How to become a pH measuring guru and enjoy many years of reliable sensor performance
The popular wireless pH sensor is a great sensor with many applications for Chemistry, Biology, Environment Science and General Science. However, to experience the many benefits of this sensor, it is recommended that time is set aside to understand the sensor’s proper operation and care. Fortunately there are a number of fantastic resources available to minimize the learning curve. The purpose of the following information is to emphasize key points and highlight the most helpful resources.
Important information before getting started
The pH sensor is comprised of two components: 1) The Amplifier (aka the white Bluetooth box, and 2) The Electrode. Please note that many of the support calls for this sensor relate to improper connection of the Electrode to the Amplifier. (How to properly connect the pH electrode). The white PASCO Amplifier is backed by PASCO’s 5 year warranty. The Electrode, which is manufactured by a 3rd party, features a 3 month warranty against defects (but not improper use). Despite this shorter warranty period, with proper care and attention the electrodes can be maintained in good working order for many years.
A comprehensive user manual exists for all PASCO’s wireless sensors (as well as other products). But printed manuals are not supplied with the sensors – PDF files of the manuals can be downloaded from the Find Product Manuals and Resources search engine. For your convenience the pH manual can be directly viewed by clicking on the following link:
Wireless pH Reference Guide
This comprehensive guide is an excellent resource to learn how to care for and operate your pH sensor.
Key points from the reference guide not to be overlooked when getting started
It’s recommend to read the entire manual thoroughly, including the insightful section on the theory of calibration. The better you understand how the pH sensor records calibrated measurements, the less of a black box it becomes, and the greater likelihood you’ll achieve accurate results. However, if time is limited, be certain to pay attention to the following:
- Proper technique for connecting sensor (page 2)
- Proper technique for removing storage cap (2)
- pH Probe storage (page 4)
‘How Do I’ Videos
PASCO continues to expand its very helpful collection of task specific videos. These videos are developed by their teacher support department and address common software and sensor concerns. The best place to view these videos is on PASCO’s YouTube channel as it features an effective search tool. For pH, there are a number of very useful videos on this channel with the most important ones linked below:
Properly Connect and Disconnect Electrode to pH Amplifier
Calibrate a pH Sensor (SPARKvue)
Calibrate a pH Sensor (CAPSTONE)
Preparing pH Electrodes for Storage
When to replace a pH Electrode
Additional safe operation tips
- How to safely measure soil pH – follow the sample preparation instructions from the Determine Soil Quality PDF experiment
- How to prevent a stir bar from damaging the glass bulb of the electrode – use PASCO’s Electrode Support