Monday, June 27, 2011

Gas Detection Mythbuster!


So what about cleaning the lamps in your PID gas detector?

First, I asked the question I raised in the last post:  the one where I've used my 5 gas detector (H2S, CO, CH4, LEL, O2, and PID)- is the lamp compromised and how would I user know.  I already know the answer to this, but it was interesting to see how many gas technical support people did not.  They were all well meaning and helpful, but not field experienced.

Here's the first response I received and you wouldn't believe what gas detection company it was from- "Well, if you want to know if it's still good, just run a 100 ppm isobutylene calibration gas standard and if it comes up any where within 30 - 40 ppm of where it's supposed to be, it's still okay."

Really?  Does that mean it can still tell the difference between air freshner and horseshit? 

Here's the right answer: after you've been in a hazardous gas detection event that involves smoke or chemical fog, take the lamp out and clean it.  Don't leave chemical fog or smoke on your lamp.  Then calibrate the unit.  If it doesn't meet the normal specs- get a new lamp.  Don't risk your health.

Mythbuster of the Day:  Only RAE Systems PID lamps can be cleaned by the user.  WRONG.  Ask Bob Henderson of GFG or Joe Glorioso of MSA and they'll tell you straight.  Their lamps can be clearned, too.  That's why their companies sell lamp cleaning kits to their customers.

Don't let the anyone tell you otherwise.  Talk to a gas detector calibration expert. 

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