What is A PH Meter?
A pH meter is simply a device to measure a potential range of "behaviors" in a substance. You are not really measuring the chemical composition, but rather a condition. A basic science class description would be like measuring the temperature in water, for example. You aren't trying to look at what makes up the water, necessarily, just what it is doing or how it is interacting with other elements around it. There four types of pH meters: portable, pen/tester, benchtop and in-line. The portable pH meter works just like a car battery tester. On the end of a pH meter is an electrode. When this electrode comes into contact with a substance, this action generates a slight electric current that is sent into the body of the device. A pen/tester works almost like a pH strip. It isn't as accurate as the portable pH meter, and you have to use them on only liquids, too. For increased accuracy, most people use a benchtop pH meter. It basically looks just like the portable, but it is a little bigger, and has to be attached to some other device, like a computer, to work correctly. An in-line is the most advanced pH meter; they come equipped with transmitters. This device is commonly used by scientists in extreme weather conditions, like the Arctic. It looks just like an alarm clock.
How To Use a PH Meter?
Whether you are a chemist, environmentalist or home gardener, you may find yourself needing to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a certain liquid. The best way to do this is by using a pH meter. Easy and accurate, a pH meter needs to simply be calibrated before each use. Here is a simple guide to calibrating and using a pH meter.
1-Make sure that the pH probe you are using has been stored in a storage solution or a pH 4 solution. If this is not the case, soak the probe in distilled water for at least 24 hours. 2-Check that the meter is set in pH mode, and then rinse the probe of your meter in distilled water. Shake it off before placing it in a pH 7 solution for calibration. 3-Let the probe remain in the solution for at least 30 seconds to allow time for the meter to stabilize, and then adjust the meter so that it reads pH 7. 4-Rinse once again and then place it into a pH 4 solution, giving time for the meter reading to stabilize. Adjust the meter so that it reads pH 4. Your meter has now been calibrated. 5-Rinse the probe once again as you have done before and shake off any excess liquid. The probe is now ready to be placed in your sample liquid. 6-After allowing the pH reading to settle as you have done before, take the pH reading of your sample. 7-Store the probe in storage solution or a pH 4 solution when finished measuring.