How To Maintain a pH Meter Well?
I remember the days when I was in school, and my chemistry asks me to adjust the pH of a buffer by adding acid/alkaline drops until the right pH. It was so boring. Finding the pH of a solution by longer methods would just waste your time. Also, you would get fed up of it. And that’s why we must look after the pH Meter well. Like every other instrument, a pH Meter needs the care to survive different working conditions. Well, it’s an electronic device. If not maintained properly with care, all electronics tend to break. What if you carelessly damage the device and your angry boss says to take all the measurements with the pH paper test?
pH Meter function:
OK, before anything, I thought if giving you an explanation of how the pH Meter works (in simple words.) A general pH meter has two main parts (the screen and the electrode.) Most modern pH Meters have only one probe whereas the old types had two. The glass electrode has a wire and is filled with potassium chloride (a solution with a known pH.) When you immerse the probe in the solution that you want to check, a small voltage occurs and a voltmeter picks it up. The pH meter then converts the voltage to a pH value and displays it on the LCD screen as a numerical value (I am talking about digital meters.)
Maintaining the pH Meter electrodes:
Now you know how the device works, so let’s come to the topic now. Like all other digital measuring devices, a pH Meter is a sensitive tech piece. What would happen if you submerge a digital thermometer in water? Anyway, the probe of a pH Meter should stay submerged in a liquid. Keeping the conductive glass coating hydrated is very important. If not, it would stop working. The solution that the probe should stay submerged in depends on the type of the meter. Meters with two electrodes should stay submerged (the electrodes only) in an acid solution. Using distilled water for this purpose is not recommended.
Leaving the meter outside without cleaning would lead to dust and crystal remnants cover it. If it happens, get your meter professionally serviced. Give a detailed clean to the probes at least once a month. Only then it would maintain the special conductive surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning clogged junctions in the meter. Cleaning the electrodes after every use is a good habit. You can use distilled water for this purpose (only.) Then, blot the electrode quickly (don’t wipe) before submerging.
We use the meter regularly, but lazy to calibrate it. Calibrating is a part of the maintaining process. Regular calibration ensures accurate readings. Well, it’s not a hectic job, just follow manufacturer’s instructions. Submerge the meter in a known solution, so you can make sure whether the meter is working fine.
Well, no matter how well you maintain it, a day will come that it will stop serving you. Nothing in this world is permanent other than “changing.” A delay in response time could be the red flag your meter is dying. Keep the meter in a cool place without excess dust. Avoid dropping the meter on the floor.