DIY house water testing?


I have pretty much always had a whole house water filter in my home. The filter is a sediment filter rated at 16,000 gallons and lasts about 3 months before it needs changing. Two years ago it needed about 2 months between changing. In the past month the filter needed to be changed weekly!
I have contacted (two years ago and now more recently) the local water authority, dpw, and town supervisor and have emailed digital photos of the water filters. The local water authority, as expected, simply quotes how NYS mandates periodic water testing and such and pretty much guarantees that the water is safe to drink/use. It does not recommend a use of a water filter (only as personal preference). It's not like I water my lawn (and my neighbor's) or have a swimming pool or take 100 showers each day. There has been no annual flushing of the hydrants yet and now local fires needing the fire department to make use of the hydrants.
I have also contacted a water testing facility and there is not much they can do/suggest. Of course they said I could test for everything my town tests for (for $4000) or I could bring in an old filter and they can test it for iron ($45) which they think is the most likely cause. They think the insides of the water distribution pipes are slowly corroding and again, short of replacing or resurfacing the insides of these pipes with a cement coating, the sediment and discoloration is just something I would need to accept and live with.
Is there an inexpensive testing kit that is available so that I could test for iron and such ?
Any other thoughts on this are appreciated.
Walter
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Salesmen for filters, softeners etc. usually carry with them a simple minerals test kit for free tests during the sales pitch.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What is the micron rating and the physical size of the filters you use. You may want to add a pre-filter using a 4.5" x 20" particulate filter at a larger micron rating than you use for final filtering. This way you take out the larger lumps first, without clogging up your main filter. If your house filter is a 1 micron filter, you may want to pre-filter with a 5, 10 or 20 micron ahead of it. They are not expensive and will save your good filter, if you are using good filters.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I use a GE SmartWater FXUSC filter rated at 5-15 microns.
Walter
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I am surprised they want to charge you so much for a test. My local county agency had mined tested for iron and hardness for $10, no lie! I was given a menu of things that could be tested for but even if tested for everthing the total was less than $50. I'm in Minnesota so maybe we don't have to test for so many things.
It sounds like sediment from whatever source is the problem anyway and agree with EXT on details, nice post.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What are you using as a criteria for making the change? I change min when it looks dark or the water flow is getting restricted. Most of what I get is crud from the 100 year old pipe between me and the water treatment plant.
There are test kits available LaMotte, Hach, and others make them. I have no idea of cost. A Google search will give you plenty of information. You may also want to ask the water department to do a flush of the main on your street. Just opening a hydrant may be a big help.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Go to an aquarium store. They usually have a variety of inexpensive test kits.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A dependable and trustworthy pool store could test for iron, copper, and calcium (CaCO3) hardness. Unfortunately they are impossible to find.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.