Measuring the EC in your plant’s soil provides you with valuable information that can be used to improve soil quality. And if the quality of the soil improves, your plant will also grow and flourish better. However, you should be aware that the EC value can fluctuate due in particular to the percentage of soil moisture, soil structure and temperature. Therefore, it is important to measure EC regularly and consistently, preferably with a meter that can be properly calibrated and has automatic temperature compensation (this meter meets both criteria). Also, always compare your measured results with the optimal EC value for the particular plant and soil type. For outdoor cultivation, in general (depending on the plant and soil type) the EC value should be between 0.5 and 2.0 mS/cm. You can find these values quite easily on the internet and we also have a list of optimal EC values of common plants and soil types. This list is included when you order the meter.
Besides soil temperature, this meter can also measure TDS (= Total Dissolved Solids). Both EC and TDS are measurements related to a concentration of dissolved solids in the soil. But they do not measure the same thing. EC measures conductivity of electricity, while TDS measures total dissolved solids. TDS is expressed in PPM (the number of particles per million). If the TDS value in water measured is low it means the water is relatively pure and vice versa. Drinking water is generally in a range between 50 and 300 PPM with the goal being a value of 50 or lower. Because EC and TDS are closely related, in general the result and interpretation of the EC measurement is sufficient to get a good impression of the quality of your soil.
Using the meter is simple. You should clean the measuring pen well with distilled water and dry it with a paper tissue before measuring and after taking the last measurement. Insert the meter vertically at least 10 cm into the soil and turn the meter on. Using the TDS/EC button, select the unit you wish to measure and wait until the result no longer changes or changes very little. Now read the final result of the measurement.
Depending on usage, the meter should be calibrated from time to time. As a tip on when to do this, measure EC and TDS of your tap water every time you plan to measure and write down the values with the date. The moment the values start to deviate more significantly from the values you wrote down at the first measurement (more than + 10% or – 10%), calibrate the meter. You will need calibration fluid (or buffer fluid) 1413 μS/cm and 150 μS/cm for this purpose. Online there are many specialized providers of these fluids.
Try to calibrate at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. First leave the meter in a beaker with about 10 cm of distilled water for a few hours. Now place the meter in calibration liquid 1413 μS/cm and gently stir the meter through the liquid for a few minutes. Wait until the measurement result remains stable and now remove the battery compartment cover. Next to the batteries you will find a small copper-colored screw. Take the screwdriver provided and turn the screw until 1413 appears in the display. Now clean the probe thoroughly with distilled water and dry it with a paper tissue. Now repeat this procedure with calibration fluid 150 μS/cm. Of course, you should now turn the screw until the value 150 appears in the display.
- Weight without packaging: 100 grams.
- Dimensions: 285mm X 35mm
- Measuring range EC: 0-10000 μS/cm = 0-10 mS/cm. 1 millisiemens (=mS) = 1000 microsiemens (=μS).
- Measuring range TDS: 0-10000 ppm
- Measuring range ground temp: -50 Celsius to +70 Celsius.
- Battery type: 4X LR44
- Certifications: EC and RoHS