What Does TDS Means?
TDS stands for “Total Dissolved Solids,” which refers to the total dissolved substances’ concentration in drinking water. Moreover, TDS refers to both inorganic salts and small amounts of organic substances in the water. In short, any particle which isn’t purely water (H2O) falls under the TDS category. TDS is measured in parts per million (ppm).
In TDS, minerals, salts, and other organic substances are present. Total dissolved solids can be calcium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, sulfates, and bicarbonates. The measurement of TDS only tells the total amount of these substances, and it doesn’t provide the quantity of each substance by breaking down water. TDS is related to the hardness of water; the harder your water, the higher your TDS is.
What is a TDS Meter?
A TDS meter is a little hand-held gadget used to evaluate the “Total Dissolved Solids” in a solution, typically water. Dissolved ionized solids, for example, salts and minerals, increment the conductivity of a solution. A TDS meter estimates the conductivity of the solution and evaluates the TDS from that reading.
TDS meters are little, battery-powered devices, and when you submerge them into the water, they give parts per million (ppm) reading.
TDS meters can be bought for as low as possible $10, yet further advanced models can cost $1,000+ depending upon the degree of precision and some additional features. For instance, a basic TDS meter may just measure the total dissolved solids in a sample, while a high-level and advanced model might have the option to look at saltiness, temperature, and much more.
Why Use a TDS Meter?
A TDS meter is an inexpensive way of checking water quality. But TDS meters do not provide a complete water analysis, so if you want a comprehensive analysis, you should buy a water testing kit. TDS meters are used for the following purposes.
1. Use to Check Changes in Water Quality
Regular testing of TDS identifies any sudden changes in water quality, and you may need to investigate it further. A TDS test doesn’t provide a detailed analysis of water.
2. Use to Check Water Filter Efficiency
A TDS test is the best way to check your newly installed water filter’s efficiency. If you are using a home filter, you should perform a TDS test before and after changing it. Besides this, you should also check the TDS at regular intervals to know when to change your water filter. High TDS means you need to change your water filter.
3. Use to Confirm Bad Water Taste
According to World Health Organization (WHO), best-tasting drinking water has a TDS level of 50 – 300ppm. So, if your water has higher concentrations of TDS (more than 900ppm) it will taste bad. Thus, if you feel your drinking water has a changed or bad taste, you can check the TDS level of your drinking water.
4. Use to Monitor Aquarium Water
The TDS value of an aquarium should be constant, and it can be at different levels for specific kinds of fish. Although a TDS meter doesn’t tell the exact changes in aquarium water, it’s the quickest and most affordable way to detect changes in the chemical makeup of aquarium water.
5. Use to Monitor Pool Water Quality
To properly maintain pool water, you need to monitor the pool water TDS. A TDS meter is best for such purposes.
How Does a TDS Meter Work?
Dissolved solids like minerals and salts in water increase the conductivity of the solution. A TDS meter uses this conductivity to test the presence of dissolved salts in a water sample. The TDS meter measures the conductivity by sending a tiny film of electrical current through the sample and then measures the voltage. So, we can estimate the TDS level by this meter into a solution, especially water.
Ways to Lower TDS
Higher TDS means hard water, which isn’t good for human health and also harmful to home appliances, so here are a few useful ways to lower TDS in water.
If your water has a higher TDS level, you can use water filters to lower it. Water filters lower TDS by removing the harmful ions and minerals through their systemic filtration system. Water filters with a carbon filter are best for this purpose.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
Through reverse osmosis filters, you can treat mineral water and remove the most harmful substances from water. Reverse osmosis filters keep a small number of minerals in water that help preserve the taste of water.
Water distillers remove minerals and some dissolved substances from water through boiling. The impurities from water vaporize, and the clean water condenses back into the water container. So, if your water has higher TDS, you can use water distillers for drinking purified water.
Water Softeners/Ion Exchangers
The ion exchange process known as deionization is one of the effective ways to lower TDS in drinking water. In this process, ions from high TDS water run through the resin bed and exchange hydrogen ions for hydroxide ions. As a result, you will get highly purified water. For this purpose, you can buy water softeners or ion exchangers from certified sites.
TDS meters evaluate the levels of total dissolved inorganic and organic salts in water. These meters provide the overall salts and mineral quantity in water and do not provide the exact amount of every substance. For in-depth water analysis, you can opt for water testing kits and other more accurate ways of water testing.