How often should a pH or conductivity probe be calibrated?


Dokument-ID TE1021


Veröffentlichungsdatum 20.12.2021
How often should a pH or conductivity probe be calibrated?
pH / conductivity probe calibration frequency
Hach does not publish any recommendations on how often a sensor needs to be calibrated. This is left up to the end users QA/QC to establish.

Typically, pH probes and many conductivity probes are calibrated at the start of each 8 hour shift, but this can vary depending on application.

In theory, a probe is calibrated (or at a minimum controlled with a calibration standard) prior to any measurement series. So, every time a measurement series is started, one would have to:
  1. Calibrate the sensor
  2. Control the calibration with a standard different from the one(s) used for calibration (this process is also called running a Check Standard).
  3. Run the sample series (10 samples is typically considered the maximum, but it can vary)
  4. Run another check standard with the standard used in step 2.
  5. Repeat step 3.

In practice, only certified labs are running such a procedure. For practical reasons, many labs will calibrate less frequently.

Calibration frequency depends on:
  • The environmental factors and measuring conditions.
  • The likelihood the sensor will change with time.
  • The likelihood the sensor will be contaminated by the sample
  • How the sensor is maintained by the operator between each measurement.
  • The customer experience in regard to samples and application.

In all cases the calibration frequency is a customer experience based decision linked to the sample type measured and the measurement frequency. As a manufacturer, Hach can only give generic advise and recommendations for use which would be:
  • Prior to using the sensor, use a check standard.
  • If the reading of the check standard is outside of the accuracy acceptance limits, then recalibrate the sensor.
  • If the calibration is outside of the acceptance limits, then clean/maintain the sensor according to manufacturer recommendations. If maintenance doesn't help, then replace the sensor.
  • This process will give information on how frequently calibration/maintenance/replacement of the sensor needs to be done in regard to the frequency of use and the sample matrix.

For pH sensors, please visit the Hach pH Buffer page for a complete listing of calibration buffers.
For conductivity sensors, please visit the Hach Conductivity Standards page for a complete listing of calibration standards.


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