Gas and Combustion Tools w/ Bill Spohn (Podcast)
Bill and Bryan discuss gas and combustion tools. These tools include manometers, combustible gas detectors, personal CO detectors, draft gauges, and combustion analyzers.
Manometers measure gas pressure, and they require calibration but are usually quite accurate. Before using a manometer as a diagnostic tool effectively, you must understand your targets and resolution. Some digital manometers come with BlueTooth technology, so you can log, convert, and store your data on mobile devices.
Gas leak detectors are relatively inexpensive tools. These should NOT be confused with combustion analyzers, which are different tools altogether. You usually cannot calibrate these tools. When using a gas leak detector, the leak detection process on gas pipes is similar to the electronic leak detection process on straight-cool A/C units.
Draft gauges measure very fine pressure differentials in the combustion air zone. These may use flappers or vanes to give you data about the direction and amount of draft. Most importantly, you want to ensure that you have no backdraft. These tools take very fine measurements, so they have high resolution. Because of their high resolution, they require frequent calibration to stay accurate.
Personal (or ambient) CO monitors are also important gas and combustion tools. Carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless and colorless, and it can be deadly. To avoid CO poisoning, use one of these monitors to remain aware of the CO content in your space.
Combustion analysis has evolved a lot over the years. Today, we perform combustion analysis with a single tool. When combustion occurs, a chemical reaction occurs. Combustion analyzers determine what happens post-combustion by taking temperature and oxygen readings. However, they also account for the presence of CO, which indicates incomplete combustion.
Bill and Bryan also discuss:
- Analog and Magnehelic manometers
- CO monitor upkeep/disposal
- Perfect combustion
- Nitric oxide filters
- Choosing tools
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