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Author Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
ropefree

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 07/06/2011 21:40:41
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Were going down fluorspar & t'owd mans lead mines, what gasses could we find & which monitor would be best for us, & do they detect bad air????????

All the best, Rope free......
IP: 86.128.233.194
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 07/06/2011 21:56:42
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I've got a QRAE II - a 4 gas sensor. Been very pleased with it.

4 gas means:

Combustibles % LEL
% Oxygen
ppm H2S
ppm CO

I got it off eBay from this lot:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Gas-Detector-QRAE-II-4-gas-LEL-Oxy-CO-H2S-NEW-/180437040111?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item2a02e2bbef

(there was some scope for haggling the price)

There's a 2nd hand one for sale at the moment:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/QRAE-II-4-GAS-MONITOR-PGM-2400-/140560186221?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item20ba0a3b6d

If you buy secondhand you absolutely want to get it calibrated before using it in anger!


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lab rat

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 07/06/2011 22:11:47
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The one Simon has was thought of as good by an ex- coal mine rescuer who uses them on a regular basis, if that helps. So it comes with a recommendation on it! IP: 94.3.119.147
sinker

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Location: North Wales.

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 07/06/2011 22:50:48
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which monitor would be best for us, & do they detect bad air????????

Personally, and without a doubt, the MSA Altair 4 gas monitor is far and away the best. Bomb proof, as close to waterproof as a gas tester can be, idiot proof (as I prove), one button does everything, ultra sensitive, very cheap to replace sensors if (when) required and here's the big plus......when it goes over 12 months (i.e. "out of calibration") it still works, unlike some other which shut down and force you to spend on re-calibration just because the date has clicked over! For recreational use it will pretty much last for ever. Cheapest place to buy one at the moment is M&P Survey Equipment in Chester.



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Give yerselves up lads.....you're surrounded.....
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owd git

Joined: 07/02/2010

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 07/06/2011 23:01:43
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A question; do you need a monitor in the type of mines Ropefree suggested.
Not used one since being in coal adits, (a longwhile! )
And i believe i'm still alive.
occasional low oxygen which is roughly predicted with a lighter has only been needed once in lead/ Flor spar workings.
That is specific to this area however, tho an intersection with 'shale' @ starkholmes locally did reportedly throw up occasional probs' way back in history.
Owd Git.
IP: 2.102.14.233 Edited: 07/06/2011 23:03:46 by owd git
owd git

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 07/06/2011 23:06:06
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P S the gasses you may find will depend on who's in front of you! Crying .
O.G.
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lab rat

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 08:00:29
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This is a similar thread from last year on M.E. The guy you're looking for on this thread is gt5952 - hes the one i said used to work in a coal mine as a rescuer

http://www.mine-explorer.co.uk/bbs/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=3759&start=1

Hope the link works.
IP: 94.3.119.147
gt5952

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 08:40:10
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Its all about budget I guess, but be careful not to buy a second hand thing that starts up, bleeps, and shows its calibration to be in date, but in actual fact, has knackered filters, and has just reset itself because its so broken, its forgotton what calibration is!

If your spending a lot of time in areas where you suspect there may be pockets of bad air, or are going into uncharted territory, then I'd say buy new, something like an MSA 5 star.

Its tough as boots, and records the variants of 4 gasses, one of which is O2 levels. I also have its detection ability quite high. Im not interested in knowing when Im about to die, I like a little bit more of a warning!

With Claire and Speeds a little while ago, this was demonstrated in a closed passage way, where there was no interchange of air... the o2 levels were droppping reasonably quickly, and the meter was telling us long before we have the opportunity to 'feel' it.

Generally I think most monitors check LEL, CO, H2S, and O2, there may be ones that check 3 of the gasses, there are those that have a mechanical sniffer and take a while to report, but these are usually the size of brief cases.

I met up with a guy a little while ago who was bragging about his detector, only to find he had some kind of thing with a hand pump on it. I shant be meeting him again.

As with all things, make sure you know how to use it before you do use it. These things are a tad technical, and Id personally read up or if you can, get trained rather than listen to opinion.

Take Care


--

'FOR SALE: 1 Kidney and Half a Lung. If the Traffic Warden comes back to my car again, I can get more bits...' 'Instead of Helping, you stand, watch, and criticise, what a great British Achievement!'
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gt5952

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 08:47:14
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Sorry, missed the other part of your question... just went off one..

The types of gasses you will find will depend on many variables. Coal mines have their own set of risks, and are famous for this... er... so keep out...

Any confined space can build any kind of gas. If there is a shaft, perhaps things have been dumped into it, like a gas can, and this has leaked & the gas settled somewere etc etc. If I expected to find gas, I wouldnt go in, unless I was being paid, and had B/A. Nothing is really worth dying for.! Thumbs Up

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'FOR SALE: 1 Kidney and Half a Lung. If the Traffic Warden comes back to my car again, I can get more bits...' 'Instead of Helping, you stand, watch, and criticise, what a great British Achievement!'
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mcrtchly

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 09:39:26
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I brought my gas meter from Ribble Enviro which is the same company that Simon has given selling on eBay. I brought a GFG G450 microtector II. Ribble Enviro gave good service when the charger failed. It is about 3 years old now and I may have to replace the battery as it doesn't seem to last any longer than 5-6 hrs. The G450 can also operate even if it requests recalibration and you can self calibrate using normal air but the calibration warning will come back when you switch the unit on again. I think Ribble charge about £100 for recalibration but be aware many gas monitors also require some of the sensors to be replaced after a number of years and this can be expensive.

The G540 has now been replaced by the G460 and the price seems to be twice what I paid 3 years ago. The QRAE II mentioned by Simon seems better value.

Martin
IP: 194.46.201.186
Wormster

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 10:42:08
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Cheapest options:

20 JPS Black and a lighter, or Canary and cage!

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gt5952

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 10:47:19
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Wormster wrote:

Cheapest options:

20 JPS Black and a lighter


Oh Dear. Laugh

--

'FOR SALE: 1 Kidney and Half a Lung. If the Traffic Warden comes back to my car again, I can get more bits...' 'Instead of Helping, you stand, watch, and criticise, what a great British Achievement!'
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owd git

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 12:26:42
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See same thread on M. E. Thumb Up
O. G.
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jagman

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 12:37:38
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gt5952 wrote:

Wormster wrote:

Cheapest options:

20 JPS Black and a lighter


Oh Dear. Laugh


Ultra reliable, worked for years without fail Smile
IP: 94.10.100.115
RJV

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 12:57:59
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Personally I'd avoid lighters altogether if you think you're going anywhere where the O2 levels might dip.

You'll soon realise that they fail to work once O2 levels drop below a certain percentage and you'll spend the rest of the trip in a foul mood repeatedly failing to light your tab until you eventually ruin the flint.

--

Rich
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jagman

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 13:16:15
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RJV wrote:

Personally I'd avoid lighters altogether if you think you're going anywhere where the O2 levels might dip.

You'll soon realise that they fail to work once O2 levels drop below a certain percentage and you'll spend the rest of the trip in a foul mood repeatedly failing to light your tab until you eventually ruin the flint.


Chainsmoke.

When your fag goes out you know there is a problem Smile
IP: 94.10.100.115
stuey

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 13:48:29
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As I've said on other threads, all a monitor will do is beep at a number, whether you're good to go or not is something totally different. I know somewhere a lot of people go which (on the flat) varies between about 11% and 14% O2 and people regularly strut up there. I've been on a rope very carefully in 15% and it was fine.

Generally, I obey the "lighter won't light, get out" school of thinking.

Read this for starters:-

http://wasg.iinet.net.au/Co2paper.html

I've had 3 4 gas meters and really, the LEL is pretty much irrelevant in metal mines, H2S is soluble and shouldn't really present itself in abandoned mines and none of them detect CO2. Low oxygen is your major concern.

I find a Davy lamp a good tool, but if you fuel it wrongly it goes out too soon and it won't detect the difference between low O2 and CO2 with lower O2.

I've been in some pretty marginal atmospheres and feeling tired, irritable, headachey is one thing, CO2 is another.

In hindsight, I'd be tempted to run a Davy lamp/Lighter combo for Oxygen and get a dedicated CO2 meter.

A friend and I were surveying a small mine the other day and disturbed a layer of CO2 resulting in about a 6% atmosphere of it. We both nearly spat our lungs out by breathing so hard. I would have serious reservations about going into a "woody" mine with limited ventilation in a very dry spell like this one (CO2 is not dissolved and builds up).

A davy lamp running kerosene will go out at 15%, this (from my experience is good for ME to abseil/prussic in) a butane lighter will not light at about 13% which is a good level to get out of on the flat. CO2, I'd set 2.5% as a total and utter maximum and run like hell (without disturbing the layer) out of there!

I've spoken to a few mine exploring veterans about this experience and it seems to be one of the biggest concerns gaswise.

With low 02, you can go very very slowly out, or up a rope (assuming you are still sensible) whereas CO2 can make you breathe to utter exhaustion.

The only thing in my estimation good about a 4 gas is that you can set the O2 alarm points so the bloody thing doesn't go off when someone farts.

Edit:- This assumes that you are not going into coal mines and you will be sometimes abseiling into totally unknown holes ventwise. If you aren't abbing into the unknown, I'd probably use myself as a CO2 meter (even though it's very frightening when "it" goes off)

Edit2:- As my chums and I have done, please find your own comfortable level with low oxygen and set realistic limits. Take it very slowly in bad air and if in doubt, get out. I couldn't find any information on the internet about what levels were really good to go at and my levels are purely related to my giant gorilla but probably quite fit otherwise physique!
IP: 94.197.97.128 Edited: 08/06/2011 13:56:43 by stuey
Edd

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 13:53:57
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I use an MSA Solaris 4 gas i got off ebay and had calibrated for free by a very kind gent at a mine and it has done me well Smile IP: 86.181.24.113
boaz

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 13:54:16
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What has not been mentioned is that if the O2 is reducing significantly is that something will be replacing the O2. Because the O2 is detected as a percentage then it takes a significant (life-threatening) amount of H2S or CO which is measured in parts per million.
My opinion is that the GFG unit is not that good, or the MSA Altair.
You have the option of hiring a unit, there are plenty of reasonable companies doing this and they are normally available. Also these companies may offload some of their ex-hire stock. I will check where you are and post again.
IP: 92.11.163.80
Wormster

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Gas monitors, Which do i buy????
Posted: 08/06/2011 14:33:47
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From what I remember:

A 1% DECREASE on O2 will mean a 5% INCREASE in CO2 - we breathe out more CO2 when consuming O2!

ALSO CO2 is heavier than O2, so in places (say in a low dip, sump or blind heading) you MAY encounter pockets of CO2 UNDER layers of "Good Air".

CO will only be present if there is INCOMPLETE combustion.

Levels of Flammables and Toxic gasses will only increase rapidly *IF* there is a sudden release (from old cylinders) into the atmosphere.

The chances of finding say cylinders of H2S in a mine are I would hazzard a guess at being FAIRLY remote!! - its more likely to come form decomposing organic matter (pitprops, farts, old lunches etc) which takes time to build up!

Finding Flammable cylinders (Acatayline, Propane and Butane) again FAIRLY remote, but NOT implausable!!

I'm kinda dredging the banks of my limited knowledge here, as I used to work in the Gas Detection industry.

Infact my folks started one company that has not been discussed here CROWCON.

- I'm biased because t'owd man still has a few shares in the company, but I've said it before and I'll shout it from the rooftops till the cows come home.

- There is ONLY 1 gas detector to buy and THAT is CROWCON.

- I suggest y'all take a long look at the TRIPLE +

http://www.crowcon.com/pages/products-amp-services/personal-amp-portable-gas-monitors/triple-plus.php

OK its not the most compact (or for that matter) cheapest, BUT, IMO I would not venture underground (If carrying a gas detector - which I don't - other than the aforementioned 20 JPS black 'n lighter) without anything less!


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Better to regret something you have done - than to regret something you have not done.
IP: 86.189.8.83
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