Gas canisters used for bump testing and calibration
Posted in: Gas Detection

How to Calibrate your Gas Detector

While working with gases and gas detectors it is always crucial that you be able to test that they are working. By "working" you might mean two things. Firstly the detector must function. It needs to be able to turn on, and the sensor must be able to detect gas. Secondly the gas detector must be able to report the gas in the area accurately.

Bump Testing the Sensor

A “Bump Test” is a test which confirms that the sensor on your gas detector is working, and is able to detect gas. You should not confuse this test with calibration which you use to ensure the device is able to accurately tell you how much gas there is.

Beyond testing that you are able to turn your device on and see that it is functional a bump test is the most basic test you can conduct. You should bump test regularly, as much as every week.

Bump testing is a simple procedure which involves a bump canister of the gas you want to detect, some tygon tubing, and optionally a balloon.

You connect the canister and gas detector by the Tygon tubing. Once ready to begin a small amount of gas, but still enough to trigger the sensor, is blown through the tube.

If the gas detector is working properly the bump gas will cause the alarm to go off. This lets you know the gas detector is working properly. If the alarm does not go off there may be issues with the gas detector and you should not used it.

What about Calibration?

Unlike a bump test, calibration tells you that the gas detector is correctly reporting the amount of gas it is detecting.

Calibration drift is normal. Except for some disposable devices, you will need to calibrate every gas detector. How often you should do this depends on detector itself and you will find instructions with the device.

Similarly you'll find directions on how to calibrate your device in the included manual.

For any questions about calibrating your gas detection devices, or for any questions about gas detection best practices Concept Controls is available to help. Please call us at 1-800-793-9548.

February 11, 2021
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