Test 101

Water Test Kits

Many different types of water test kits are available to consumers who wish to test their water. If you’re wondering what reasons a person would have to test their water, perhaps you’ve never had a pool or a garden pond, or maybe you’ve never given thought to the quality or hardness of your drinking water.

There are several reasons consumers want to purchase water test kits and there are water test kits available for nearly every scenario. Here are just a few:

Your laundry is looking dingy, your detergent doesn’t seem to bubble, and your bar soap doesn’t lather in the shower. It could be due to hard water. So you’re considering purchasing a water softner, but first you want to know if it’s because you have hard water. What do you do? You buy one of the water test kits that test for hardness. Some are as simple as dipping a test strip into the water and you receive a result in as little as 20 seconds.

Let’s say you’ve become suddenly aware of potential harmful chemicals that could be present in your drinking water. For example, you’re going to have a baby and you want to make bottles of concentrated formula, but are afraid your drinking water isn’t pure enough. You could easily place a filter on your tap water, but you want to be sure your water contains nothing that a filter can’t handle. There are water test kits to test quality of drinking water and that will alert you if there are high levels of anything undesirable. You can then purchase the proper filter.

Other scenarios demand regular use of water test kits. Swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, large aquariums or garden ponds are all reasons to use water test kits on a regular basis. Pools and spas use the same water test kits and there are two main types available. There are litmus strips that you can dip directly into the water to get a reading of the chlorine and pH levels and then there are vessels in which you accumulate the water and add the testing chemicals yourself. Professionals recommend the later for the most accurate results.

Water test kits for ponds and aquariums test primarily for chlorine and ammonia, both of which are toxic to most fish. Goldfish produce excess ammonia in the water and it may be difficult to balance the pH levels for other types of fish without regular testing.

Water test kits are available at home improvement stores, specialty stores and some discount department store chains. You can also purchase water test kits online from various retailers.

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