Easy to use
100 test strips
Doesn’t test for pesticides
Mixed reviews on accuracy
We purchased Baldwin Meadows' 10-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit so our writer could put it to the test in her own home. Keep reading for our full product review.
There are various types of kits on the market that allow you to test the quality of your water. The Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit is a quick and easy way to perform a basic screening of your drinking water. It tests for 10 variables all at once. Other kits include multiple tests, which must be performed individually, which is more time-consuming. We were eager to get our hands on this kit because it’s simple, affordable, and delivers results in 60 seconds. We used this kit multiple times to test our drinking water at home. Read on to see whether the Baldwin Meadows Test Kit works as well as promised.
Ease of Use: Simple and instantaneous
The Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit is super easy to use and it provides almost instant results. One strip tests for total alkalinity, pH, total hardness, iron, copper, lead, nitrate, nitrite, residual chlorine, and fluoride.
It is simple to use. All you do is dip a test strip into water for five seconds, then remove the test strip and hold it horizontally for 60 seconds. It needs to remain completely level so that no excess water drips from the strip. After a minute, compare the strip to the color chart located on the side of the bottle. Based on the corresponding colors on the chart, you can determine whether your water levels test for those items in the low, ok, or high range.
Design: Convenient and plentiful
The Baldwin Meadows Test Kit is intended for both well and tap water. However, if you have a well, invest in a water testing kit that’s more comprehensive. Unlike other products that are specifically designed for well water, this kit doesn’t test for toxins from pesticides, fertilizers, and bacteria, which are big concerns for well owners.
This kit includes 100 test strips, so you are certainly getting your money’s worth there. So, you don’t have to worry if you mess up doing the test—like we did. The first time we used one of the test strips, we weren’t holding it completely steady and the colors bled onto one another. Since we had so many strips, we didn’t think twice about throwing that one out and starting over.
All testing is done at home and no lab testing is required. Results are available almost instantly. Unlike basic water testing kits, this kit provides a range rather than a simple pass or fail. However, it won’t provide specific values.
For your convenience, there are two results charts included—one on the bottle and another on a separate sheet of paper. We found it easier to refer to the paper chart. The bottle is relatively narrow so you have to keep turning it to see the chart in its entirety. A pamphlet listing the EPA standards for maximum contaminant levels is also provided. This is helpful for determining what quantities are acceptable.
Accuracy: Mixed reviews leave us doubtful
We used this kit multiple times and got consistent results. A technician tested our water over a year ago, but it was only screened for three substances—coliform, E.coli, and chlorine. We didn’t have any major concerns about our water quality.
Our well water is consistently clear and tastes fine. As we expected, the results from the testing kit confirmed that all our levels were in the normal range. However, we weren’t entirely confident with our results based on a lot of mixed reviews on Amazon, which made us question the accuracy of this water testing kit.
About 25 percent of users gave this kit a one-star rating. There were recurrent complaints among verified buyers of the product. Some got exactly the same results, regardless of the type of water they tested. Other users say the presence of a contaminant was confirmed by a laboratory test, but that same contaminant wasn’t detected by the Baldwin Meadows kit. In other cases, a lab picked up on the same item was detected by the kit, but registered it at a much lower level than what the lab discovered. Even some users who are extremely satisfied with the kit still note small discrepancies between their at-home results and lab results.
We weren’t entirely confident with our results based on a lot of mixed reviews on Amazon.
We contacted the lab that tested our water before to see if they could compare our at-home results with their findings. A technician explained that the only way we could gauge the accuracy of the Baldwin Meadows Kit is if we sent the exact same water sample to the laboratory and then compared the results. To professionally test for all ten items would be quite expensive—$150 or more.
However, the lab gave us some helpful advice. The technician said that at-home water testing kits are not 100 percent reliable, and rarely can detect trace amounts. But, they can usually detect high levels of a given substance. So, if your at-home test yields normal results with the exception of one item that is abnormally high, ask the lab to test for that single item. The cost to test for a single item is significantly less, usually somewhere between $30 and $50 (in our region), although this can vary widely by where you live.
Price: Very affordable
The suggested retail price is $29.99, but you can find it for $19.99 from the manufacturer and Amazon. The Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit is very reasonably priced. With 100 test strips included, it feels like you are getting your money’s worth. However, deciding on the right water testing kit shouldn’t be based on cost alone. It really depends on what item you need to test for. For instance, this kit doesn’t test for bacteria or pesticides, which might be something you want to rule out. Also, remember at this price, you will not get the same comprehensive or sensitive results that you would get from a laboratory.
Competition: More thorough tests are worth considering
PurTest Home Water Analysis at Home Depot: Retailing around $25, the PurTest Home Water Analysis at Home Depot tests for 11 different contaminants, including bacteria and pesticides. Testing is also done at home, but it’s much more involved. There are 19 individual tests. This kit includes one strip each for testing bacteria, lead, and pesticides. It includes two testing strips for alkalinity, chlorine, copper, hardness, iron, nitrate and nitrite, and pH.
Essential Indicators Water Test: If you’re concerned about the accuracy of the results you receive with at-home, do-it-yourself water tests, you might want to invest in a kit that sends your water sample to a laboratory for testing. At $129, the Essential Indicators Water Test is pricey, but it will provide much more comprehensive information about your water quality. This mail-in test checks for more than 170 contaminants.
Reliability is questionable.
When it comes to the safety of your drinking water, you shouldn’t take a gamble. With so many mixed reviews, the Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit doesn’t foster confidence in the results. For the sake of accuracy and greater peace of mind, we would spend the extra money and have our water tested by a laboratory.
- Product Name 10-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit
- Product Brand Baldwin Meadows
- Price $29.99
- Weight 4 oz.
- Product Dimensions 2 x 2 x 5 in.