How to check TDS of water

Last Updated on 13 February, 2024 by Sourav Roy

Do you want to know how to check the TDS of water at home?

You have come to the right place. In this article we will discuss what TDS is, why it is essential to measure TDS in water, how we can easily measure TDS at home, acceptable values of TDS in drinking water and how we can deal with high TDS issue.

How to check TDS of water

What is TDS

What is TDS

TDS stands for total dissolved solids. The term TDS represents the total amount of dissolved solid substances present in the water.

Most of these solid substances are inorganic salts and a small amount of organic compound.

Water contains many inorganic salts, some of which are sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium etc.

Groundwater also contains some heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and mercury. These heavy metals are extremely harmful and are considered slow poisons.

High TDS generally indicates that the water is contaminated with harmful substances. On the other hand, when the TDS is very low, the water becomes tasteless. Therefore, we should ensure correct TDS levels in drinking water.

Recommended Reading: Best water purifiers in India 2024


TDS – acceptable values

TDS - acceptable values

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has specified the value of TDS that drinking water should contain.

According to BIS, the TDS value up to 500 mg / Ltr is acceptable in drinking water. If the TDS level is higher than this, it is not safe to drink.

Please have a look at the table below to understand the acceptable TDS value in drinking water.

TDS (mg/ltr)Rating
Less than 300Excellent
300 - 500Good - Acceptable for human consumption
500 - 900Not good - Should not be consumed.
900 - 1200Poor - Unfit for human consumption.
Above 1200Unacceptable


How to check the TDS of water?

How to check TDS of water

There are mainly three types of methods for measuring the TDS of water. These are digital TDS meter, electrical conductivity meter and filter paper and weighing scale method.

The simplest of these is the digital TDS meter. Anyone using a digital TDS meter can measure the TDS of water at home. You don’t need any technical knowledge to do this.

On the other hand, you need some technical knowledge of the other two methods.

Therefore, here we will only talk about how to measure TDS of water using a digital TDS meter. So, you can do it at home very quickly.


Digital TDS meter

A Digital TDS meter is the most convenient way to measure the TDS of water at home. Anyone without any technical knowledge can do it with the help of a TDS meter. You do not need to apply any mathematical formula for this. The TDS meter will show you the test results directly on display.

Digital TDS meter


You can easily buy a good quality TDS meter at a low price from amazon.

Follow the steps described below for measuring the TDS of drinking water using a TDS meter.

  1. First, open the protective cap of the meter and turn the switch on.
  2. There is a marking on the meter, indicating that the meter should be submerged in sample water until that part.
  3. Submerge the meter into the sample water until that marked part.
  4. Notice if there is an air bubble. If so, remove the bubble by gently moving the meter.
  5. Now, the meter reading will fluctuate. Wait for 10 to 15 seconds for the result to stabilize.
  6. Once the reading is stabilized, press the hold button and pull the meter out from the water.
  7. Now see the result.

In some meters, the display shows an X10 symbol. In that case, you need to multiply the reading by 10.

Right now, you have successfully finished measuring the TDS of drinking water.

Drain the excess water by shaking the meter. Apply a protective cap and keep the meter carefully in a safe place for future use.


Why do you need to remove excess TDS from water?

From the above discussion, we have learned that TDS is aggregates of different types of dissolved inorganic salts. These salts are calcium, magnesium, potassium etc. For good health, these salts must be present in drinking water.

However, due to natural causes, farming and urban development, water sources in our country are polluted with various pollutants.

Recommended Reading: Water Pollution Causes, Effects & Prevention

Firstly, if these salts are present in excessive amounts, especially if the TDS value of drinking water is higher than 500, it will harm our overall health.

Secondly, few pollutants such as arsenic, mercury and lead, which are dissolved in water, can cause serious harm to our health.

Therefore, we must remove excess TDS from drinking water.


How to remove excess TDS from drinking water?

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is the easiest and most effective way to remove excess TDS from drinking water. Let’s discuss Reverse Osmosis briefly.


Reverse Osmosis(RO)

Reverse Osmosis(RO)

Reverse osmosis(RO) is by far the most advanced and convenient method by which we can remove excess TDS from drinking water very quickly. Right now, almost every water purifier on the market uses this method to remove TDS.

Recommended Reading: RO (Reverse Osmosis) Water Purifiers – Pros and Cons

A semipermeable membrane is used in this technology. These membranes contain tiny microscopic pores. These pores only allow molecules to pass smaller than 0.0001 microns in size.

The molecular size of the salts that are dissolved in water is higher than 0.0001 microns.

Therefore, when the water passes through that membrane, molecules of dissolved salts get trapped in the layer and separated from the water. This way, TDS are removed from the water, and we get pure, safe drinking water.

If the TDS level in your drinking water exceeds 500, you should install the best RO water purifier at home.

Recommended Reading: What is a TDS Controller in a Water purifier?

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