08-03-2009, 11:59 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
Searching for info on multi-gas meters
I am looking for some feedback on some personal experiances with multi gas meters. Looking for LEL/CO/02. Main use would be residential/commercial CO calls, overhaul. No real confined space or specialty uses. Rugged, reghargeable, easy to use, RELIABLE!. Any insight would be appreciated.
08-04-2009, 11:27 PM #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
I know in Dallas we use Rae Equipment. The Q-rae's have been excellent monitors. They are easy to use, calibrate, and replace sensors. Stay away from BW. They are cheap and you get what you pay for. Have an Industrial Scientific which works very well also. Not sure about MSA. Have also Sensit's which are very good for CO, O2 and Natural Gas. They are not rechargeable, but for an extended operation you can always go to a store and buy "C" batteries. We have both rechargeable and alkaline batteries on our instruments. Hop this helps
08-05-2009, 12:10 AM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
Thanks for the feedback
I totally agree about the BW...junk. Ours is O.O.S. more often than not. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
08-09-2009, 12:36 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
Things to look for/ think about; do you want the pump integral to the unit; do you want replaceable sensors and how much can you spend. My department has MSA, they are a little quirky and have failed me when we have needed it. I am the EHS manager at a chemical plant and we have settled on Industrial Scientific MX40s, because they are cheap (sensors are not replaceable) and our workers don't take care of them, but they hold up pretty well until they get dropped in a tank of solvent or crushed by a forklift. I have purchased the upper end industrial scientific models in the past and they are almost indestructible, but all gas meters are dependent on their sensors. Note there are only two manufactures of the actual O2 sensors in the world, so what you really need to look at is the quality of the case, the electronics and the pump. I would recommend getting the vendor to let you try a few for a few days. If they won't then they probably don't sell that many. Some of the national safety supply vendors may give you a better deal than a fire supply vendor.
08-11-2009, 12:43 AM #5
- Join Date
- May 2009
- Livonia, MI
I work with and repair monitors daily; there are a few things you want to look into when buying a multigas meter aside from the obvious cost issues.
I'll agree with everyone above who has been having issues with BW lately, I've had 3 in this week in need of oxygen sensors, and they've all been warranty repairs because they're dying before they should.
The first thing I'd look at is whether or not you want to go with a pump or a diffusion model. In cases which aren't confined space entry, I always recommend against a pump, or at least against an integrated pump. Pumps (especially RAE unfortunately) go bad or change flow rate without warning sometimes. If a pump isn't delivering gas or anything disconnects internally, you aren't warned and won't know if your monitor is seeing gas. For this reason, I don't like the integrated pumps of the MSA Orion or the MultiRae I see the RAEs more often than the Orions for sure though.
The second thing I'd look for is the sensors involved. Stay away from sensor packs (like the 3M 4 gas meters), they always end up with dead oxygen cells and you have to buy a whole new pack even though your H2S, LEL, and CO sensors are still running like new. Oxygen sensors are always the soonest to go. GfG makes a great 4gas monitor called the 450 which has a 3 year warranty on the oxygen sensor as opposed to the normal 2 year. Figure on spending $125 or so every two years (or 3 years for GfG) on a new oxygen sensor. BW and Biosystems both have good people behind their warranties. Biosystem ships next day air for dead warranty sensor replacements, and BW takes about a week and a half to two weeks. I get new sensors from GfG the next day, but I'm only a half hour away from their manufacturing facility, not sure what it'd take if you were out in California.
You were asking for rugged, and I'm not certain how necessary this is for CO house calls, but MSA gear is darned near indestructible in the Altair series. Waterproofing and the whole bit. Most monitors out there, GfG, BW, Biosystems, etc. are all water resistant and droppable, but I've actually calibrated an Altair monitor while dunking it in a bucket to test its waterproofing, and it really made an impression on me. RAEs are fine as long as they are in the boot, but outside of the boot they're a bit fragile. I see a lot with screws falling out internally.
I'd really look a lot at two things you haven't mentioned: size + weight and the readability of the monitor. For size and weight, they have to be small and able to be hooked on your gear with minimal notice. If you're only using them for CO calls then it's fine to have them held in your hand the whole time, but if you ever use it while you're on site for something requiring your hands, you're in trouble if you can't clip it on in a place you can easily read it. For this my favorite monitor is the GfG 450, it has a top mounted display and is lightweight enough to be clipped to a belt without notice. I like the top mounted display because I know if I go down a ladder and it goes off I won't have to remove a hand from the ladder to look at the monitor.
For readability, I'm torn between the IndSci MX6 with the full color screen and the GfG 450. The MX6 is full color and has a windows based operating system. It is EXTREMELY easy to get the hang of and is very powerful. My only qualm with it is that it's pretty and people like to play with it. The GfG 450 has a 3 color screen, it is lit green when it is safe, orange when it detects a preselected range, and then red when it is time to just drop everything and get out. Makes it very simple on anyone who has just picked up the monitor.
Hope all this helped, give me a call if you have any other questions I can help on.
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