Water is essential for life. Most people would never consider living without access to safe drinking water. So it’s no wonder that water testing services are a popular add-on to rural home inspections.
At U.P. Home Inspection, we offer two water testing options. In this blog, we will tell you what is included in each one. And, we will explain why you might choose one versus another.
First, let’s look at the top reasons you might want to add a water analysis to your home evaluation services.
Why Should You Get a Water Test When Buying a Home?
People usually order water testing for one or both of two reasons:
- Safety. Water testing services will reveal any contamination that could pose a threat to your family’s health.
- Lender requirements. Certain lenders require a water assessment as part of the approval process. VA and rural development loans require water testing services. Some private lenders may also request water analysis.
Sadly, lenders don’t always tell you up front that they require a water analysis. They will wait until after the inspection is done to say, “by the way, we need a water sample”.
This of course will make you want to shoot them. That’s because we have to charge more for a la carte water testing services to cover the expense of a home visit.
So if you are working with a private lender, we always advise asking in advance whether a water test will be required. This will save you time and money. It will also keep you on the good side of the law.
Our Water Testing Services Explained
We offer two types of water testing services. These are standard water testing and VA water testing.
- VA water testing includes testing for only those contaminants the VA requires. These include nitrate and nitrite content and bacterial load.
- Our standard water analysis tests for everything the VA water test assesses, plus lead testing and arsenic testing.
As you can see, the standard test is more comprehensive than the VA test. However you will wait longer to get your results.
With VA water testing, you’ll typically get your results within a week. A standard water test usually takes 10-14 business days. This is because we have to ship the samples outside the area for the arsenic and lead test.
Do I Need to Order a Water Test for City Water?
Normally, no. People nearly always order our water testing services for well water analysis. This is because the State of Michigan requires municipalities to test public drinking water. Cities and towns routinely test city water for a wide range of organic and inorganic contaminants.
However, you should know that municipal water testing takes place at the water supply facility. It is possible for water to pick up contaminants while flowing through service lines or your home’s plumbing. This is most common with older homes and neighborhoods. If you are concerned about this type of water contamination, a water test may be in order.
Can I Get Away With a Home Water Test?
EPA recommends testing private drinking water sources every year. If you want reliable results from your well water testing, use a certified lab to do the testing. Home water tests from the hardware store are not likely to give reliable results.
If you are a homeowner, you can order your water test kit directly from a certified lab and save money.
However if the water test is part of a home inspection, it’s another story. The lender will want to have the test done by a disinterested third party such as a home inspector. This is why so many U.P. home buyers use our water testing services.
Which Water Testing Services are Best for You?
Which water quality test should you order? That depends on your desire for peace of mind, your timeline for the home sale, your lender’s requirements, and your budget.
- If you are getting a VA or rural development loan, and want to minimize expense, you will need a VA water test.
- If you are concerned for drinking water safety and have the budget, we recommend the standard water test.
- If you are pressed for time, choose the VA test.
Sometimes speed is of the essence in real estate transactions. If this is the case for yours and your lender does not require a water test, you can always order water testing services after the sale. You will not be able to use the results as a negotiating tool in this case. But if it ensures that you get the house you want, it may be worth delaying the test until later.
Need Water Testing Services in the Upper Peninsula?
We’re here for you! Call 906-360-3879 now to schedule your water test. Or for online convenience, schedule your water testing services here.