How To Use The ZeroWater Tester

For the most part, our tap water appears clear and clean. However, while the lack of cloudiness in the water may indicate clear water, we have no idea what is going on on a molecular level. Our eyes can tell us a considerable amount (similar to don’t eat yellow snow), but we can’t detect the presence of minerals, metals, or microbes. 

So, you may decide to use the ZeroWater tester. This is a great way to determine the number of dissolved solids in the water. However, it can be a bit tricky to use the first few times, so use this guide to help you navigate the first few uses. 

What Is The ZeroWater Tester?

ZeroWater TDSmeter-20 ZT-2 Electronic Water Tester, hand held, Blue

The ZeroWater tester, also called a TDS tester or water quality meter, measures the quality of your drinking water. Water from the environment contains various pollutants and can be highly contaminated in some cases. Aside from pollutants, minerals and other elements that are present in soil may mix with water. 

In some cases, these pollutants, minerals, and other elements can be harmful to human health. It’s essential to drink good quality water that meets the necessary requirements. The ZeroWater tester is a great way to do this. 

What Is A TDS Score?

A TDS score is the amount of total dissolved solids in the water. Total dissolved solids are all the soluble particles, which may contain calcium, copper, fluoride, mercury, manganese, arsenic, lead, etc. 

In some scenarios, small quantities of TDS aren’t harmful. Many elements found in total dissolved solids are necessary for our bodies. Some mineral water companies add several of these elements to their bottled water. 

However, too many of these elements can be bad for our bodies, so measuring the organic materials present in dissolved form in our water is essential. So, TDS aren’t always full of harmful substances. 

How To Read The ZeroWater Tester

ZeroWater TDSmeter-20 ZT-2 Electronic Water Tester, hand held, Blue

When you buy a ZeroWater pitcher or dispenser, you’ll get a water quality meter. The meter measures the total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water. 

This little blue meter looks somewhat similar to a kitchen thermometer, minus the probe. A small screen displays the results and a few buttons to turn the meter on, off, and hold. Evidently, the on and off buttons do precisely that. The hold button allows you to leave the reading on the screen, even after you remove the tester from the water.

To read the ZeroWater tester, you need to have some water to test. So, fill a bowl or a cup partway with water. Remove the cap from the end of the tester, turn it on, then insert the end into the water bowl. 

After a few seconds, a number will pop up on the screen. This tells you the total number of dissolved solids in your water. If you want to take the tester out of the water to see the screen, press the ‘Hold’ button to keep the number on the screen. 

What Do The Numbers Mean On The ZeroWater Tester?

A number will appear on the small screen when using the water tester. The number represents the solid particles per one million water particles (ppm). Let’s say the screen says 60 ppm. This means that in one million particles, there are 60 dissolved ions and the rest are water molecules, which compose 999,940 of the million molecules. 

Total dissolved solids, which is the measurement you see on the screen, are organic and non-organic compounds in the water. These can contribute to the taste, smell, and appearance of the water. 

The number you read on the screen tells you the water’s TDS score. The EPA recommends a maximum of 500 TDS for unfiltered tap water. For reference, the FDA allows a maximum TDS of 010 for purified bottled water. 

Lower TDS scores are generally better, as this means there are fewer dissolved solids in the water, and the water is made up of primarily pure water molecules. This translates to much better-tasting water. 

High TDS scores aren’t great but are common with hard and unfiltered water. This means there’s a higher amount of total dissolved solids, resulting in poorer tasting water and a change in color or odor. 

If the TDS screen consistently reads 006 or higher, it’s time to change the filter. This is a sure sign that the filter is tiring out. Once the filter nears the end of its lifespan, you may notice a difference in the taste or smell of the water. 

What Is An Acceptable TDS Score?

What Is An Acceptable TDS Score

A high TDS score isn’t good for your health. Water that regularly scores high for the number of total dissolved solids isn’t acceptable for drinking. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends TDS levels of no higher than 300 ppm. 

Other organizations mark higher levels as acceptable for drinking. For example, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) outlines an upper limit of TDS levels in the water as 500 ppm. 

Hard water generally has a TDS score of around 170 ppm, while water from carbon filtration, mountain springs, or aquifers usually has a TDS score of roughly 50 ppm. Ideally, drinking water has a 0 ppm TDS score. Usually, this water has been processed via reverse osmosis, microfiltration, etc. 

Can I Lower The TDS Content In My Water?

Absolutely, you can lower the TDS content in your water supply. There are various water filters out there specifically designed to target these contaminants. If you have a ZeroWater tester, you may also have a pitcher or dispenser. These systems filter the water, removing unwanted particles and contaminants as water moves through the system. 

ZeroWater offers several different systems, including a five-stage system. So, how does it remove the contaminants? The way ZeroWater’s five-stage system works is via five different filters. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of each filter:

  • First filter: This is a coarse filter that removes solid particles from the water.
  • Second filter: Next, the water comes to this step, with a foam distributor evenly to the next level. This step further filters the macroparticles.
  • Third filter: In the third stage, you’ll find activated charcoal and an oxidation-reduction alloy. These remove organic compounds and help improve the taste of the water. In addition, the oxidation alloy removes any heavy metals.
  • Fourth filter: In the fourth step, the ion exchange process occurs. The filter exchanges foreign positive and negative ions from the water. 
  • Fifth filter: Lastly, an ultrafine screen removes leftover suspended particles present in the water. 

After the water moves through all five stages, dissolved ions and debris are entirely removed. The ZeroWater filter can remove about 99 percent of TDS from the water, giving you an incredibly low TDS score. 

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