The Importance of Water Testing in a Home Inspection

Water testing in home inspections can be a helpful tool when deciding whether or not a home that you are looking at is the one for you. Especially in Pennsylvania where aging water systems have presented the state with significant health concerns. See here

Testing the water supply to a home can determine whether or not it is safe to use for many different uses – like gardening, showering, drinking, and laundry. 

What Can Water Testing Show? 

There are a couple of different things that can be found in water that can be harmful to health. 

  • Fluoride 
  • High levels of hardness
  • Contaminants from fertilizer (nitrates & nitrites) 
  • Excess minerals 
  • Arsenic 
  • Iron 
  • Lead 
  • Bacteria like E.Coli
  • Radon 

All of these things can be harmful to health, and while some are found in water all the time, like minerals, high levels of them can be dangerous. 

How Often Should My Water be Inspected?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that water supply to homes be tested each year, and at least every few years to ensure that it is safe. 

For older homes, the EPA recommends that water is tested more frequently. This is because homes that are older can have pipe systems that are more likely to crack and allow contaminants in. 

Plus, older pipes can contain harmful materials depending on the age of them, which can be eventually be broken down from wear and tear, and end up in the water supply. 

Homes that have young children or eldery residents should also get water testing done frequently. Their immune systems cannot tolerate higher levels of certain things – like minerals – when compared to adults. 

How Do Inspectors Test the Water? 

Inspectors test water in two different ways. They can test it directly while at the home, or they can take samples and send it to labs. 

Often, if they find levels of contaminants in the on-site test, they will take a sample and send it to a lab for confirmation and to check for anything else that may be there.