TDS stands for total dissolved solids. As the name suggests, TDS testers allow users to evaluate the number of ionized solids dissolved in a liquid or solution without going through the trouble of evaporating the liquid and weighing the residual elements.
H2O has a TDS value of zero—in other words, there are no dissolved elements in pure water that have an electrical charge. Because ionized solids will boost the electrical conductivity (EC) of water, the amount of TDS is gauged using an electrical current that measures EC levels.
There are many misconceptions about TDS testers and about TDS in general. We’ve outlined five lesser-known facts about TDS in water:
- If you want clean drinking water, avoid distilled water
- The EPA doesn’t regulate TDS levels in drinking water
- You can buy a TDS meter online for less than $100
- It’s possible to lower your home’s TDS level with simple filtration methods such as reverse osmosis or distillation
1. It is possible to have healthy or unhealthy TDS.
Total dissolved solids (TDS) are an indicator of the number of contaminants dissolved in water. TDS is typically reported as milligrams per liter. It indicates the concentration of salts and other substances found in the water, including minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium;
other elements such as carbonate and nitrates; biologically derived material such as organic carbon or membrane-active agents like humic acid. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stipulates the maximum level of TDS allowed in safe drinking water as 500 parts per million (ppm). That said, just because a water sample has a TDS value below 500 ppm, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to consume
2. There are different types of TDS testers.
A TDS meter is a simple device that measures the total dissolved solids in water. The result of the reading tells you about the quality of the water, which can be useful for drinking and cooking purposes. Although any element that’s dissolved in a water purifier ro will have an electrical charge,
not all TDS testers are engineered to account for elements that are poor conductors. Elements such as oils and some pharmaceutical chemicals can be poor electrical conductors. If your TDS tester isn’t capable of detecting very low EC, it’s possible you’re not seeing the full picture. Before interpreting TDS readings as “safe,” make sure to look into the EC sensitivity of your tester.”
3. Hard water can be identified using TDS testers.
A TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) reader can be a useful tool for homeowners with excessively large mineral deposits in their water. A TDS tester will measure the “hardness” or “softness” of your water and help you plan accordingly. Also known as flow meters, they are used to estimate the amount of flow that can pass through a system by evaluating the back pressure on a valve seat.
They can also be used to measure the purity of air and gases, such as those found in manufacturing processes or in laboratories (for example, medical analysis).
4. There are many applications for TDS testing.
It is important to understand what is TDS in water and what it can do. People often purchase a TDS meter because they are worried about the quality of their tap water, but TDS meters have other applications as well. One of these is testing the water before it enters the home through a filter. Filters don’t improve the taste and smell of water, they just remove chemicals and substances that could be harmful to your health.
5. Creating limestone around hot springs is caused by high organic TDS levels.
TDS is an acronym for total dissolved solids. Dissolved solids are naturally occurring mineral compounds, such as carbonates, bicarbonates, and sulfates. These compounds dissolve in groundwater to create TDS. Water systems normally filter out these minerals using a variety of chemical treatments, including reverse osmosis.