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Thread: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

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    Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    I HATE interpreting the color. I was thinking of buying a digital tester. Yes? No? Bad idea?
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    Some people do use them. I find then unnecessary. What troubles are you having with color matching?

    If you do purchase, make sure it is a good brand. Myron L makes very high quality pH/TDS/ORP pen-style testers. Whatever brand you get, make sure you get at least a pH 7 and pH 10 calibration standard fluid (there's also a pH 4 standard). You should always verify that probe is properly calibrated and correctly working. They also typically need to be stored with the tip wetted by either a DI water solution or a DI + KCl solution.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    DMS,

    I tried a couple of cheap ones, and to be even close to accurate you need to calibrate them almost every time you use them. It was more of a PIA than I wanted to deal with.

    The pH test is the primary reason that I bought the LaMotte ColorQ. It gets a lot of bad press here, but it works well for me for everyday tests. I also have the TF100 that I use when accuracy is an issue or I want to measure FC above 10 ppm.

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    I've got a Milwaukee PH55 that sits in my cupboard and is going to end up in the trash one day. When I used it I had it in the storage solution, and needed to calibrate it every time I used it. I have far more confidence with phenol red and comparator. The trick for me was finding the best comparator for me. The BlueBlue devil works for me, with pool school I don't need the acid or base demand so I cut that side off and it fits nicely in my K-2006 box.
    Steve.
    30,000L (8,000g) Pebblecrete | Davey 3sp Eco pump | Poolrite sand filter & SWCG |
    Waterco solar panels & Astral E140 pump| K2006, CCL reagents, BlueDevil pH, Salt meter & K1766 | Town water - pH 7.2, TA 50, CH 60 | Esky full of coldies |

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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    I just bought this Amazon.com: Zacro Digital pH Meter with Pack of 6 Extra Buffer Powder, pH Pen Tests Water, Aquarium, Pool, Hydroponics, Auto Calibration Button, with ATC, 0.00-14.00 pH Measurement Range: Home Improvement. I not expecting much from it but for $20 I figure I give it a try. When I got it yesterday, I took it out of the box and went strait to my pool to give it a try, I didn't even bother to calibrate it. Well the first measurement, 7.81 \ correlated closely with my Taylor phenol red color match kit at 7.8.. Maybe just lucky, we will see. Also, the direction ( which are not very good) says to be sure to keep the cap on so the probe doesn't dry out. if is does, then soak in DI for a couple of hours.
    30,000 gal, 20 x 40 ft vinyl, IG, installed 2006
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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    Thats different than any pH sensors Ive ever used. None have ever suggested storage in DI water, but in fact the opposite. Rinsing after cleaning is fine, but soaking for any significant period of time would not be. See the link to MyronL below stating just that. I dont think this instrument has technology different than the better ones like the MyronL, so I would double check the instructions. Based on my experience, a mfgr suggested cleaning process followed by a soak in 4.0 buffer usually has the best results when trying to revive a pH sensor or probe. I've done this more times than I can recall, and whether or not it works depends on how old and/or how well the probe has been cared for. If it were mine, I would avoid soaking it in DI water.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    In my lab days, our high-end lab bench pH probes needed to be rinsed after use stored with the tip submerged in a plastic cap full of a saturated potassium chloride solution. This was to ensure that the silver-silver chloride electrode remained moist and that the solution inside the glass bulb tip always remained saturated with chloride ions.

    I don't know pen style testers well enough but I guess they're designed differently from lab bench testers. But even our bench testers required regular calibration checks to ensure they were reporting accurate values. We used the probes daily (multiple times throughout the work day) so calibration was just part of the daily routine. Probes would last about 12-18 months before needing to be replaced.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    "Pen" or other handheld types are really not too different at all versus bench types. Some probes for controllers Ive used are a little different in terms of salt bridge additons to the setup, but maintenance wise, bench and handheld probes usually require the same type of maintenance routines. All of them need pretty frequent calibration in my experience. A lot depends on what they are used to measure.
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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    my problem is interpreting the color. I am never quite sure ...sigh...
    19k SW IG
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    Quote Originally Posted by DMS2014 View Post
    my problem is interpreting the color. I am never quite sure ...sigh...
    Try 4 drops of phenol red instead of 5. Also, it helps a lot to have a bright white background with a matte finish.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    okay. I can try that.

    i have put the thing up to a white towel I have down for my cats and it still doesn't help me definitively say for sure, BUT I will try the four drops. thanks.
    19k SW IG
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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    You can buy an acid demand regent for a couple of bucks and add a drop to the test. It will lower your Ph and the resulting color is generally easier to read. You can then reverse engineer using Pool math what your actual PH was before the addition of the acid demand regent.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    ^I would be concerned with the accuracy. I've never done it but I guess you could use the base and demand reagents to run through the colours to get an idea of what they look like. I found a comparator that works best for me. The Taylor one that came with my K-2006 has a printed colour range while the Blue Devil that I prefer has a series of coloured liquid filled chambers that you look through the same as the sample. The only down side is that the Blue Devil reagents aren't as good as the Taylor but I have it on good authority that I can use 4 drops of the Talor reagent in the BlueDevil comparator all is good.

    The colours are ambiguous to us all in the begining but with time you do get used to it. I test regularly and the change is always the same, 7.6 - 7.8 which I can pick in an instant.
    Steve.
    30,000L (8,000g) Pebblecrete | Davey 3sp Eco pump | Poolrite sand filter & SWCG |
    Waterco solar panels & Astral E140 pump| K2006, CCL reagents, BlueDevil pH, Salt meter & K1766 | Town water - pH 7.2, TA 50, CH 60 | Esky full of coldies |

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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    I have used "Oakton ecotestr pH2" testers for several years. Even with a lot of use (multiple pools and spas per day) I only calibrate them once a month which is very easy to do. I have to replace them after 1 to 1.5 years because of the high use, due the response becoming slow or needing more frequent calibration. I hate having to putz around with drops and color matching when I don't have to.

    I would add that the only issue I've had was when I bought some pH probe cleaning solution. It really messed up my calibrations and I ended up throwing away those testers because they wouldn't stay calibrated.
    Lyle
    Professional product developer using & maintaining a dozen or so spas from 150 to 550 gallons, many pools from 1200 to 40,000 gallons (above-ground and in-ground), and a half-dozen test tanks.
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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    I use this as a backup test:

    Dr.MeterĀ® 0.1pH PH002 High Accuracy pH Meter/pH Pen Tester with ATC(Automatic Temperature Compensation) LCD 0-14 pH Measurement Range: Amazon.com: Industrial Scientific

    It's cheap and fun to experiment with. Oh, and it's always spot on to the Taylor drop test. I also bought this calibration fluid:

    Amazon.com: General Hydroponics Ph 7.0 Calibration Solution - 8 Ounces, 1 bottle: Patio, Lawn Garden

    The meter has stayed in calibration for 9 months now. I don't expect it to last forever, but it's a nice way to get a second reading of pH.
    10,000 gallon in ground diamond brite, Circupool si30+, Hayward C900 cartridge, 1.5hp Flotec single speed pump

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    Re: Does anyone use a pH electronic reader?

    I'm slightly color blind - as many men are - so the difficulty for me is not seeing that there are colors, but discerning between close shades. But since I'm really only trying to keep it between 7.2 and 7.8, there is enough difference there to see it. At first I was being too critical about was the reading EXACTLY 7.6 or 7.7. Now if it is more than 7.2 and less than 7.8, its good. It it isn't between those two I know which way to adjust. With a swg usually I simply add a 1/2 gallon of ma every other Sunday. NBD.
    16X32 AB, Pentair SD filter, 3/4hp Pentair Optiflo, CircuPool RJ30+ swg, TF 100

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