It is very common to have the water tested by the home inspector. It is recommended that you have these tests performed to determine if the water is safe to drink, even if the house is served by a public water supply. The home inspector should know the correct way to take the samples and deliver them to a lab. The result can take up to five days and prices vary between inspectors. Call for quotes.
There are a few types of tests to choose from. The following are the most common:
Water quality (basic)
This will most likely test for: Sodium, fluoride, pH, water hardness, nitrate-N, iron, manganese, coliform bacteria, E-coli bacteria. The test should not be taken from the kitchen sink due to a high risk of contamination around the faucet area. The aerator should be removed and the faucet area (including the inside and the end of the faucet) should be disinfected. Then the area should be flushed with cold water (full force) for five minutes. The bacteria sample should be taken with a sterilized container. The sample will need to be tested within 30 hours.
This test will check for lead in your water supply.
(FHA) First Draw Lead
This test will check for lead in the water supply as well as contamination from the plumbing pipes. The sample should be taken first thing in the morning before any water has been used, so that the sample represents water that has been sitting in the pipes long enough to pick up any possible contamination from the pipes.
This test will check for radon in your water supply. Two samples must be taken with no air in the containers. A common method is to fill a bucket then submerge the containers to take the samples. The aerator needs to be removed and the cold water flushed for five minutes.
This test is usually taken with the basic water quality test sample. An additional fee will be added.