What are Total Dissolved Solids?

Think of making yourself an instant coffee. You add a few teaspoons of coffee and sugar granules into your mug and add some hot water. As you stir the granules through, they dissolve, yet you know they are still present in the water because your water has now become a tasty warm drink. The same process applies to your pool or spa, though not with coffee! Everything you add to your pool to adjust the water chemistry or clarity will dissolve and add to the amount of Total Dissolved Solids in the water. This includes chlorine, acid, pH buffer and even stabiliser. The maximum level of Total Dissolved Solids is around 1500 ppm (not including salt).  

What happens if the Total Dissolved Solids are too high?

Think back to making a coffee. There is only so much coffee and sugar you can add to the water before they will no longer dissolve, leaving you with a clumpy coffee. The same thing happens to your pool or spa water when your TDS levels (the coffee and sugar) are high; any chemicals you add will be unable to dissolve (the clumpy coffee) and therefore will not have the desired effect. You may also start to notice the pool becoming cloudy, some staining of the surface and possibly a salty taste.  

How do I test for Total Dissolved Solids?

Bring a water sample into an Aquafirst store and we’ll use our special testing kit to let you know what your levels are.  

How do I reduce Total Dissolved Solids?

The only way you can reduce the Total Dissolved Solids in your pool or spa is by dilution or partially draining and refilling it. Unfortunately, no amount of filtration time will reduce the total amount. We will recommend the amount of draining required and will be here to help when it comes to balancing your chemistry.