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  1. #1
    Seedling rangergord's Avatar

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    Default hanna pH meter maintenance

    Hope to hear from some people who have experience keeping their ph meters alive and accurate. I just bought a hanna on ebay, at fraction of the cost in a hydro shop. Reading the instructions I find out I need a cleaning solution, and storage solution to keep the membrane and chemical balance of the probe intact and moist. I recieved a caliration buffer solution of pH 7.0 and notice that two other buffers are called for pH 4 and pH10. Holy crap, thats alot of stuff to keep this thing alive and accurate. I am scared to even use the thing now, until I track down sources of these liquids. Do I really need 3 calibration solutions or just 7.0 and 4.0? The storage solution looks to be a pretty good idea. I want my meter to last without having to buy another every few months. Tell me what has worked for you.

    Thanks,

    Rangergord

  2. #2
    Green Medicine
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangergord
    Hope to hear from some people who have experience keeping their ph meters alive and accurate. I just bought a hanna on ebay, at fraction of the cost in a hydro shop. Reading the instructions I find out I need a cleaning solution, and storage solution to keep the membrane and chemical balance of the probe intact and moist. I recieved a caliration buffer solution of pH 7.0 and notice that two other buffers are called for pH 4 and pH10. Holy crap, thats alot of stuff to keep this thing alive and accurate. I am scared to even use the thing now, until I track down sources of these liquids. Do I really need 3 calibration solutions or just 7.0 and 4.0? The storage solution looks to be a pretty good idea. I want my meter to last without having to buy another every few months. Tell me what has worked for you.

    Thanks,

    Rangergord
    Hi Rangergord!

    You need the pH 7 standard for gardening use. The pH 4 and pH 10 standards are what is called "low range and high range". Adding the pH4 is used to calibrate the meter when used for readings in the 4-7pH range. The pH 10 is for meters used in the 7 to 10 pH range. But all you really need is the 7.0pH standard unless you are replacing the electrode.

    Storage solution will make the electrode last *slightly* longer than TAP WATER, I'd get some if you don't use your hanna often (less than 1-2x a week)....frequent users can put a few drops of Tap Water (DON'T USE R/O WATER for storage, it will kill it fast).

    The 4 ounce pH7 solution goes for about $10usd and the 10 oz.storage solution is about the same. It's pretty rare to ned to calibrate a pH meter...so if anything "storage solution" is your only expense.

    Hanna has told me the storage solution is an "isotonic" pH 7 salt solution but tap water works if you use it 2x a week or more and the electrode life is pretty much the same.

    So relax and go pH check some nutes and grow!

    Stay Well -Grow Better,
    Green Medicine

  3. #3
    PurpleDayPeople Kalidi's Avatar

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    GM
    Why is it R/O water kills the meter?

    "DON'T USE R/O WATER for storage, it will kill it fast)." GM
    "Although I may appear to be spacing out I am really quite focused on my hallucinations" Chuck*

  4. #4
    NFT4me
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    a quick tip to clean ph electrodes, is to soak them in pure flushing solution....
    the high negative ionic solution will help remove gunk from the porous electrode, and on top of that. if your ph pen tip drys out and has a bubble in it... instead of replacing it, the leeching solution will re moisturize the electrode, it worked twice for me... and once on one at my work...best tip i ever got...the electrode is the most expensive/important part of the pen...
    if you got a waterproof Hanna pen your maintenance is pretty simple...
    i let a friend borrow my red Hanna temp ph pen, cause i got a tri meter, but Hanna also makes a really cheep ph only pen... for like 20 bucks.. i got one.. and for a while to make sure i was back testing against my little test strips to see how similar they were. but it was equal every time...
    but the ph temp pen was my favorite...it calibrated easy, with a push of a button. and waiting 10 seconds ish..where my other meters all have little screw calibrators...but every time i calibrated it they were barely off if at all...like gm said calibration needs to be done rarely it seems....
    ppm is very similar, but the tip of the ppm/tds/ec meters don't need to be kept wet...

    usually you can take a piece of sponge, and place it in the tip of your pen where the electrode is....and after each use rinse in tap water... the drip left on the tip, from the rinse, will moisten the piece of sponge as you recap the pen... so its easy to remember to keep it moist...

    and they only need one calibration solution not two

  5. #5
    NFT4me
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    a quick tip to clean ph electrodes, is to soak them in pure flushing solution....
    the high negative ionic solution will help remove gunk from the porous electrode, and on top of that. if your ph pen tip drys out and has a bubble in it... instead of replacing it, the leeching solution will re moisturize the electrode, it worked twice for me... and once on one at my work...best tip i ever got...the electrode is the most expensive/important part of the pen...
    if you got a waterproof Hanna pen your maintenance is pretty simple...
    i let a friend borrow my red Hanna temp ph pen, cause i got a tri meter, but Hanna also makes a really cheep ph only pen... for like 20 bucks.. i got one.. and for a while to make sure i was back testing against my little test strips to see how similar they were. but it was equal every time...
    but the ph temp pen was my favorite...it calibrated easy, with a push of a button. and waiting 10 seconds ish..where my other meters all have little screw calibrators...but every time i calibrated it they were barely off if at all...like gm said calibration needs to be done rarely it seems....
    ppm is very similar, but the tip of the ppm/tds/ec meters don't need to be kept wet...and they only need one calibration solution not two...think of it as a graph with a slope, and the calibration solution helps you pin point where the slope is centered, the ph has two calibration pinpoints for a more accurate calibration, where ppm needs only one...

    usually you can take a piece of sponge, and place it in the tip of your pen where the electrode is....and after each use rinse in tap water... the drip left on the tip, from the rinse, will moisten the piece of sponge as you recap the pen... so its easy to remember to keep it moist...

  6. #6
    Seedling rangergord's Avatar

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    Thanks so much for the informative reply's folks. Green Medicine, your experience is invaluable, I will start by rinsing in tap water, my tap water is 460 ppm tds, way too high for hydro, but not likely to affect the probe. Then I'll get some storage solution for the future.
    NFT4me, thats a great tip, to use flushing solution. Thats incredible, that it will revive a dead probe. I have advanced nutrients final flush, I hope that fits the bill. Good to know that calibration is not that big of a deal. I will try the sponge tip as well. I use snowmelt and rainwater to make up my nutrient solution instead of my tapwater. The snowmelt comes in at 30-50 ppm, pretty dirty snow, but it works well.
    Kalidi, RO water tests out at 1ppm of total disolved solids (TDS), the TDS of the liquid in a pH probe is much higher and so the RO water draws out the ions through the probe membrane disrupting the balance inside that gives accurate readings.

  7. #7
    Seedling rangergord's Avatar

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    Well just took some tests. Very informative. Tap water pH 7.3, nutrient solution 6.9, snow melt 7.9 (yikes, That snow is dirty alright, I think it is contaminated with wood ash ) So I think I need some pH down for sure, my plants are slow growing and yellowish despite being fertilized with advanced nutrients 3 part at 600 ppm. Growing in soiless mix at the moment but would like to move to DWC soon. Not sure how to test soiless mix with a ph pen but thinking it is best just to adjust ph of water and flush them.

  8. #8
    Green Medicine
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalidi
    GM
    Why is it R/O water kills the meter?

    "DON'T USE R/O WATER for storage, it will kill it fast)." GM
    Hiya,

    When you keep the wick portion of the electrode in RO water, it will give you wrong readings due to the RO waters lack of conductivity.

    So when you use the meter, it reads inccorectly till it saturates with the solution you are testing...it can take a few hours if the electrode has been stored in RO water.

    There is also a film of platinum and gold amalgam in the glass electrode that gets affected - corrosion -by the RO water's low pH.
    Using tap water takes the pH to a more "normal" range and won't corrode the platinum in the electrode. That's why the storage solution has a bit of salt in it and has a neutral pH.

    Hanna says the operational life of the electrode isn't shortened by using tap water, IF you use the meter 2x weekly. If you don't use it often, you need the storage solution to keep the wick moist and the glass electrode from corroding and drying out during storage.

  9. #9
    Seedling rangergord's Avatar

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    Hi GM,

    Maybe that explains my readings with the snowmelt. It has a tds reading of 30-50 fairly close to RO water in comparison to my tap water. I keep getting outrageous readings of ph 8.0 or higher. With the tapwater readings settle down to 7.3 I still think I need to get some phosphoric acid to lower pH to 5.8-6.2 The nutrient solution tests out at 6.9 but the runoff is closer to 8.0

  10. #10
    Flowering Member

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    Yep, it really is as simple as rinsing it off and keeping some storage solution in the end cap. I have even had the cheap Hanna testers ($22) last a couple of years before dropping them and beaking them. I now have a hanna waterproof pen (approx $65) and it is going strong a year and a half later. The ideal ph 3 for hydro mj grows is 5.8. If you find a need to raise or lower your ph, please take the time and effort to get some from a hydro shop as that solution is made only for hydro grows. Soooo, your plants will most definitely thank you later!!! Just my $.02 worth based on personal experience! Take care and be well.....
    Life is Good!

  11. #11
    Seedling rangergord's Avatar

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    Default how it worked out

    Well I have been using the pH meter for a while now. I ended up getting two pints of pH calibration solution PH 4.o1 and PH 7.01 and it says on the bottles that it is good to use for probe storage as well. I will use AN Final Phase for the occasional cleaning of the probe. I calibrated the meter, supposedly it was factory calibrated but I had to adjust it some all the same. Now I can have confidence that it is measuring accurately and recheck it anytime I wish. I think having two calibration solutions is a good idea. I can be sure that it accurately measures the logarythmic ph scale at all points in between ph 4 and ph 7.

  12. #12
    Embryo

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    Ive read recently that the ideal ph is 5.2-5.5 but ive always thought it was 5.8-6.1 so i just dont know anymore lol.Iguess anywhere from 5.2-6.1 is good any thoughts?

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    Embryo Jefferson's Avatar

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    I have the Grochek by hanna. I did have to buy both calibration solutions and the cleaning solution. I managed to leave 2 probes out of water by mistake and hanna was happy to replace them. Just keep em clean, calibrate them now and again, and soak them in the cleaning solution every couple months. Store it in the storage solution...those guys have had a lot of time to play with that solution and as i understand it does keep your probe healthy. Hope this helps.

  14. #14
    Vegetative Member

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    Quote Originally Posted by rangergord View Post
    Well I have been using the pH meter for a while now. I ended up getting two pints of pH calibration solution PH 4.o1 and PH 7.01 and it says on the bottles that it is good to use for probe storage as well. I will use AN Final Phase for the occasional cleaning of the probe. I calibrated the meter, supposedly it was factory calibrated but I had to adjust it some all the same. Now I can have confidence that it is measuring accurately and recheck it anytime I wish. I think having two calibration solutions is a good idea. I can be sure that it accurately measures the logarythmic ph scale at all points in between ph 4 and ph 7.
    [hr][/hr]


    rangergord


    so how did your hanna unit hold up?

  15. #15
    Seedling rangergord's Avatar

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    Hah! Well the grochek was their el cheapo model and it crapped out after it dried out. I now have the hanna champ and it is a much better meter. Been using it for over 3 years now. Maintenance is complicated by the fact that I shut down for the summer months and so I put my meter into storage with storage solution in the cap. I set it on the floor standing up against a wall where it is cool. Now when I go to use it again the probe is still wet. I recallibrate at that point and all is well. I like the pH meters overall but they are finicky and expensive compared to an EC meter. I bought a liquid test kit for when it inevitably fails. If you never let more than a few days go by in between uses they should last much longer.

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