Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By footrat

Thread: Multi Gas Detectors and what to use?

  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Multi Gas Detectors and what to use?

    My department is looking to get all new Multi gas detectors. 5-6 total. Our main concerns are economy of mainmenance and ease of use. We currently use Micro Max units and we have noticed they burn through sensors. Doing some research I have found that MSA offers 3 year warrenties on their sensors and they use less cal. gas for calibration and bump tests. We were looking at ALTAIR 4X or ALTAIR 5X. Both units have thier merits. MSAs have 3 yr warrenties on everything but MicroMax has lifetime warrenties on the electronics. The 4X is diffusion only unless you buy the pump seperate where the 5X has the pump built in.

    A few questions,

    1) Have y'all used the MSA units? Do you like them? Are they easy to replace sensors, etc.?

    2) Are there other units you would reccommend we look at?

    3) Would you say a pump is essential? Is diffusion enough?


  2. #2
    Forum Member footrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Porterdale, GA
    Posts
    209

    Default

    Having used the Altair at CDP in Anniston, I am not a fan. There are better, easier 4- and 5-gas meters. We use the Honeywell Impact Pro, and we've got around 15 of them. They get rotated on the charging stations every shift, with the two units at our hazmat station each carrying 3 on board.

    I would say that a pump is necessary for a hazmat team. There are many situations where diffusion is just not enough to get the product into the meter. Pumps do create issues, though, if you get things into them. We almost never use a wand with our meters, but pumps are a good thing to have anyways. The Impact Pro is a very user-serviceable meter, and we do everything in-house.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Port Allen, LA
    Posts
    148

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by footrat View Post
    Having used the Altair at CDP in Anniston, I am not a fan. There are better, easier 4- and 5-gas meters. We use the Honeywell Impact Pro, and we've got around 15 of them. They get rotated on the charging stations every shift, with the two units at our hazmat station each carrying 3 on board.

    I would say that a pump is necessary for a hazmat team. There are many situations where diffusion is just not enough to get the product into the meter. Pumps do create issues, though, if you get things into them. We almost never use a wand with our meters, but pumps are a good thing to have anyways. The Impact Pro is a very user-serviceable meter, and we do everything in-house.
    I'd have to agree with you there. I've been using the Impact Pro since it was owned by Zellweiger. Super easy field calibration, sensor pack change out etc. Our 12 month sensor pack usually lasts around 18 months. It will alarm when turned on after 12 months giving you a warning that the sensors are expired but the factory rep told me that as long as it calibrates to just acknowledge the warning and keep on using it until it fails calibration.

    Mike Dunn

  4. #4
    Forum Member footrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Porterdale, GA
    Posts
    209

    Default

    Probably half or more of our Impact Pros are Zellweigers. I just figured it was easier to call them Honeywells, since someone looking to purchase won't find them marked Zellweiger.

    We do about the same. We try to keep calibration on time, though. It's really annoying to check them every day for the two weeks before calibration is due.

    Back to 4/5 gas meters in general, though. Having something with a PID is a huge benefit. For that reason, I recommend buying a 5-gas that will detect VOC's. There are plenty of environments where you may not have ANY hit on LEL, but you're in an IDLH environment simply because the PPM is too high.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Port Allen, LA
    Posts
    148

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by footrat View Post
    Back to 4/5 gas meters in general, though. Having something with a PID is a huge benefit. For that reason, I recommend buying a 5-gas that will detect VOC's. There are plenty of environments where you may not have ANY hit on LEL, but you're in an IDLH environment simply because the PPM is too high.
    Very true but PIDs won't tell you what chemical is there and if the chemical has an IP that is outside the meter's lamp eV then it won't detect it at all. Unless we carry a portable GC/MS (which are really expensive) then we just have to play it safe and utilize appropriate respiratory protection and ventilation.

    Mike

  6. #6
    Forum Member footrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Porterdale, GA
    Posts
    209

    Default

    True dat. That's why it'd be nice if the hotter lamps lasted longer and weren't so darned expensive.
    hazmathfd likes this.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Port Allen, LA
    Posts
    148

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by footrat View Post
    True dat. That's why it'd be nice if the hotter lamps lasted longer and weren't so darned expensive.
    Yep, a 6 month life or less out of the 11.7 lamp and a price upwards of $700 depending on the manufacturer. Humidity plays a part in lamp degradation too which definitely includes south Louisiana where our temperature and humidity add up to 180.....lol

  8. #8
    Forum Member MichaelXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    354

    Default

    We have the industrial Scientific ITX multi-gas monitor. It has some hidden buttons which I don't like and is not very intuitive. I would not recommend it as it has a learning curve to set up.

    I once was asked to show the last cal date on the meter, for the life of me I could not find it. After reading the manual that function was disabled by someone and I had to turn it back on. Grrr.
    Last edited by MichaelXYZ; 07-30-2013 at 06:50 PM.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Livonia, MI
    Posts
    35

    Default Msa

    I like the Altair 4X series just because you can beat the living crap out of them and they hold up real well. That being said, what everyone said above applies: You should really have some sort of pumped unit for hazmat response, and the MSA Universal Pump/Probe thing is absurdly expensive to me.

    I'd disagree with anyone putting a 4-gas + PID instrument together. Putting a PID on a 4-gas means you're going to destroy the filter on your CO sensor within 2-3 months, which means you're going to start seeing false positives. 100ppm Isobutylene (which you use to calibrate the PID) absolutely wrecks those CO filters. If you want to look for VOCs, get a straight VOC meter like a MiniRAE.

    RAE units are nice, but ungodly expensive and prepare to send them in for pump repairs on the regular if they're seeing a lot of use. Same goes for the RKI-2003 and RKI-2012 units.

    I really like the MSA Altair 5X units, but they're certainly not cheap either, and the fact that you can't detach the pump if there's a problem is a pain. If the pump fails on site when you suck something up, and your unit doesn't have a detachable pump, you're holding a paperweight basically.

    I'd stay away from the GfG units currently, their battery problems make the things near unusable after a year or two in my opinion, unless you're using alkalines.

    I like what everyone said about the Impact Pros. They're really solid dependable units that are user friendly. If the pump screws up, you just flip the cap off and you have a working diffusion monitor. The bump/cal Enforcer is reasonably priced as well. They're supposed to be coming out with a new unit in this product line soon from what I hear, so I'm not sure if you should wait a few months to check. Personally, I'd be looking to throw those MicroMax units in the garbage ASAP.

    I like the BW Quattros, they're really user friendly and it's easy to see the screen, but there's no pump. The BW GasAlertMax XTII is a good pumped unit, nice big screen that's easy to read and use as well. The only problem there is dealing with tech support from Honeywell on the BW line is brutal. God help you if you need warranty repairs in a timely fashion and don't have a distributor next door to you. MSA at least has some really good customer service.

    I'd say if I had to recommend any pumped units, it'd be the Impact Pros if you're willing to buy the sensor cartridges every 2 years and do the replacements yourself, and between the MSA Altair 5X and BW Technologies GasAlertMax XTII.

    James Moore
    Ideal Calibrations
    James Moore
    http://www.idealcalibrations.com
    ----
    "It's still alarming, how do I get it to stop?"
    "Have you tried getting your *** out of the god $#@!$# building?"

  10. #10
    Forum Member footrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Porterdale, GA
    Posts
    209

    Default

    We use single-gas Gas Alert Extremes. We've got them for Ammonia, Chlorine, and NO2. I've never used one on a response, but they're certainly simple and easy to use. If the multi-gas versions are the same, I'd feel fine using one.

    We do all of our own work on the Impact Pros, which is a great thing from a cost-saving perspective.

    We also have a MiniRae 3000, but I've never used it on a call, either.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Portable Multi-Gas Detectors
    By davidsla in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-11-2008, 04:40 PM
  2. Bio Detectors
    By Bryan5871 in forum Hazardous Materials General Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-11-2008, 03:28 PM
  3. MSA multi-gas detectors
    By toddman in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-07-2007, 08:52 AM
  4. Multi Gas Detectors
    By scar9010 in forum Hazardous Materials General Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-16-2003, 05:43 PM
  5. Multi-Gas Detectors
    By firenresq77 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-03-2003, 10:32 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts