With tubes available for over 500 different applications, it’s no wonder why there are so many questions surrounding Gastec gas detection products. While they are small, these handy little tubes are mighty. In fact, they are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to complete your gas detection program. Today on the blog, our resident Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Jonathan McCallum, is answering all of your top Gastec questions.
Q: Why use Gastec?
A: Gastec Detector tubes are still the most versatile form of gas detection. Tubes are available for over 300 different gases, are easy to use and can be used for both area sampling or personal exposure monitoring.
Q: What types of applications can Gastec be used for?
A: There are many. Gastec tubes can be used to:
- Collect traditional gas samples at a given location
- Collect time weighted average (TWA) personal exposures
- Collect continuous samples
- Test for breathing air and water quality
- Identify unknown gases
Q: It is indicated to use Gastec detector tubes within the temperature range of 0-40℃ (32-104ﾟF) in the instruction manuals. Can you measure extremely hot gases?
A: Direct sampling from extremely high temperature sources is not recommended as this will deteriorate chemicals in the tubes, resulting in erroneous indications of gas concentration. In this case, our hot probe can be used. It is designed to cool down hot gases, up to 600℃ (1100ﾟF), to ambient temperature. The stability of the device is enhanced when it is secured with the hot probe holder.
Q: What is a common misconception about Gastec?
A: A common misconception about Gastec tubes is that the technology is outdated and replaced with electronic gas detectors. In reality, Gastec tubes are continuously being developed for new applications and are available for gas types and concentrations not detected by other gas detection technologies.
Q: What are the benefits of using Gastec tubes in tandem with other gas monitoring devices?
A: Many of the sensors used in electronic gas detectors can be influenced by temperature, humidity and other co-existing gases. Gastec tubes are a great way to confirm alarm conditions presented by both fixed and portable gas detection devices.
Q: Does Gastec measure the presence of a gas or the quantity of it?
A: Both! The tubes can detect the presence of a gas as well as the concentration. Once a sample is taken, the concentration is shown and clearly marked on each gas specific tube. This means quick and easy results on the spot that can help you better understand your environment.
Q: How do you calibrate the tubes?
A: There is no need for calibration. Gastec tubes are shipped pre-calibrated eliminating the need for calibration in the field.
Q: How long are Gastec tubes good for?
A: Each Gastec tube can be used for up to three years from the date of manufacture which makes it a great tool to have on hand in case of an emergency. The shelf life is clearly marked on each box of Gastec tubes.
Q: If the tubes are stored in a refrigerator, will the shelf life be longer?
A: No, the shelf life of Gastec tubes is not affected by refrigerated storage. The shelf life is clearly marked on each box of tubes and is based on manufacture date. To maintain accuracy, tubes should be stored in a cool, dark place (0 – 10 Celsius).
Q: Can we use a detector tube which has been left for a while after the tips were broken off?
A: If a tube is left for a while after the tips are broken off, the detecting reagent in the tube may begin to react with gases and moisture in the environment. For this reason, please break off the tips of the detector tube right before the measurement is performed.
Q: I want to order Safety Caps for my Detector Tubes, which type should I order?
A: Reusable rubber caps can be attached to the broken edges of the detector tubes as an extra precautionary safe measure. Each pack contains 20 caps.
Still looking to learn more? Be sure to download our guide to learn how Gastec can complete your gas detection program. Reach out us directly if you have any questions about how you can use Gastec detection tubes in your workplace.