pH Meter / Can't Read Red!!!

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
I've come to the conclusion that I'm having a hard time reading "red". Can't figure out my pH reading for the life of me. I have to ask about 4 people before I write down my pH results, so I think it's time to go with a pH meter here. Has anyone used this before? If so, how does it work for you? I can calibrate it..no problem. I just need to find a way to test for pH without the hassle of trying to read "red". My eyes can't make out colors the way they used to.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Well, if it is red, you know it is on the high side ;)

You can add the acid demand reagent and see how many drops it takes to get to orange ... that would give you a feel for how high the pH really is.

Meter require care to keep calibrated. I have not really used one because I find that knowing the pH that precisely is not very important.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,387
Northern NJ
I have two. This one from tftestkits is a good value for $15.
pH Meter

And i have this one from Hanna Instruments for $40. Waterproof Pocket pH Tester with 0.1 Resolution - pHep® - HI98107 - Hanna Instruments

The both read within .1 of each other when calibrated.

It is very convenient to grab a small cup of pool water, stick the neter in it, and know in 30 seconds if the PH needs attention. I have rising PH from a SWG and spa spillover and my pool needs a gallon of MA every 3-4days. The meter lets me stay on top of the PH.
 

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
LOL...I'm not sure if it's red or pink or orange or dark light pink...I'm just having a hard time. My pH has been steady at a 7.5 and on two occasions I thought I saw it increase to 7.8, but then the next day I read it as 7.5. LOL. I'm just clueless and I guess I'm having a hard time reading "colors".

Well, if it is red, you know it is on the high side ;)

You can add the acid demand reagent and see how many drops it takes to get to orange ... that would give you a feel for how high the pH really is.

Meter require care to keep calibrated. I have not really used one because I find that knowing the pH that precisely is not very important.
Thanks AJ. I'll look into the waterproof pH tester too. I just know that I can't do the pH test anymore. I don't trust that I'm reading it correctly; especially when one day it's 7.5 and another day it's 7.8, then the same night it's 7.5 again. I'm all kind of confused. LOL

I have two. This one from tftestkits is a good value for $15.
pH Meter

And i have this one from Hanna Instruments for $40. Waterproof Pocket pH Tester with 0.1 Resolution - pHep® - HI98107 - Hanna Instruments

The both read within .1 of each other when calibrated.

It is very convenient to grab a small cup of pool water, stick the neter in it, and know in 30 seconds if the PH needs attention. I have rising PH from a SWG and spa spillover and my pool needs a gallon of MA every 3-4days. The meter lets me stay on top of the PH.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
The pH colors give me a fit between 7.4-7.6. That's my trouble zone. Lately I've done what some others have suggested with the 4-drop method. But what I do is check with 4 drops first which helps give me a little better contrast to go off of, then I add one more drop for the standard 5-drop test. Between the two it seems to help me focus better on the hues of the reagent so I have a more confident result.
 

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
Ohhhh....I'll try that tomorrow. Never thought of that at all. Thanks.

The pH colors give me a fit between 7.4-7.6. That's my trouble zone. Lately I've done what some others have suggested with the 4-drop method. But what I do is check with 4 drops first which helps give me a little better contrast to go off of, then I add one more drop for the standard 5-drop test. Between the two it seems to help me focus better on the hues of the reagent so I have a more confident result.
 

F3506

Silver Supporter
Jun 18, 2018
16
Grandview, TX
I've come to the conclusion that I'm having a hard time reading "red". Can't figure out my pH reading for the life of me. I have to ask about 4 people before I write down my pH results, so I think it's time to go with a pH meter here. Has anyone used this before? If so, how does it work for you? I can calibrate it..no problem. I just need to find a way to test for pH without the hassle of trying to read "red". My eyes can't make out colors the way they used to.
I just went through this same situation. Yes I have that exact meter from TFT test kits. Yes you have to use distilled water and the powder to calibrate it, but yes it does work well. I've only had it a few weeks, and had to calibrate it to start with, but random tests on the distilled water show it's holding it's values at least this long.

Only downside to the meter is you have to hold it at an angle when you dip it in the pool to be able to see the display. Would have been easier if they put the display on the top, but otherwise no complaints. Like you, ph was the one test I was completely lost on.
 

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
Yeah! I just bought the pH meter. I can't wait for it to arrive. Nevertheless, I tried reading my pH again today and I was having a hard time with the color matching. It will be a good investment for sure.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,387
Northern NJ
Only downside to the meter is you have to hold it at an angle when you dip it in the pool to be able to see the display. Would have been easier if they put the display on the top, but otherwise no complaints. Like you, ph was the one test I was completely lost on.
I take a small cup of water from the pool and put the PH meter in and read it at eye level.
 

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
I got my pH meter described earlier on in this thread. It came with two buffer solutions (4.01 and 6.86 - see below). I reviewed the video of how the calibration is done and it occurred to me that my best bet would be to get an actual calibration pH solution as opposed to mixing this "one time" buffer solution.

My question is: does anyone use "already made" buffer solutions to calibrate their pH meter? I intend to buy this.

This pH kit came with these ones below and I just thought it better to get the calibration solution instead. Again, reading the color base pH test is very difficult for me. I still can't seem to get a handle on it. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm color blind when it comes to pink, orange, or red. Not sure.
IMG_0053.jpg
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,387
Northern NJ
My question is: does anyone use "already made" buffer solutions to calibrate their pH meter? I intend to buy this.
What you found on Amazon looks fine. The solutions should be a commodity.

I bought this kit, which is more expensive then yours, to get my PH meter order up to the $99 free shipping. General pH Calibration Bundle, pH 4 7 (Bottles) - HI547-11PB - Hanna Instruments

which meter did you get? The one from TFT?

For the TFT meter you really only need the 7.0 solution. That meter is single point calibration. For checking our pools we don't care about PH accuracy below 7. In hindsight I would have bought 7.0 and 10.0 calibrating solution ( HI7010C pH 10.01 Calibration Solution (500 mL) - Hanna Instruments ) and skipped the 4. We care about PH range between 7 and 8 and calibrating at the low end, 7, and high end, 10, is what we need.
 

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
The meter I got was from TFT? I haven't bought any calibration solution yet, but with your advise, I think I'm going to get the 7.0 and the 10.0 and skip the 4. If I get the calibration solution, do I just fill enough in a cup to cover the electrode portion. In other words, I don't need to add a cup of the calibration solution into a cup, do I?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,387
Northern NJ
The meter I got was from TFT? I haven't bought any calibration solution yet, but with your advise, I think I'm going to get the 7.0 and the 10.0 and skip the 4. If I get the calibration solution, do I just fill enough in a cup to cover the electrode portion. In other words, I don't need to add a cup of the calibration solution into a cup, do I?
I use a plastic shot size cup for my PH water tests. That holds the amount of water to dunk the meter into. Just pour some calibrating solution in to cover the electrode. That's all you need. Shake the PH meter around to get bubbles off the electrode and wait until the reading stabilizes.

I think you only need the 7.0 calibrating solution to start with with the TFT meter. It is single point calibration. If it does not read 7.0 when in the standard solution use the screwdriver it came with to adjust it to read 7.0 while in the solution.

The Hanna meter allows either single point calibration or multi point calibration. No screw driver turning needed to calibrate. It asks you for the 7.0 solution and calibrates itself. Then it does the same if you have 4.0 or 10.0 solution. So it knows 1, 2 or 3 calibrated points depending on the solutions you have. The Hanna meter also has an indicator that tells you when the PH reading is stable and reliable. It is clearly more sophisticated but I have used them side by side as a personal test and the TFT meter gives the same readings for half the price.

I use my PH 7.6 tap water as an easy standard check of the meters. And once in a while I get out the PH color test block and double check the meters against chemistry.
 

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
Ok! I'll use a "shot" glass. Once I pour the c. solution in there, do I just dump it out when I'm done or return it back to the calibration bottle?

I'm not sure if the TFT pH meter is a single point calibration because it came with a 4 and 7 buffer solution. I guess I can only check for the 7..yes?, and not worry so much for the 4. I've never used it before, so I don't know if it will ask me to calibration for a 4 once I'm done calibrating for the 7.

I will, for sure, follow your directions below. Thank.

I use a plastic shot size cup for my PH water tests. That holds the amount of water to dunk the meter into. Just pour some calibrating solution in to cover the electrode. That's all you need. Shake the PH meter around to get bubbles off the electrode and wait until the reading stabilizes.

I think you only need the 7.0 calibrating solution to start with with the TFT meter. It is single point calibration. If it does not read 7.0 when in the standard solution use the screwdriver it came with to adjust it to read 7.0 while in the solution.

The Hanna meter allows either single point calibration or multi point calibration. No screw driver turning needed to calibrate. It asks you for the 7.0 solution and calibrates itself. Then it does the same if you have 4.0 or 10.0 solution. So it knows 1, 2 or 3 calibrated points depending on the solutions you have. The Hanna meter also has an indicator that tells you when the PH reading is stable and reliable. It is clearly more sophisticated but I have used them side by side as a personal test and the TFT meter gives the same readings for half the price.

I use my PH 7.6 tap water as an easy standard check of the meters. And once in a while I get out the PH color test block and double check the meters against chemistry.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,387
Northern NJ
Ok! I'll use a "shot" glass. Once I pour the c. solution in there, do I just dump it out when I'm done or return it back to the calibration bottle?
I dump the calibrating solution out once I use it. I don't want to contaminate the standard solution in the bottle.

I'm not sure if the TFT pH meter is a single point calibration because it came with a 4 and 7 buffer solution. I guess I can only check for the 7..yes?, and not worry so much for the 4. I've never used it before, so I don't know if it will ask me to calibration for a 4 once I'm done calibrating for the 7.
The TFT meter calibration does not ask you for the different calibration points like the Hanna does. It is very simple. You put it in a known solution 4 or 7 or 10 and if the display does not read that number then adjust it with the screwdriver to display 4 or 7 or 10. I only calibrated mine for 7. I don't know how changing the screw setting for 4 after setting it at 7 would change the 7 setpoint. If I did more then one point calibration I would go back and check 7 again. For our pool use 7 is the important calibration point.
 

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
Excellent. I'll do that. I'll order the pH calibration solution 7, and take it from there.

How do you store your electrode after you're done with it? Do you store it in a storage solution like this one here? I know it needs to be submerged in a solution for storage, but I'm just not sure what?

I dump the calibrating solution out once I use it. I don't want to contaminate the standard solution in the bottle.



The TFT meter calibration does not ask you for the different calibration points like the Hanna does. It is very simple. You put it in a known solution 4 or 7 or 10 and if the display does not read that number then adjust it with the screwdriver to display 4 or 7 or 10. I only calibrated mine for 7. I don't know how changing the screw setting for 4 after setting it at 7 would change the 7 setpoint. If I did more then one point calibration I would go back and check 7 again. For our pool use 7 is the important calibration point.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,387
Northern NJ
Excellent. I'll do that. I'll order the pH calibration solution 7, and take it from there.

How do you store your electrode after you're done with it? Do you store it in a storage solution like this one here? I know it needs to be submerged in a solution for storage, but I'm just not sure what?
I got the Hanna Storage Solution. The Hanna meter says to use it. The yellow TFT meter makes no mention of using a storage solution. I have only had my meters for a few weeks and dont know the long term effect of not using the storage solution. In time i may find out.

The TFT meter is inexpensive and replacing it costs lesss then a bottle of Storage Solution. Replacing the meter every year would not be a big deal.

It looks to me like if you use the meter every few days the probe stays moist. I think the storage solution may be needed if the meter is not used for a while. I don’t know yet if a while is weeks or months.

So we can all experiment together and share our results.