8 Best Well Water Testing Kits
A DIY well water test kit helps ensure your home's water is safe. Here are our favorites.
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What Is a Well Water Test Kit?
Well water test kits tell you if your water contains unwanted and possibly dangerous bacteria or chemicals.
Drilled well water has several advantages over municipally supplied water, but it comes with a few unknowns. Unlike municipal water, which is treated and tested to virtually guarantee safety, well water is natural and unregulated.
Supplied by underground aquifers, drilled wells are often completely sterile, thanks to layers of soil naturally filtering rainwater as it passes through. Trouble is, “often” doesn’t mean “always.” Nor is the water free of unwanted chemicals.
Everyone with a drilled well should test their water every couple of years. Different kits test for different chemicals and bacteria, so it’s important to first decide what you most need to test for. Check with local health and water chemistry authorities for guidance.
Well water test kit features
Nearly all home water testing kits involve wetting strips of paper with a small water sample. The resulting color changes indicate certain chemicals in the water. Consider the following features as you research the best kit for your needs:
- What it tests for: There’s a long list of contaminants you don’t want in your well water. Learn which are most common in your area and choose your test kit accordingly.
- Bacterial testing component: Contamination from bacteria is one of the most serious dangers to well water. This should definitely be on your list.
- Accuracy: Waterborne contaminants are usually measured in parts per million (PPM). Check the test kit increments and scour reviews for a sense of the product’s accuracy.
Here are eight of our favorite well water test kits.
Most Accurate DIY Kit
Well water test kits vary considerably in quality and accuracy. Exceptional accuracy makes the Varify Complete Water Test Kit stand out with Amazon reviewers.
“Since we had recent tests and the closest lab was a few hours away, I bought this kit to see what results we got,” the reviewer writes. “Being a Hazardous Materials Specialist, I decided to check it out some more to be sure and sampled water from the pool, the separate hot tub and the horses’ water trough just to see. I got results that confirmed this kit works.”
Best Budget Multi-Test Kit
This SJ Wave 16 in 1 Water Test Kit gives a better bang for your water testing buck. For just $22, you’ll receive 100 chemical strips capable of testing for overall water hardness, chlorine, lead, fluoride, iron, PH level, copper, nitrate and more.
“The results can be obtained in minutes and these are an inexpensive alternative to paying for a water testing lab,” writes one Amazon reviewer. “Definitely worth the money!”
Most Comprehensive Kit
At $380, the Safe Home Water Test Kit isn’t cheap, but it’s extremely thorough. It tests for 200 contaminants including bacteria, metals and dozens of chemicals.
This test can safely and accurately rule out nearly everything that might be making your water unsafe. It doesn’t rely on litmus strips like many at-home test kits because these can be misread and vary in accuracy. Instead, this kit helps you collect samples to send to a lab for detailed analysis.
“The cost of this product is hefty,” writes a reviewer on Amazon, “but it provided precisely what I was looking for.”
Easiest To Use pH Test Kit
This MedLab Diagnostics Litmus-Based pH Test Kit measures acidity in your water. It’s really easy to use — just dip a litmus strip in your water sample, wait for the color to change, then compare it against the provided reference chart.
“Much easier then digital meters,” writes an Amazon reviewer. “I’ve gone through three different meters … These are easy to use read and give you same as digital without having to calibrate.”
Best Value Water-Hardness Kit
Excessive water hardness is often a serious problem with drilled wells. For just $11, these Just Fitter Water Hardness Test Strips offer a solution. You get 125 litmus test strips and an easy-to-use color-coded reference chart which tells you at a glance if your water is soft, hard or very hard.
“Easy to use,” writes an Amazon reviewer. “Good value. Has helped me evaluate our water softener unit.”
Best At-Home Bacteria Test Kit
E.coli and other coliform bacteria can cause serious health issues or even death if left unchecked in a water well. The Health Metric Bacteria Test quickly and accurately tests for such unwanted bacteria.
It’s extremely easy to use. Fill the provided bottle with water from your well, shake for 20 seconds, then wait 48 hours before examining the water color. Purple means no bacteria and yellowish means bacteria.
“In light of the fact that you pay hundreds of dollars for an extensive test, I was happy to see that this inexpensive version did the trick to confirm I have coliform in my well water,” writes a reviewer on Amazon. “I did pay for the extensive test and already knew I had the bacteria in the well water, but I wanted to test our filtered water just to be extra safe.”
Best Test Kit Support
Here’s the trouble with DIY well test kits: Once you get the results, you won’t necessarily know what to do next. That’s the problem the Safe Home DIY Well Water Test aims to solve.
Besides easy-to-use testing various contaminants, this kit also comes with contact information for qualified water quality specialists.
“Loved this test kit,” writes a reviewer on Amazon. “Very accurate when comparing to other kits. Thorough instructions, very easy to read. The Safe Home staff was friendly, and very helpful with my questions. I would highly recommend.”
Best Kit For Heavy Metals
Made in the U.S. in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, this Health Metric Heavy Metals Test Kit accurately and quickly tests for lead, iron, copper and mercury in your well water.
The kit comes with clear instructions, an easy-to-read color code system, and access to a team of experts to answer your questions.
“I used this kit to test my tap water for lead and mercury primarily,” writes a reviewer on Amazon. “The directions were easy to follow. The results were easy to read and it only took a few minutes. I liked that there were two tests available in the event I made an error, spilled the packets of powder or whatever.”