To avoid downtime, gas detectors need to be bump tested daily, calibrated monthly, and charged after most shifts.
Bump tests—or functional tests—protect you on the job by ensuring that your gas monitor will alert you to harmful levels of gas. When bump testing, gas detector sensors are briefly exposed to a concentration of gas that is higher than the alarm set points to verify that the sensors on your gas detector will respond and an alarm will go off as expected.
NOTE: Bump tests do not check the accuracy of the gas reading—just that the sensors and alarms are working. The only way to know that your gas detector works is by bump testing it before each shift.
The easiest way to bump test your monitor is with a docking station that automatically tests the gas detector on a set schedule. This eliminates the time and hassle of manual bump testing. If a docking station is not available, you can also bump test manually with calibration gas.
Calibration ensures your gas detector can accurately detect gas levels. Calibrating the monitor means exposing it to a known concentration of calibration gas or test gas for a specific amount of time. This reading becomes the gas detector’s reference point for future readings.
Repeating the gas detector calibration process is crucial to ensuring accurate readings. Sensors can drift over time, and poisons and inhibitors can affect gas readings—that’s why monthly calibration is imperative.
To manually calibrate your gas detector, use tubing. To automatically calibrate your monitor on a set schedule, use a docking station. Calibrating your gas detector with a docking station also allows you to access past calibration records and easily generate calibration certificates for compliance purposes.
Using incorrect or expired calibration gas can lead to an improper calibration, meaning your gas detector won’t display accurate readings. This simple mistake can have life-altering consequences, so it’s important to always check the contents and expiration date of your calibration gas bottles. Once a bottle is expired, you should not use it because chemical reactions can take place inside the container and alter the contents.
Charging gas detectors after a shift ensures that they always have the power they need. In addition to performing bump tests and calibration, docking stations can also charge and perform other maintenance tasks while gas detectors are docked, making them a great option for keeping gas detectors in prime condition.
However, gas detectors also have microprocessors, pumps, and other components that may decline in performance over time. To completely avoid downtime, iNet Exchange enables your docking station to scan the performance of these other components and will automatically replace declining monitors before you experience downtime.