Most water quality management programs require, among other things, frequent measurement of conductivity or TDS. Knowing the conductivity or TDS of a water sample is important for many reasons. Depending upon the application, it can indicate water's:
- potential for scale buildup
- pollution level
- suitability for use in process or rinsing
- suitability for drinking
- water quality before and after treatment
- fertilizer/salt content
All of these factors can affect an operation's safety, legality, and/or profits. Because such important matters are affected, access to conductivity or TDS information must be simple, accurate, and practical to encourage frequent measurement of this important parameter. Individuals currently obtain this information through either wet chemistry test kits or conductivity/TDS meters.
The Need for the Right Product
The need for practical and frequent measurements created product opportunities for portable, low-cost meters that that are easily operated by everyday users, whether or not they are instrument experts. Low-cost, pocket-sized TDS and conductivity meters represent the extreme in this category. Although they do not offer the same performance and features as larger, more expensive instruments, these pocket-sized meters enjoy popularity due to their simplicity.
Pocket-sized meters with ATC (automatic temperature compensation) are common. ATC adjusts meter readings for shifts in conductivity due to water temperature changes. In most cases, the user of a pocket-sized meter does not have to understand how ATC works in order to benefit from this important feature. Digital displays for fast, accurate reading are also common, though some models require the user to apply a multiplier to arrive at the correct reading. Meters with simple calibration procedures are best because this encourages the user to calibrate often. This helps the user to achieve acceptable accuracy and repeatability, without wasting time. Durability is essential because the pocket-sized meters are primarily used in the field and on the plant floor, where less-than-ideal conditions are the norm. Finally, users identified waterproof and dustproof as important characteristics for their meters. This makes sense since the meters are used to measure liquids, measurement can take place in all kinds of weather, and the application may require the instrument to be cleaned up after use. Some pocket-sized conductivity and TDS meters have this capability to varying degrees.
The Right Product for the Need
OAKTON's new Waterproof TDSTestr series addresses all the requirements for pocket-sized instruments used for frequent plant and field conductivity and TDS measurements. OAKTON Waterproof TDSTestrs meet the most demanding application requirements. They feature a waterproof and dustproof design capable of being certified to IP67 specifications. Users can have full confidence using these in wet environments or washing them. They float when dropped in water so they can be easily retrieved. This prevents instrument loss and reduces risk to operating machinery from a sunken instrument getting into the process. If sensor damage occurs, the replaceable sensors offer a significant saving over the cost of a new meter. The calibration screw inside of the battery compartment allows simple, quick calibration without compromising the integrity of the waterproof housing. All meters feature ATC. Readings are viewed on an LCD display that shows the entire readout, eliminating the multiplier required on some pocket-sized instruments.
Four OAKTON Waterproof TDSTestr models are available, each with a single measurement range (two TDS ranges and two conductivity ranges are offered). These give the users a selection of ranges that can be matched to the their particular application need. All four models have 2% full-scale accuracy and are pocket-sized (6.5"L, 1.5" dia.), weigh only 3.25 oz., and can be outfitted with an optional belt-loop carrying case. Each OAKTON Testr comes complete with the sensor, instructions, and batteries.
Water quality management often requires frequent measurement of conductivity or TDS content to make good informed operating decisions that affect the safety, legality, efficiency and profitability of an operation. Instrumentation, especially low-cost portable instruments, address the need for frequent measurement of water's conductivity or TDS content. The new OAKTON Waterproof TDSTestr-series has characteristics that address the users' requirements for waterproof, dustproof, floating, durable and reliable instrumentation. They are simple to operate and calibrate, which helps users have confidence in their work and make the measurements as frequently as needed.
Bob Langie is Manager, Market Development, Cole-Parmer Instrument Co. Wholesale Division and Jon Bormann is Technical Representative, Cole-Parmer Instrument Co. Wholesale Division. For further information, they can be reached at 1-888-462-5866.