EC Meter or Conductivity meter is a sensitive measuring instrument designed to measure electric current in a liquid. Electric current is usually measured in millieSiemens and microSiemens. PH and EC are the most wide-used and most important values for the growing of plants and hydroponics. Knowing and understanding these values will help you to maximize your growth potential. EC Meters are easy to use and durable. Unlike a pH meter which will lose its precision and effectiveness when time passes, an EC Meter works with 2 metal electrodes and when treated carefully it can last for years.
How does an EC Meter work?
An EC meter has 2 metal electrodes that are spaced 1 cm from each other. When the meter is placed in water, or a liquid the EC meter will pass a current from one electrode to another. The processor of the meter will analyze the strength of the electric current and display the EC value on the LCD screen. Distilled and de-ionized water will have a conductivity level of almost zero. The more dissolved nutrients (salts) are in the water, the better a liquid is capable of conducting electricity.
EC Meter for growing plants and hydroponics.
Every person passionate about plants and hydroponics knows that an EC meter is a must have tool if you want to take your business seriously. Since plant nutrients are mainly consisting of salts, an EC meter is the perfect tool to measure the level of plant nutrition you are dosing. Optimizing the nutrients for your plants will optimize the growth and give you a maximum return on investment.
EC Meter unit of measure
There is more than one units to measure electric conductivity, the most common measuring units are milliSiemens and microSiemens. 1 milliSiemens is equal to 1000 microSiemens. There are other ways of measuring electric conductive, like TDS and CF. These measuring units are not recommended to measure electric conductivity because they use a different algorithm to measure.
The symbol for milliSiemens: mS
The symbol for microSiemens: μS
How to use an EC meter?
EC meter are used to measure the nutrient solution in water. Before you start measuring it is very important that you know the EC level of the water you are using with your fertilizer. You will need to add this value to your desired EC level of your plant nutrition.
Prepare your nutrient solution
Place the EC meter in the liquid and stir gently
Wait 1 minute until the measurement is completely stable. It is important to respect this time because it can take some time to get the exact EC measurement.
Now you can read the EC level on the LCD display of your EC Meter
How to calibrate an EC Meter?
Calibrating an EC meter is easy. You will need a calibration solution designed for EC Meters. This calibration solution is also called a conductivity standard. A conductivity standard is a liquid that has a fixed conductivity level. Because the conductivity level is known, you can calibrate your EC Meter to this exact level. A conductivity meter does not require regular calibration. But when the highest level of precision is demanded, we always recommend to calibrate your meter before use.
Always follow the calibration instructions of your EC Meter. The calibration process is usually similar to the steps we have described above. If your EC meter has manual calibration, we recommend to use conductivity standard as close to the EC level that you normally measure. If your EC Meter has automatic calibration, you need to make sure you have the correct conductivity standard.
You can find our calibration solutions for EC meter under our Calibration category.