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What Could You Learn From Your Home Water Test?

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There are a wide variety of reasons that you might decide to schedule a home water test. Any household that relies on municipal water could benefit from a more thorough understanding of their water quality, and well water users should have their water tested at least annually. 

What else should prompt a water test? Perhaps you’ve noticed a change in the taste or appearance of your water recently, or maybe you just want to make sure that additional contaminants aren’t entering your home’s water supply between the treatment facility and your point of entry.* Moving into a new home is also a common reason for water testing, as is noticing issues such as spots, stains or buildup around sinks and showers. 

No matter the reason, it never hurts to call your local water expert for a water test and consultation. Culligan Water, for example, will help you schedule a free in-home test to understand any issues with your water and recommend a customized solution.

This process will help you understand what may be causing any specific concerns related to your water quality, including an unpleasant taste or odor, red or brown stains in sinks or toilets, or buildup throughout your home. If you have spots or streaks on dishes and glass doors, or trouble with cleaning, as well as dry or itchy skin and hair after bathing, a water test could find the cause for these issues as well.

Read on to find out what you might discover from a professional water test and learn how you can implement the right solutions for cleaner, safer, great-tasting water.

Complimentary In-Home Water Test Results

When a Culligan expert visits your home to conduct a free on-site water test, you’ll can receive the results in as little as 10 minutes. Testing categories may be different from one location to the next based on your local water and issues you may have observed, but you’ll usually receive information about results related to the following water quality attributes.

Water Hardness

Hard water is a common problem for many households. High concentrations of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium can lead to issues with cleaning and bathing while leaving spots and streaks on dishes and fixtures. Not only that, but hard water can also impact your plumbing and the efficiency and longevity of water-using appliances.

Chlorine Content

Treatment facilities often use chlorine to disinfect water supplies before being distributed to households. This procedure is typically safe, but higher levels of chlorine may affect the taste and smell of the water (a bleach-like smell is a common symptom), especially if you live closer to your local treatment center.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Total dissolved solids (TDS) is a term that refers to minerals and salts found in drinking water that can impact taste and appearance. Particularly high TDS levels can also cause scaling and corrosion for pipes, fixtures and appliances.

Acidity of Water

In-home testing can help you determine the pH level of your water. If the pH level is below 7, that means it’s acidic. In this case, your water could cause copper to leach from plumbing into the household supply. You may also discover green stains left behind on porcelain surfaces. Water with a high pH can negatively impact pipes and fixtures in your home.

Hydrogen Sulfide

If you have well water, it may be a good idea to test for hydrogen sulfide, too. Too much hydrogen sulfide may produce a smell like rotten eggs while also affecting the taste of your water.

Excess Iron

Additionally, well water users can benefit from testing for iron. Excessive concentrations of this mineral can impact how your drinking water looks and tastes while also staining sinks and toilets. Buildup due to high levels of iron can also lower water flow rates in your home.

Advanced Laboratory Analysis for Water Testing

If you work with your local Culligan Water expert for your home water testing, you also have the benefit of Culligan’s IL EPA-Certified lab, which can test for additional potential issues. Your water expert may recommend this additional testing based on Yoany issues observed, and you can also request this service directly, especially if you have a specific concern that you would like to explore. Your water sample will be sent to the lab for analysis, and results are usually available within three business days. This type of testing can reveal information about the following potential issues, as well as other possible contaminants.*

Lead in Water

Because this substance typically can’t be tasted, smelled or otherwise observed, testing for lead is one of the only ways to detect this issue. Lead can enter your home’s drinking supply through old pipes or plumbing, so it’s essential to test your water at the point of use.

Arsenic Concerns

Another potential problem with your household water supply that’s imperceptible without testing is arsenic. Sustained exposure to this substance over time, even in small amounts, can have significant consequences. Arsenic has been linked to a variety of health concerns, including damage to the nervous system and cancer.

High Copper Content

While copper may exist naturally in groundwater in very small quantities, some households may face issues with their drinking water due to an unnaturally high amount of this metal. Wells can become contaminated from nearby agricultural or industrial activities, but the more likely culprit is the corrosion of copper pipes, particularly from water that is more acidic. Excessive copper in drinking water can negatively impact your health.

The Presence of Bacteria

In addition to sulfur and iron bacteria, total coliform bacteria may sometimes be found in home water supplies. If any amount of coliform bacteria is discovered in your drinking water, it’s possible that illness-causing pathogens may be present as well, such as fecal coliform or E. coli. Issues related to these varieties of bacteria include gastrointestinal distress.

Treatment Options Following Your Water Test

Based on the results of your home water testing, you should consult with a professional to discuss the findings and decide on treatment solutions that will work for your needs. Recommendations should be based on what’s been uncovered during water testing and an understanding of your household usage requirements. 

Partners like Culligan can provide options that work for a variety of budgets and users, including purchasing equipment directly as well as renting or financing water filtration systems and softeners. Depending on the location and your treatment plan, an installation typically can be scheduled in a matter of days.

Here are some of the components that may form part of your water treatment solution.

Water Softeners and Conditioners

Hard water can cause buildup in your pipes and plumbing that has long-lasting negative effects, while also causing unsightly, hard-to-clean limescale and soap scum on sinks and showers. Installing an effective water softener helps address these hardness issues for your entire household. 

Most commercially available water softening systems use salt to create a brine solution that regenerates the resin beads necessary for this process. However, there are salt-free conditioners that can be used as an alternative in brine-restricted areas. 

Reverse Osmosis Filtration Systems

A reverse osmosis (RO) system provides enhanced treatment for a broad array of concerns to help ensure that you have great-tasting drinking water on demand. Typically installed under your kitchen sink, RO systems can help address impurities and contaminants like lead, arsenic, bacteria and much more. Getting fresh, filtered water directly from your kitchen sink also removes the hassle and waste of alternatives like single-use plastic bottles.

Whole-House Filtration Systems

This kind of water filtration system treats your water at the point of entry, allowing you to enjoy treated water from every tap in your home. Whole-house filtration systems typically address specific issues in your water, including hydrogen sulfide, iron and chlorine.

With this kind of system, you’ll benefit from better-tasting water throughout your home, as well as having treated water available for washing dishes, cleaning clothes, bathing and more. In addition to this support, many households will decide that they could also benefit from systems specifically designed for drinking water as well.

Learn More About Your Water

Water is essential . Don’t you want to know what’s in your household’s water supply?

Not only do we need water to thrive, but it also forms a crucial part of our daily lives, helping us clean our homes, wash produce, cook food and bathe. Considering how central water is to your household’s daily needs, it’s important to know what’s in it and to learn about qualities like hardness, TDS, pH levels and more.

By completing a free and fast in-home water test – and where needed, a comprehensive laboratory analysis – you can have a more complete understanding of your home’s water supply. With this information in hand, you can work directly with a professional to help you identify the most suitable treatment options for your home. This is the best way to ensure that you have cleaner, safer, great-tasting water on tap and at the ready for your entire family.

Find out how to schedule your free water test today.

*Contaminants may not necessarily be present in your water.

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