How to Check the pH (Potential Hydrogen) in Water

Save

The pH of water indicates whether it is acid, basic or neutral -- an important measurement whether you're talking about the health or a creek or the condition of your swimming pool. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, pH is a measure of the relative amount of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in the water. The pH scale ranges from 0 (acidic) to 14 (basic), with 7 considered neutral. If you have a swimming pool or aquarium, it's essential to know the pH of the water so you can create optimum conditions.

Things You'll Need

  • pH test strips (home testing)
  • pH meter with electrode (commercial testing)
  • Clean sampling container
  • Clean your sampling container with deionized water and a phosphate-free, residue-free cleaner. You most likely will get a false reading if the container has residue from a cleanser or rinsing agent that isn't phosphate-free.

  • Collect a sample of the water. If you're getting a sample from a faucet at home, let the water flow for a few seconds before filling the container. This gets rid of any impurities that may have accumulated if the tap hasn't been turned on for a while; the impurities can change the pH of the water. If sampling from a pond or well, take the sample from area that does not look stagnant.

  • Let the sample sit in an area with normal room temperature, and allow the water to come to that temperature. You will get a false reading if the water is too hot or cold. Skip this step if you are using a pH meter with a temperature compensation feature.

  • Dip a pH test strip into the water sample and wait for a few seconds, or as directed on the test-strip container. Remove the strip and compare its color to the pH chart on the package. If you're using a pH meter, place the electrode into the sample and view the digital readout of the pH value.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can purchase pH test strips at a swimming pool supply shop; don't use litmus paper -- the results are not as defined.
  • Most laboratory supply companies offer pH meters with electrodes. Although they are a little costly, they offer much more precise measurement of pH.
  • Some pH strip containers may have a temperature compensation chart attached.

Related Searches

References

  • Photo Credit Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Test Tap Water pH

    A water supply's pH level indicates the water's acidity or basicity. PH is measured on a standard 1 through 14 scale, with...

  • How Do I Test My PH Level?

    "pH" refers to "potential of hydrogen" and measures acidity/alkalinity on a logarithmic scale of zero to 14. A pH of seven indicates...

  • Home Test for PH Level of Water

    PH is an indicator of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Our bodies generally stay at pH 7, which means we...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!