Confined space 4-gas monitors need to be calibrated. We all know it, and the time is probably coming up soon. Just how often you are required to calibrate depends on you and the recommendations of the manufacturer. (See calibration intervals for more information.) There are several possible methods for tuning up your gas monitor, and whether you do manual calibrations, use an automated calibration and bump test device, or send it in for a professional calibration service is up to you.
Each calibration method has advantages. If you have more time than money (a situation I personally am familiar with) manual calibrations are not terribly difficult or particularly time consuming. This is a great option if you have only a few monitors. Typically a monitor can be fully calibrated in about 5 minutes start to finish. Using a constant flow regulator isn't the most efficient in terms of calibration gas usage, but what the heck, you're only doing a couple monitors, and the cal gas will expire after 12-24 months anyway.
If you have lots of monitors you might not be so thrilled about the prospect of spending days calibrating. If you have hundreds, it may be completely unfeasible. Automated calibration systems like the MicroDock II Docking Station for BW monitors or the RKI Instruments SDM-2009 Calibration Station which fits (not surprisingly) the RKI Instruments GX-2009 make upkeep about as simple as you're likely to get it.
Automated systems are, well, automatic. Push your monitor into the cradle at the end of the day, and these systems will recharge and bump test or calibrate. Whatever is required. When workers come to use the monitor in the morning, they'll know right away that it's charged and ready to go because there are nice green lights or an "OK" message on the monitor screen. If you don't have those messages, it's better to know before you go into a confined space than after you're in one. You'll get a message letting you know what actions need to be taken.
The Draeger X-am Bump Test and Calibration Station might be the simplest and most elegant solution on the market. No need for regulators or extra tubing. Your 4-Gas cylinder simply screws in, and the system is ready when a monitor is plugged in. No electricity involved, so this system is intrinsically safe, and can be placed close or in the to the work area. This system doesn't expand like other systems, but it is a fine solution for an individual monitor.
Of course there are organizations out there - yours might be one - that doesn't want to mess with all the equipment and making sure the calibration gas hasn't expired. For them, we offer our calibration service. PK Safety Supply is a Factory Authorized Service Center for both BW Honeywell and RAE Systems gas monitors. We also carry a complete line of pumps, gas, regulators, internal electronics, and replacement sensors if your monitor requires additional care. We know it's important to keep your monitors up and running, so we make every effort to calibrate and return monitors within 24 hours whenever possible.
So there you have it, the complete breakdown of your calibration options. If you are still not sure which group you fall into, please give us a ring at 1-800-829-9580 or contact us online at pksafety.com.