Is it possible that an electrode's measurement or calibration issues are being caused by the meter?

Document ID

Document ID TE7396

Published Date

Published Date 10/04/2019
Question
Is it possible that an electrode's measurement or calibration issues are being caused by the meter?
Summary
Likelihood of meters causing measurement and calibration issues.
Answer
Measurement and calibration problems are almost always a symptom of a probe issue in all cases.

The meter is not interacting with the sample, it is only taking the data provided by the probe, performing calculations to convert the raw data measurement to the result which is then displayed. So in general (after troubleshooting) it's best to try replacement probes first.

If measurement or calibration issues persist after trying a new electrode, then there are other things to consider depending on the type of meter that is being used:

Meters with digital connectors (like HQd meters)
  • With these types of meters the meter and probe communicate with each other (bidirectional). 
  • If there is any problem with the connector on the meter, the symptom will be that probes will not connect with the meter. If measurement issues persist after trying new probes, it's still not likely to be caused by the meter.
  • First thing to check would be the standards that are used as they were likely constant between both probes that are having the issue. Otherwise it's more likely to be that the new probe is having a similar problem then it is that the meter is the source of the issues.

Meters with analog connectors (like the sensION+ benchtop meters or other meters with BNC connectors)
  • These meters could be the cause of measurement errors if there is a problem with the connector on the meter. This is because the communication only goes one way (from the probe to the meter). 
  • If there is a problem with the connector the meter assumes the value is from the probe, even if it isn't or if it is being interfered with by the connector. (For example it's possible to take a "reading" and a "result" will be displayed even if a probe is not even connected.)
  • The best way to check if there is a connector issue is by doing a shorting test on these meters. (See also: How is a shorting test done on a meter with a BNC connector?)

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