Kaitlyn Schott

By: Kaitlyn Schott on October 17th, 2021

Print/Save as PDF

5 Common Questions About Water Testing

Plumbing | Monkey Business | Standard Water Heaters | Tankless Water Heaters

“The water in LA is terrible!” “I only drink bottled water.” “I’m not drinking from the tap.” These statements are uttered all over LA. Everyone has an opinion on the city’s water quality. But what’s in it? Is it safe to drink? And how can you tell?

Here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’ve seen firsthand how LA water can affect our customers and their homes. We want to teach you how essential it is to know the quality of your water and how that knowledge can save you from future problems.

When you’re finished reading this article, you will know what a water test is and how it can help you avoid plumbing issues. We will also go over other common questions about water tests and provide you with resources for your next steps.

Person holding a cup of water


1. What is a Water Test?


Water tests are tests performed on your home’s water to check for minerals, chemicals, or contaminants. The most common water tests are:

  • Water Hardness Test - Checks for dissolved calcium and magnesium in your water. These minerals are naturally found in the US and make water “hard.”

  • Water Chlorine Test - Checks for chlorine and chloramines in your water. Disinfectants are added to municipal water to kill harmful germs.

So, if calcium and magnesium are naturally occurring and disinfectants protect us from diseases, why should you get a water test? Great question.


2. Why is a Water Test Important?


Testing your water is important because poor water quality is the root of many household problems. Water tests are beneficial because they can RAP.

  • Reassure: Water tests can assure you your water is safe to use.

  • Alert: Water tests can alert you to possible problems you may face in the future.

  • Prepare: Water tests can prepare you for an action plan that solves your water quality issues.


Hard water buildup

Scale buildup in a faucet


Why Do I Need to Test for Hard Water?


A water hardness test will test how many grains of hardness your water has. If you have 7 grains per gallon (gpg) of hardness minerals in your water, you have hard water. While it’s safe to drink, hard water can cause problems for your plumbing and personal investments. It can:

  • Create unsightly scale up on your fixtures

  • Block your pipes with scale

  • Shorten the life of your appliances

  • Cause early water heater breakdown

  • Make it harder for you to get clean

  • Etch glass and leave unsightly spots behind


Note: Water hardness can vary from city to city. This is why it’s important to get a water test done for your home.


Hard water testing strips

Hard water testing strips by Hach

Why Do I Need to Test for Chlorine?


A chlorine test will test the levels of chlorine and chloramine in the water. While these disinfectants are essential to protect people from germs, over-consumption of disinfectants can have negative effects. The good news is that your water company monitors disinfectant levels to make sure your water is safe to use. As long as disinfectant levels are four parts per million or below, your water is safe for you and your family.


It’s important to get chlorine tests for your home for:

  • Peace of Mind - Testing water verifies that city reports match your water quality.

  • Gardening - Knowing how much chlorine is in your water can help you avoid killing garden plants. Some plants can die from exposure to low levels of chlorine and chloramines.

  • Exotic Animals - Animals like fish or lizards can die from chlorine and chloramines in the water.


Note: Chlorinated water is safe for animals like dogs and cats.


A chlorine testing kit

Chlorine and chloramines test by CHEMetrics


3. How Easy is it to Do a Water Test?


Water tests can be done from any points of access in your home, including:

  • Fixtures

  • Pitcher filters

  • Fridge

  • Hose bibs (garden faucet)


All that’s needed for the water tests is running water! Water tests are non-invasive, and you get your test results within minutes. So there’s no pipework or waiting around.

A monkey wrench technician testing water quality


4. How Much Does a Water Test Cost?


Water tests can usually range anywhere from $89-$125 depending on:

  • Which water tests are performed

  • Your plumbers service-call fee


However, if you have an appointment with Monkey Wrench Plumbing, we will test your water as a courtesy. We do this because we want to make sure you’re well informed so you can make fact-based plumbing decisions.


5. Are There Downsides to a Water Test?


There are no downsides to getting a water test. Once you learn about the quality of your water, you can then determine if water filtration is needed to fix your water quality problems and what options are out there for you.


Final Takeaways on Water Testing


The bottom line is, water tests are essential to finding your home’s water quality. You can use water tests to reassure you about the quality of your water, alert you about concerns, or prepare you for the future. So, what you want to accomplish with a water test is in your hands.

We want you to be prepared to make the decision that’s right for you, so we’ve put together different guides on your water filtration options to help you make the best decision.


Want to take the next step to protect your home and live in the LA area? Call us or book online to schedule your water test or ask your technician for one during your next appointment!