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Proper PH Pen Storage

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by outofbodyspecial, Jun 21, 2011.


    outofbodyspecial Active Member

    I've read several articles saying that a PH Pen should be stored with a "storage solution" or a "Ph Buffer 7 Solution" at the cap to protect the glass probe.

    Do you guys do this?

    I have an "EziRange Ph Pen Meter" and it doesn't state in the manual that I should do it. It only says rinse with distilled water before replacing the cap.

    Moses.Lyons Active Member

    its been my experience to just keep the tip wet with tap water.
    supdro and [email protected]@ like this.

    tyson53 Well-Known Member

    I used a PH pen for years when I had salt water tanks and I stored it in distilled water being advised by Hanna to do so..it extends the life of the probe....I never had any problems with the pen doing this..I just checked calibration about every 2 months and it was still right on ..so storing it in a solution worked for me....
    bud nugbong

    bud nugbong Moderator

    a buddy of mine just got one and i hear when the bulb thing dries after bieng dipped it leaves a film and it keeps layering every time. and eventually your pen will not work right at all.
    j.t.1986 likes this.

    stems&seeds Active Member

    I would use ph storage solution, worst case ph4 sample solution as bluelab suggests this as well. Everything I have ever read says never to use distilled or de-ionized water.
    The following quote is from Hanna's website:
    Never store your electrode in water

    DO NOT store your pH electrode in distilled or deionised water as this will cause ions to leach out of the glass membrane and reference electrolyte, causing a slow and sluggish response.
    Here is a link to the page: http://www.all-about-ph.com/ph-electrode-storage.html

    PeaceFarmer Active Member

    Yes, all ph meters should be stored in a solution. If you have a rubber cap just slide it on after dipping in your neutral cal solution. This is the reason why a lot of people say cheap pens are junk, because they don't store them correctly. A $50 Hanna meter will last you years if stored properly, do not listen to these crack heads on here who say a $150 meter is pertinent to your grow! Just take care of the one you have.

    outofbodyspecial Active Member

    Hmm, I wonder why the manual of my PH Pen doesn't say anything about storing with a solution.

    Mine reads temperature also- could it be that the thermometer can't be stored in that solution?

    Between PH & temp, I'd rather keep the PH pen working.

    karmeron Active Member

    I just put a small bit of sponge at the end of my ph pen cap and kept that moist with tap water and it stayed calibrated fine.
    Clown Baby

    Clown Baby Well-Known Member

    you can store it in pH down, or ph 4 calibrant solution.

    stems&seeds Active Member

    you sure about storing in ph down? I don't know for sure but I've always been told it's too acidic and will destroy the electrode. That said, I'm not going to try it!

    BendBrewer Well-Known Member

    They want to be stored at 7.0. Testing solution is that and so is distilled water.
    tip top toker

    tip top toker Well-Known Member

    I've an "essentials" digital ph pen, basically a generic plastic wand. I've had it about a year and a half now, all i do is run it under the tap after use and stick the lid straight on so some water is inside there. Havn't had to calibrate it yet, still throws out the right numbers with various ph solutions from the hydro store. My tap water is around 8.2

    I cannot foresee storing a ph meter in a strong acid as a good thing.. I'm no chemist but that sounds batshit crazy. That's 80% odd phosphoric acid.

    stems&seeds Active Member

    Not so sure about storing in 7. Hanna specifically states to store in ph storage solution, or ph4 buffer solution. Both of which have a ph of 4.0
    They also specifically state not to store in distilled or de-ionized water, regardless of the ph.
    I've had the best luck storing in ph storage solution. I used tap-water to store my Oakton meter, only lasted about 7-8 months. I also have found that if you store it properly in storage solution, it seems to remain calibrated for a much longer period.
    rollyouron likes this.
    tip top toker

    tip top toker Well-Known Member

    As i say, not a chemist, but the top of my veg tent sais enough for me not to want my ph pen in it neat.

    Lots of lovely corrosion. Don't ask me how it's happening, lids on and such, but anything the bottle is sat on get's turned to shit. Mayube i should be a chemist just to answer my own silly questions :lol:

    Attached Files:


    pazuzu420 Well-Known Member

    TipTopToker- Looks to me as it is just salt build up from when you pour out of the container put the lid back on and set it down. It inevitably has some solution that runs down to the base and sits hence the build up, grab some lime-a-way and give it a good once over and it shoudl take care of it.

    I store my probe the way Hanna suggests. I first remove cap and sponge and rinse in R.O. water then take reading, remove and rinse with R.O. water shake off the excess and return the cap which holds a bit of storage solution and the sponge. I happen to have thier GroCheck model which has sachets you stick the probe in and it tells you if it is calibrated. Used it once when I got the meter and have been pluggin along without any problems so far for almost a year. I've read quite a few threads stating that with proper storage and handling of your 'instrument' will ensure years of use.
    tip top toker

    tip top toker Well-Known Member

    Not salt build-up, corrosion. Of metal. No Ph down ever breaches the exterior of the bottle, it's always measured out using a syringe, nice and clean. Here's another example, rather expensive piece of brushed aluminium i foolishly popped the bottle on for a minute or two. I'm not a very clever boy.


    SublimeDel New Member

    I have a jellas 15 dollar ph pen. Did not come with sponge and said nothing about storing wet. After 2 months of use it was still calibrated right on.

    visajoe1 Well-Known Member

    I have an oakton, storing it in ph 7 test solution. calibrate every other month or so with ph 4 and 10

    FennarioMike Well-Known Member

    I know this thread is old but since it's been resurrected and there's a lot of misinformation on this thread.

    Here's WHY you want to store your probe properly. Now people will jump in and say that they do this or that and it's fine - maybe it was, for a while. I went to school for water treatment engineering and caring for pH probes was ingrained in us right at the onset and I've ruined and rescued many of them - or seen them ruined...

    The pH probe itself is filled with Potassium Chloride (KCL) and the little glass ball at the tip allows ions to flow in and out as it senses pH. When you leave it in RO water for enough time, through osmosis and diffusion, the inside concentration and the outside concentration becomes the same, and your probe is now filled with mostly water and won't work. When you leave it in a pH 7 solution, since it's a neutral pH there isn't a lot of ion exchange going on so it won't become depleted. When you store the probe in KCL storage solution, the ion exchange goes the other way and recharges your probe keeping it in good shape. If you leave the probe out to dry for too long, the KCL inside will crystallize and the probe is probably shot.
    j.t.1986, visajoe1 and chris1016 like this.

    Smokey57 Member

    Thanks for the great info. Should probably have read the instructions. Nice to have someone explain it rather than just follow instructions. All makes sense now. I just went and cleaned, and added pH7 to probe cap. I put it away about a month ago and don't plan on using it til September and would have been really pissed if it wasn't working. Spent good money on it. Will i have to apply pH7 to the little pad again before September?


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