Why do ORP Sensors Fail?
ORP sensors, or oxidation-reduction potential sensors, are used to measure the potential of a solution to oxidize or reduce other substances. They work by measuring the voltage between a reference electrode and a separate electrode that is in contact with the solution being measured. The voltage is proportional to the ORP of the solution, and by measuring the voltage, the ORP of the solution can be determined.
ORP sensors are commonly used in water treatment and chemical processing applications to measure the effectiveness of disinfectants, the presence of heavy metals, and other parameters. They are also used in food processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and other industries.
Understanding that many ORP sensors fail prematurely simply because the incorrect type of ORP sensor has been purchased. You as a consumer of ORP sensors should be cognizant of the many different types of ORP sensors available.
Many of the ORP sensors offered by manufacturers are sub-standard, they simply are selling outdated technology, the equivalent of selling a 1980’s version of the computer in today’s marketplace. Its time for a change.
Commercial ORP sensors used in industrial applications.
There are several reasons why ORP sensors can fail:
- Wear and tear: Like all mechanical and electronic components, ORP sensors are subjected to wear and tear from regular use. Over time, this can cause the sensor to become damaged or less accurate. Wear and tear can be caused by factors such as friction, corrosion, and mechanical stress.
- Age: All ORP sensors have a limited lifespan, and eventually, they will need to be replaced. This is due to factors such as the degradation of the reference electrode or the deterioration of the electrical conductors in the sensor. As an ORP sensor ages, it may become less accurate or may stop functioning altogether.
- Corrosive Chemical Exposure: Certain chemicals, such as strong acids or bases, can damage or degrade ORP sensors. If a sensor is exposed to these chemicals, it may need to be replaced. Exposure to harsh chemicals can cause corrosion or other damage to the sensor, leading to reduced accuracy or failure.
- Incorrect storage: If an ORP sensor is not stored properly, it can become damaged or lose its accuracy. For example, if a sensor is left in a dry environment for an extended period of time, the reference electrode in the sensor may become dried out, rendering the sensor useless. Proper storage of an ORP sensor is important to ensure its accuracy and longevity.
- Reference Poisoning / Calibration drift: Even if an ORP sensor is not subjected to any of the above factors, it will still need to be replaced eventually due to calibration drift. Calibration drift is the gradual loss of accuracy of an ORP sensor over time, even if it is not being used. This is due to changes in the reference electrode or other factors that can affect the accuracy of the sensor. Regular calibration of an ORP sensor can help reduce the effects of calibration drift and extend the life of the sensor.
Overall, ORP sensors need to be replaced when they become damaged, are no longer accurate, or have reached the end of their lifespan. Regular calibration and maintenance can help extend the life of an ORP sensor, but eventually, it will need to be replaced to ensure accurate ORP measurements.
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