Tool of the Month: Water EC meter

Name: Water EC Meter

Cost: $60 to $250 

Available at: Amazon and manufacturers’ websites

Intended use

Water EC meter is used to measure water Electrical Conductivity (EC). Electric conductivity is a measure of the ability of water to conduct an electric current. The International unit of measurement for EC is deciSiemens per meter (dS/m), which is equivalent to milliSiemens per centimeter (mS/cm). The EC value depends on the concentration of charged ions (e.g. salts) in the water. If you have the EC value of your water, you can calculate the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) value using the following formulas.

TDS (mg/L) = EC (dS/m) x 640 (where EC from 0.1 to 5 dS/m)

TDS (mg/L) = EC (dS/m) x 800 (where EC > 5 dS/m)

How does it work?

The EC meter consists of electrodes that are used as a probe or sensor to measure EC. The probe that is inserted into the water sample applies a voltage between electrodes. The drop in voltage measures the resistance of water, which is converted to conductivity.

Standard EC measures for poultry water

  • EC between 0 and 1.56 dS/m (best practice level)
  • EC between 1.57 and 4.69 dS/m (acceptable)
  • EC greater than 4.70 dS/m (above the acceptable level). If your water EC falls in this category, try to use reverse osmosis to treat the water.

Using the device

To use the EC meter, take the electrode cap off and turn the device on. Insert the electrodes in the water sample and gently stir. Once the measurement reading stabilizes, read the measurement for EC. Always replace the protective cap after each use.

Device Calibration

Before taking any measurements, make sure the meter has been calibrated. Follow the following steps to calibrate the device.

  1. Press the CAL button to enter calibration mode from measurement mode.
  2. The meter will enter the calibration mode, displaying “mS/cm 12.88 USE” with CAL tag blinking.
  3. Pour 2” (5 cm) of standard solution into a container.
  4. Place the probe in a calibration solution. The probe tip should be centered in the solution and submersed 1.18” (3 cm). The meter will automatically recognize the solution.
  5. If the solution is not recognized or is out of the accepted range “—- Err“ is displayed. During the calibration process, if the reading is out of the accepted range, the meter will display “—- Err” For example, 20.00 mS/cm blinking means the limit of the measured value is out of range. If the measured temperature is higher than 50.0 ºC or lower than 0.0 ºC, the 50.0 ºC or 0.0 ºC temperature value will blink on the LCD in measure mode.
  6. If the calibration solution is recognized “REC“ is displayed until the reading is stable and the calibration is accepted.
  7. After acceptance, the “Stor“ message is displayed and the meter returns to measurement mode.

About the author(s)

Research Associate at Poultry Innovation Partnership | + posts