Which Gas detector Probe should I choose?
Definition: A gas detector probe is a device used to enable gas testers to take samples from specific locations when using electronically pumped or hand aspirated instruments.
Gas detector Probes help gas testers detect gases in many different work scenarios. All instrument manufacturers such as: Draeger, Crowcon, MSA, RAE Systems, Honeywell and Blackline Safety offer one or more probes for use with their own gas detectors. Each has its own preferred design and these include: telescopic probes, barhole-leakage probes, long, short, fat, thin and even floating probes. But gas detector probes are just a small part of a large range of accessories available for your gas detection equipment. The problem is – their selection and purchase can be both confusing and expensive.
Where Do You Start?
For all of you who own a gas detectors fitted with a pump of aspirator bulb, the selection of the right sample tubing and probe can be a bit of puzzle. Most of us automatically assume we should use the probe supplied by the instrument manufacture. But when we investigate what’s on offer, we often find there is just one rather underwhelming probe – or a whole range of equally unimpressive, expensive alternatives.
To further complicate things, the section of sample tubing and filters is often clouded in secrecy in an attempt to lure you into buying highly inflated consumables from the one supplier.
So, as promised, we are going to discuss how to save money on your gas detection consumables and more importantly where to source the right products for you.
What Makes A Good Gas Detector Probe?
As already mentioned there are many styles of gas detector probes on the market. Some are designed for leak tracing, others for applications such as: road surveys, confined space entry, hot work testing and purging. But all have the same basic design criteria and careful examination of their basic components is needed to properly understand what makes for a good probe and which ones to avoid.
- The Probe Part – Fundamentally a gas detector probe is used to collect gas samples from a specific location. So the actual “probee bit” can be as simple as a rigid piece of tube made from what ever material you can lay your hands on. So in theory, anyone could make their own probe – and often do!
- The Handle – Purpose made gas detector probes include a handle for comfort and dexterity. The handle can also provide a housing for pre-filters and a suitable connection to the sample tubing linking the probe to the gas detector pump.
- Pre-Filters – These filter out any unwanted materials such as liquids and dust. Why are they needed? Because Ingress of dust and liquids are the most likely cause of damage to any pumped or hand aspirated gas detector and often result in large repair bills. Most modern gas detectors are IP rated to a reasonably high level to ensure protection from liquids and dusts; however, once you turn the pump on, the IP rating disappears as the pump and its accessories are easily damaged by the various contaminants sucked into them.
- Sample Tube – The sample tube is a flexible tube which connects the probe and probe handle to the gas detectors pump let. It can be as simple some clean rubber tubing and is usually about 1 meter long (or the length of your arm.)
Editors note: “Before considering to make your own probe – first read the following article on probe design and there potential problems. Probes and samples lines have to be compatible with the gases you are looking to detect. Failure to do so can lead to erroneous gas testing results leading to personal injury or even death!”
There are a number of specialist probes on the market for testing in specific scenarios. for example sampling:
- Hot gases
- From large tanks
- Above liquids
- Through letter boxes
- In tunnels and
- Roads surveys
“Choosing the right gas detector probe will make your life much easier and save you a lot of money in the long run.”
Before Purchasing A Gas Detector Probe
We strongly recommend you think before purchasing because – “choosing the right gas detector probe will make your life much easier and save you a lot of money in the long run.”
So the purpose of this article is to raise the section of gas detector probes in the minds of gas testers. We also want to point out, there isn’t a currently, a one fits all probe on the market, which is low cost, robust and adaptable to meet all your gas testing needs. That is until NOW.
“Here at Arobase Gas Testing – we have been working on a simple low cost universal gas detector probe and it will be available from the end of July!”
Having spent the last 12 months experimenting with different designs we arrived at a complete specification which has been sent to our production team for construction.
In the next article we will discuss the new gas detector probe specification in detail. The article will also highlight the advantages of moving to a simpler gas detector probe design and consider some of the failings of the alternatives in the marketplace.