Turnaround season is around the corner. Have you considered gas detector rental for your equipment needs? Turnarounds often require an increased number of workers who use gas detection to avoid hazards including oxygen deficiency, combustible gases (typically displayed as LEL), carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, and VOCs. To meet this need, companies must decide whether to rent or buy portable gas detection equipment. Here are some options to consider.
Gas Detector Rental
You may choose to rent gas detection equipment for your next turnaround and other short-term needs such as in outages, emergencies, special projects, etc. Not all gas detector rental programs offer the same benefits. Be sure to scope out the project and ask the right questions:
- When does the rental period start, and when does it end? Some rental companies start the clock the day the equipment leaves their facility; others start it the day it is received.
- What is included with the gas detectors? For example, if you're getting a monitor with a rechargeable battery, ask if the charger will be included.
- What gas detector accessories would be ideal for a given application? Ask the rental company about accessories that might make the job easier.
- Do I need to pay for sensors that fail while in use? Some rental companies make up the internal expenses of maintaining their rental fleet by charging customers for sensors that fail while in use, even if the sensors fail due to normal use.
- Are the monitors pre-calibrated? Ask to have calibration certificates provided with each rental unit.
There are some attractive, low-cost disposable gas detectors available on the market. Before purchasing disposable units, consider the tax factors and disposal costs. Purchasing gas detection equipment is considered a capital expense and must be treated as such at tax time. The entire expense of that purchase cannot be deducted during the year in which it was purchased. The capital costs are amortized or depreciated over the useful life of the piece of equipment. When it comes to disposal, the typical cost of a single gas monitor is upwards of $75.00 each. Batteries, boards and sensors must all be disposed of separately. This involves labor related to disassembly, collection and paperwork, as well as packaging costs and disposal fees.
Expanding your Fleet
Another option is to purchase non-disposable gas detectors to be added to your typical fleet of gas detectors. In this case, companies assume responsibility internally for the maintenance of the instruments. Here are a few things to consider before purchasing extra gas detectors.
- Labor Costs – Bump tests, calibrations, and sensor replacements are some of the time-intensive maintenance tasks associated with portable gas monitors.
- Service Training – It requires time and money to train employees to service instruments.
- Purchasing Parts – With a purchase comes the actual cost of parts and pieces, plus taxes.
Another option is to purchase additional gas detectors for use in the turnaround, and then use a third party to perform the maintenance on those instruments. Here, too, are frequent and unforeseen costs:
- Third-Party Service Fees – The costs of third-party servicing can be high.
- Parts – All parts and pieces associated with instrument repair must be purchased.
- Instrument Downtime – When an instrument is being serviced, you are typically without the equipment for one week, at a minimum.
There are many options to ensure that an increased workforce during a shutdown is properly protected from hazardous gases. Gas detector rental can be the most cost-effective and efficient way to keep workers safe. Consider the unseen costs of purchasing gas monitors versus renting them for short-term needs such as turnarounds.
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