Where to get water testing kit?


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Old 04-13-08, 11:28 AM
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Where to get water testing kit?

Hi, newbie here.

My wife got tricked into letting a salesman from General Ionics come into the house for a "water inspection" the other day. He ran all these tests showing us all the "stuff" that is in our water (city water system). I didn't buy anything from him but it did raise some interesting thoughts in my mind. I knew we had moderately hard water but never thought much about the other stuff like chlorine.

I figured we'd probably get a softener at some point, just have not got around to it yet.

Our water hardness is about 7 gpg, I don't think we have any iron issues.

I want to test the water again myself - where can I get some quality tests that would be sufficient? I have a Lowes and Home Depot close and there are some pool supply stores near as well. Can I get quality tests there or do I need to order them somewhere or have some pros come out?

I guess I'd just like to get a reading on the basics right now - hardness, chlorine, maybe iron and ph

Thanks for any info
--Dusty
 
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Old 04-13-08, 12:06 PM
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Dusty,

Since you are on municipal water the water authority can supply you a copy of the EPA mandated water tests. There are mandated water quality standards that water systems must meet and they are required to do routine testing to assure they do. Thing is, those test indicate the water conditions at the water treatment facility and are nor necessarily accurate at your kitchen sink.

Testing for hardness, iron, manganese, PH, TDS, and chlorine should be adequate on city water.

There are no quality tests available at Lowe's or the HD, only simple test strips that are wider latitude indicators.

If you really want to know then get a water test from an independent lab. You can find them in the phone book or go to http://www.epa.gov/safewater/labs/index.html

A quickie water test from Sears or a water softener company won't be as accurate (and possibly not as competent) as from a certified independent lab.

Hit the Yellow Pages and call at least three local water treatment pros. Make sure you call at least one of the big dogs like Kinetico or Culligan for comparison and at least a couple independent pros. DON'T TELL THEM YOU HAD YOUR WATER TESTED.

Give each an opportunity to offer suggestions and provide you with a quote to meet your water treatment needs. IGNORE ANY THAT DON'T TEST YOUR WATER THEMSELVES, regardless of how well they say they KNOW your water, as they can't speak intelligently to water treatment without knowing what needs to be treated.

Ask lots of questions. Softening the entire house or just the water heater (a bad idea)? Warranty, parts & labor or just parts, how long and on exactly what? Install, permits required, licensed plumber? Routine maintenance and costs? Do they stock parts? Response time for emergency (water leak) calls? If they don't explain things to your satisfaction that is a good indicator of how you'll be treated after the sale.

After they've gone use your water test to compare with their's. Are all your treatment needs being addressed?

Ask your neighbors if they have any water treatment experience. They might tell you who's good or who to avoid.

Come back here and post the specific recommendations and hardware components with the costs and we'll give you our opinions.
 
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Old 04-13-08, 12:33 PM
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In some areas you can take water to local health department to be sent off to the state lab for testing. An independent test is always best. This can be done by a certified lab or county designated person. In some areas, this may be done through the County Extension Service. You will need a water supply test kit.

Costs for water tests tend to vary from area to area. Here are some prices from Dakota County, MN:
  • Coliform bacteria and nitrate - $32.00
  • Coliform bacteria test - $18.00
  • Nitrate tests - $18.00
  • Pesticide screening test - $50.00*
  • Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) - $387.00 (includes sample collection)
http://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Environme.../WaterTest.htm

You can specify which tests you want done. Explain that you are having the test done to determine if you should invest in filter and/or softner system(s) for your home. They will recommend what tests should be done.
 
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Old 04-13-08, 08:16 PM
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What about just chlorine tests?
Any simple kits/tests from pool stores that would be reliable?
 
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Old 04-13-08, 09:03 PM
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It is my guess that water tests at pool stores test for safety for swimming, not water consumption. These tests would likely not identify the contents of city water for contents that would require a filter/softener system.
 
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Old 04-13-08, 09:45 PM
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forestry suppliers, ben medows both come to mind but a good lab is your best bet. Talk to your county health dept.
O'tools comentary on Murphy's law (Murphy was an optimist)
 
 

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