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How does a conductivity meter work?

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Quick Answer

A conductivity meter works by emitting an electric charge through a probe that is placed in a solution. Any increase or decrease in dissolving ions results in an increase or decrease in the electrical charge of the solution, which the meter reads.

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Full Answer

A conductivity meter measures the amount of electrical charge an aqueous solution can carry. The conductivity meter uses a probe to measure conductivity of a solution. Electrical current flows between two electrodes within the probe set at various distances from each other. Depending on the concentration of ions in the solution, the conductance is either high or low, which results in a fast or slow current reading.

Conductivity is the electrical current of a solution, although the value depends on several factors, including: the solution's ionic strength, which ions are present and the concentration levels of the ions present. Calibration plays a huge factor in the accuracy of the meter's readings, as does the temperature. The official unit of measurement for conductivity is mhos/cm or microSiemens per centimeter.

The conductivity meter is used in many industries, such as agriculture and wastewater treatment. The conductivity meter is a good tool for determining the overall health of natural water bodies, such as ponds, lakes and reservoirs.

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