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What is Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Parts Per Million (PPM)?
EC is the measurement of dissolved salts (minerals) in a growing medium or solution. EC stands for Electrical Conductivity and is known to benefit nutrient uptake when properly utilised.
Water is a good electrical conductor, which is why a large number of electrical shock-related accidents occur in baths. Was it ever brought to your attention that pure water is a great insulator?!
It is not possible to transmit electrical current through pure water, which is defined as H2O that has no additional minerals or molecules present in it. However, as soon as mineral salts begin to dissolve in water, the electrical characteristics of the water alter dramatically.
Because the nature of water is corrosive at best, it is capable of dissolving a wide range of minerals, salts, and organic molecules. The result is that any water present in our environment is a good conductor of electric current, and this is true of all water except pure water.
In water, salts combine to generate charged particles known as ions. These have positively charged cations (made of metals) and negatively charged anions among other things (made up of non-metals).
Even a little amount of dissolved salts is sufficient to cause a significant increase in the electrical conductivity of liquid water. Additionally, the greater the amount of salts dissolved in it, the greater the number of ions present, and the greater the electrical conductivity of water.
What impact does this have on hydroponics? Well, the vast majority of fertilisers used in hydroponics are salts like nitrates and phosphates, which are readily available.
As a result, adding nutrients to water raises the EC of the water. It is possible to get a fairly accurate reading on the electrochemical conductivity (EC) by measuring the intensity of nutrient levels in your water.
The electrical conductivity (EC) is measured by connecting two units. There are two types of Siemens: milliSiemens and microSiemens. As a point of comparison, one milliSiemens equals 1000 microSiemens.
A Brief Run Down of Parts Per Million (PPM)
It is a common value in chemistry to describe the compounds dissolved in minute quantities in air, water, and soil, and it is written as ppm.
PPM is a unit of measurement that is roughly equivalent to the percentage. One part per million (ppm) is the same as one percent, which implies one part in a hundred thousand parts of anything.
Levels of pollution in air and water are frequently measured in parts per million (ppm). When referring to PPM in metric units, it is easier to comprehend.
For example, to obtain a solution of 1ppm of salt in water, you must dissolve 1 milligramme of salt in 1 litre of water, which takes around one minute. (Alternatively, 1 gramme in 10,000 gallons!)