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Best 6 EC Meters for Hydroponics That Are Trusted By Gardeners

Managing a grow room or an indoor garden is fun but not very easy. From installing the right lighting system to maintaining the right conditions in the room, you need to ensure that everything is in check.

Apart from that, you have to supply the growing plants with the right nutrients so that they can grow healthily and produce higher yields. To make your work easier, you need to have a quality electrical meter to check if you’re supplying your crops with the right amount of nutrients.

That’s why you need to select an accurate EC meter to find out if you need to increase or reduce the level of nutrients in your hydroponic solution.

Observing your hydroponic solution will help you know if your grow plants are consuming the right amount of nutrients or if you will have to reduce or add them.

Since there are so many EC meters on the market, picking the best one for your indoor garden or grow tent is vital. We conducted thorough research and selected some of the most outstanding electro conductivity meters for hydroponic use. These meters have lots of positive reviews and are from reliable brands.

Here are the 6 best EC meters for hydroponic use:

Product Weight PPM
Essentials water resistant EC Meter 4.1 ouncesN/ACheck Price
Proster PH Meter with TDS EC Meter 1.8 ounces 0 – 9990Check Price
Bluelab BLU2221 PPM Pen Meter 3.84 ounces 500 & 700Check Price
Hanna Combo Ph/EC/TDS/C/PPM Tester HI981294.8 ounces 2000Check Price
Apera Instruments Premium Series PC60 Waterproof EC/pH Meter 4.6 ounces 0 – 10Check Price
Bluelab BLU27100 Guardian Monitor EC Meter 7.7 ounces 700Check Price

 

Essentials water resistant EC Meter

Essentials EC Meter

What We Liked Most About the Product

Essentials is one of the best and most reliable brands for both EC and pH meters. The Essentials EC meter is a compact and accurate device that won’t cost you a lot. It is a mid-range EC meter with some exceptional features. The meter is ideal for testing hydroponic solutions and even aquariums.

The feature that stands out most about the Essentials EC meter is that it provides readings within 20 seconds. This is very fast, considering some units take several minutes to show readings.

Product Overview

The Essentials electrical conductivity meter is ruggedly constructed to last longer. It can resist both water and shock. So, if you accidentally drop it, you can relax knowing that it won’t break or shatter.

This pen meter is great for both small and large grow rooms. Featuring the lit LCD screen, you will have an easy time reading the results even in dark rooms. What’s more, turning on/off the unit is simple with a press of a button.

You will always get accurate results for nutrient solutions and know whether to add or reduce the number of nutrients in your hydroponic solution.

Additionally, the automatic shut-off function helps to save power and prolong the life of the device. Besides, it has a battery level indicator that alerts you when the battery is almost running out.

The meter is powered by 4x AA batteries, which are included in the purchase and easy to find.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Simple to calibrate
  • Delivers reading within 20 seconds
  • It is both water and drop-resistant
  • Low battery symbol warns you of low battery
  • Lit screen displays reading even in poor light conditions
  • Very accurate EC meter
  • Automatic shut-off function saves energy
  • An excellent lifespan of up to 3-years

Cons:

  • A poor description which says it is a pH, while it’s an EC meter
  • There are no instructions to refer to, which may be challenging for newbies

If you’ve been looking for a reliable and accurate EC meter for your grow room, then you will like this device. To prolong its life to at least 3-years, you should calibrate it often.

At such a great price, you get a quality and sturdy EC meter for testing nutrients.

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Proster PH Meter with TDS EC Meter

Proster PH Meter with TDS EC Meter Digital PH Tester with 0-9999 TDS EC Water Quality Tester

What We Liked Most About the Product

The Proster PH meter with TDS EC meter is an excellent hydroponics meter for growers who want an affordable and versatile meter.

The digital pen style EC meter can measure both pH and EC. It is suitable for hydroponics, aquarium, pools, laboratories, and much more.

What stands out most about this digital EC meter is the large LCD screen. The screen displays the readings clearly and you can even read it in the dark.

Product Overview

This electrical conductivity meter is very efficient and offers accurate readings.

Thanks to the advanced microprocessor technology that it features. Apart from offering accurate readings, the device is also easy to use. Simply press an on/off button to turn on the tester and check the level of salt concentration in your hydroponic solution.

Moreover, the EC meter is convenient to use with the hold and auto-off function. The hold function allows you to read measurements later, while the automatic shut-off feature saves battery by turning off the meter when it remains idle for 10 minutes.

The device is also compact and is easy to carry in your pocket. To prolong its lifespan, make sure to calibrate it at least once a month. Simply press the calibration button and it will take only 3 seconds to complete. The meter also has a wide range of TDS of 0 to 999 ppm.

However, this is not a reliable unit for large grow rooms as it is not waterproof and doesn’t come with a warranty. So, if you want a more durable and reliable unit, consider another brand.

Pros:

  • Affordable meter
  • Tests both pH and EC meters
  • Provides accurate readings
  • Hold function enables you to read measurements later
  • Easy to calibrate
  • Large LCD screen for quick reading
  • Auto-off function turns off the device when idle

Cons:

  • The device doesn’t come with a warranty
  • It is not water-resistant; thus, it shouldn’t be dropped in water

Overall, this Proster EC meter is perfect for small grow rooms and aquariums. It is simple to use and very accurate. You can also use it to check the pH levels for better plant growth.

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Bluelab BLU2221 ppm Pen EC Meter

Bluelab BLU2221 ppm Pen for Plant Germination

What We Liked Most About the Product

Bluelab is the most sought after EC meter brand on the market. They boast of quality, reliable, and accurate EC meters.

The Bluelab BLU2221 ppm pen electro conductivity meter is a fantastic tool for measuring the number of dissolved salts in your hydroponic solutions. Besides, you can also use it to test the temperature of your nutrient solution.

What we like most about this device is that it provides accurate results, and it is fully waterproof. As a result, you can depend on it for many years as long as you maintain it well.

Product Overview

The Bluelab BLU2221 ppm pen meter can also be utilized to measure the temperature of your hydroponic solution. It can measure temperature from 0 to 50 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, with an accuracy level of 1 degree Celsius or 2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, it measures conductivity within a range of between 0.0 and 10.0 EC with a resolution of 0.1. Furthermore, it has a ppm range of 0 to 500 ppm and 0 to 700 ppm in 10 ppm increments.

Similar to other devices on this list, the Bluelab is a compact and portable device. It is also easy to use and calibrate. You will know the nutrient level in your hydroponic solution quickly than with most devices.

The large backlit LCD display enables you to view results even in poorly lit environments. With the hold button, you can read results later.

Unlike some EC meters that don’t alert you when the battery gets low, this tester has a battery level indicator. So, you will know when to replace the batteries.

The only challenge you will face is using the backlight display, which shuts off after less than 3 seconds.

Pros:

  • Sturdy piece
  • Easy to calibrate
  • Straightforward to use
  • Clear instructions
  • Extremely accurate
  • Waterproof design
  • Low battery indicator
  • The automatic shut-off saves power

Cons:

  • It is quite expensive
  • The backlight display shuts off quicker than expected

The Bluelab Blu2221 pen EC meter is a quality and durable device that will allow you to know the nutrient levels in your hydroponic solution. As a result, you will correct the nutrient level to ensure that your plants grow smoothly.

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Hanna Combo pH/EC/TDC/C/PPM Tester HI98129

Hanna Combo ec Tester HI98129

What We Liked Most About the Product

Hanna is another top EC meter brand. Established in 1978, Hanna instruments manufacturers’ analytical instrumentation and supplies make EC meters, PH meters, chemical reagents, buffer solutions, and electrodes.

They produce quality and accurate electrical conductivity meters that are used in laboratories, indoor gardens, aquariums, and even hospitals.

The Hanna Combo pH/EC tester is a reliable and quality meter that you can use to grow healthy crops. It runs on 4x 1.5V batteries, which are cheap and easy to find.

However, the most exceptional feature of this EC meter is the replaceable electrodes, which prolongs the life of the device as you can change them after a few years of use.

Product Overview

The Hanna Combo pH/EC meter features an automatic calibration at one or two points with two sets of memorized buffer values for straightforward use. On top of that, it has automatic temperature compensation that gets rid of additional calculations.

The meter also offers broader ranges to the user. To start with, it has a temperature range of 0.0 to 60.0 degrees Celsius/ 32.0 to 140.0 degrees Fahrenheit, a pH range of 0.0 to 14.0, a TDS range of 0 to 2000 ppm, and EC range of 0 to 3999 uS/cm.

Using the tester is simple and straightforward. It comes with an LCD screen for displaying readings even in poor light conditions.

Furthermore, it has an automatic shut-off to save battery power. With a waterproof body and lightweight design, the meter will float on water without being managed.

The HI 98129 meter features an EC electrode that can withstand salts and other corrosives. But to acquire this EC meter, you will have to pay more. Also, it has a 1-year warranty, which is short-lived considering its initial price.

Pros:

  • It has an automatic shut-off that saves battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Automatic calibration at one or two points
  • A sturdy unit as it is waterproof
  • Versatile device
  • Replaceable electrodes prolong the life of the unit

Cons:

  • It has a short warranty – 1-year pen and 6-months on the electrode
  • It is quite expensive

Generally, the Hanna Combo EC meter is a durable and versatile device that you can use to test both EC and pH of your hydroponic solution. With the replaceable electrodes, you will use this meter for long as you can change them when they become worn out.

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Apera Instruments Premium Series PC60 pH/EC/TDS/Salinity Tester Kit

Apera Instruments Premium Series PC60 5-in-1 Waterproof ef meter

What We Liked Most About the Product

Apera Instruments Premium Series pH/EC meter may not be as popular as Bluelab or Hanna, but it is still a quality meter for testing your hydroponic solution. The device is compact and lightweight for easy carrying. It can be utilized to test EC, pH, temperature, TDS, and salinity.

With this device, you will always get quick, accurate, and reliable readings. Use it to test the EC of your aquarium, pools, hydroponics, pools, and even spas.

The most outstanding thing about this electrical conductivity meter is the replaceable probe. The probe prolongs the life of the unit as you can change it when it wears out.

Product Overview

Powered by 4X AAA batteries, the Apera Instruments PC60 multi-parameter tester can run for 1000 hours before changing the batteries.

It is also compact with a durable design that withstands both water and dust. This is because it comes with an IP67 rating.

The device delivers accurate readings, which is thanks to the Apera’s unique brush-resistant platinum black sensor. Aside from that, the device has an automatic calibration that recognizes 5 different types of pH buffer solutions.

Additionally, it has different ranges to pick from, which include 0 ppm to 10 ppt, 2.0 to 16.0, 0 to 20.0 mS/cm, and 0 to 50 degrees Celsius auto temperature compensation.

Equipped with a large 2-color backlit LCD screen, you will have an easy time reading results even in dim areas. Hold the auto-hold function if you’re busy and read results later.

And when the probe gets worn-out, simply buy new probes and replace them to prolong the life of the meter.

Pros:

  • Robust design
  • Simple to use
  • Outstanding run time of up to 1000 hours
  • Easy to calibrate
  • Versatile device
  • The auto-hold function allows you to read results later
  • Easy to read results even in the dark
  • A compact and lightweight device
  • Replaceable multimeter probe for longevity
  • 2-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Many users have complained that the device does not remain calibrated for long

If you want a professional EC/pH/TDS meter for your large grow room or greenhouse, then this is the tester for you. It delivers accurate results and it is durable. However, it is slightly costly when compared to other EC meters.

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Bluelab BLU27100 Guardian Monitor for Plant Germination

Bluelab BLU27100 Guardian Monitor for Plant Germination ec meter

What We Liked Most About the Product

If you’re ready to spend to get one of the best EC meters for hydroponics, then you will love the Bluelab Guardian Monitor tester.

The Bluelab BLU27100 Guardian Monitor is a high-quality EC tester that is best suited for large grow rooms. It ensures that you supply your hydroponic solution with the right nutrients for proper growth throughout different stages.

What we liked most about the Bluelab BLU27100 Guardian Monitor is that it displays all the three crucial parameters for the smooth growth of your plants. These are pH, EC, and temperature.

Product Overview

The Bluelab BLU27100 EC meter is easy to use with a push-button. On top of that, it features a large display for quick and easy reading of test results.

You will enjoy using this unit as it allows you to adjust brightness. Besides, it has low and high alarms that flash when the meter tests high or low parameters from what is expected.

Installing the meter is simple as you can mount it on the wall or hung it on the ceiling. Moreover, it is compatible with the international power supply, so you don’t have to worry about power connections.

With such fantastic features, you will have fun using this unit to monitor your plants and get the best yields possible.

Pros:

  • It doesn’t need calibration for conductivity and temperature
  • Large LCD screen for easy interpretation
  • Replaceable double junction pH probe for longevity
  • Simple to use with a push button
  • It has an adjustable LCD brightness
  • Flashlight low and high alarm alerts you when there is a change in conductivity
  • Excellent tolerance
  • Compatible with international power supply

Cons:

  • It has a short warranty of 6 months

With the replaceable double junction pH probe, this is a device that you can rely on for many years to come. Apply it to ensure that the nutrient solution has the right amount of nutrients for healthy plant growth.

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FAQ

What is an EC meter?

To begin with, EC means electrical conductivity. An EC meter tests the electrical conductivity of a nutrient solution. So, the EC meter helps you to know the number of nutrients dissolved in your hydroponic solution.

EC meters are also referred to as total dissolved salts (TDS), parts per million (PPM), and conductivity (CF) meters.

What to consider when looking for an EC meter?

Picking the best electro conductivity meter is not simple. But if you want to get the best EC meter, then there are various things that you should look at.

These include accurate reading, hold function, waterproof/water-resistance, shockproof, battery level indicator, and automatic shut-off. A quality EC meter should have most of these features.

How often should I calibrate my EC meter?

If you want your EC meter to last longer, then you will have to calibrate it. When used consistently, the EC meter will build up salts, which means that you will have to clean and calibrate it.

It is recommended to clean and calibrate your EC meter every month. However, this also depends on the tests that you undertake over the month and how clean you keep your device.

How does an EC meter functions?

An EC meter works by the probes being put into a solution. After that, one probe sends an electric current to another probe.

If the solution has a low level of dissolved salts in it, the electrical current will pass through the solution at a slightly lower speed, and if there is a high level of dissolved salts, then it will pass at high speed. The EC meter takes a few seconds to provide readings.

What are the best EC meter brands?

Even though there are several EC meter brands on the market, only a handful of them can be relied on. There are some cheap models, but they don’t provide accurate readings.

If you want a device that you can fully rely on, then you’re better off with a proven brand such as Bluelab, Hanna, Essentials, and Apera. Most of these brands have been in the industry for long and have created a name for themselves.

Conclusion

Finding the right EC meter for your hydroponic solution is vital. With so many electrical conductivity meters on the market, you don’t want a device that will give you false readings and kill your plants or lead to lower yields in the end. A good EC meter should be accurate, easy to use, waterproof, and drop-resistant.

After you’ve found an EC hydroponic meter of your choice, you should maintain it well so that it can last longer. Clean it after every use so that no salts are remaining on it.

Also, you should calibrate it monthly to ensure that you receive accurate readings throughout. Wish you all the best as you select your next EC meter for your grow room!