How to Use Meters for Nutrient Level Hydroponics


Keeping the nutrient levels up in your hydroponic nutrient solution is an important part of growing large, healthy vegetables and flowers. There are a number of manufacturers of nutrient meters. Although the exact procedure will vary slightly for each manufacturer's meter, the overall process is similar for each meter. Testing your nutrient solution is not difficult if you use a good, calibration-free meter.

Step 1

Place the sensor head in the hydroponic solution to bring it to the same temperature as the hydroponic system.

Step 2

Remove the sensor from the solution for a few seconds and place it back in the solution to take the initial reading.

Step 3

Read the conductivity value on the wand of the meter. If the lights are flashing between two values, they indicate a measurement between the two values. For example, if the lights are flashing between 4 and 6, it indicates a measured value of 5. If your meter has a digital readout, simply read the displayed numbers.

Step 4

Allow the unit to switch off automatically to take another reading. In most cases, a second reading can validate an unexpected reading.

Step 5

Use an EC conversion chart for your meter to establish nutrient parts per million in your hydroponic solution.

Things You'll Need

  • EC meter
  • Hydroponic system


  • Bluelab: Bluelab Truncheon Instruction Manual
  • Bluelab: Nominal EC Values for Hydroponic Crops
  • General Hydroponics: Frequently Asked Questions
Keywords: hydroponic agriculture, hydroponic nutrient solution, hydroponic troubleshooting

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.