Maintainable vs maintenance free portable gas sensors

When it comes to portable gas sensors, you can either obtain a maintainable or maintenance free detector. There is a big debate in the industry discussing which type of portable gas sensor is best, with every company having having a different opinion and offering a different option. This can understandably become confusing when purchasing  portable gas sensor. Thus, this article aims to discuss the pros and cons of maintainable and maintenance free portable gas sensors to help establish which is the ultimate option for portable detection. Read on to find out more about this, including the best portable gas sensor options available on the market.

What are Maintainable and Maintenance Free Portable Gas Sensors?

Maintainable portable gas sensors are detection instruments that can be maintained through servicing including sensor changes, battery replacement etc. Maintainable portable gas sensors are usually rechargeable and will include more operational features i.e will usually include a menu. For these types of devices, the instrument will be built to last longer, being a major benefit as it theoretically has an infinite user lifetime.

Maintenance free portables can also be known or described as disposable portable gas sensors. These devices do not last as long as maintainable portables gas sensors and are sold as not requiring any further maintenance until they reach end of life. End of life is typically 2-3 years after they are bought, but this can vary depending on the provider. Although these portable gas sensors are sold as requiring little-no servicing and maintenance, these still require continual calibration and daily bump testing.

Which Portable Gas Sensor is Best?

Maintainable and maintenance free portable gas sensors have their perks depending on its use. Typically, maintenance free portable gas sensors are best for short term applications as they become end of life relatively quickly. However, at IGD, we believe there is no such thing as a maintenance free portable.

Firstly, we believe that no gas sensor device is entirely maintenance free. Being one of the oldest gas detection companies in the world has allowed to understand that portable gas sensors require calibration and bump tests regularly to ensure they operate correctly for personal safety. We recommend calibrating portable gas sensors every 3 months, although more may be required depending on the application and how roughly the unit is handled. bump tests are still required before every use. The sensor inside a maintenance free/disposable portable gas sensor is the same sensor used in the maintainable portables. The only difference in many cases is a marketing one, with companies keen to portray a maintenance free portable as something it is not in an attempt to make it seem easier to use. These are life safety devices and still need regular checks. Understanding its use is still key to successful operation and they still need calibration and bump testing. At IGD we see little point in wastefully discarding a device which could easily have had a new measurement cell or battery fitted to extend its life.

Maintainable Vs Maintenance Free Portable Gas Sensors

Maintenance free, or disposable, portable gas sensors classically produce a lot of waste. These devices are not built to last, and are not rechargeable, just discarded at their supposed end of life. Maintenance free portable gas sensors therefore contribute to needless electronic, plastic and battery waste build up feeding climate change. Not only are these devices detrimental to the environment, but we are likely to see maintenance free portable gas sensors being phased out as governments and companies across the world reduce their environmental impact. Ultimately, it is clear to see that this is an unsustainable option and goes against IGD’s environmental policy and ISO 14001 accreditation.

Thus, maintainable portable gas sensors are best option, as these devices offer the best performance due to the long-life sensor capability and the durability of the device. Additionally, these devices have the least amount of impact on the environment again due to the long-life components used, such as the sensor and the battery, and the reusability of the instrument.

What are the Best Maintainable Portable Gas Sensors Available on the Market?

Personnel may be deterred from acquiring maintainable portable gas sensors due to the unexpected costs of servicing these devices. This ultimately depends on the gas detection provider, as servicing is different for each portable type, from the costs to how often it is needed.

At IGD, we offer all our clients detectably better traceable maintenance packages before purchase and provide free accredited training, backed by our century of expertise in gas detection. This eliminates any surprising costs from maintainable portable gas sensors and therefore eliminates any of the potential downsides of maintainable devices. IGD offer a full range of maintainable portable gas sensors, from the SENKO range to the mPower range.

Our Senko range offers reliable portable gas sensors for the most common gas combinations, including H2S, O2, NH3, H2 and many others. The MGT is a lightweight portable gas sensor, offering 4 gas detection in the most durable device available on the market. Senko’s SGT-P offers long life sensor technology, available in all Senko units, combined with a range of sensor options for reliable single gas detection. The new iGAS CO2 portable gas sensor is perfect for detection of CO2, providing an astounding battery life in a fully rechargeable device.

Pictured: iGAS portable carbon dioxide monitor. Available from IGD with next day delivery.

Our mPower range allows us to extend this gas range massively, providing all our clients with detectably better portable gas sensors with a wide range of exotic options, including VOC, CLO2 and N2O to name a few. The POLI offers 4-5 multi gas detection in a pumped, durable portable gas sensor. The NEO is specific to VOC gases, providing our clients with range of options for detecting VOC gases, all the way down to PPB level PID portable gas sensors. The UNI is perfect for single gas detection of exotic gases in a lightweight and easy to use portable gas sensor.

Pictured: mPower POLI multi gas detector with a wide range of sensor options

Contact our team today here to find out more about our detectably better free servicing options for all of our maintainable portable gas sensors.

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