How to Check TDS Level of Water at Home?

The number of dissolved particles in a particular volume of water is called the total dissolved solids (TDS) level. These particles can be organic and inorganic materials, such as metals, minerals, and ions, dissolved in a volume of water. TDS in water comprises of the minerals present in a water source, chemicals used for the treatment of sewage systems, runoff from road salt, chemical fertilizers, etc.

How to Check the TDS of Water? – A TDS meter is used to test water for finding out the number of dissolved solids in it. TDS meters are present in some filtration systems to monitor the water levels periodically. So that the water level can be tested and purified. TDS is acceptable for human consumption if it is regulated to an extent. The water becomes harmful if the TDS proportion exceeds 500 ppm. Excess TDS levels must be removed.

What is TDS in the Water Purifier?

Total dissolved solids (TDS) is the proportion of organic and inorganic materials, such as metals, minerals, and ions, dissolved in a specific volume of water which is different from UV, UF and RO (Learn the difference between RO, UV, UF and TDS with us). Total dissolved solids (TDS) is measured as the volume of water in terms of unit milligrams per liter (mg/L), and also known as parts per million (ppm).

Secondary drinking water regulations of EPA suggests that 500 ppm is the recommended maximum amount of TDS for your drinking water. If the measurement is higher than 1000 ppm, it is harmful to your health. Sometimes the infiltration system fails to work if the TDS level exceeds 2000 ppm.

Why Should you Measure Total Dissolved Solids Levels?

We know that the quality of water is pure in nature. Taste, odor, and color are absent in them. If you want to check the overall quality of the water, the drinking water TDS levelmust be determined. If the TDSlevel in water isvery high, then it may probably affect the taste of the drinking water. Water has a bitter, salty, solid, or sometimes a sulfuric taste and it greatly depends on the type of organic materials present. Water is not at all drinkable if the TDS of water is higher. If you conduct routine testing for TDS, then it reveals whether the working of the filtration system is going well or not.

Water that comprises of increased levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium results in high TDS levels and hard water. When the hard water gets collected in the pipes it may forms scale and build-up. So, there needs an expensive replacement for pipes. This is the reason one needs to have a good quality water purifier at home.

Acceptable Drinking Water TDS Chart

Check the following chart of TDS present in drinking water according to the taste of water.

TDS Levels (in MG/L)Ratings
Level Less than 300Excellent
Level between 300-600Good
Level between 600-900Fair
Level between 900-1200Poor
Level Above 1200Unacceptable

Palatability Levels of TDS

TDS Levels mg/litrePalatability Quotient
Any level of TDS less than 300Is Excellent for Drinking
TDS Levels More than 300 and up to 500Acceptable Levels
TDS Levels between 500 to 900You can eliminate the excess TDS in these levels by using water purifiers, so it is a fair level
TDS Levels between 900 to 1200A very High-quality water purifiers can reduce the TDS levels in this range too. But, water having a TDS level in this range constitutes poor palatability
TDS Levels Above 1200It is completely an unacceptable range for everyone

How to Check TDS in Water

We have several methods available for measuring the TDS level in the water. The widely adopted methods include TDS measurement using digital TDS meter and using filter paper and scale. We must check the ideal TDS for drinking water and for the human body to sustain.

Method 1: Using Digital TDS Meter

tds level for drinking water

The digital TDS meter tester can be used to test the operation of your water filter. You can test the quality and hardness along with that. Digital TDS meters are now available on all the major online stores in India. The cost is just around 100 Rs.

In order to measure the TDS level, you have to follow the given instructions:

  • Remove the protective cap
  • Turn the TDS meter on. You can see using the ON switch on the TDS meter
  • Now, submerge the meter into the water till around 2 inches which is the maximum immersion level
  • Now, Stir the TDS meter to let go off any air bubbles
  • Then, wait untill the reading reaches stabilized state which would take around 10 seconds
  • Now, press on the HOLD button, then take it out from water and check the reading
  • If the meter displays the ‘x10’ symbol, that means that you will have to multiply your meter reading by 10 and thats your TDS water reading
  • Now, once you have used it, shake off the excess water from your meter, then replace the cap

The method of checking the TDS level in water using the TDS meter is more professional than the conventional technique. This method is some more perfect than the other because of the accurate results obtained.

Method 2: By Using Filter Paper and a Scale

Although, this method is conventional, people often use it easily in their home to measure the TDS levels in your drinking water.

What are the things that you require?

  • Sample of water (can be tap water or rainwater) in the beaker
  • One sterilized beaker
  • A Filter paper
  • A stirring stick
  • An evaporating dish
  • A pipette which is large enough to collect a water sample of 50ml
  • Scale to measure

Now, follow the instructions:

Step 1 – Take and Weigh the evaporating dish in milligrams and ensure that the dish is totally empty, free from any kind of particles. Note this measurement as “A” and we will get back to it at the end

Step 2 – Take the stirring stick and stir the sample of water in the sterilized beaker. You need to agitate the liquid. The particulate matter existing in the matter gets equally distributed.

Step 3 – Take the pipette and take out 50ml of the stirred water. Note that even while collecting this water, you must resume stirring the liquid continuously.

Step 4 – Extract the water from the pipette and pass it on to the filter paper 3 times. The sediment remains in the filter paper.

Step 5 – If you find any particles in the filter paper, then transfer them to the evaporating dish.

Step 6 – Now, wait for the filtrate (particles) to dry completely.

Step 7 – Once the filtrate on the evaporating dish is dry, weight the evaporating dish again (with the filtrate) and call it “B”

Step 8 – Measure the TDS level by subtracting B from A

How to Reduce TDS in Water

What is the ideal TDS for drinking water? How to reduce the TDS level of water if it is beyond the optimum value? Water purifiers with reverse osmosis (RO) technology are a great remedy to decrease the high TDS levels in the water. The cutting-edge technology in such purifiers assures that the TDs levels in water are lessened to make it safe for drinking purposes. The longevity and quality of the RO membrane can be analysed with the help of a TDS meter.

Water Distiller

There are numerous ways available now to reduce the level of TDS. The most significant way is by distillation of water. Distillation is a widely accepted technique in many countries.

This process encompasses the boiling of water to create vapors. The vapors produced can cool down. The totally cooled water vapors are left of TDS and it is totally safe as a drinking water. Thus, drinking water is made safer to a greater extent by this amazing technique.

Reverse Osmosis

water tds for human body

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is one popular method of eliminating TDS for your drinking water. Almost all the water purifiers available in the market use this RO technique. The process involves the passage of water through which a semipermeable membrane that contains microscopic pores that allows molecules smaller than 0.0001 microns to pass through. The TDS molecules are comparatively larger. So, they get trapped in the membrane. RO ensures the complete reduction of TDS from the water. It even uses a sediment and carbon filter to remove other forms of contaminants.


The deionization method comprises the process of passing water through two electrodes. There are positive and negative electrodes. The positive ions are separated from the water as they move towards the negative electrode by the ion-selective membranes. The resultant water obtained is pure water. You can use this method after subjecting it to RO treatment. Non-ionic organic contaminants can be easily removed by this technique of deionization and it is also highly recommended technique.

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We have already gone through the various techniques to reduce TDS in our drinking water. The article widely covered details from the permissible TDS level to the various methods that reduce the TDS level in the water. We have understood the concept of TDS and inferred how to measure the TDS levels as well. The various aspects of eliminating excessive TDS have a great role in your choices. If you are going to select a water purifier, you must know about the term TDS level. It may help you to choose a better one. The accepted TDS chart and palatability levels of TDS were also discussed.

Samarth is a Mechanical engineer from IIT Bombay with deep understanding of machines and the overall market. Samarth has been building machine from over 8 years so all his reviews on November Culture are first hand expert review. He co founded November Culture along with few other industry experts to provide reviews of daily products.