Public Lab Research note

Waterproof Housing for Arduino Conductivity Meter

by jenniferdsara | November 13, 2014 02:15 13 Nov 02:15 | #11338 | #11338

What I want to do

Using the Arduino Uno, we have made a device that measures temperature and conductivity for water quality monitoring purposes. Our challenge is building a container that will protect the arduino from water damage that is durable and affordable. We hope that our approach can serve others who are also trying to find ways to waterproof their devices.

Riffle-esque WQ Monitoring Calibrating Arduino-based Conductivity Meter

My attempt and results


3 in. x 2 ft. PVC Sch. 40 Pipe 3in. PVC DWV Cap 3 in. PVC DWV Hub x FIPT Female Adapter 3 in. PVC MIPT Cleanout Plug Pipe Joint Compound Silicone II Kitchen & Bath Clear Caulk w/ BioSeal Solid Rubber Stopper Stainless Steel Screws Purple Primer PVC cement


1. The PVC pipe was cut down to roughly 5 inches.
2. Outlets were made to fit thethermistor and conductivity probes (stainless steel screws) through the Cleanout Plug

The hole for the thermistor was made large enough to fit a 1/2 in. x 5/16 in rubber stopper.
The thermistor was threaded through the rubber stopper through a whole made with a small drill bit.
Testing the thermistor & conductivity probes

3. Putting the parts together


The 3in. PVC DWV Cap and PVC pipe were sealed together using Purple Primer and PVC Cement

You can follow this easy "how-to" guide for proper application of the primer and cement.

For easy access to the arduino hardware, the cap equipped with thermistor and conductivity probe screws on and off.

Questions and next steps

To test for water leaks, we have submerged the housing(without the arduino) into a bucket of water for 24 hours. Metal chains were placed inside the housing to keep it underwater.


PVC pipe works well. What are you using exactly--can you post a photo?

For PVC, you can choose whatever diameter pipe you need then glue a cap on one end and a threaded fitting on the other for a removable screw cap or plug. You can get dye-free PVC primer that will remove the ink stamp on PVC as well as prep the ends for gluing without making dye marks (see ). If needed, you can use anti seize compound, teflon tape and/or dow corning high vacuum grease on the threaded cap or plug if it proves difficult to remove.

Aside from DIY, the gold standard of instrument cases is probably the Pelican case, available in a variety of sizes. I wouldn't use it as a buoy but they're used for all sorts of outdoor instruments. I have a small one I take kayaking to keep my cell and wallet dry--very durable and waterproof.


Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

Reply to this comment...

You can melt and mould milk bottle plastic if you heat it up.

Reply to this comment...

@amysoyka, do you have a reference or a research note for this? I'm wondering how clean and simple that would be. Any specific applications to waterproofing?

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

Reply to this comment...

Login to comment.