Recommendation for PH tester

rjg202

LifeTime Supporter
I have a hard time distinguishing shades of red/pink. I use the PH test in the TF-100 kit and struggle with the colors. Any suggestions on maybe a electronic version or another kit? Not looking to spend a lot, the PH is really the only one I have an issue with, I use the drop test for Chlorine so I can see colors change.
 

rmontgomery

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2019
150
Rockwall, TX
I use the Apera PH20. It was a little on the pricey side, but I wanted something that did well holding it's calibration. You need to buy a storage solution also to maintain the calibration for extended periods. I also got tired of playing guess the pH color.
 

DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
291
Chandler, AZ
I also got frustrated trying to match colors on the Taylor comparator. I just picked up the Apera PH60, and used it for the first time today.
Calibrated it first, and it seemed to work well. How do you folks test your water -- directly in the pool, or by bringing a sample inside to test?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,485
Bedford, TX
I put a water sample in a small glass jar. I set the PH60 in it and let it stabilize while I'm doing other tests.
up,

I tried a pH meter once and it just seemed to just keep increasing pH as it sat there... How long does it take to "stabilize" and once it does, how stable is it??

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

revitup

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 30, 2019
352
Pawleys Island, SC
I tried a pH meter once and it just seemed to just keep increasing pH as it sat there... How long does it take to "stabilize" and once it does, how stable is it??

After it 'stabilizes' in 2 or 3 minutes or so, it will continue to drift up very slowly by a few hundredths before it times out. I assume the drift is related to temp change of the sample during the test. If it times out while I'm doing the rest of the tests, or if it doesn't, I use the last reading I see. In any case, it usually rounds up or down to the same number.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,485
Bedford, TX
Up,

I don't think I wanted 3 minutes... My meter was cheap and probably no good now..

I hate the color tests and think I may try your style pH meter. Can't be worse than what I have now... :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

rmontgomery

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2019
150
Rockwall, TX
up,

I tried a pH meter once and it just seemed to just keep increasing pH as it sat there... How long does it take to "stabilize" and once it does, how stable is it??

Thanks,

Jim R.
Mine stabilizes in a few seconds and has a little smiley face when it locks in. Doesn't move after that.

Ryan
 

rmontgomery

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2019
150
Rockwall, TX
I also got frustrated trying to match colors on the Taylor comparator. I just picked up the Apera PH60, and used it for the first time today.
Calibrated it first, and it seemed to work well. How do you folks test your water -- directly in the pool, or by bringing a sample inside to test?
Since it is waterproof, I just stick it in the water to cover the measurement part of the probe and wait for the smiley face indicated it is done. Usually only takes about 5 seconds
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
436
Central Texas
Just chiming in to say I recently picked up an Apera PH60, and it's great! Being colorblind, it's frustrating to have to chase someone down in the house to compare the colors. And then depending on who I find, they interpret the colors differently; so I've been concerned with consistency.

When I ordered my TF-100, I also ordered a pH meter from tftestkits.net. When it arrived, the LCD screen was cracked, so they sent me a replacement. They said to just throw the 1st one away.

So I actually tried both of the pH pens from tftestkits.net, and neither read accurately. I even bought calibration and storage solutions from AtlasScientific, instead of relying on the powder that came with the meters; but neither would read accurately on the pool water, nor our fishtank water, nor our tap water. If I calibrated it for the 4.00 pH solution, it would be off for the 7 and 10 solutions, and visa-versa ...

So I finally broke down and bought the Apera PH60 for $80, and used the calibration solutions which came with it to calibrate it. It's dead on for all 3 calibration solutions, and seems to be accurate for the pool, fish tank, and our tap water :)

I notice when 1st turning it on, and placing it into the water ... it does jump around a lot for a few mins. Like +10 to -2 jumpy readings. Once it's been on for a few minutes, it stabilized and then reads very quickly, even when moving it between samples (ie: pool water, to fishtak water, to tap water) it only takes 3-4 seconds for the smiley face to appear and the reading to stop moving around.

I wonder if the probe needs a bit of time to warm up maybe? I think I read that somewhere else, that you should turn on a pH probe a few minutes before using it to take a measurement. Something about the electrical current passing through the tip causing a temp rise (or resistance change maybe) for the 1st few minutes?

Either way, I'm so glad I got it; It definitely makes life a lot easier for me!
 

DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
291
Chandler, AZ
Love my PH60 also. Wife likes it too - I no longer bother her with color questions.
I will have to try and turn it on for a few minutes prior to testing, as mine jumps a bit prior to settling down as well.

Note: I called Apera last week and asked whether calibration with the 4 and 10 solutions was necessary if I was only using the PH60 to test pool water. They said no; just calibrate with the 7 solution.
 
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mgtfp

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2020
488
Melbourne, Australia
I also have the Apera pH60, very happy with that. I once logged the pH-reading over time:

Apera pH60.png

That measurement was done by just putting the meter in the sample, nor further stirring or shaking to have reproduceable conditions. The grey curve is just rounded to to one digit, that would probably be close to a measurement with the Apera pH20.

By stirring the tester in the water sample and shaking the water droplets off the sensor bulb a couple of times, the reading will stabilize a lot faster compared to the shown curve (I think the main effect is to make sure that any remains of distilled water that have been used for rinsing are being removed and/or diluted into the sample). Doing that, the reading will be as accurate as a standard colour based test after maybe 30 seconds. That should be sufficient to make a quick test to verify that pH is OK or not OK. To really make use of the 0.01 accuracy of the pH60, you should wait at least about 3 mins. Not really required to apply TFP methods, but you are actually able to see the pH-trend with daily measurements pretty quickly like that.

As long as you work "clean" and keep the meter calibrated, the measurements are very reproduceable. In the beginning, I was very OCD about checking the calibration every single time before using the meter. By now, I am confident that calibrating the meter about once a month is sufficient. I always use 3M KCl storage solution, I don't know how stable the calibration would be without doing that - probably fine as long as the meter gets used regularly and there is at least a droplet of water in the cap when storing the meter.

Main advantage of the pH60 over the pH20 is in my opinion that the sensor head can get replaced when it fails, i.e. less creation of landfill.