Bump Testing Your Gas Detector Should Be Second Nature

Bump Testing Your Gas Detector Should Be Second Nature

Creating good habits when it comes to bump testing your gas detection equipment is important to ensure safe, simple and accurate results.

What is a bump test and why is it important?

A bump test involves briefly exposing sensors in a gas detector to an expected concentration of gas that is greater than the alarm set points. This process is the only way to ensure proper sensor and alarm functionality. However, it does not check for accuracy, so it's important to note that accuracy is ensured through calibration, which is a completely different process than bump testing.

The first thing you should do before using your gas detector is to make sure it works. Without a bump test, you cannot know that the gas detector you have can perform the way you need it to. Applying gas to the sensors in a detector is just like checking to see if a flashlight works. If the bump test fails, you know that troubleshooting or further maintenance is required.



Gas detectors are made to survive harsh environments. They are often dropped, exposed to extreme temperatures, humidity, moisture, dust, mud, and sludge. Any of these can factor into a gas detector's performance. Sensors can become dislodged if a monitor is dropped. Filters can become clogged from moisture or dust. Enough mud or sludge can completely block a sensor from seeing gas. Because of these factors, manufacturers recommend bump testing gas detectors before each day's use. All these factors that occur during day-to-day use can impact a gas detector's performance.

How can I bump test my instrument?

Becuase of the broad range of gas detector appliances, manufacturers have come up with many different ways to perform bump tests. The easiest way to bump test is by using docking stations, which are often connected to web-based gas detection management software. This software allows users to schedule bump tests to occur every day. If the failure occurs, the software can notify the user or safety manager of the failure, so they know that further action is needed. Docking stations draw gas through a connected cylinder, and then apply that gas through a connected cylinder, and then apply that gas to the detector that is docked. The stations are designed to resemble a manual bump test. Manual bump tests are performed simply by using a gas bottle, a regulator, tubing, calibration cup (if using a diffusion instrument), and a gas detector. Users can put the instruments into bump test mode, then apply the gas. The gas detector will either cycle through each individual sensor or do the all at once, depending on instrument settings. After the test is complete, the instrument will display results, showing whether it was a passed or failed test. Alternatively, users can perform a manual bump test simply by applying gas to the instrument while it is on its gas reading screen.

What are the challenges of bump testing?

The need for bump testing can create some challenges. The number of instruments a company has, the applications, and locations of equipment can all come into play. For this reason, gas cylinders come in a variety of sizes. Users may need larger cylinders o connect to docking stations that are used every day. Users may also need smaller, more portable cylinders to bump test instruments when workers are on the go. Luckily for users, there is a wide array of cylinders available to fir the right application.

Check out the video below, that shows how to bump test the Ventis Pro.

By bump testing your instruments before each use you will not only protect your health but will also increase the longevity of your instruments lifespan. So, get into the habit of bump testing your instrument before each use, to ensure it functions accurately, after all it may save your life.

This article is an excerpt from an article written by Bryan Szczur, the marketing project coordinator at Industrial Scientific.

Should you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact our friendly customer service team on 1800 000 744 or email sales@airmet.com.au


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Tue. 07 Aug 2018

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Bump Testing Your Gas Detector Should Be Second Nature