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Usually, with water filtration, a TDS meter will show no change to the TDS reading between tap water and water filtered by a water filter. There’s a common theme in response to this statement: Why?
First, it’s important to know what TDS really is: Total Dissolved Solids.
WHAT IS A TDS METER?
A TDS meter is a small hand-held device used to indicate the Total Dissolved Solids in a solution, usually water. Since dissolved ionized solids, such as salts and minerals, increase the conductivity of a solution, a TDS meter measures the conductivity of the solution and estimates the TDS from that reading.
WHY MEASURE TDS?
First, it’s important to know what TDS really is: Total Dissolved Solids. After water falls to the ground as rain, it dissolves the minerals present in the rocks and soil it passes over or through. As it dissolves these minerals, they remain in the water at varying levels of concentration. This is a very natural process and it helps make water taste “right” by slightly raising the pH of the water. The most common minerals found in water are Calcium, Magnesium, and Sodium.
Some areas of the country have higher levels of these dissolved minerals in their water making it “hard” and other areas have lower levels. Anything under 200 mg/L (or ppm) is good and 100 mg/L is considered excellent. As the TDS level goes below this level (as the minerals are removed) the water has a lower pH and becomes more acidic or corrosive. This causes a noticeable difference in the taste of the water. TDS levels over 400 mg/L are considered non-potable (don’t drink that stuff).
Knowing your TDS level is important when considering a Salt-free Water Conditioner for your home. Salt-free Water Conditioners can protect pipes and plumbing, decrease spots and stains on dishes and shower doors, increase the life of brighter clothing, and more, without wasting salt or water. Keep in mind a water filter is not a water conditioner. The ultimate goal of a water filter is not to remove all solids in the water.
Keep in mind a water filter is not a water conditioner. The ultimate goal of a water filter is not to remove all solids in the water.
WHAT DOES TDS NOT MEASURE?
A TDS meter does not measure contaminants. It will not tell you if your water is healthy. Some healthy minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium can actually cause your TDS meter to spike. So, any water filter with a remineralizer will cause the opposite effect on a TDS meter than you expect. Your water could also have heavy metals like lead, or other contaminants like pesticides, pharmaceuticals, or hexavalent chromium. The TDS meter will not pick these contaminants up.
DO YOU NEED A TDS METER OR A WATER TESTING KIT?
When considering water filtration, the short answer is: no – you do not need a TDS meter. Having your water tested using a test kit will provide a report that explains exactly what’s in the water – including those dissolved solids. You’ll find out what contaminants are in your water that causes you concern, and then you can find a filtration solution to meet all of your water goals.
THEN – WHY WATER FILTRATION?
One of the reasons Aquasana filtered water tastes so good is because we utilize a selective filtration process. All of our drinking water filters use the same process and we call that the Aquasana Claryum® Filtration Technology. Our filter is certified to remove 77 contaminants including chlorine, chloramines, lead, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, etc. However, we specifically DO NOT remove healthy minerals (calcium, magnesium, and potassium) in the water. We filter out the bad but leave in the good – and some of what makes it good is those TDS’s. The Claryum selective filtration process will make water taste more natural because we filter water back to the form nature intended.
When it comes to our Claryum Filtration Technology, we recommend these top drinking water filters: