one, you just have to dip a strip of paper into the water and then have it shaken inside the test tube. After quite some time, the color of the paper will change depending on what present contaminant is. There is a chart that comes together with the kit that will serve as your guide.

  • Color Disk Kits

This one is also considered as an accurate water quality testing kit. It is not as complicated as how it sounds, as you just have to add a few drops of water into a kit and it will immediately show the result. Just make sure that you add the powder with it. If you want to do it the other way, you may put the powder to the water directly, so that you’ll see the result come out in the water. You just have to mix it a little bit by shaking it gently. There is a plastic viewing box that is used in order to determine the results, depending on what the color matches according to the sample.

  • Digital Test Kits

This is the most accurate home water test kit type out there compared to the others. These are just really small and easy to handle. You can just keep it in the drawer and be confident that it won’t be busted or give out wrong details and information regarding your water. But because this one is the most accurate and handy, it is also the most costly compared to the others. In order to make sure that these are running well, you need to secure a good pair of working batteries for the instrument. As it would not work when you don’t have a battery plugged in with it. These are the most highly recommended water test kit types.

How To Tell If You Have Iron In Your Water?

The taste, smell and color of your water are dead giveaways that you have iron in your water.

Of course, it still pays to use a water iron test kit to be sure. If you have any of these signs below then pick up a test from the reviews further down in the article:

  • Streaky Stains In Toilet – Your water might be clear coming out of the taps, but when iron is present it leaves stains. The toilet is the first place where those stains will show up. The colors range from yellow, orange, to red discoloration depending on the iron concentration. The more iron present the darker the red color.
  • Yellow Or Orange Stains In The Sink – You’ll see signs of staining first around the drain in your sink where the water collects a bit. Then you may see some discoloration of the faucet.
  • Your Teeth Get Yellow– You may find yourself with yellowing teeth even if you are not a smoker. Unfortunately, brushing your teeth with iron contaminated water is an embarrassing side effect.
  • Rusty, Clogged Pipes – If your water pressure is not the same as it was, then that could be a sign that your pipes are getting clogged by iron. You’ll also notice that water drains slowly in your sink or bathtub. 
  • Metallic Taste – The last, and most obvious, sign that you have iron in your water is that it tastes metallic. The taste is unmistakable.

Is Iron In Water Bad For You?

There is no harm in drinking water high in iron. It’s more of a practical matter between the staining of your fixtures and the awful flavor of the water.

Though, there are some people who can get sick from too much iron, but the levels would have to be severe and it still would be very rare to get sick.

There is a type of bacteria that forms in some wells called iron bacteria that forms a biofilm in the water. Some people may get an upset stomach from that, but it is not dangerous. Further into the article, I will go deeper into iron bacteria.

It does have effects on your hair and skin, however. Hair not only gets discolored but also brittle and dry. 

Skin becomes wrinkled and rough. Sure, lotions and conditioners can help your skin and hair, but it is better to go for the root cause instead of temporary solutions.

What is considered a high iron levels in well water?

The EPA has set a benchmark as anything over 0.3 milligrams per liter (Roughly a quart) as being over the acceptable level.

That is not to say that it is unhealthy if it is over that limit, but that is the maximum concentration of iron ppm in which water starts showing the effects of staining and bad taste. Over 2.5mg per liter and you’re water is going to give you all the problems I laid out above in regards to staining and how it affects your skin and hair.

Iron vs Iron bacteria

Besides the problems of simply having iron in your well water, you may be experiencing iron bacteria. This is a phenomenon when bacteria combine iron and manganese together to form a biofilm that looks like rust. It is a slime that is gross and smells disgusting. 

It usually smells like rotten eggs and has an off taste that is hard to stomach. It doesn’t cause any disease or gets you sick, but having it in your well water is intolerable.

I recommend going with a well water test that includes manganese as it is an indicator that you could end up with iron bacteria at some point if you don’t already have it. If you feel like you do have it then you’ll need to shock your well to get rid of it.

Wrap Up

Water testing kits are a great investment when you want to detect contaminants in the water in your household. Not only that they offer you a variety of options when it comes to the way they operate, but they are also able to detect many types of waterborne contaminants. Moreover, some home water test kits are very cheap, so you don’t need to spend a fortune for your safety.

However, before buying any type of product, you need to be well-informed. You need to know the types of products out there, their features, the main factors to consider, etc. And this is exactly what this article does for you – it will help you make a decision.

Hopefully, the home water test kit reviews allowed you to see the variety of products on the market and what they can do for you. As a result, you will be able to find the best water test kit for your home. Water Filter Mag!

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