It’s difficult to talk about swimming pools without mentioning TDS. What is TDS and what’s its importance? Are there any pool cleaning chemicals that can alleviate or reduce TDS?
In the U.S. for example, a lot of swimming pool restrictions plus the use of chlorine generators has further increased TDS levels in most swimming pools across the nations. As such it’s important to have an understanding of what TDS is, how they work, and why they are important.
Continue reading this blog to find out more on TDS and its importance.
What is TDS?
TDS, an acronym for Total Dissolved Solids, is a measure of everything, both good and bad, that can dissolve in water. The measure of TDS is parts per million (ppm). As such, various types of water have different ppm levels such as:
- The TDS of distilled water is zero ppm
- The TDS of drinking water is approximately 500 ppm
- The TDS of seawater is over 30000 ppm
In this context, however, we are putting our focus on the TDS of swimming pools. A swimming pools’ TDS contains many things ranging from minerals like calcium and chlorides, to metals, algae residue, pollen, as well as other organic wastes that are brought by the pool’s users.
For swimming pool cleaners and owners, the major challenge is the fact that TDS cannot be seen even though it is there. It’s the same as adding salt to water, while the water will run salty, you cannot see the salt content. Even so, these things will affect your pool’s chemistry and would require pool cleaning chemicals.
Why is TDS Important?
TDS plays a crucial part in your pool’s water chemistry. More swimming pool owners focus most of their attention on things like water alkalinity, pH levels, and the level of calcium hardness. TDS levels are equally important.
TDS is an important aspect to look at because if they are not taken care of for many years, a pool’s concentration will rise significantly. As such, adding other helpful chemicals to the pool will not make much sense as their effectiveness will be lower.
When you notice the TDS of your pool has gone up tremendously, it is high time for you to empty the pool and refill it with fresh water. The big question, however, is: what is the acceptable level of TDS?
The Acceptable Level of TDS
The acceptable TDS level for swimming pools is 50 – 150 ppm. Anything above this is considered high. A swimming pool dealer can help you identify the TDS in your pool by taking the measure of a sample from the pool. Similarly, you can watch out of the following indicators of a high TDS level:
- Challenges in maintaining proper water balance
- Pool water becomes salty
- Pool water becomes cloudy or colored
- Contact with water causes skin or eye irritation
- You don’t get the correct readings when testing water balance
- Algae start to grow uncontrollably despite proper sanitization
In some cases, metals can corrode when you immerse them in the pool water. This indicates a high TDS level of above 4000 ppm. If this is the case, you should immediately empty your pool’s water and refill it with fresh water.
Can Pool Cleaning Chemical Reduce TDS?
Pool cleaning chemicals do not have the capability of reducing or alleviating TDS in your pool’s water. The main reason is due to the fact that chemicals are difficult to mix in water with high TDS levels. As such, using pool cleaning chemicals will not have any effect in reducing TDS levels.
The ultimate way to get rid of TDS is to drain the water out of your pool and fill it with fresh water.
As a pool owner, it’s important to know what TDS is, and the role that it plays in your pool water chemistry. High levels of TDS in a pool can have a lot of negative effects including water becoming salty and corrosiveness. We have tackled TDS and its importance and hope this will help you not only identify the levels of TDS in your pool, but also know how to maintain the recommended levels.
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