The 7 Best Well Water Testing Kits

Updated on:
October 23, 2023

If you are concerned about the quality and safety of your well water, don’t worry — I’ve got you covered! I’m going to introduce you to seven water-testing kits that have gained a solid reputation among homeowners like yourself. 

Whether you want to assess bacterial contamination, check for heavy metals, or measure the pH levels of your water, these kits offer a convenient and reliable way to ensure your well water meets the necessary standards for drinking and everyday use.

With my in-depth review, you’ll have the information you need to choose the right testing kit for your specific needs, ensuring peace of mind and confidence in the quality of your well water. 

Let’s dive into the best water-testing kits on the market!

1. Safe Home Ultimate Drinking Water Test Kit: 9.3/10

  • Overall best well-water testing kit
  • Price: $399.95

The Safe Home Ultimate is the most comprehensive well-water quality test kit. Its in-lab water testing service aims to provide a detailed analysis of your submitted water sample. This kit checks for over 200 contaminants in your water supply. 

Pros

The Safe Home Ultimate water-testing kit analyzes over 200 contaminants, including 7 inorganics, 12 physical properties (such as turbidity and total dissolved solids), 31 metals, 20 semi-volatile organic compounds, and 130 volatile organic compounds. The kit also includes a DIY bacteria water test that you can conduct at your own convenience. 

The kit is user-friendly, with clear instructions and the necessary materials. All you have to do is collect the samples, send them for testing, and wait for an email with the results. And shipping is free!

Safe Home’s laboratory testing offers the precision needed to determine if your water quality goes beyond the EPA’s Federal Maximum Contamination Limits for human consumption. The results of the tests will tell you the precise quantitative value and level of safety for every reported contaminant. 

As a bonus, it also provides recommendations for treatment options or further actions if the quality does not meet the desired standards. You’ll also get access to Safe Home’s e-learning center, which provides insight on water quality concerns.

As one of the most exclusive well-water test kits on the market, the Safe Home kit has been ranked as the “best water quality test kit” for four consecutive years by organizations such as the Good Housekeeping Institute, the Spruce, and the New York Times.

Cons

One thing you may not like is the price. The Safe Home Ultimate kit is very expensive. And while the waiting period of 7–10 days isn’t unreasonable, it’s inconvenient if you need quick access to water test results. 

Also, a few customers have complained their test results took longer than estimated. However, these are just a few instances, and most customers were satisfied with the shipping experience.

Overall

You really can’t beat the reliability of this testing kit. If you’re a private well owner and need a comprehensive water quality test, the Safe Home Ultimate Drinking Water Test Kit is the way to go.

2. Varify 17-in-1 Premium Drinking Water Test Kit: 8.6/10

  • Best DIY well-water testing kit
  • Price: $27.95

The Varify 17-in-1 water test kit is an easy DIY water–testing solution that checks for 17 different contaminants in your well water. The kit includes 100 test strips, a testing vial, and two tests for harmful bacteria.

Pros

The Varify 17-in-1 water-testing kit is the most reviewed water-testing kit on Amazon with over 6,000 reviews from verified customers. 

The kit is EPA certified to test for heavy metals (such as lead, iron, copper, and mercury), physical properties, and chemicals. The kit also checks for pH levels and hardness, both of which may cause water heaters and appliances to fail. It also contains two bacteria tests for detecting waterborne infections, including E. coli and coliform bacteria.

The testing procedure is very simple — just fill the vial with well water, dip the test strip, and within 60 seconds you can compare the strips with the provided color chart with a list of color-coded contaminants (remember to take a picture of the results). 

The bacterial test is also quite easy. Fill the jar with well water, close it tight without touching the inside, and leave the jar for 48 hours. If coliform bacteria are present, the water will turn green.

Cons

Despite the quick and easy testing process, the writing on the chart is very small, and I had to really squint to see the list of contaminants on the chart. Furthermore, the water hardness results were not reliably accurate.

However, this is just my experience. Most customers, including those I interviewed, have expressed their satisfaction with this kit. If you run into issues (like I did), Varify’s 24-hour live-chat feed comes in handy.

Overall

Some homeowners don’t have time to wait two weeks for a result and need to know right away what contaminants are polluting their drinking water. You still need a reliable test, though. If you have a private water well system and need a fast, affordable, and effective way to test your water at home, check out the Varify 17-in-1 Premium Drinking Water Test Kit.

3. Safe Home DIY Well Water Test Kit: 8.1/10

  • Runner up option
  • Price: $29.99

The Safe Home DIY well-water test kit includes 22 testing mechanisms that provide 242 tests for 14 different parameters.

Pros

The Safe Home kit includes 22 different methods or tools for testing various parameters in well water. These mechanisms include test strips and colorimetric vials, allowing for a total of 242 individual tests to be conducted. 

These tests check for 14 distinct contaminants commonly found in well water, including bacteria, lead, pesticides, chlorine, pH levels, hardness minerals, copper, iron, nitrates, nitrites, total dissolved solids (TDS), and more. Each parameter represents a specific aspect of water quality.

The DIY Well Water Test Kit allows homeowners to conveniently test their well water without sending samples to a laboratory. It provides an accessible and immediate solution for assessing your water’s quality.

Compared to professional laboratory testing, the DIY Well Water Test Kit is considerably more affordable. It eliminates the need for laboratory processing fees and shipping costs, making it a cost-effective option for routine testing or initial assessments.

Cons

While the DIY Well Water Test Kit aims to provide accurate results, it may not offer the same level of precision as professional laboratory testing. I specifically noticed an issue with the test results showing low levels of copper and iron in my water sample while other testing kits (including the Safe Home Ultimate lab results) showed the opposite.

Some customers complained about the lack of adequate bacterial testing kits, and that their packages were crushed during shipping. 

Overall

Despite the few drawbacks, the comprehensive nature of the tests means you can run multiple tests and gain highly accurate results. Every purchase also includes access to Safe Home’s e-learning center, which provides solutions on how to deal with chemicals, heavy metals, pathogens, and other contaminants.

For more information about this product, check it out here.

4. Tap Score Extended Well Water Test Kit

The Tap Score Extended Well Water Test is a comprehensive testing service offered by SimpleWater, a company specializing in water analysis.

It covers an extensive range of parameters, including bacteria, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, herbicides, disinfection by-products, inorganic compounds, radon, and other contaminants.

The test is conducted in professional laboratories accredited by the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP). This ensures the testing process follows standardized protocols and employs state-of-the-art equipment to ensure accurate and reliable results.

Upon ordering the Tap Score Extended Well Water Test, SimpleWater provides sample containers, preservatives, and detailed guidelines for proper sampling techniques. Once the water sample is collected, the Tap Score test provides prepaid shipping labels or arranges courier services for the secure return of the sample to the laboratory.

After the laboratory completes the analysis, the homeowner receives a comprehensive breakdown of the test results, including contaminant concentrations, health risks, and comparisons to regulatory standards or guidelines. 

SimpleWater also offers expert interpretation of the results, helping homeowners understand the implications of the findings and providing recommendations for remediation or treatment options, if necessary. 

Since it’s a professional testing service, the Tap Score well-water testing kit is very expensive. At $810, it’s one of the most expensive test kits on the market. If you need your well water tested by an accredited lab, the Safe Home Water Test Kit offers equally comprehensive results at a much lower price.

5. Health Metric Well Water Test Kit 

The Health Metric Well Water Test Kit tests for bacteria, lead, pesticides, nitrate, nitrite, pH levels, total hardness, chlorine, iron, copper, and more. 

This user-friendly kit allows you to conduct the tests easily and obtain results without requiring specialized knowledge or equipment. It includes test strips or vials with color-coded reagents that users can simply dip into water samples and compare the resulting colors to a provided color chart.

The Health Metric well-water testing kit typically provides rapid results, often within minutes. This allows you to quickly assess the quality of your well water for drinking purposes and take appropriate action if any issues are detected.

Although the kit covers a range of parameters, it may not detect all possible contaminants or provide detailed information on water chemistry. It’s only effective at testing eight different contaminants. If you need a more detailed analysis of your water’s quality, check out the Safe Home Water Test Kit instead.

6. Watersafe Water Drinking Water Testing Kit 

While the Watersafe Water Test Kit is primarily designed for testing drinking water in general, it can be used to assess the overall quality of well water. The kit typically covers parameters such as bacteria, lead, pesticides, chlorine, nitrates, nitrites, and pH levels.

Like the Health Metric test kit, the Watersafe test kit is simple to use, with test strips or vials with color-coded reagents that simplify the testing process and allow for easy interpretation of results.

However, well water can contain a wider range of contaminants, including specific bacteria strains, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other well-specific issues, which may not be covered by the kit. The kit’s sensitivity may not match that of professional laboratory testing methods, which typically offer more precise detection capabilities.

7. AquaVial Well Water (2-Pack) Test Kit

The AquaVial Well Water Test Kit is specifically designed to test for the presence of harmful bacteria, particularly coliform bacteria, including E. coli, in well water. If bacteria are present in the water sample, the growth medium in the vial will produce visible changes, such as turbidity or a color change. This can indicate the presence of bacteria and suggest potential health risks.

The AquaVial kit provides qualitative results, indicating the presence or absence of bacteria in the water sample. It does not provide quantitative measurements of bacterial concentrations.

It’s important to recognize that the AquaVial well water kit focuses solely on bacterial testing. It does not assess other parameters, such as chemical contaminants, heavy metals, or pH levels. Bacterial contamination is only one aspect of water quality, and a more comprehensive analysis may be necessary for a thorough assessment.

Bottom Line

When it comes to ensuring the quality and safety of your well water, the Safe Home Ultimate Drinking Water Test Kit emerges as the top choice among well-water testing kits. The kit tests a whopping 200 parameters, including bacteria, lead, pesticides, chlorine, pH levels, hardness, copper, iron, nitrates, nitrites, total dissolved solids (TDS), and more. 

By opting for in-lab water testing, you benefit from the expertise of a professional laboratory. These labs are equipped with advanced analytical instruments and follow standardized testing methods to ensure accurate and reliable results.

The detailed report includes detected contaminants, their concentrations, and a comparison to regulatory standards or guidelines. It also provides recommendations for treatment options or further action if your water’s quality does not meet standards.

Whether you’re a homeowner concerned about contaminants or a well-water user seeking peace of mind, the Safe Home Ultimate Drinking Water Test Kit offers an exceptional solution for assessing your water quality.

Methodology

This section explains the process I went through while reviewing these seven well-water test kits.

Step 1: A big list of every test kit available

To begin my research, I compiled a comprehensive list of all the manufacturers and the different types of testing kits they provided, either DIY or in the lab.

I went through online stores such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target. But this was not enough. I also called my local health department and asked about the testing kits they prescribe to private well owners with contaminated water. I also spoke with a few officials from the state environmental department to broaden the scope of my research.

I had a list of roughly 20 brands by the end of the day. 

Step 2: Product analysis 

In order to be qualitative in my research I need to ask myself a few questions about the products I was reviewing:

  • What are the typical contaminants found in a well-water system?
  • What are the effects of these contaminants on infants, pregnant women, and senior citizens?
  • How effective are the kits at detecting contaminants such as coliform bacteria, arsenic, metals, nitrates, and water pH?
  • Have these kits been tested to EPA standards?
  • Do these kits provide good value for money?
  • Are these tests designed for public water systems or wells?
  • Is at-home or in-lab testing more effective?

With these questions at hand, I could go through each product and see how effective it was compared to the competition.

Step 3: Online reviews

This phase involved perusing thousands of web reviews written by verified customers. I kept a notebook at my side and meticulously recorded the benefits and drawbacks of each test kit. 

During this stage, I came across numerous businesses that utilized phony reviews and sponsored testimonials on their websites to trick buyers into purchasing subpar testing kits. Needless to say, their products were checked off my list.

Step 4: Interviews with real customers

Armed with the list of reliable water-testing kits, it was time to track down customers who had made a purchase and speak with them about their experiences. 

So, with the help of my partner and a few friends, we organized a door-to-door survey within a 15-mile radius of my home. Since I live in a remote area and nearly all my neighbors own private wells, it was easy to find the information I needed. I also talked to officials at my local health department to get more insight on this issue.

Step 5: Interviews with manufacturers

I had a few questions that only the manufacturers could answer, such as certification authenticity, return policies, and pricing strategies. So I sent an email to each company on my list and waited for a response. This allowed me to assess how each brand handled criticism.

Companies such as Enviro Test Kits (manufacturer of Safe Home goods) answered instantly, while others took many hours or even days to respond. Others didn’t bother to answer at all, so I kicked them off my list.

Step 6: Test drives

I needed to do my own tests to thoroughly assess and rate these water-testing kits. I purchased all seven testing kits and took samples of my well water. I tested each DIY brand at home while I sent the in-lab test results to their respective labs. Some lab results took two weeks to get back, while others, such as the Safe Home Ultimate water test, arrived within a week.

Step 7: Ratings

To eventually rank the water-testing kits on my list, I established a scoreboard on a spreadsheet and included all the facts and information I had gathered over the previous three weeks. I assigned points to each kit based on the following criteria:

  • Ease of use
  • Affordability
  • Number of contaminants it can test for
  • Certifications
  • Online reviews
  • Bonus benefits (after purchase)
  • Additional testing options
  • Waiting period (for in-lab tests)
  • Customer support

Conclusion

In the realm of water-testing kits, the Safe Home Ultimate undeniably emerges as the finest option available. One of the key advantages of this kit is its comprehensive testing capability. It covers an extensive range of 200 parameters, including bacteria, lead, pesticides, chlorine, pH levels, hardness, copper, iron, nitrates, nitrites, and total dissolved solids (TDS). 

This comprehensive analysis allows users to obtain a thorough understanding of their well water composition and identify potential contaminants that may pose health risks. Despite the cost and the week-long waiting period, the results are thorough, and they even include suggestions on how to deal with specific contaminants present in your well water. 

If you need extensive testing capabilities and a user-friendly design, the Safe Home Ultimate Drinking Water Test Kit will help you safeguard your health and well-being.

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Robert Brock

Very helpful. Heading toward the Safe Home Ultimate test kit. My concern is that we have very close newly drilled oil / gas wells (5) that have disturbed the water table dramatically. Wife’s bath is now brown at times. Also have a petro-chemical smell taste in the shower? Worried about what fracking chemicals were used and how that affected our water? With this in mind – what is the best testing lab available for our wells. We have several. The main house well appears to be the worse one effected. My email address id robert@rjbrock.com. I can also be reached at 281-300-7777.

Thanks so much for your help on this. RJB – Robert J. Brock

James Layton

Robert,
attached is a link about the issues you describe and approved labs. I recommend going with a lab in your own state. This is because they shouild be aware of what to test for when it comes to the fracking activities in your particular area. https://www.twdb.texas.gov/groundwater/data/privwwsamp.asp