Why Your Gas Detector Isn’t Working Properly

November 24, 2021
Why Your Gas Detector Isn’t Working Properly

Faulty gas detection instruments can be fatal. There are many factors in the workplace that can cause a gas detector to fail. Companies and their workers should understand why their gas detection equipment might not be working properly to ensure safety for all personnel in the future. 

One factor that can result in compromised equipment is the environment, such as dirt, dust and water. These effects can block gases and vapors from entering the sensor chamber, preventing the detection of the gases. This can be either within the sensor area, sampling pump or sample lines. Dropping and other abuse can also damage the instrument from working properly, or at the least change the ability of the detector from measuring accurately.  

High gas exposure will change the calibration curve of the sensors, resulting in false or inaccurate readings. Extremely high concentrations can kill the sensor’s ability to measure gas. Further, many sensors can fail since they will not be able to provide a warning that they have failed. In fact, many provide a zero (0) indication on the meter reading, which suggests they are working correctly when they are not.

Catalytic combustible gas sensors can be poisoned by silicone-based compounds and airborne lead, which can kill the sensor’s abilities. Inhibitors such as sulfur compounds and chlorine compounds reduce the sensor’s response and in some cases reduce the sensor’s ability to measure some gases. In this case, sensors can be poisoned by other gases which are absorbed into the sensor chamber and react with the electrode catalyst.

Storing instruments in an environment that is either too cold or too hot can affect the ability of the sensors to measure accurately as well. Moisture condensing on or in the sensor can occur when oxygen sensors contain moisture, condensing in the capillary tube in the sensor. 

All sensors from all manufacturers drift over time due to natural wear and tear. Calibration brings the sensor back into equilibrium and provides accurate readings, assisting in the prevention of faulty instruments and ensuring the product is working optimally. 

DOD Technologies offers enhanced systems and continuous monitoring solutions, making us the leader in gas detection for a variety of applications. With over 150 years of combined instrumentation and application expertise, our solutions meet the most stringent requirements to help keep your employees, operations and public health safe.

Contact DOD Technologies today at (815) 788-5200 or through our online form for more information regarding which device is suitable for your application, or to speak with a representative.