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Top Tips for How To Calibrate a Gas Detector

Top Tips for How To Calibrate a Gas Detector

Gas detectors and other forms of personal protection equipment are vital to minimizing the risks workers face in confined spaces or potentially hazardous environments. Specifically, gasses can be impossible to detect with human senses alone, so a gas detector may be a worker’s only lifeline to protect themselves with. Gas detectors aren’t helpful, however, if your workers don’t know how to operate them properly. Here are the top tips for how to calibrate a gas detector.

Calibration Drift

To begin, we need to establish that gas detectors, like similar instruments, need to be regularly re-calibrated so they stay as accurate as possible. The calibration of your detector will naturally shift over time due to a process called calibration drift. This occurs due to the chemical degradation of sensors and the natural drift of electronic components. For example, portable gas detection equipment may suffer from this calibration drift due to the hazardous and intense environments they are carried through—there are several variables, such as temperature, humidity, airborne particles and vapors, sensor inhibitors, and high concentration of gasses, to consider.

Bump Testing

A bump test is not a calibration, but a simple test to confirm that all the sensors are working properly. It is recommended that a bump test be performed before each use. Before you head out to the field, expose the monitor’s sensors to the target gas{es) just to test whether or not the alarm triggers. This doesn't require going into a certain mode on the gas detector.  All you need is the proper mix of gas, a regulator, and the calibration adapter. If the monitor fails the bump test, a full calibration will be required. A bump test takes only a few seconds to perform.

Full Calibration

If bump test results are not acceptable, you’ll need to perform a full calibration. You should always have the manufacturer’s manual on hand for your brand of gas monitor. Calibration usually takes a few minutes to perform and requires that you enter into a certain mode on your gas monitor. A calibration requires the proper mix of calibration gas for your monitor, a regulator, and the instruments calibration adaptor. We also can perform calibrations for you.

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