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Sensor Care

Maintenance Free

Turtle Tough pH and ORP sensors are a completely sealed assembly and are sealed for life.    This provides extreme process resistance as well as a totally maintenance free sensor which greatly increases sensor life and reduces labour costs.  A Turtle Tough sensor does not contain any O‐rings, washers, gaskets, or serviceable components/assemblies. It does not require refreshing or refilling of electrolyte. The only requirement is regular cleaning in accordance with our recommended cleaning schedule for your application. Regular cleaning will prolong the life of your sensor and ensure hassle free operation.


The standard shelf life for all Turtle Tough pH and ORP sensors is one year from the date of shipment. Sensors stored longer than this period may still be functional but are no longer under warranty. Sensors should be stored in a cool, dry location with the sensor tip (sensing element) oriented toward the ground.  All sensors come standard with a conditioning solution in the cap. This conditioning solution is 50% pH 4 buffer and 50% saturated potassium chloride (mixed by volume). The sensor cap should be kept tightly affixed to the sensor body and sealed with common PVC tape when the sensor is not in use. Sensors that are to be returned for shelf life warranty claim must have the original sensor cap and conditioning solution intact to be eligible for warranty replacement.

Cleaning a Turtle Tough Sensor

Recommended Cleaning Schedule

The recommended cleaning interval is based upon the difficulty index for your application. Please contact your agent or refer to the website to identify your difficulty rating. Application Difficulty Rating Cleaning Schedule 1‐3 Monthly 4‐6 Fortnightly 6‐7 Weekly 8‐9 Twice (2x) per week 10 Daily If a Turtle Tough pH/ORP sensor response slows down, it is most likely the result of a fouled reference or dirty coated glass. Cleaning should be performed as required and will vary across applications.


Cleaning requirements will vary depending on the application for which the sensor is used.    The following should always be observed when cleaning:

Never scratch or aggressively scrub the pH or ORP (sensing) elements. These are delicate glass electrochemical electrodes.    They can be easily broken by mechanical force.

The reference junction is a solid state material and can be cleaned with aggressive chemicals.  See list below of recommended cleaning solutions. This solid state reference can also be cleaned effectively by using a sharp razor edged tool. GREAT CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN NOT TO SCRATCH THE pH GLASS OR ORP ELEMENT DURING CLEANING OF THE REFERENCE JUNCTION.

Common approved cleaning solutions include:

 5‐15% Hydrochloric Acid – (For Alkaline deposits)

 5‐15% Sodium Hydroxide – (For Organic Contaminants)


Please contact your local Turtle Tough representative if you plan to use any other cleaning agent

Avoiding Thermal Shock

For high temperature applications where process liquid exceeds 70°C you will prolong the life of the sensor by avoiding thermal shock. Thermal shock occurs when you rapidly change the temperature of the sensor from hot to cold or vice versa. This rapid expansion/contraction of sensor components can damage internal elements and cause micro‐cracking that will accelerate the rate of deterioration. In extreme cases it will crack the sensing element causing a total failure.  To avoid this sensor should be heated or cooled slowly during removal/insertion and cleaning and calibration processes. Consult your Turtle Tough representative for techniques to avoid thermal shock.

Conditioning for Calibration

After the sensor has been cleaned, it must be thoroughly rinsed with deionized water to remove any residual cleaning reagents. The sensor can then be soaked in pH 4 buffer to recondition the pH and reference elements. Some sensors will also require conditioning in saturated potassium chloride if the reference junction has been depleted of the ions in the solid state conductive polymer (typical Reference Junction Sensing Element for clean water applications). Condition the sensor in saturated potassium chloride and/or pH 4 buffer for whatever period of time is required to achieve optimal calibration results.

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