How to measure pH?

How to measure pH?

How do you measure the pH level of a water-based substance? The most popular methods of measuring pH are pH testing strips, a pH meter and a pH electrode. There are analog and digital pH meters available today, but the most accurate pH meters today are digital pH meters and digitally controlled pH electrodes.

How to measure pH with pH strips?

PH testing strips are little pieces of paper or cotton that change their color depending on the pH level of a liquid they come into contact with. pH strips are cheap, inexpensive and fairly accurate enough to measure the pH level of almost any liquid. pH strips are often used to measure the pH level of urine or saliva, but also for hot tubs and pools. 

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Testing strips are designed to work in a variety of ranges. They can work from pH 0 to 14 or from 5 to 7. It would all depend on how accuracy of the pH testing strip.

Because pH testing strips work by changing color, it is very difficult to interpret the exact pH level with your eye. This is why pH testing strip are only used as an indicator and never as a real pH measuring instrument for professional applications.

If you want to measure pH level accurately, we recommend using a well calibrated pH meter or pH electrode

How to measure pH with a pH Meter?

A pH meter is a scientific measuring device, specifically designed to measure the pH level of any water-based substance. The general public usually knows a pH meter from their chemistry class or if they have a pool or hot tub at home. 

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pH meters are very simple to use.

  1. Make sure the pH meter is calibrated and collect a sample of the liquid you want to test.
  2. Turn on the pH meter and gently place it into the liquid. 
  3. Stir gently and wait until the pH level on the display stops changing. Wait for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. (pro tip: repeat step 3 after 30 seconds)
  5. Now read the pH level on the display of your pH meter and make a note.
  6. Rinse the pH meter after each usage. 

You can find out more information about pH meters and how to calibrate pH meters here.

How to measure pH with a pH electrode?

A pH electrode is a special instrument designed to measure the pH level of a liquid. It looks like a small pencil or pen, that is filled with a reference liquid and has a glass bulb attached to it. The glass is porous and allows the user to measure the difference in H ions between the reference fluid inside the pH electrode and the liquid outside the glass bulb. This difference is translated into volts and displayed on the screen of your pH monitor attached to the pH electrode.

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The pH electrode by itself, does not measure pH. It is always connected to a special digital pH meter or pH monitor that translates the signal coming from the pH electrode.

  1. Make sure the pH electrode is calibrated and collect a sample of the liquid you want to test.
  2. Take the pH electrode and gently place it into the liquid. 
  3. Stir gently and wait until the pH level on the display stops changing. Wait for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. (pro tip: repeat step 3 after 30 seconds)
  5. Now read the pH level on the display of your pH monitor and make a note.
  6. Rinse the pH electrode after each usage.

Find out more information on pH electrodes and how to Calibrate pH electrodes here.