Note - I wonder if we should have a series of “How would you test ABC” in which ABC is a simple product which many people would buy. People want to test the product properly before the return window to be sure that they are getting a quality product. You as a tester can help them. How does this idea sound ?
I would like to buy a moisture meter for my plants so that I know when to water them. Without a meter, I have to dip my fingers into the soil regularly & wash them with soap which is too much work. There are too many meters on the market and I am not sure if they really work. I would like to run some tests to see if they work or not and if they have any flaws. The max time allowed to test it is the 30 day return window. Please suggest ways to test a moisture meter.
Product specifications: (copied from the product link)
- Moisture Meter for Plants:Make your plants more healthy by Soil Moisture Sensor Meter.
- Easy to Use: just need plug and read.
- No Battery Required:Simply push the meter into the soil, and you’ll get your reading. It’s no need for batteries.
- Both for Indoor & Outdoor Use:Easily know when to water for your flowers, plants.
- Scientifically Accurate:Easy & accurately to read moisture promotes healthy plants.
Points to consider:
Meter sellers ask you to not dip the meter into water. Its not meant to detect water, but only moisture in a medium like soil. So, maybe avoid that negative test? Is that an invalid test or are the sellers trying to fool you?
Ask the user how they will use the meter. Are my plants potted (yes) or in open soil? Are my pots next to a source of mist/steam by any chance? Am I going to consecutively dip it in pots with different amounts of water? Could that impact the readings? What if the probe bends because the soil is hard and dry? The product is cheap & just $15 or so but the risk of over watering is rotting plants. It is not always possible to recover from that.
Should we break open the product and inspect its contents? How does it really work?
PS - I understand that this might seem like a trivial problem, but we might actually need to do some difficult science to test this properly. But, deep testing is not my goal. My goal is to run some basic smoke tests with your help to make a decision whether to keep or return this product. Of course, there is no liability for your suggestions .