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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Emergency air
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Emergency air
Posted: 14/08/2012 19:03:09
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lozz wrote:

Sometimes easier said than done, I own some old mine workings and part of a long tunnel, the tunnel at the moment has only two means of access, the first is the entrance portal (adit level) the second is by an air shaft, both these means of access are in close proximity to each other so air at the begining is no problem, when we last went in there some years ago we got in about 400 yds 'till it started to silt up (the tunnel has flowing water in it) the air at that point was ok, there were four of us, all ex miners/mine explorers including a mining engineer, we were all breathing fine at that distance no problem.
But things can change, the air that far in might not now be up to spec, but we don't know 'till we get in that far so BA is prudent I would guess.

Lozz.


I suspect a gas detector would be the better bet initially - better to be aware of the problem before it becomes a problem rather than have to deal with the problem once it has occurred.

--

Filling space until a new signature comes along...
IP: 81.130.86.53
lozz

Joined: 03/08/2012
Location: Cornwall

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Emergency air
Posted: 14/08/2012 19:09:20
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My previous but one post, of course I should say breathing apparatus as opposed to bottled air.

My appologies.

Lozz.
IP: 86.185.155.237
lozz

Joined: 03/08/2012
Location: Cornwall

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Emergency air
Posted: 14/08/2012 19:24:04
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Vanoord wrote:

lozz wrote:

Sometimes easier said than done, I own some old mine workings and part of a long tunnel, the tunnel at the moment has only two means of access, the first is the entrance portal (adit level) the second is by an air shaft, both these means of access are in close proximity to each other so air at the begining is no problem, when we last went in there some years ago we got in about 400 yds 'till it started to silt up (the tunnel has flowing water in it) the air at that point was ok, there were four of us, all ex miners/mine explorers including a mining engineer, we were all breathing fine at that distance no problem.
But things can change, the air that far in might not now be up to spec, but we don't know 'till we get in that far so BA is prudent I would guess.

Lozz.


I suspect a gas detector would be the better bet initially - better to be aware of the problem before it becomes a problem rather than have to deal with the problem once it has occurred.


Yes I would agree, but relating back to the tunnel I mentioned, when we were last in there it was silting up but water and air were still flowing through it (there is an exit portal) the silt was quite high in comparison to the hieght of the tunnel at that point, it would be nice if someone could get through this silt but knowing the layout of the tunnel I would say that BA might be needed as at the furthest point we got to there was not much headroom between the water level and the back of the tunnel, that was the point where we turned back when we first went in. The tunnel at that point is circular brick lined and just over 3 ft diameter.
The water depth is not in general deep normally 4 to 6" through the parts of the tunnel so far explored.

Lozz.
IP: 86.185.155.237
agricola

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Joined: 28/10/2007
Location: In a book

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Emergency air
Posted: 14/08/2012 19:42:11
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Wormster wrote:

Gentlemen, gentlemen please.................no fighting in the war room!!

I've been watching this topic for a few days now before commenting.

Legalites aside, SRT and BA sounds dogy in my book, better to get a Crowcon Tetra :

http://www.crowcon.com/uk/products/portables/tetra.html

If people weren't sure BA in my posts means Breathing Appartatus - like what the fire brigade use only we use twin cylinders.


On a subject of shafts and potential bad air, RoyM remember that one on Wheal Basset that you descended whilst we held a safety lamp on another rope Big Grin
(I won't repeat the usual blabber)


Or BW GasAlertMicro we have found be experience is a better bet that the Tetras and also have configurable sensors.

--

If it can't be grown it has to be mined.
IP: 86.133.55.208 Edited: 14/08/2012 19:48:04 by agricola
JamieC

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Location: St Austell Bay

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Emergency air
Posted: 14/08/2012 20:45:43
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How sensitive are most gas meters and what is their reaction time? Also do they have a pump drawing air past the sensors?, basically will they detect gases quickly enough for the user to react to the danger? I'd rather do the research first and enter a mine in full possession of the facts but surely conditions underground are constantly changing and a once safe trip could turn nasty. IP: 109.157.67.48
Wormster

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Emergency air
Posted: 14/08/2012 22:00:24
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JamieC wrote:

How sensitive are most gas meters and what is their reaction time? Also do they have a pump drawing air past the sensors?, basically will they detect gases quickly enough for the user to react to the danger? I'd rather do the research first and enter a mine in full possession of the facts but surely conditions underground are constantly changing and a once safe trip could turn nasty.


Any of the more modern ones will have some kind of intake pump, I *think* the tetra has, most of them are set (from memory) something like 0-50 ppm H2S/CO, 0-50% lel Ch4 and +/- 3% O2 - reaction times are instantaneous at these low concentrations with audible/visual alarms.

The advantage of the newer multigas detectors is the datalogging ability, once you're out of the mine you can connect your box of tricks to a computer and see exactly what the individual gas levels are.

I've not worked in the industry for about 25 years, when I was "in" so to speak the company I worked for were just introducing the first "triple" portable gas detectors, about the size and weight of a housebrick, I'm amazed to see the technology has shrunk to the size of a fag packet and is BETTER than the stuff we produced in the 80's!!

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Better to regret something you have done - than to regret something you have not done.
IP: 80.42.197.128
stuey

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Joined: 15/08/2007

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Emergency air
Posted: 15/08/2012 05:16:16
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In answer to the above question, the "diffusion" models respond in 5 seconds or so. The pumped ones make a row. I had a Crowcon one which was as big as a kitten and made a noise like a mamod steam engine at full whack. It was not the ideal companion in the shaft. "Stu, are you alright down there?" "NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!"

The name of the game is cheap with gas meters. Cheap and small as well as accurate and adjustable.

A chum gave me a dead BW Gas alert Micro which is a great tool. The reason it is great is that you can sort it out yourself. You don't need any bollocking around docking station, or nonsense which only can be dealt with by some registered, qualified expert. You can fit new sensors (which are individual and cheap, as well as last well) fit the calibration cap, rig up to some calibration gas and off you go. It isn't rocket science and will see you well. The spare parts person in the SW is a bit of a bellend and seems to have had the cognitive part of his mind addled by HSE poison. (the ******* wouldn't sell me a replacement oxygen sensor)--- in the same breath, he wanted to charge me £40 just to see it.....then the calibration was £45 and then the, etc, etc, etc. new sensor, etc.

Someone with the correct kit and half a brain can maintain one, rather than participate in the headless crap of paying someone who has "been on a course" to do a very simple, programmed operation on something which is foolproof. If you can read and press a button, you can calibrate one of these things.

Afterwards, you can then use it for months.

I will add that I have everything required to ****** about with a BW Gasalert Microclip (including altering the O2 setting downwards). You do not want to be amidst sirens and flashing lights everytime you go through a bit of timbering.

The most important thing you can do is get a meter with a user definable oxygen alarm. Quite a few sole-oxygen meters have a fixed 19.5% alarm point and this will result in you getting repeatedly beaten by your comrades.

Rather than buggering about with portable air tanks and all the lugging and struggling associated with them, a small meter will allow you to go safely to a sensible limit and then you can make the decision whether to go back with oxygen tanks, or a big fan, etc.
IP: 94.196.66.138
Hal_Chase

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Joined: 28/11/2010
Location: East Northants

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Emergency air
Posted: 15/08/2012 18:11:38
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stuey wrote:

Lots of companies do various sensor swaps for meters, including CO2. A sensor alone is over £200, I think.


Crowcon will not retro fit sensors, I know because I use a Tetra3 every time I go out (and its saved our bacon many a time)

Their reason is that they ship it with CH4, H2S, CO and O2 and its documented on their systems as such.....***IF*** it was modded and ***IF*** I sold it on they might give incorrect information over the phone/via email and get sued over anything untoward that happened to Mr Second Hand End User.

To answer other Crowcon related questions.....they go off VERY quickly (sub 5 seconds).

They are not the best choice if you are starting from scratch as they charge lots of money for their PC interface hardware and PC software, which you need if you are going to lower the LEL for 02 (you would get knowhere at the factory setting of 19%).

A B&W would be cheaper in the long run.

Yes I've picked up H2S with it and my opinion having a C02 sensor is far more valuable than CO when underground, in fact Im thinking about buying a C02 detector to complement the Tetra3 (or selling my current one and buying a new Tetra3 off the shelf with factory fitted C02).

And yes, it gets calibrated twice a year by Crowcon and yes I know how to use it Wink

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stuey

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Emergency air
Posted: 15/08/2012 19:18:55
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Mine was £45 for the infra red link and all the software

(Gasalert micro).

They seem to be pretty good for the prices.

As far as fitting a sensor, you whack it in, put the cover back on, click calibrate and it "ranges" the sensors. If the O2 is buggered, it says "error" and won't calibrate. When you go to use the unit, the alarm goes off and it says "Calibration Due".

A good sensor ranges and then you follow the very simple directions. It really is unferkupable.

The SW guy for BW parts gave me the whole bollocks tirade. Me explaining that half of my old job/degree was calibrating really fancy machines wasn't enough. Computer says no.

Thankfully, someone finally knew enough about the instrument and commerce in order to make the right choice.

People need to substitute some good old fashioned thinking and common sense for this prescribed, ridiculous dogma!
IP: 92.29.174.67
Roy Morton

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Joined: 09/10/2007
Location: Redruth Cornwall

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Emergency air
Posted: 16/08/2012 00:24:58
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Agricola wrote;-
On a subject of shafts and potential bad air, RoyM remember that one on Wheal Basset that you descended whilst we held a safety lamp on another rope
(I won't repeat the usual blabber)

Yup! I remember that one....doing a change over in robotic fashion to keep the faculties together and then prussiking out over old ladders whilst keeping control of breathing breathing.
That one beat Wheal Maid hands down....and that was pretty near the mark.

I believe we still have a Crowcon Gasman III in the store. It's only a O2 meter but it needs a new sensor. The thing is only about 25mm dia and about the same high with two pins on the bottom. It works on oxidation of a lead plate sensor somewhere inside. There can't be much else in the sensor unit as it weighs as much as an equal volume of lead.
I memory serves me well (rare thing these days) it would calibrate at switch on to around 20 to 21%. once it was satisfied you could then lower the level to trigger at where ever you want? HOWEVER we only ever had it set to kick off at about 17%. I think I may still have a copy of the manual I downloaded from the net...somewhere............ Blush

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IP: 86.147.245.122
Roger the Cat

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Joined: 12/11/2007
Location: Gloucestershire

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Emergency air
Posted: 29/08/2012 14:35:27
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Just saw this from the Daily Telegraph picture galleries section:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/picturesoftheday/9505750/Pictures-of-the-day-29-August-2012.html?frame=2322463
IP: 212.139.251.157
christwigg

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Joined: 20/02/2008
Location: Cleveland / North Yorkshire

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Emergency air
Posted: 29/08/2012 15:37:14
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Reminds me of an interesting stone from 1812 in a local graveyard.

http://northeasthistorytour.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/well-well-well-nz515159.html

IP: 145.8.104.65
exspelio

Joined: 02/05/2012
Location: peak district

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Emergency air
Posted: 29/08/2012 15:56:56
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Roger the Cat wrote:

Just saw this from the Daily Telegraph picture galleries section:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/picturesoftheday/9505750/Pictures-of-the-day-29-August-2012.html?frame=2322463


What a pretty shaft Smile

--

Always remember, nature is in charge, get it wrong and it is you who suffers!.
IP: 87.127.158.157
christwigg

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Emergency air
Posted: 29/08/2012 16:03:32
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Reminds me very much of something I saw through the foundations of Cologne Cathedral earlier in the year.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernandaworld/3475530474/sizes/l/in/photostream/
IP: 145.8.104.65 Edited: 29/08/2012 16:03:52 by christwigg
muddy686

Joined: 16/09/2013
Location: Bedford, UK

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Emergency air
Posted: 16/09/2013 22:59:02
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Although new to this mine exploration game, I do work in confined spaces in my job.
Our kit generally consists of drager miniwarn gas tester that does methane, hydrogen sulphide, oxygen and carbon dioxide and carrying a drager saver rescue set. A bit on the bulky side but gives up to 20 mins of air (maybe down to 15 with some SRT).
For high risk environments we use Sabre Contour extended duration breathing aparatus giving us between 40-60 minutes depending on exertion.
If youre entering known bad air territory Id approach it as a high risk confined spaces entry. Top man with a winch in radio contact with a bottom man who carries a rescue set plus a rescue set and gas monitor on the lead man.
Hope that helps!

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My wife is like my caving torch. Bright, she works and I cant do much without her!
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AdM Michael

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Emergency air
Posted: 17/09/2013 04:34:02
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The best solution with known bad air is simple:
stay out, stay alive

IP: 80.187.110.220
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