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- By James Wisler
- Water Quality
Whether you’ve recently moved into a new home or are concerned about the quality of your drinking water, you may be wondering how to determine the purity and safety of your water supply.
Although various in-home packages for assessing the water balance in your home are available, these packages can be expensive and slow to ship. This article will show you how to test your home water quality without a bacteria, lead, nitrate, nitrite, and chlorine assessment kit.
Four simple home tests can help you determine preliminary parameters for your home’s water quality. This information can help you create a cleaning plan and implement water treatment technology that addresses specific water quality issues in your home.
#1 Assess Color, Taste, and Odor Test
Are you satisfied with your water? Three key quality characteristics of your home’s water supply can indicate the presence of hard water:
Although it can be difficult to identify the specific causes of odor, color, or taste disorders, identifying the problems is the first step in the remedial process.
If you’re unsure how these quality factors affect your current water supply, compare your tap water to one of the purest water products on the market: distilled bottled water. .
Although even most distilled water products are not 100% H2O, distilled water can serve as a neutral benchmark for your home’s water quality.
To assess the smell, color, and taste of your tap water, compare each reading to those you observe in distilled water samples. If your home drinking water has an odd smell, color, or taste compared to the distilled control, your home drinking water supply could be contaminated.
#2 Use a Water Hardness Test
Water hardness describes the total concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium solids in a water sample.1
If your home has hard water, you may experience one or more of the following effects on a daily basis:
- Chalky stains on dishes, plumbing fixtures, and countertops
- Soap scum residue in areas where you use soap (e.g., showers and sinks)
- Low water pressure
- A chalky dry feeling when you wash your hands or body, or when you do the dishes
- Low soap sudsing
One sure-fire way to test your home water hardness without a testing kit is to do the following:
- Dispense tap water into a ladle or large spoon
- Lay the spoonful of water on a countertop, and don’t disturb it for 24 to 48 hours
- Once the water has evaporated, look for white spots or sticky residue on the spoon
If you still see residue after the water has evaporated, you may have a hard water problem in your home. Filtering hard water can be critical to a safer water supply.
#3 Try a Magnifying Glass
If you’re testing your home’s water quality without a water testing kit, it’s important to be on the lookout for water quality issues as soon as your water leaves the faucet.
Not all contaminating particles are visible to the naked eye, but it is important to rely on your senses to identify and solve drinking water quality problems.
To perform a visual test, thoroughly clean and dry a clear glass bowl or drinking glass. Fill the container with water, place it in a bright light and take a closer look at the water with a magnifying glass.
If you notice floating particles, clouds, or foam that lasts for more than a few minutes, the water in your home could be contaminated. While not all contaminants are harmful, establishing a baseline for water visual clarity can help you gauge the effectiveness of any water treatment solution you’ve tested in improving water quality in your home.
#4 Boil Your Water for a Dissolved Solids Test
Again, detecting dissolved solids can be difficult, but even if you can’t see contaminants, you can test for water contamination at home without a water test kit. Just use the cooking method:
- Thoroughly wash and dry a small pot or saucepan
- Fill the pot with one cup of water
- Place the pot on your stovetop, heating the water without a lid until it comes to a boil
- Turn off the heat once most of the water has evaporated
- Wait for the pot to cool completely
Once you’ve brought the water to a boil and waited for the pan to cool, run your fingers along the bottom of the pan. If you smell gritty, sticky, or chalky residue, your home water supply has dissolved solids in it.
Additional Factors to Consider
When assessing your water quality at home, you should also consider some external factors that can affect your water quality and how you should test them. These include:
- Water Source – Nutrient pollution can affect lakes, rivers and streams and then be absorbed by the soil. This can affect public and private drinking water systems and pose a serious health hazard to those who drink the water. Therefore, it is especially important to check for nitrate contamination if your water comes from a groundwater source.
- Testing Frequency – According to the CDC, you should test the quality of your drinking water once a year, testing for coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH. However, if you notice contamination in your water source or a recent repair to your water system, it is recommended that you test your water more frequently.3
- Local Health Regulations – The EPA sets legal limits for 90 pollutants, as well as water testing plans and methods that water systems must follow.4 The Safe Drinking Water Act has also allowed each state to set standards for drinking water. Therefore, before testing your drinking water, it’s worth checking your state’s regulations.
Why Test Your Home’s Water Quality
As mentioned earlier, it is important to test the water quality to eliminate hard water and contaminants that can not only be harmful to your body but also cause problems like damage to plumbing, hard water stains, etc. Although the water source and local health authority regulations can affect quality, a water quality check can also be important to determine if you need a water filter or water softener. By using a water softener, such as an ion exchange water filter, or even a reverse osmosis system, you can improve your drinking water and make it safer.
Wisler Plumbing & Air: Aiding Water Quality in Virginia Since 1986
Although home water testing without a kit doesn’t provide concrete results on what chemicals are contaminating your water, the simple tests above can help you set a baseline for overall water quality. For more differentiated results, consult water treatment professionals in your area to determine what contaminants are present in your water supply and develop a mitigation plan.
At Wisler Plumbing & Air, that’s exactly what we do. Our team has been helping homeowners in Roanoke, Salem and throughout Virginia, and we continue to work with one goal: committed to doing what is fair and right and providing home and business owners with clean, nutritious, great-tasting water to promote well-being, reduce exposure to harmful contaminants, and improve water quality. Experience.
From reverse osmosis systems to ion exchange filters and more, Wisler Plumbing & Air has a solution that can solve your specific water quality problems. If you’re ready to improve the quality of your water at home, contact us for a free consultation and free water testing today!.