People frequently take their drinking water for granted. Water is essential to human life, whether it comes from the tap in your sink or is purchased at the local grocery shop.
There is potable water everywhere, but watch what you drink. Water with a high or low pH, as well as water with a positive oxygen reduction potential (ORP), can be hazardous. In processed and filtered water, ORP and pH levels are usually taken care of.
What happens if you don’t have access to filtered water? Do you dare to drink to quench your thirst, or do you go for the nearest water fountain? You’ve probably never given much thought to ORP and pH levels in the beverages you consume.
You’ve probably heard of ORP, but what does it signify and how does it affect water testing? To help you get started, we’ve set out the fundamentals of ORP. ORP is a commonly used term in water quality testing. The abbreviation ORP stands for Oxygen Reduction Potential. Water’s redox potential is another name for it. What does ORP stand for? It is a metric that indicates how oxidising or aerated the water is. This post is for you if you want to learn more about ORP metres, including what they are, how they function, and when to use them. All of these questions are addressed in this article
What do we understand by Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP)?
The ability of a material to either oxidise or reduce another chemical is measured by its oxidation reduction potential, or ORP. The electrodes of an ORP metre are used to measure it. A positive ORP value indicates that the material is an oxidising agent, whereas a negative reading suggests that it is a reducing agent.
What are ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) Meters?
ORP metres are instruments that are used to determine the oxidation-reduction potential of water. ORP metres are also known as redox probes in the industry. The redox pair formed by these chemical or microbial species results in electron loss. The ORP metres count the number of electrons lost as a result of the water’s redox potential.
The higher the ORP, the more oxygen is present in the water. This means that ORP is essentially a measure of the water’s purity and healthiness. Because of this, ORP is a crucial term in water quality assessment. The ORP metres are used to assess the water’s quality.
The Importance of ORP Readings in Water Testing
ORP is important in water testing because it determines if water is sterilised or contaminated based on oxidation and reduction properties. Water is treated with a sanitising chemical to have a higher oxidation potential, resulting in a higher ORP reading, in order to be safe to ingest, recycle, or come into touch with our skin. It is possible to monitor the efficiency of a sanitising agent and alter your water treatment plan accordingly by routinely checking ORP levels.
There are a variety of reasons why someone would want to know a substance’s ORP. Testing the water quality of chlorinated swimming pools is perhaps the most prevalent application. Because all agents present in a sample affect its ORP, an ORP measurement is thought to be more useful than a pH reading, which only detects acids (hydrogen ions) and bases (hydroxide ions). Inline ORP sensors are common in larger pools, although backyard pools without built-in monitors may require testing using a portable ORP monitor.
When Should ORP Meters Be Used?
When the water quality in terms of sanitization or contamination needs to be monitored, ORP metres are utilised. The ORP metre determines redox potential by measuring the electromotive force required to transfer an electron from a reduced to an oxidised state. These ORP metres aren’t suitable for all sorts of water analysis.
The pH level, for example, has a significant impact on ORP measurements. ORP metres become invalid as a method of water quality measurement when the pH of the water exceeds 9.5.
As a result, the question of when to utilise ORP metres gets a little more complicated. However, a more straightforward response to this question is to utilise when the water is being treated or processed.
How Does an ORP Meter Work?
An ORP metre, often known as a redox metre, works on a basic concept. It is a measurement of water’s ability to transmit electrons. An electrode is used as a probe or sensor to measure the redox potential of water in an ORP metre. The process is similar to that of measuring pH. The ORP measurement is based on electron movement inside the water, just like the pH of a solution is based on hydrogen ion activity. The ORP electrode can operate as an electron donor or acceptor, depending on the quality of the water. The ORP electrode serves as an acceptor if the pollutants in the water are reductant. The ORP electrode acts as a donor when the pollutants are being oxidised.
The electromotive force generates a potential difference during this electron transport. The Aqua-logger or Aqua-meter measures this potential difference and gives a reading on the ORP scale. ORP metres are frequently referred to as differential ORP probes.
At 7pH, the ORP electrodes are designed to read 0mV, which is a null reading. The deflection in ORP is evident as the pH value deviates above or below 7. The ORP meter’s extreme range remains between -1500mV and 1500mV.
Applications of ORP Meters
ORP devices are primarily used to identify when the equivalence point in an oxidation-reduction reaction has been reached and to test the oxidising ability of chlorine in swimming pools and spas. Cooling tower disinfection, groundwater remediation, bleaching, cyanide destruction, chrome reductions, metal etching, fruit and vegetable disinfection, and dechlorination are all done with ORP equipment.
These ORP metres are commonly used in water disinfection units, industrial water treatment plants, and drinking water supply centres, among other places.
Chlorine, bromine, and ozone, for example, are all powerful oxidizers. They are effective sanitizers because they can steal electrons from other chemicals. The act of sanitization is triggered by a change in the undesired organism’s chemical makeup. The ability of the oxidizers to oxidise decreases as they are depleted or mixed with another material. An ORP instrument can monitor the oxidation process, allowing the user to determine when the sanitization process is complete. Oxidation reduction potential equipment may be able to pick an individual ORP value, indicated in millivolts, at which a consistent degree of disinfection may be attained and maintained regardless of oxidant demand or concentration fluctuations.