How to Use a pH Meter – Detailed Guide

Introduction

pH meters have transitioned from the laboratory's stench to the homely aroma of regular households. While traditionally, pH meters were looked upon as "technical" instruments that were meant solely for the use of scientists, chemists, or students, now the general outlook and culture have changed. pH meters are now employed in various sectors.

In fact, they are prominently being used in the agricultural sector to assess the quality of the soil. They have also been used by municipal authorities to keep a check on the water quality that is being supplied to a district. 

Now I won't get into each sector that finds a pH meter utilitarian and makes use of it on a regular basis. In a nutshell, where there is consumable water, there could be a pH meter.

How to Use a pH Meter?

The methodology of using a pH meter consists of two broad steps. First, you have to calibrate your pH meter and then start the measurement.

The process is easy as long as the prescribed method is meticulously followed and get top rated pH meters for accurate results.

Step 1: Adjust the Eyepiece

Before we begin calibrating your pH meter, we need to make some arrangements for reliable measurements.

Clean the electrode of your pH meter

  • Newly unboxed pH meters require proper cleansing, just like any other measuring tool such as thermometers. 
  • All you have to do is, put the electrode under running water or immerse the instrument into a beaker filled with water. 
  • Once you have the water cleaned, dry it using a clean towel without touching the membrane of the electrode. 

Make arrangements for buffer solutions

  • You would need to arrange buffer solutions for calibrating the pH meter. The first buffer solution should have a pH value of 7; this is your neutral solution. 
  • The second buffer should have a pH value of either 4 or 9.21. After the preparation of buffers, adjust their temperature so that their temperature is on par with the temperature of the pH meter. 

Step 2: Calibrate your pH meter

  • Now we are ready to calibrate your pH meter. Arrange the pH meter and the electrode in the prescribed manner. 
  • Immerse the probe in the buffer solution and press the “measure” button on the pH meter. 
  • The electrode will begin taking the measurements. Make sure the probe does not touch the bottom or the sides of the container. 
  • Keep it in the same position for a few minutes while the pH readings stabilize. 
  • Once you have achieved the stability, adjust the pH of the meter to the same value as the pH of the buffer, and press the same button again. 
  • Repeat the same procedure with the second buffer. Calibration achieved! 

Step 3: Start measuring

  • Now that the pH meter has been calibrated, we can now begin measuring the hydrogen concentration of your solution. Clean the electrode and dry it nicely. 
  • Immerse the probe in the sample solution and begin measuring. Press the “measure” button just as you did in case of reading the buffer. Let it be in the same position for a few minutes while it registers the readings. 
  • Wait for the reading to stabilize and press the same button again. The pH value of the sample will appear on the pH meter.
  • After you are done taking the measurement, make sure you clean the electrode under running and drying it with a tower before packing it. 
  • The cleansing needs to be done before and after each use. Make sure none of the components, especially the electrode is not broken. Broken components will contaminate the readings and the final observation. 

Conclusion

Understanding the working of a pH meter is highly essential for using it. You could employ your pH meter in various scenarios as long as you know how it works and can it be used.

Using it is abundantly easy. The maintenance part is what’s tricky. pH meters are brittle instruments. Thus, utmost care needs to be given while handling it.

After a few times of calibration and usage, you will become accustomed to the method and won’t face any problem after that. I hope you found this article helpful.

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About the Author

Tim

I am Tim, a weather enthusiast who loves to watch hurricanes and all other harsh weather conditions. I studied B.Sc(Meteorology) at the University of Miami. With excellent knowledge of Weather Forecasting, Meteorology, and Environmental Science, I am currently working in San Francisco as a Meteorologist. Also, I am a member of The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. In this blog, I will write a detailed review of Weather instruments that you need for survival and other activities.

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