Ensuring your gas detection equipment is regularly maintained and calibrated is essential to keeping your business safe. Failing to do so can void your insurance and put your workforce at risk.
Calibrating your instruments involves feeding a known concentration of certified test gas into the sensors to ensure their readings match. The software within the instrument then adjusts the gain levels to compensate for any drop-off in sensor response.
1. Keep Track of Your Calibrations
Whether you have one industrial gas monitor or a large fleet, keeping track of your calibrations is important. This will ensure that your equipment is always working properly and that it is able to perform its duties in an accurate manner.
There are a number of different ways to maintain and calibrate your gas analyzers. One of the most common is using software that can help you keep track of your calibrations and provide an easier way to record and analyze your calibration data.
This is a great way to improve the efficiency of your company and save money on labor costs, as it helps to reduce the time needed to manage your gas analyzers. It also allows you to make better decisions and improve productivity while ensuring that your gas analyzers are always up to date with their current calibrations.
It is a good idea to keep track of your calibrations by creating a log sheet that will allow you to track all the details of your measurements and how often they were taken. This will ensure that you are aware of any errors that may occur and can take the necessary action to correct them.
Another way to keep track of your calibrations is to use a gas sensor that is compatible with the calibration gas that you are using. This will help you to avoid any problems with your monitors because it will prevent any possible conflicts between the two systems.
The gas sensor can also help you detect any issues with your gas monitor, including if it is not working correctly and if the monitor has stopped functioning. This will allow you to get in touch with the manufacturer if it is needed.
Finally, it is also a good idea to perform measurement system analysis (MSA) on your gas sensors and analyzers to see if any issues with the instrument need to be fixed before sending it to the lab for a new calibration. This will allow your test engineers to fix any issues they might have found with the product, which can lead to a more successful calibration at the lab.
2. Keep the Analyzer Clean
One of the most important things to remember when maintaining and calibrating an industrial gas analyzer is that it is an expensive piece of equipment that must be cleaned thoroughly. This includes the internal and any external components that are not being abused. As such, the best practice is to regularly wash down your analyzer with a non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner. Using the correct type of liquid will ensure that your analyzer stays in tip-top condition for many years to come.
Keeping your device clean is no easy feat, especially in a work environment where it may be shared or transported between different sites. Fortunately, several products on the market can help you get the job done. From there, you can then get down to the business of ensuring that your equipment is functioning at its optimum level so you can get the most out of it and make it last longer. The next best step is to get in touch with the experts to find out which products are right for you and your team.
3. Check Your Calibration Gas
Many different factors can affect an instrument’s performance and accuracy, including wear and tear, chemical degradation of sensors, and electronic drift. Regardless of the reason for the instrument’s drift, it should be checked and re-calibrated on a regular basis.
When it comes to maintaining and calibrating industrial gas analyzers, a key part of the process is ensuring that you are using accurate and dependable calibration gases. Incorrect or expired gas can cause the device to display inaccurate readings and may lead to a failure condition.
The best way to ensure that you are using the right gases for your detector is to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. This will help you know the proper concentration of gas to use, whether single-gas or multi-gas type, and the appropriate size canister for your monitor.
Also, it is important to ensure that the calibration gas is not mixed with other substances that could contaminate the gas and alter its sensitivity or accuracy. This is especially true for gas monitors with multiple sensors that need to be re-calibrated to work properly.
One of the most important aspects of this step is ensuring that the calibration gas you are using is certified and traceable by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). This will ensure that you are working with an accurate, dependable gas suitable for your instrument.
In addition, make sure that the disposable calibration gas cylinders you are using have an expiration date. Expired gas is usually caused by moisture and oxygen reacting with the gas, which will change the concentration of the gas in your cylinder.
It is also important to understand how to perform a bump test before you begin using your gas detectors. This simple and inexpensive method will ensure that your detectors are working properly before you use them in a real-world environment.
4. Perform a Bump Test
Industrial gas detectors are often used in harsh environments like mining and manufacturing. They are often dropped and exposed to extreme temperatures, humidity, dust, and mud, which can all affect their performance. If your gas monitor has been subjected to these conditions, it will need to be recalibrated as soon as possible.
Calibration is the process of comparing the readings of a gas detector to a known concentration of toxic or combustible gas to ensure that it’s functioning properly. It’s vital to maintaining a safe working environment and keeping workers safe from dangerous gases.
A calibration will typically be performed before each use and monthly thereafter, although this can vary depending on the type of work the instrument is used for. It’s also recommended that gas detectors be bump tested before each shift to ensure they are in working order and that the alarms respond appropriately to the target gas.
The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) recommends performing daily bump tests on gas detection equipment and less frequent tests when the equipment is in a less hazardous environment or where there is no possibility of a change in work atmosphere. This is based on field data, safety procedures, industry best practices, and regulatory requirements.
During the bump test, the gas detector’s sensors are briefly exposed to a target gas at a concentration that is higher than the alarm set points. It’s important to understand that bump testing only checks that the gas will trigger all of the alarms in the monitor.
Bump testing is not full calibration and should be performed by an experienced technician. A full calibration is a more thorough process, exposing the detector to toxic gas at a concentration that exceeds the lower alarm preset.
The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) defines a bump test as a functional check that exposes a gas detector’s sensors to a challenge gas sufficient enough to activate audio, visual, and other alarms in the instrument. It’s important to remember that bump testing only tests the sensor response, it doesn’t test the alarms on the device.