I gave up on Ph meters

zem

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I am today officially the unluckiest Ph meter consumer in the world. It is the 3rd defective meter that i have bought through my years of planting. I yet have to succeed in testing my ph with a meter. first one was a milwaukee, electrode was dead, i had it changed, the new one was the same, it worked when the shop gave me a new one, but it must have had a very long shelf life so it just died too, and i could not return it. second was a Hanna combo meter tds/ph which also did not properly check the PH. by then i had my hand on a very good TDS meter which is still operational. so yesterday i received a delivery of a PH meter, from a local company, a new brand that they had, the name will mean nothing to you as i'm sure that it is not international, anyway, it is autocalibrating and comes with 3 buffer solutions a very nice packaging and so I was very happy, until I tried it, and BAM! it wouldn't read anything right and it would not calibrate and the guy had previously told me that it was the last in his stock. I couldn't wait to resend by mail, this morning i drove there, they opened and found the faulty circuit inside! got a full refund and came back here, feeling nauseated from what had happened.

I took my Sera PH drop test and tried it on the buffer solutions, it is great! i tried heating and cooling the buffers and the color change of the Sera drops is still perfect. I know that this color reading is more accurate than these electronic PH testers, any pocket ph meter, i just don't trust them any more. I know that most growers swear that ph drops don't work, and I have tried at least 3 other brands that fail miserably in any reading. Sera is German, and is damn perfect. I swear by it, it is flawless, the change between 5.5 and 6 is difficult to detect only for a complete color blind. If I had to buy a PH meter I guess that it would be from their brand too. (yes they have ph meters too) I think that a pocket PH meter would not read as accurate after the first few months. I think that many growers think that they can read their PH when really they are off the correct ph level. I don't know what those Germans added to their drops, to make so much change in color with ever 0.5PH change. 6.0 is plain yellow and 5.5 is plain orrange, and i mean lemon yellow and orange orange. i never miss to hit the orangish yellow which should be anything between 5.6 and 5.8, and which is what I want and need. If I had not been able to get this accuracy with these drops, then I guess that I would not have been able to grow such great consecutive grows of weed and all kinds of veggies, with only one reliable method of H testing and that is Sera PH test drops.
 

Dman1234

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I also find these things to be completely unreliable, I have bought them for anywhere between $30 to $90 dollars and if they work at all it is short lived, im thinking i have to go big and buy a bluelab but with so many failures I cant imagine spending that kind of money only to have it fail. Very frustrating.
 

zem

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Exactly Dman. try this, https://www.sera.de/en/products/in_category/einzeltests-5589/product/sera-ph-test.html it will serve as a great backup way to check PH and to me it serves the full purpose. I actually use 2 drops in 2.5ml most of the times and not 4 into 5m because i have 8 res's that i have to keep checking, and i don't even shake the drops bottle as recommended by the manufacturer and they NEVER failed me. I mean NEVER. if you're dropping it into the same solution, it will keep changing into the exact same color no matter how many times you try. put 100 samples next to each others and compare them, the color will be the same. take the ph pens, and read, i bet that the reading will vary way more. I have concluded that Sera drops are more reliable that most ph pocket meters. I would probably only change if I ever go commercial, otherwise I am fully happy with this cheap reliable method, a dropper mini bottle that i can throw anywhere, it has a great safety cap, never leaks, never expires, i get it for 6.6$ it serves me for more than a year, and i have all this testing to do, before that, when i only grew weed, and no veggies, it would remain for years. i am on the 4th bottle in 12-13 years growing because at first, they would never finish lol. i would get the second before the first had finished, and compared the change in color after years on my shelf, and again, it was always the same so no apparent expiry or degradation.
 

Dr. Green Fang

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Bluelab is amazing :D Hanna's are finicky, but heard good things about Milwaukee...sorry about your unfortunate events.

Snag yourself a Bluelabs pen, and call it good. These things are amazing. :) I want to get the $300 one that tests all the things. :D
 

zem

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and how long is the expected lifetime of a blue lab? I will not buy these online, as it seems that they are not refundable and you have high risk of faulty items. eseasongear state that they will not refund an open and tried meter, or international orders. i think that if i buy a blue lab, that i will get a faulty one too lol
 

Kraven

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I got me a Chinese knock-off a couple of years ago, cant break the thing, it's dead on or if it needs calibrating it calibrates nicely. I do it once a month and only have to adjust it two or three times a year. It was $7 USD and it does not even have a brand on it, it's just yellow and it looks cheap. I guess I got all your mojo Zem. Hope I don't have your kind of troubles when I have to get a new one. Better luck :stuff-1125699181_i_
 

zem

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I got me a Chinese knock-off a couple of years ago, cant break the thing, it's dead on or if it needs calibrating it calibrates nicely. I do it once a month and only have to adjust it two or three times a year. It was $7 USD and it does not even have a brand on it, it's just yellow and it looks cheap. I guess I got all your mojo Zem. Hope I don't have your kind of troubles when I have to get a new one. Better luck :stuff-1125699181_i_
oh man I wish that my story with ph meters was so happy. a 7$ ph meter that worked for 2 years, I would love t see its pic. never seen a 7$ph meter lol
 

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I'm with Hamster Lewis, I have a Milwaukee MW101, only had it a few weeks but seems to be working great. The reason i'm with Hamster Lewis is that it has the same type of electrode. The others i've tried don't seem to last very long..
 

Joe420Camel

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I feel ya zem!!
my pH has been off and my plant was NOT happy!!

My solution was "more" not better.

Obviously these things aren't dead-on accurate so with 3 or so "samples" I can get a feel for where the average pH is and move on from there.

good luck!!
:48:


PS
how did/do you keep the "yellow ones" wet?
I put storage solution in the cap like the rest but it all wicks-out, evaporates off and leaves the dissolved (salts?) behind.

View attachment PICT1217.jpg

View attachment PICT1245.jpg
 
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Zem, if the strips are working for you and the meters are not, use the strips. Not every grower is going to use the same methods. Part of learning to grow is learning what works for you.

Could you provide a link? The only ones I could find only tested from 6.0 to 9.0 and is sold as an aquarium supply.
 

zem

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Zem, if the strips are working for you and the meters are not, use the strips. Not every grower is going to use the same methods. Part of learning to grow is learning what works for you.

Could you provide a link? The only ones I could find only tested from 6.0 to 9.0 and is sold as an aquarium supply.
THG not the strips, but a certain brand of PH drops and that is Sera made in Germany. I tried many drops, none worked and I mean none. this brand is flawless, i actually tried cooling the solution in the fridge and heating the other on the radiator, then tested no change in reading. this is it https://www.sera.de/en/products/in_category/einzeltests-5589/product/sera-ph-test.html this is from their main company, they don't do retail but you can find it on ebay or elsewhere, i get mine for 7$ from local aquarium store. they have a ph meter that looks great, but pricey, in the 200s
 

zem

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i just looked at their website on the upper right you can enter a city and it will look up all retailers that have their brand, and it seems like there are many retailers in the US that have it
 

Kraven

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Here they are, got both at the same ebay knock-off seller. When they came they just came with the covers and a small screwdriver to calibrate. I bought some 7.0 and like I said about three time's a year I have to calibrate, it get's off by .1 sometimes. Have used it against a few others ( friends) and our readings are always the same. I think I just got lucky. I bought them about 2.5 years ago when I wanted to start pH'ing my tap water and nutes while in soil. I switched over from stored rain water. Only thing I have had to do is replace the batteries about 3 months ago.
 

zem

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Joe420 the one that i got and returned is almost exactly as your middle blue pack one exact same just that it's orange where yours is blue with auto cal button and a good blue package. trash...
 

zem

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kravenhead i think that you did get lucky and you're also probably doing something right in maintaining them
 

Kraven

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kravenhead i think that you did get lucky and you're also probably doing something right in maintaining them
Only thing I do is rinse them after each use and put the storage cap on. I heard somewhere you were supposed to keep them in a 7.0 solution but I figured it would be my luck the it would wick up the water into the electronics and kill it :( so I have just tried to keep it clean, and that's all I do ?
 

Dr. Green Fang

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I rinse before and after in a red solo cup of water that I change out every few days. And then I store in 4.0 solution in the bottom of another red solo cup. I store my PPM meter in straight water as well.
 

Kraven

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Hmmm never stored mine "wet". Seems to me the humidity alone could eventually cause erosion in the circuit board especially if there are dissolved salts in the ambient air? I'm really curious now, which is the best way to take care of them?
 

Dr. Green Fang

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Bluelabs are waterproof, along with a bunch of other meters.
General rule of thumb is; "If it dries, it dies." :) I've heard to never ever let the electrode dry out. The circuit board should not be around the area of the electrode I do not believe, regardless of waterproof / non-waterproof :aok:
 

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