In this quick guide, we’re going to take at electrical conductivity which is also referred to as hydroponic EC.
What Is Hydroponic EC?
While we’ve all been brought up to understand that water is an incredibly effective conductor of water but did you know that in its purest form it’s an excellent insulator.
Pure water is a scientific way to say water (or H2O) with no electrical current, molecules or minerals – basically water in the purest form. Once we start adding other minerals such as salt, the electrical properties of it start to change dramatically.
Put another way, the purer the water the worse the water conducts electricity but as soon as you start adding minerals this becomes a very different story.
When you start to add salts to the water such as those used to feed your plants then you start to change the electrical conductivity of the water. The reason for this is that the salts create positively charged ions and negatively charged anions. As more and more salts are added to the water, more and more ions and anions are created further increasing the electrical conductivity.
What Does EC Have To Do With Hydroponics?
Well, quite a lot actually. Within your system, you’re more than likely to be adding hydroponic nutrients to the water which will increase the overall hydroponic EC. You can then use an Electrical Conductivity Meter such as the ones listed below to understand the nutrient levels within the water: