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UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector? (Viewed 419 times)
SirJinx 


Location: Los Angeles Area
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Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
< on 2/12/2009 7:44 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Yeah I know, search the archives and all that. Just looking for a bit of friendly discussion. I plan to do a couple of drains in the near future and was looking for something that could detect whatever evil gases are down in drains and/or mines. I'm guessing it would have to detect multiple gases or maybe I'd need more than one detector.

Does anybody know which products are recommended? I know, I know, search the archives. Just help a dude out, I'm lazy today. Yes, too lazy to hit the search button and figure this is a good topic to revisit anyway.

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AnAppleSnail 


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 1 on 2/12/2009 8:04 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by SirJinx
Yeah I know, search the archives and all that. Just looking for a bit of friendly discussion. I plan to do a couple of drains in the near future and was looking for something that could detect whatever evil gases are down in drains and/or mines. I'm guessing it would have to detect multiple gases or maybe I'd need more than one detector.

Does anybody know which products are recommended? I know, I know, search the archives. Just help a dude out, I'm lazy today. Yes, too lazy to hit the search button and figure this is a good topic to revisit anyway.


I'm lazy about my drains. Most of the ones here have excellent airflow, so as long as I feel a breeze I'm not too worried. If I start feeling lightheaded I leave, although that hasn't happened except for just after standing up after a backbreaker section. I've gone at least a mile up our RCP shrinkers with no ill effects other than a desire to do so again...

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cr400 


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 2 on 2/12/2009 8:11 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Look online at McMaster Carr, or W W Grainger. Look for a four gas tester, try finding one that doesn't need frequent calibration, or find one that is cheap and easy to calibrate. newer ones are the size of a pager, and easy to wear around your neck, old ones like mine are the size of a star trek tricorder and need calibration monthly. Once you see a type you like, then you can keep an eye out on ebay or a pawn shop, or a used industrial equipt store, look at corporate liquidators also.
Good luck.

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trent 

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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 3 on 2/12/2009 8:17 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
As long as you're not going into sanitary sewers, you should be good to go.

He who rules the underground, rules the city above.
terapr0 


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 4 on 2/12/2009 11:49 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I was looking into one of these a few weeks ago and was able to find a reasonably good selection of them on ebay. Most of the ones you find used will be older, and fairly inexpensive (like less than $100 easy). As mentioned above, these units work perfectly well, except are often sold uncalibrated and without replacement sensor cartridges / power supplies etc... While not an insurmountable obstacle for someone really set on owning one, its an extra hassle to try and track down the charger and accessories. You could also buy a new one, but they can cost several hundred dollars (and up) and are, as also previously mentioned, generally overkill for most drains. While its true that all drain systems are confined spaces, and there is always the possibility of encountering "bad air", I'd generally just look for drains with constant, discernible air-flow, and avoid venturing into places with poor ventilation. Most storm drains are "open systems" with largely unobstructed beginnings and ends, and, as such, will have at least some surface air flow. Assuming theres not a LOT of thick, methane rich sediment being disturbed, or some jackass pouring the waste byproducts from his meth-lab into the storm drain, you should be just fine.
In the end of my own search, I decided that as long as I stick to storm drains and the odd CSO, my money would be better spent on the 2 new 300 & 600 lumen flashlights I got instead :p
If I ever decide drains just aren't enough and begin to feel the need for some full on sanitary sewer action, then I'll probably shell out the money for a new one.....I've seen plenty of pictures of explorers safely navigating sanitary sewers without gas meters or SCBA setups, but hey, its only a few hundred bucks, and that's a small price to pay to ensure my parents/girlfriend never have to identify my tattered, broken, thoroughly shit-imbued corpse after collapsing in a sewer and being washed away into the shit-abyss.

just my $0.02....anyone with more experience draining or using / not-using gas meters please feel free to correct anything Ive said.


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tick 


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 5 on 2/12/2009 11:56 PM >
Posted on Forum: Infiltration Forums
 
I used to do permitted confined space entry using a MSA 4-gas meter. The meter was ungodly expensive, the probes needed to be replaced every 2 years (and they're also ungodly expensive), and the unit needed to be calibrated every time it was used, with a special calibration gas (that is also ungodly expensive).

I've run into bad air in drains, mines, and caves... it usually manifests itself in the form of low oxygen/high carbon dioxide, and is usually easy to recognize without the need for an air meter.

If you do feel like you need an air meter, what I would recommend is that you buy a single-gas oxygen meter - unless you're exploring coal mines (please don't) this should be all you need. Preferable one with user-settable alarm levels, and that can be calibrated in open air. Most oxygen meters have a 2-year lifespan before the unit (or the probe) needs to be replaced. This should set you back $200-300.


[last edit 2/12/2009 11:58 PM by tick - edited 2 times]

Sirber 


Location: Québec, QC
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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 6 on 2/13/2009 3:00 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
what about coal mines?

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AnAppleSnail 


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 7 on 2/13/2009 3:55 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Sirber
what about coal mines?


Coal mines are fucking bad news. Buy a canary.

EDIT: Because there's more types of various gases that are poison, and not just oxygen-replaces. Also mines are about the most dangerous caves you'll find...
[last edit 2/13/2009 4:02 AM by AnAppleSnail - edited 1 times]

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dynastar666 


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 8 on 2/13/2009 6:42 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Having a personal 4 gas meter is going to be very, very expensive. By day I'm a firefighter and my department uses IST Single gas (CO) and 3M 4 gas detectors. The monitor unit alone goes for something like $750, the sensor pads are another $250 and the calibration kit is $650 or so. The CO detector is something like $500 and the calibration kit is $200, but you can use that a few times. I've even calibrated it using the exhaust from out trucks.

You could get something like this Personal gas meter

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tick 


Location: Abingdon, VA
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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 9 on 2/13/2009 12:07 PM >
Posted on Forum: Infiltration Forums
 
Posted by Sirber
what about coal mines?


Coal mines are more prone to collapse than most other mines, and the coal itself gives off poisonous gases.

Samurai 

Vehicular Lord Rick


Location: northeastern New York


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 10 on 2/14/2009 6:32 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I own an MSA H2S and ClO2 cricket... these are detectors that clip to your clothes and shriek when they detect over-threshold concentrations of hazardous gas.

micro 


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 11 on 2/14/2009 4:20 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Samurai
I own an MSA H2S and ClO2 cricket... these are detectors that clip to your clothes and shriek when they detect over-threshold concentrations of hazardous gas.


I've been considering buying something like this: http://conceptcont...m/store/product/47 but I don't want the thing going off every time there's the slightest trace of H2S when 99% of the time it's not gong to cause any problems.

Any idea what "over-threshold concentrations" means in terms of industry safety standards?

Samurai 

Vehicular Lord Rick


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 12 on 2/14/2009 5:26 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by micro


I've been considering buying something like this: http://conceptcont...m/store/product/47 but I don't want the thing going off every time there's the slightest trace of H2S when 99% of the time it's not gong to cause any problems.

Any idea what "over-threshold concentrations" means in terms of industry safety standards?


it's so many parts per million... i don't remember what the exact number is as I don't have it here with me. They are in my locker at work.


tick 


Location: Abingdon, VA
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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 13 on 2/15/2009 1:49 AM >
Posted on Forum: Infiltration Forums
 
Posted by micro
I've been considering buying something like this: http://conceptcont...m/store/product/47 but I don't want the thing going off every time there's the slightest trace of H2S when 99% of the time it's not gong to cause any problems.

Any idea what "over-threshold concentrations" means in terms of industry safety standards?


From http://en.wikipedi...i/Hydrogen_sulfide:

* 0.0047 ppm is the recognition threshold, the concentration at which 50% of humans can detect the characteristic odor of hydrogen sulfide [1], normally described as resembling "a rotten egg".
* 10-20 ppm is the borderline concentration for eye irritation.
* 50-100 ppm leads to eye damage.
* At 150-250 ppm the olfactory nerve is paralyzed after a few inhalations, and the sense of smell disappears, often together with awareness of danger,
* 320-530 ppm leads to pulmonary edema with the possibility of death.
* 530-1000 ppm causes strong stimulation of the central nervous system and rapid breathing, leading to loss of breathing;
o 800 ppm is the lethal concentration for 50% of humans for 5 minutes exposure(LC50).
* Concentrations over 1000 ppm cause immediate collapse with loss of breathing, even after inhalation of a single breath.


The 10/15 ppm alarm levels of the GasAlert shouldn't give you too much trouble. If you want adjustable alarm levels, though, you could get an MSA Altair.

tick 


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 14 on 2/20/2009 10:30 PM >
Posted on Forum: Infiltration Forums
 
Well I got tired of running into questionable air quality in mines and not knowing for sure if it was safe or not, so I just broke down and ordered an MSA Altair oxygen meter. Best price I could find was $165. I'll let you know how it is.

person 


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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 15 on 2/23/2009 4:26 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by micro


I've been considering buying something like this: http://conceptcont...m/store/product/47 but I don't want the thing going off every time there's the slightest trace of H2S when 99% of the time it's not gong to cause any problems.

Any idea what "over-threshold concentrations" means in terms of industry safety standards?



I used one of these at my old job (refinery). I suspect the alert levels are factory programmable... we had ours set for 10 ppm and didn't really have nusance alarms to speak of. Unless you count people trying to load sulfur trucks and then bitching when their crickets starting going off. Yes, if you're standing next to a stream of molten sulfur, you may have "problems". By design.

Can't say I'd use the thing for UE. If you get hit by medium-low levels of H2S, you'll smell it. And you'll feel like vomiting. And you'll leave the area. High levels will deaden your sense of smell pretty quick, but where are you going to find 100's or 1000's of ppms of H2S while exploring?

Besides, the shelf life on those really is 24 months. I stole mine when I quit that job, and it only had a couple of months left on it. Threw my hardhat (with detector attached) in the closet. Forgot about it. A few months later, I wake up to this horrible chirping noise. Every ten seconds or so... BEEP! So I tear the room apart looking for whatever is the hell is making the sound. Finally found it, needed a mini screwdriver to tear it open, ripped the battery out. Silence! Never did figure out how to put the battery back in without the horrible noises coming back.

[last edit 2/23/2009 4:29 PM by person - edited 1 times]

Furious D 


Location: Northern Ontario
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Re: Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector?
<Reply # 16 on 3/5/2009 9:53 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I have worked in the oil patch for several years now and we carry these:

http://www.testoon..._gas_detector.html

H2S gas is something you do NOT want to mess around with. It is heavier than air and can sit for a long, long time without dissipating. It can be trapped in water and dirt and released into the air when you simply walk through an area and stir it up. To be safe, You should always know where more than one exit is, and always make note of which direction air is moving.

If you are exploring around coal mines, sewers or old refinerys... do some serious research into the place so you know the hazards you can expect.

Seriously, if you are going into any place that has a possibility of containing H2S, just don't. It's not worth the risk if you aren't experienced with working around it.

(you might not have even needed any of the info I just gave you, but I'd rather tell it now than mutter it while reading a fatality report in the paper)

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UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Does Anybody Own a Portable Gas Detector? (Viewed 419 times)



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