ECH<sub>2</sub>O EC-5

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Large network soil moisture sensing


Low cost individual sensors for large sensor networks

The EC-5 delivers research-grade accuracy at a price that makes large sensor networks economically practical. You can adequately characterize your site with sensors at multiple depths and locations, even if you’re on a tight budget.

Engineered for accuracy

The EC-5 determines volumetric water content (VWC) by measuring the dielectric constant of the media using capacitance/frequency domain technology. Its 70 MHz frequency minimizes salinity and textural effects, making this sensor accurate in almost any soil or soilless media. Factory calibrations are included for mineral soils, potting soils, rockwool, and perlite.

Easy installation

Just 5 cm long with a ~0.2 L measurement volume, this handy little sensor is easy to install in the field and can also be used in nursery pots. The EC-5’s compact design makes it easy to push directly into undisturbed soil to ensure good accuracy.

Easy integration

The EC-5’s analog signal means no-hassle integration with systems manufactured by other companies.

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  • Measures volumetric water content
  • Affordable: ideal for large sensor networks
  • Simple sensor with excellent accuracy
  • Small volume of influence (eg., field spatial variability, lab column studies, or greenhouse research)
  • 70 MHz frequency minimizes salinity and textural effects
  • Factory calibrations included for mineral soils, potting soils, rockwool, and perlite
  • Small size means easy installation
  • Plug and play capability
  • Easy integration with other systems
  • Use with EM60G data logger to collect data remotely



Mineral soil:
±3% VWC, most mineral soils, up to 8 dS/m
±1-2% VWC with soil specific calibration
Rockwool: ±3% VWC, 0.5 to 8 dS/m
Potting Soil: ±3% VWC, 3 to 14 dS/m


0.1% VWC (mineral soil)
0.25% VWC (rockwool)


Calibration dependent; up to 0-100% VWC with polynomial equation


8.9 cm × 1.8 cm × 0.7 cm

Cable length

Sensors come standard with 5 m cable. Custom cable lengths available. Maximum cable length of 40 m. Please contact METER if you need longer cable lengths.

Measurement time

10 ms


2.5 - 3.6 V DC @ 10 mA. Output proportional to input voltage. 2.5 V and 3 V excitations supported with calibration equations


10 to 40% of excitation voltage. Voltage, correlated linearly (soil) or polynomially (growing media) with VWC


-40 °C to +50 °C

Connector types

3.5 mm "stereo" plug or stripped and tinned lead wires (3)

Data logger compatibility (not exclusive)

METER Em5b, Em50/50G, EM60/60G, ProCheck, Campbell Scientific

Measurement volume

See comparison article


One year, parts and labor



Have a question or problem? Our support team can help.

We manufacture, test, calibrate, and repair every instrument in house. Our scientists and technicians use the instruments every day in our product testing lab. No matter what your question is, we have someone who can help you answer it.


Phone US: +1 509-332-5600
Phone Europe: +49 89 12 66 52 0