NO QUESTION IS A STUPID QUESTION IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER…
We have compiled a series of questions and answers that we have been asked over the years.
If there’s anything you would like to know/ask about gas analysis, please get in touch and we will be more than happy to answer…
1) WHY SHOULD I USE A GAS MONITOR?
You should use a gas monitor if you have any gas on site. Having a monitor will help to protect you and your staff from life threatening events by alerting you to dangerous levels of gas readings.
2) WHAT IF THERE IS A CO2 LEAK AND I DON’T HAVE A CO2 MONITOR?
If there is a CO2 leak and you do not have an appropriate CO2 monitor in place, asphyxiation could occur as the CO2 would replace the oxygen in the blood. If you were exposed to higher concentration (around 40,000 ppm) then this would be extremely dangerous to life and could result in death.
3) WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CARBON MONOXIDE AND CARBON DIOXIDE?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is readily removed from your body by your lungs, it quickly jumps out of your bloodstream and is passed out by your lungs. It is safe in small amounts, but can be very dangerous if the level reaches around 3-5%.
Carbon monoxide (CO) sticks to your red blood cells. Once it attaches to them it is very difficult to get it out, and no oxygen can bind to the cells anymore meaning you become hypoxic. It only takes a tiny amount of carbon monoxide to do serious harm. Carbon monoxide is dangerous in amounts as small as 70ppm.
4) ARE GAS DETECTORS EASY TO USE AND INSTALL?
Yes, our monitors are designed in a way that any technician should be able to install them. We pride ourselves on making our systems as simple and hassle free as possible to use and install.
5) WHAT HEIGHT SHOULD I INSTALL MY SENSORS?
Carbon dioxide sensors should be installed near to the ground as close to the source as possible. For example, in a cellar they should be around 12”-18” from the ground and next to the gas bottles. Oxygen sensors should be installed at working head height. In an office, this would be at sitting height; in an area where people work standing up, at standing head height.
6) DO I NEED A SENSOR IN EVERY ROOM?
We would recommend installing a sensor in any room where there is a risk of gas leaking.
7) WHERE SHOULD I FIT THE ALARM UNITS/REPEATERS?
Alarm sounders should be installed in the danger area as well as at the entrance to the area, to alert people to evacuate if they’re inside as well as not to enter if they’re outside.
8) HOW OFTEN WILL MY GAS MONITOR REQUIRE MAINTENANCE?
Our CO2 sensors are designed to be very low maintenance. They automatically calibrate over time. The only thing you need to do is to bump test them every couple of years to make sure they are still working within specification. Oxygen sensors require annual calibration using calibration gas. This can be carried out on-site and is a fairly simple process.
9) WHAT ARE RELAYS, AND WHAT CAN THEY BE USED FOR?
Relays are electronically controlled switches. They can be used to switch a device on/off in the case of an alarm. For example, you could automatically turn on a fan to ventilate or automatically switch off the gas supply.
10) WHAT DO I DO IF THE ALARM IS TRIGGERED?
We would recommend ventilating the danger area and ensure nobody enters. If it is safe to do so, switch off the gas. Contact your gas supplier and ask them to check for leaks.
11) WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ‘QUICK CONNECT’ AND ‘HARD WIRED’?
Quick connect units use an RJ45 connector and the sensors plug together. Hard wired units are wired directly using terminals. The advantage of quick connect is that it’s quicker and easier to set up, but hardwired units have a higher IP rating (they’re more water/dust proof).
12) WHAT DOES THE ACCURACY SPEC MEAN ON THE DATASHEET?
For CO2, this tells you at what level the unit will go into alarm at a minimum/maximum. For Oxygen it tells you the measurement uncertainty for the reading on screen.
13) WHAT IS 4-20MA AND MODBUS?
They are both output options to allow the readings to be sent to another system. 4-20mA is an industry standard analogue output, there is one channel for each sensor. MODBUS is a digital communications protocol that allows sensor parameters to be sent to a building management system.
14) WHAT’S THE MAXIMUM DISTANCE BETWEEN THE DISPLAY AND THE SENSORS?
The distance between the central display and the final sensor in the chain should be no more than 100m.
15) HOW MUCH AREA DOES ONE SENSOR PROTECT?
We recommend one sensor per 80m3. In a totally open space, we recommend each sensor should be no more than 10m apart. Each installation should be considered individually to account for the particular layout e.g partially enclosed areas, partition walls, obstructions, etc.