Calibration Guidelines pH Meter Introduction: You can calibrate the pH meter for three pH levels, but pH7 is most

important. If you have limited time and/or resources, it’s OK if you just test for pH7 only. If you are testing all three solutions, test pH7 first, and then pH4 and pH10 in any order following. It is best to calibrate the pH meter(s) up to 24-48 hours before the water monitoring event, or less. Record your calibration on the provided sheet for pH7 only, not pH4 or pH10. Check for a “BAT” symbol flashing on the pH meter, which indicates low batteries. Be sure to record low batteries on the calibration sheet, and notify a San Diego Coastkeeper water monitoring staff member. Be aware that the meters will automatically turn off after 3-5 min. as a battery saving precaution, so don’t leave the meter sitting for more than 5 min. or it will turn off. Materials: pH meters you wish to calibrate Calibration solutions pH4, pH7 & pH10 Three 80mL beakers – fill with enough calibration solution to submerge the instrument’s electrodes De-ionized “DI” H2O for rinsing electrodes Step-by-Step Instructions: 1) Pour the pH7 calibration solution into an 80mL beaker. You want to be able to submerge the entire electrode, so be sure to pour enough to make this possible, but not so much that there is a lot of excess so we don’t waste calibration solution. 2) Rinse the electrode with DI H2O and gently shake off excess H2O. 3) Insert the pH meter into the pH7 calibration solution, deep enough so the entire electrode is submerged. 4) Swirl the electrode for a few seconds, and then leave still in the solution for up to 2 minutes. 5) Wait until the pH value stops fluxuating and settles on one value; record that value on the calibration sheet under “current reading.” 6) Now, you are ready to calibrate. Press and release the “CAL” button. On the pHTestr3 instruments, the value will start to blink, however on the pHTestr30 instruments the value does not blink. Once settled, press the “HOLD” button. 7) The value will settle at the calibrated value, which should take no longer than 30 seconds. [The pH meter will automatically settle at the pH value closest to the pre-calibration value. Ex: If the pre-calibration value was 7.25, the pH meter should calibrate to 7.00, or something very close to that. – is this correct? Or is it ] The value should then read “7.00.” 8) Record the value after calibration on the provided sheet under “reading after calibration,” even if it’s not exactly 7.00. You only have to record the pre and post calibration values for the pH7 calibration, not the subsequent pH4 and pH10

San Diego Coastkeeper Calibration Guidelines, courtesy of SDSU

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gently shake the excess H2O off and cap to store. or stored all together and clearly dated and labeled “calibrated. To do this. Make sure all calibrated pH meters are turned off and put in the correct monitoring box(es). or if it needs to be replaced. return to the appropriate cabinet once dry for storage. If necessary. but do not touch the electrode with the cloth. reading number on the X axis). don’t use the pH meter and notify a San Diego Coastkeeper water monitoring staff member. This will help us see if the pH meter is taking accurate readings. courtesy of SDSU 2 . you need to complete a control chart. that is optimal. even if the calibrated value wasn’t exactly 7. It should read the exact same calibrated value. Wash all beakers and dry on the drying rack. To do this. rinse the electrode with DI H2O. Storing the electrode wet helps to keep the circuit closed and prolong the pH meter’s life and accuracy. 13) Once calibration is complete. Be sure to rinse the electrode with DI H2O in between each reading. If the problem persists you should not use the pH meter. You do not need to complete a control chart for pH4 or pH10. the pH meter needs to be recalibrated. Clean-up: You can safely pour all pH calibration solutions down the sink drain. 12) Now that the pH meter is calibrated. If the readings are going up and down slightly each time (a horizontal zigzag). you will record the pH level of the same solution (use the pH7 calibration solution to complete these tests because it’s a known value) seven times. Conductivity Meter San Diego Coastkeeper Calibration Guidelines. they are not hazardous. store the electrode damp. plot your results on the provided charts (pH values on the Y axis.4). you can wipe the pH meter with a cloth. recalibrate.00. record in the notes.” Make sure you’ve filled out all the fields on the calibration sheet and return to the clipboard on the wall to the right of the sink. only pH7. If the readings are going consistently up or down from readings 1 to 7. If the problem persists. Once this procedure is complete.0 or greater (ex: reading 1 = 7. Return the pH calibration solutions and DI H2O squeeze bottle(s) to the appropriate cabinet for storage. 11) Rinse with DI H2O if continuing the calibration process with the pH4 and pH10 calibration solutions and follow the same procedure you did for calibrating pH7.5. 10) If the up/down fluxuation is 1.calibrations. as it probably needs to be replaced. reading 2 = 6. 9) It’s a good idea to check the calibrated reading again.

or at least within 24 hours. 6) Record the value after calibration on the provided sheet under “reading after calibration. deep enough so the entire electrode is submerged. 7) Now that the conductivity meter is calibrated. and then will settle on the actual calibrated value. You can test in the same solution because you are testing the same instrument.413” a few times.413”. Still make a note of it on the calibration sheet. you should not use the conductivity meter. you can gently towel off the excess water if needed – just don’t towel off the electrodes. Materials: Conductivity meters you wish to calibrate Traceable Conductivity Calibration Standard Solution (1. courtesy of SDSU 3 . You should change the calibration solution after every 5 instruments calibrated.Introduction: You can calibrate the conductivity meters for up to 3 standards. plot your results on the provided charts (conductivity values on the Y axis. Once this procedure is complete. It will immediately start blinking “1. To do this. To do this. 3) Swirl the electrode for a few seconds. Be sure to rinse the electrode with DI H2O in between each reading. and then leave still in the solution for up to 2 minutes. 4) Wait until the conductivity value stops fluxuating and settles on one value. This will help us see if the conductivity meter is taking accurate readings. If the readings are going consistently up or down from readings 1 to 7. reading number on the X axis). you need to complete a control chart.413 is generally bad and should be recorded in the notes section of the calibration sheet. or if it needs to be replaced. If the readings are going up and down slightly each time (a horizontal zigzag). that is optimal. 8) A 5% swing on either side of 1. as the conductivity meters are highly variable. you do not need to rinse the electrode with DI H2O. you will record the conductivity level of the same solution (use the same calibration solution you calibrated the conductivity meter with) seven times. the conductivity meter needs to be re-calibrated.” it should be exactly “1. It is best to calibrate the conductivity meters on the same day as the water monitoring event. If the problem persists. as it probably needs to be replaced.413) One 80mL beaker – fill with enough calibration solution to submerge the instrument’s electrodes De-ionized “DI” H2O for rinsing electrodes Step-by-Step Instructions: 1) Rinse electrode with DI H2O and gently shake off excess H2O. simply take out of the calibration San Diego Coastkeeper Calibration Guidelines. However. 2) Turn on the instrument and insert the Conductivity meter into the calibration solution. record that value on the calibration sheet under “reading before calibration.” 5) Hold down the “CAL” button for a few seconds and release.413). 9) Once calibration is complete. you will likely see a swing greater than that on the control chart (around 10-15%). but we only calibrate 1 standard (1. store the electrode damp.

you can wipe the conductivity meter with a cloth. Make sure all calibrated conductivity meters are put in the correct monitoring box(es). return to the appropriate cabinet once dry for storage. Clean-up: You can safely pour the Traceable Conductivity Calibration Standard Solution down the sink drain. courtesy of SDSU 4 . but do not touch the electrode with the cloth. Dissolved Oxygen Meter San Diego Coastkeeper Calibration Guidelines. Wash all beakers and dry on the drying rack. Storing the electrode wet helps to keep the circuit closed and prolong the conductivity meter’s life and accuracy. If necessary. Return the Traceable Conductivity Calibration Standard Solution and DI H2O squeeze bottle(s) to the appropriate cabinet for storage. it is not hazardous.solutions and gently shake the excess solution off and cap to store.” Make sure you’ve filled out all the fields on the calibration sheet and return to the clipboard on the wall to the right of the sink. or stored all together and clearly dated and labeled “calibrated.

turn off the DO meter. or less. Materials: DO meters you wish to calibrate New membranes (only if you need to change the membranes – should only be performed by a San Diego Coastkeeper water monitoring staff member) Step-by-Step Instructions: 1) Make sure the DO meter is reading “O2. bacteria levels. well aerated/circulated room 24-48 hours before the water monitoring event. Be very careful to remove the cap gently.” 3) Plug in the probe and take off the cap.” Make sure you’ve completed the calibration checklist and return to the clipboard on the wall to the right of the sink. The DO in natural/healthy spring water is usually around 8 or 9 (the value is variable depending on several conditions such as aeration. etc. 6) Once the calibration is complete. Be sure to mark this on the calibration sheet and notify a San Diego Coastkeeper water monitoring staff member. and the oxygen in air (20. which are the motions that tend to break the membrane and/or crack the probe tip. It’s important to look for indicators that the membrane may need to be replaced. easing off from the bottom of the cap. San Diego Coastkeeper Calibration Guidelines.” This will allow you to calibrate using air. You can also check the probe tip each time you calibrate or use it to look for cracks.). we calibrate using the air because it’s a known value.9 moles per liter). It should read “0. Return the membranes to the appropriate cabinet if necessary. or the oxygen in the air. or the probe tip is cracked/broken. Be sure to change the reading units to “mg/L” to set the DO meter to test water during the upcoming water monitoring event. 4) Once the value is stable. 2) Without attaching the probe. Never pull from the top or twist. or stored all together and clearly dated and labeled “calibrated. or fill out the calibration sheet. 7) Unplug probe before storing. Leave probe open to the air in the room for a few minutes (can prop up on something to keep the DO meter stable) until the value settles on one value. courtesy of SDSU 5 . Therefore. 5) You do not need to complete a control chart.” not “mg/L. You do need to check off and date the calibration event on the checklist provided to record that the calibration was completed. turn the meter on. press the “Ox Cal” button and release to calibrate. Clean-up: Make sure all calibrated DO meters are put in the correct monitoring box(es). It is best to calibrate in an open.Introduction: This meter reads dissolved oxygen (“DO”) in solution. Those indicators are 1) if the value doesn’t settle on one particular value when trying to calibrate and 2) if the value is reading “0” when trying to calibrate or test.

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