Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
What is pH?
pH is a measure of the acidity and alkalinity, or the caustic and base that is present in a solution.
It is generally seen in a numeric scale ranging from 0-14, with the neutral value appearing as 7.
As alkalinity in the water increases, the numbers on the scale increase, and as acidity in the water increases, the numbers on the scale decrease. For example; a rating of 6.5 pH is acidic but close to being neutral.
What are pH electrodes?
pH electrodes are analytical sensors for measuring the potential of hydrogen (pH), the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion activity in a solution.
The pH value of a solution is directly related to the ratio of the hydrogen ion (H+) and the hydroxyl ion (OH-) concentrations.
This is one of the most common measurements used by laboratories, as so many chemical processes are dependant on pH.
How do I get the best performance and life out of my pH electrode?
It is so important to regularly clean and calibrate the electrode.
The electrode should be stored in the recommended pH storage solution between measurements. The reference junction should not be allowed to dry out.
If the electrode exhibits slow stabilization times, erratic readings, or has difficulties calibrating this is indicating that the electrode needs to be cleaned.
After the cleaning solution, the electrode should be rinsed with deionized water and stored in the proper pH solution.
The glass bulb can be cleaned by soaking it in warm deionized water.
How do pH electrodes work?
pH electrodes work by producing an electrical potential between two liquids of different pH when they come into contact with opposite sides of a thin glass membrane, known as the pH element. This voltage potential is a function of the free acidity or free alkalinity within the solution.
The pH element is permeable by H+ ions, and the pH electrode is filled with neutral solution, which by definition contains an equal number of H+ and OH- ions.
The pH probe is then immersed in the H+ solution, and the glass membrane is permeated by the H+ ions which exert a positive potential on the sensing electrode. This potential difference is measured by a pH meter and converted to a pH output.
When the probe is immersed in an alkaline environment, the H+ ions migrate outside of the probe, leaving an excess of OH- ions within the probe, and a negative potential is sensed by the pH meter.
What is EC?
EC stands for Electrical Conductivity
EC measures how able the water is to conduct electrical current through it, which is related to the amount of dissolved materials that can be found in the water.
An EC Meter (electrical conductivity meter) measures how well an electrical current is able to move through a solution.
What is the purpose of an EC Meter?
An EC Meter (electrical conductivity meter) measures the electrical conductivity in a solution. It measures the potential for an electrical current to be transported through water.
Idustries such as greenhouses would monitor EC levels in their water using an EC Meter, to ensure the health and growth of their plants.
Laboratories and businesses, eg. Dental offices, would monitor EC levels in their water using an EC Meter, to ensure they are using the purest forms of water. D.I Cartridges help maintain purest forms of water, so EC levels stay low.
Businesses using boiler treatments would monitor EC levels in their water using an EC Meter, because they want to have as low of EC measurements as possible. Elevated EC levels can indicate calcium build up.
What is TDS?
TDS is Total Dissolved Solids. TDS is made up of inorganic or organic matter that has dissolved in the water.
TDS has the ability to affect not only your water quality, but your health, your home plumbing system, and daily tasks such as cleaning and cooking.
How do I take care of my EC/TDS Meter?
Always rinse the sensor in distilled or RO water, after each use. Improper care will negatively affect your readings and void any warranty.
Your meter may retain it's calibration for a long period of time, but recalibration may be needed based on frequency of use, care and application of use.
Ideally, store the sensor dry. (It should never be stored in water or a solution)
What is the purpose of a TDS Meter?
To measure the conductivity, and provide an estimate of total dissolved solids found in a sample of water.
A TDS meter helps ensure quality water. A low concentration of TDS produces bland or flat tasting water, however, high concentrations of TDS may produce hard water, acidic or bitter tasting water, and could indicate the presence of harmful contaminants in the water.
In Agriculture and livestock, a high TDS (with salt) can stunt or kill many types of crops and cause a laxative effect and/or dehydration for most livestock.
Greenhouses maintain water quality at certain levels to assist in the growth and health of their plants, as different plants require different needs in their water and nutrients that they receive.
High TDS concentrations can affect the functioning of water filtration equipment, boilers, pumping units, and so on.
What is DO?
DO is Dissolved Oxygen, which is oxygen that is present in water.
Testing DO is recommended because the wrong amount of oxygen in the water can be detrimental to the health and growth of plants, and to the health of aquatic life.
What is ORP?
ORP is Oxidation-Reduction Potential, which measures the rate of oxidative disinfection caused by the addition of the effects of all oxidents in the sample of water. ORP can also help to measure the presence of oxidizers in the water, for example, Chlorine.
ORP is measured to determine the oxidizing or reducing potential of a sample of water, or to indicate that there is in fact oxidizers in the sample of water.
What is Turbidity?
Turbidity is the amount of colour or cloudiness in the water. The cloudier the water, the greater the turbidity.
Turbidity is a measurement of the amount of light that is scattered by material in the water when a light is shined through a sample of water. Turbidity Meters are used to test for this.
Turbidity is caused by suspended solids within the water which, at high levels and depending on what solids are in the water, have the potential to be harmful. Turbidity can provide food and shelter for pathogens. Testing your water for turbidity is important to maintain healthy levels.
What is TSS?
TSS is Total Suspended Solids, which are particles in the water that are large enough to be captured by filters. (TDS are small particles that are not large enough to be caught by a filter)
High levels of TSS in drinking water can have harmful effects on human health, and can have serious effects on the levels of DO found in water.
How do I recalibrate my EC/TDS Meter?
1. Obtain a certified EC/TDS calibration solution. Always calibrate close to the level you will be testing (or in the middle of a range).
2. Turn the meter on and insert into the solution. Make sure the meter's mode matches the composition of the solution. If your meter shows the correct reading, stop here. If not, press and hold the CAL button for 5 seconds. The display will flash and the temperature reading will change to a flashing 'CAL' image.
3. Adjust the reading to match the solution value with the UP or DOWN buttons (indicated by the arrows). When the number matches the solution, click ENTER.
4. 'CAL' will flash briefly, indicating progress. Allow a few seconds, do not press any buttons, and if possible, do not move the meter.
5. When the meter is calibrated, 'END' will flash and the measurement will reappear.
How do I recalibrate the temperature on my EC/TDS Meter?
If you need to calibrate the thermometer, only calibrate it in the air to a different, correct thermometer.
1. With the meter on and in the air, press and hold the POWER and TEMP buttons at the same time for 5 seconds.
2. 'CAL' and the temperature will flash on the screen.
3. Using the UP or DOWN buttons (arrows), adjust to the correct temperature.
4. Once you have corrected the temperature, click ENTER. 'C-CA-CAL' will flash on the screen and then 'END' will briefly appear. The thermometer is now calibrated.