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Water is important to human survival, but unfortunately, it is one of the easiest substances to contaminate, isn’t it? Whether it is for laundry, bathing, swimming, or drinking, it can always suffer some contamination. No wonder, then, that water quality is of great concern to many people. How can you test the quality of your water? You can do it using the best water test kits! These testing kits let you see whether the water is good enough for your use or not. There are several types of these kits on the market, so it can be challenging knowing the one to choose.
In this review of the best water test kit, we consider some of the most reliable options on the market. Each of the models reviewed has special features, and in this post, we will consider the features, pros and cons of each product. We will also discuss the vital factors to consider when buying a water test kit. These include water source, test type, issue, and testing time. Let’s now forge on to see our top picks.
Water is probably the most ingested substance on the planet, therefore, you must be careful about the quality of water that you ingest. After all, you don’t want to drink contaminated water. To avoid that problem, you must test your water and make sure it is safe to use.
Watersafe has created a kit just to help with this problem. The Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit is primarily made to test your water for any contaminants and to make it as easy as possible.
The first product on this list is the excellent Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit. The kit comes with plenty of features that makes it the top rated option on this roundup. It gives very dependable results in ordinary conditions.
First, it is so easy to use. The strips for testing are easy to read and provide you with ranges for each contaminant that you test for. The Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit gives you information on up to 10 different types of contaminants, and you get fast results without having to send any water samples to a laboratory. Some of the things that it tests for includes lead, nitrites, toxins, copper, and more – in fact, most of the contaminants that are commonly tested for in well water.
Overall, the kit was easy to use with instruction clear and easily understood. It is a good kit that is designed for one-time use. It will help you to see whether there are bad things to ingest inside the water.
Another great thing about this product is the affordability. Therefore, if you draw water from a private well, you’ll find it very useful. After testing for contaminants, another good thing about the kit is that the results are pretty easy to read.
What we liked: Well, overall, it is an affordable option that makes it very easy to get results. It is easy to use and the results are easy to understand. It is versatile and can determine up to 10 contaminants.
What could be better: Well, the downside of this is that it is for one-time use. It would have been better if the kit had more than one test included. As it is, it isn’t a viable long-term prep item.
Up next is the SJ Wave Drinking Water Test Kit. This is a complete test kit that comes with virtually everything that you require to test your water. As the name implies, it can help you to test up to 16 parameters in the water. Therefore, you can ensure that there isn’t stuff like lead in your water. Apart from being used to test for pool water, it can also test for portable water. All the hardware required for testing, for example, the testing tube and dropper are already in the package. Hence, you are good to go.
The SJ Wave Drinking Water Test Kit offers you a lovely option. If you want a water test kit that can be used several times, then this is the product for you. One of the problems with our top pick is that it is for one-time use only. However, the SJ Wave Drinking Water Test Kit comes in a form that offers great value for money. It boasts of up to 100 strips that come in resealable bags. Therefore, you can have a test kit that can be used several times.
The strips in this product are also impressive in that they cover plenty of parameters. Since it is not a specialized kit, it is one of the most versatile options on the market right now. It can be used on several items. No wonder, then, that it comes highly recommended by many users.
Among the things that are contained in the package include a color-coded instruction manual, testing record chart, and a drinking water ebook.
Aside from testing pH levels in the water, this test kit also helps to determine if iron, lead, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, and similar substances are in your water.
While the SJ Wave Drinking Water Test Kit is very comprehensive, users have found the procedure of testing straightforward and easy. All the instructions on strip usage and result interpretation are easy to find and decipher.
The EPA recommends that you testy your water at least once in a year, therefore, having the SJ Wave Drinking Water Test Kit is very handy as it lets you do the test more than once in a year.
What we liked: It is comprehensive and comes in up to 100 strips. Therefore, you get excellent value for money. Despite the comprehensive nature, it contains simple, easy to follow instructions.
What could be better: Overall, it is a great option. However, the values are in a range, thus, they aren’t as specific as what you’d get from a laboratory.
Water source: home drinking water, aquarium, hydroponics, RO/DI system, pool and outdoor water
Test type: digital
Testing time: immediately
Other features: 3-in-1 model, 4-in-1 mode, 3-year warranty, LCD display, titanium alloy probe, hold function, auto-off in 2 minutes, 32-122 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range, cap can be used to hold test water, carrying case included
The third product on this roundup is the first electric-power tester on this list. It is a budget TDS tester that can help you to determine whether water is safe for drinking or use.
It comes at an affordable price, however, it still offers you plenty of functions. It has a simple to use design that lets you test parameters pretty easily. With the ON and OFF button, you can check out values in the water. When you want to measure anything, just push the button on the body and insert it in the water. In a matter of seconds, it will indicate how pure the water is. As this shows, it is one of the easiest options to use.
Although it is cheap, it comes with features that ensure that you get the best from it. First , the materials of construction are high quality. Therefore, it will not break easily. In addition, it comes with a carrying case to keep it safe and uncontaminated.
It is pretty easy to use. Just put it in the water and string the tester. Wait for some seconds for the reading to stabilize in the water and on the screen. Once done, you can record the value and shut it off.
The DUMSAMKER Digital Water Tester has an Auto Shut Off function that will ensure the battery lasts for longer. If the tester remains inactive for more than two minutes, it will automatically shut down. One feature that we also liked is the Hold function. It will help you to conveniently read and record your values.
The instrument has a wide temperature range which comes in handy. You can use it to check the temperature and if there are any contaminants in the water. It also comes with a pH scale to help you determine the pH level of your water.
What we liked: As an electric model, it is arguably the simplest to use. Simply put it in the water and take the reading. It comes in a small, portable size as well. Lastly, despite the features, it is quite affordable.
What could be better: While overall performance is good, the LCD screen sometimes delivers patchy performance without any reason we can determine.
The API Aquarium Test Kit is the next product on this lineup. As the name implies, it is primarily designed for saltwater aquariums. Nevertheless, it can still be used for other water bodies. Test strips are a good alternative for people that want something simple. All you need to dip strips of test paper to the water body for sometime, remove the strip , and compare the results to the color chart provided. They are usually very easy to use. However, the downside is that the accuracy is kind of limited. And you have a very limited number of tests that you can carry out.
Well, with the API Aquarium Test Kit, you get all those benefits with none of the disadvantages. As you can use it with several tries, it is quite economical. It is a good alternative to test strip kits.
To use, all you need to do is mix the chemicals with the water in test tubes. As with test strips, you will have to wait for some time for the fluid in the tube to change color and compare the result to a color chart. This API Aquarium Test Kit gives you so many options and parameters. You can test for pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate.
Inside the package, you have all that you need to run any tests. It contains four mixing test tubes, four caps to cover the tubes, seven individual bottles of different fluids to be used separately or mixed, a color chart, and to top it all, a carrying container that holds all the apparatus and the test tubes for you during testing.
It is super easy to use. While it can be a bit hard to test individually since the instructions are slightly different for each test, every other thing is simple and straightforward.
Overall, the performance of the API Aquarium Test Kit is impressive. The results you get are quite accurate and convenient to read. All of these benefits come at a low price as well which is absolutely great.
What we liked: Well, this is an all-round impressive testing kit. It gives some of the most consistent and accurate results of the different testing kits available. It is also an excellent value for money because you can use it to carry out up to 550 tests.
What could be better: One problem is that the PH readings are divided into two separate tests, which can make it hard to find the true value. We wish that the manufacturer provided a narrower range in one test.
Next on this roundup is a test kit designed for aquariums. The Tetra EasyStrips 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips is an excellent product that would meet your needs. Now, we will admit that we aren’t particularly enamored by many of the products from Tetra, but the Tetra EasyStrips 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips is a nice exception. It comes in a small batch, which will ensure that you use it for some time. They are quite affordable and much cheaper than other options like liquid tests.
Since these can run different tests at a go, they will help you to save plenty of time. After you have activated the strips, you only have to wait for some seconds before it reacts. You can then compare the color of the strip to the color chart that is included in the package.
The major downside of this product is that the bottle will not tell you whether your tests result is total chlorine or free chlorine. This might not seem like a big deal, but a test that only shows free chlorine will not show that there is chloramine in the water. So you might assume that you can use the water when in fact, it is dangerous for your fish.
What we liked: We enjoyed how easy they are to use. It is also quite affordable and represents excellent value for money. The ability to run several tests at a go is also good.
What could be better: Well, we wish the manufacturer indicated whether the chlorine detected in free chlorine or total chlorine.
Water source: home drinking water, aquarium, well water, hydroponics, RO/DI system, pool and SPA
Test type: digital
Testing time: immediately
Other features: 3-in-1 model, 3-year warranty, LCD display, titanium alloy probe, TDS chart on the back, ATC, auto-lock reading in 3-5 seconds, auto-off in 2 minutes, cap can be used to hold test water, carrying case included
The HoneForest Water Quality Tester is one of the best water test kits on the market and is arguably the best digital tester you can buy. It comes with the ability to measure different contaminants in the water, especially TDS. It comes with several useful features that make it a top pick. First, the design is fairly simple, but still manages to look good. It is made of durable materials that ensure that even if it falls, it wouldn’t suffer damage. Additionally, the protective cap prevents damage during use and after.
The HoneForest Water Quality Tester has an OFF/ON switch that is easy to use. There is an screen that shows you the value of your readings. After testing, you have to multiply the result by 10 to achieve the final value. Aside from TDS measurements, this unit can also help you to check water temperature.
It is a very versatile product that can be used in water purifiers, and can monitor aquariums, pools, hydroponics, and other water bodies. One feature we also liked is the hold function that lets you accurately record readings.
What we liked: We love the portable and durable build of the unit. The carrying case makes it easy to take wherever you want. We also love the versatility and impressive range of accuracy.
What could be better: We wish the TDS meter was a bit taller for convenience.
Are you looking to test the hardness of the water? If so, then you will find no better kit on this roundup than the JNW Direct Water Total Hardness Test Strips. As the name implies, it is designed to help you check water hardness. It checks the hardness, but doesn’t register any other contaminants. So if hardness is all you want to check, without checking out any other contaminants, then this is the water test kit for you. The fact that it is a one-dimensional kit is reflected in the low price.
While the inability to test for any other thing other than hardness is a bummer, it does come with up to 150 test strips. Therefore, you can check for the hardness for as many times as you like.
There are other advantages of using this kit. For one, it is one of the fastest options you can use. You will get your test results in less than a minute. It is also easy to understand the results because there are six varied color codes. Hence, you can quickly compare values.
It is also very easy to use. Just immerse the strip in the water. Apart from the strips, you also receive an ebook and an app that expatiates on the results of your test.
What we liked: It is very fast and easy to use. We also liked that there are several test strips for you to use.
What could be better: Well, it is disappointing that it only tests for hardness and cannot check for any other contaminants in the water.
The Test Assured Drinking Water Test Kit is an excellent water test kit that is the best for checking contaminants in your drinking water. It can check your drinking water and other types of water. Inside the pack, you will find several test strips for different contaminants. Some of the things that it tests for include mercury, copper, and lead.
Importantly, it contains test strips for bacteria and contaminants that can be dangerous to human health. Apart from the ability to test several contaminants, we like that it can be used again after it has been opened. This is mainly due to the durable package that comes with the test kit. It is tight and will keep humidity and other things that can affect the durability away.
Additionally, it comes in a 10-in-one package. Hence, you can check for a wide variety of contaminants quickly. Made in the USA, it is EPA certified.
What we liked: The kit is so easy to use. You can use it without any prior experience as all you require are clearly labelled in the package. It also comes with a money-back guarantee.
What could be better: While packaging is great, many have complained that some of the strips for copper and lead are missing.
The penultimate product on this roundup is the Health Metric Home Water Test Kit. It is a quality option from a reliable manufacturer and comes with all you need from a test kit. It helps to check bacteria contamination and heavy metal concentration in your water. An excellent product, it is pretty easy to use. All that you need is readily available on the package’s instructions. Overall, the kit was easy to use with instruction clear and easily understood. It is a good kit that is designed for one-time use. It will help you to see whether there are bad things to ingest inside the water.
Another great thing about this product is the affordability. Therefore, if you draw water from a private well, you’ll find it very useful. After testing for contaminants, another good thing about the kit is that the results are pretty easy to read.
It lets you know the results of the tests within 15 minutes. While that might seem like a long time, when compared to similar products on the market, it is downright quick.
It is also highly accurate and an EPA approved product.
What we liked: This is one of the most accurate kits on the market. It is affordable, easy to use and relatively fast as well.
What could be better: We observed that it doesn’t have the range to check plenty of other contaminants.
The final product, but not the least, on this roundup is the AquaVial Well Water Test Kit. Just as the model we reviewed above, it is designed to help you find the concentration of bacteria in your water. It is capable of identifying different types of bacteria, even if these are in very small quantities in the water. It signals the presence of fungi, E.Coli, and other bacteria.
Whether you are testing ground water or well water, you can rest assured that this product will help you tremendously in keeping you up to date with the level of bacterial contamination in your water.
The kit comes with two water tests. There is one for testing for bacteria, fungi and biofilm, while the other test is for checking for coliforms.
During use, it is observed that the results are pretty quick and reliable. You will get your test results in about 30 minutes for total bacteria test and in 24 hours for extensive E.Coli test. You can therefore identify any potential water problems before they start to affect the health of your family.
What we liked: The AquaVial Well Water Test Kit is pretty easy to use and comes with extra tests. It is very sensitive and will identify even very low levels of bacteria in the water
What could be better: It checks for a limited range of contaminants.
In the reviews above, we provided in-depth analysis of ten of the best water test kits on the market right now. Since there are scores of options, these ten products will help you to narrow your choices. You might not be satisfied with the products that we have chosen, or you might want to make your own choice. If that is the case, you need a reliable guide to choosing the best water test kit. In this section, we will consider some of the important things to consider when making a buying choice.
Why should you use a water test kit?
There are several important reasons why you should consider using a water test kit for your water. Here are some of the benefits.
By using a water test kit, you will see the concentration of the contaminants in your water. Knowing these contaminants will help you to make the right decision when treating your water.
This kit, particularly those designed for pool or aquarium water will reveal the concentration of the metals in the water. Therefore, you will know whether to change the water or not.
A testing kit will reveal whether your drinking water is clean and safe for your health.
The results of a water test kit can give you rest of mind that you are drinking clean water
It allows you to check the softness or hardness of water .
The water test kit will help to detect contaminants in the water and prevents you from drinking or using harmful water
It is a great help in fixing plumbing. A water test kit will detect the impurities in the water and affect the purification system that you’ll install in your home. It will even save you money as less appliances will get bad because of the contaminants
Choosing Water Test Kits
If this is your first time using a water test kit, chances are that you do not even know how they work. We will address that in this section.
Chemistry has grown in leaps and bounds, and modern chemistry has made it possible for you to know the contaminants in your water, even if these are in very low concentrations. In the past, it used to take time and cost plenty of money to have your water tested. Teams would come over with their fancy equipment to test your water. However, modern chemistry has jettisoned the need for all of that. Now, there are water test kits that you can buy from a local store and use to check out your water quality yourself. It is pretty easy and quick to do, while costing you very little money.
These test kits work by checking for any contaminants in your water. There are different kinds of contaminants that you might find in the water, ranging from iron to chlorine, lead, nitrates, and qualities like the alkalinity, pH level, hardness, and so on. Water test kits also come in different forms and use different technologies to function, thus, you will have varying levels of accuracy. The price of the kit you buy does not always determine the quality of the tests or the accuracy.
Types of Water Test Kits
There are three main types of tests kits.
These are the color disk kits, strips kits, and digital testers.
Let’s consider each of them.
Color Disk Kits
These come for a wide range of chemical tests. They are pretty simple to handle. All you need to do to get started is add a few drops of water to a sample in the plastic tube. You’ll have to wait for some time and put the tube in a small viewing box.
This box is important because it has a disk with color gradient. The sample will have changed its color and you will rotate the disk until you find a matching color to the sample. Once you have identified the color, you will read the concentration of the contaminants from the disk.
The advantage of these kits is their accuracy. They require more steps and wait times , but if you want the highest level of accuracy, then you should consider using these.
Test strips might not be as accurate as the color disk kits, but they are very affordable and quick. If you want a cheap and fast way to get a general idea of the water quality, then you should get a test strip.
Before using these kits, the user has to activate the strip. They do that by dipping it into the water sample and swishing it around. Some other strips do not require that types of activation to give you results. Some that we reviewed require that you hold the strip down in water , and wait for some time for the strip to change its color, and ten compare the strip to the color chart. These color charts are often included in the package of the kit. Thus, you’ll be able to determine the concentration of the chemical that you test.
These products are portable and lightweight. They come in different forms as well, with some coming as digital meters, colorimeters, and photometers.
While they are more accurate, they have their downsides. For one, they tend to be more expensive. They also need calibration and batteries to work correctly. However, if you want the best results, you cannot go wrong with them.
What to look out for
Before buying any kit, it is very important that you recognize the type of product that it is. And that is why we have made this buying guide.
When choosing test kits that can help you check the quality of water, you have two choices – first there are kits that give instant results and there are some that you take the test and send the samples to a lab for more analysis. Both methods are great in helping you determine the water quality and give necessary information. In our detailed product review section, we have presented these types of water test kits for you.
For example, the Watersafe Water Test Kit is designed to give you instant results. It comes in especially handy if you rely on well water for your family or animals. This product is made to give immediate results and will help you to identify contaminants like bacteria, copper, iron , and several other toxic elements.
These instant kits are often designed to be easy to use. It contains strips that have different ranges for the contaminants. The downside with some of them, though, is that the results always lie within a range and is not as specific or accurate as a full laboratory test. Nevertheless, if you just want something quick, these are the best options.
Others, though, have parts that you must send to a laboratory to find the accurate results. After taking a sample yourself, you’ll have to send it to a specialist. The advantage of this type of kit is that results are more accurate. Additionally, the specialist might even give you suggestions on how to successfully treat the water problem.
Features to consider
It is essential to know the features to look out for, before you purchase a water test kit, and below we are discussing the things which are essential to be aware of.
When choosing a water test kit, you must consider the contaminants in the water. Some of the test kits we have reviewed can detect a plethora of contaminants in water while others are more limited. The kits that have a wider range of contaminants are often quite expensive. However, despite the price, they are often more useful and safer to use. Since you do not know what might be inside the water, you need a kit that can identify as many contaminants as possible.
Before you decide on the water test kit you would buy, you have to consider where the tested water is coming from. Is the water from a well or is it from the public water supply? Are you testing for water in a pool? These questions need to be answered. Why?
Well, water test kits do not usually come in a one-size-fit all model.
Some are primarily made to care for pool water while others cater for well water. They are thus suited to find the most common contaminants based on the water source.
There are different types of tests and they have varying levels of accuracy and cost. If time isn’t pressing, the best test are those that are carried out in a laboratory. If you want quicker results, though, you should purchase a kit that will give you instant results.
Ease of Use
If you are testing the water yourself, it is important that all things are in place for you to get accurate results. And that is why it is important that the water test kit is easy to use. The ease of use is even more important if this is the first time you’ll be using a water test kit. The products that we have reviewed above are made to be easy to use. They come with pretty clear instructions as well.
Accuracy of Results
When deciding on the water test kit to buy, you must ensure that it offers an accurate range of results. All kits will claim to do this, however, you can get a true idea about how accurate a water test kit is by reading reviews from people that have used it.
Number of Tests
If you are looking to get the best from a water test kit, you should check out how many tmes you can use it. Some of the units on the market will offer you just one test per parameter, while others offer you several uses. The API Aquarium Test Kit, for example, allows you to do over 500 tests.
Tips on picking the best water test kits
As this review has shown, there are several water testing kits on the market. In fact, it is safe to say that the market is saturated with products. While this industry used to be a niche industry, it has now become very popular. The impressive number of choices can make it hard for the average person to find the product that would fit their needs. In this section, we provide some tips that can help anyone find the right water test kits.
Know what you want to test. It is important to have a solid understanding of what you want the water test kit to do. Determine the answer to the following questions: Am I using it for general safety? What particular chemical or contaminant am I looking for? Finding answers to these questions is a first step in finding the right product for you.
Next, you have to research on the different suppliers and manufacturers available. You should be looking to get the best deal. And how can you do that? By checking out reviews like this! Look out for what users are saying about the product on social media or review websites.
You should check out the specifications of any kit that you plan to buy. Check f it fits your needs. Would you need to buy additional equipment to use it? How easy is the product to use?
If you are drawing water from a private source, you should test it at least once every year. If it is from a shallow well or surface water source, then you should test it every 4 months. This is because they are prone to contamination.
If you start getting a strange taste or smell from your water, then it is likely time to take a test. Even if you don’t notice anything strange, you can never be too careful. Therefore, you should test your water as often as you are comfortable with.
Water test kits are not as accurate as laboratory tests. They are also limited in terms of the contaminants that they can identify. Furthermore, results also depend on the tester’s ability. It is possible for results to be misinterpreted.
These kits can identify several contaminants in the water. However, before you make a purchase, determine the specific things that it can test for.
There are several water test kits on the market right now. The options we have provided are the best you can find. We recommend the Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit as our Top Pick and the best water test kit as it offers very reliable and dependable results. It is easy to use and can show you up to 10 different contaminants immediately and conveniently. The SJ Wave Drinking Water Test Kit helps to determine contamination of minerals, chemicals, bacteria, and other foreign substances. It offers excellent value for money and is unsurprisingly our value pick. The DUMSAMKER Digital Water Tester is our budget pick and allows you to measure different parameters ranging from EC, temperature, and TDS. It is affordable and super easy to use.
Choose any of the products based on your needs and be assured of reliable, accurate results.