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  • What does it mean by extra thick multi layer panels in your operating instructions? They are applying 15mm of glass resin flow-coat, then 20mm foam core and then 15mm of repeat of previous coating.

    We are referring to the different layers of material in a fibreglass (GRP) hull construction. Usually, a gel coat is applied to the outside layer of GRP to give a very smooth surface finish in contact with the water. Gel coatings tend to blister and lift if there is too much water in the fibreglass - a consequence of the process known as osmosis. The Aquant II will indicate the relative levels of moisture through multilayer materials to a nominal depth of 10-15mm. This gives the user relative information through the GRP and gel coat. When the field enhancer is fitted to the meter (the shoe like device in which the meter sits) the depth of penetration is compressed to a nominal 5mm. The user can investigate conditions at the gel coat fibreglass interface.

    MINI or pin type moisture meters. Measure conductance only, between the pins.

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  • Why does the Surveymaster provide widely differing results when using the pins versus search mode in a sub floor situation on particle board flooring and also timber bearers and joists?

    Search mode (Radio Frequency) utilises a 0-1000 relative scale; there are no units of measurement. Search mode gives relative information of the moisture condition from the surface to a nominal depth of 20mm (subject to the material being tested; perhaps slightly less than this in timber). The red-zone relative readings of 726 and 567 indicate that the material is damp beneath the surface. To quantify the actual moisture level in %mc (in wood) or in %WME (in materials other than wood) additional testing would be necessary, by using the Surveymaster together with the Deep Wall Probes or a Hammer Electrode (for wood only).

    Measure mode, using the pins (or accessories such Deep Wall Probes or Hammer Electrode) gives a precise and specific measurement of the actual %mc between the tips pf the electrode pins. The red zone readings of 28.9 and 22.1 indicate the actual %mc moisture level at the surface between the points of the pins.

    In essence, Search and Measure modes are complementary technologies. Search mode is used to detect, map and monitor the sub-surface condition in relative terms. Measure mode gives quantitative and precise measurement of the actual %mc in wood or %WME in materials other than wood. For further explanation of WME download these Equilibrium Moisure Content tables. When high Search mode readings are obtained it may often be necessary to take quantitative readings by using the Surveymaster in Measure mode.

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  • What is the difference between absolute humidity and mixing ratio?

    Absolute humidity:
    The mass of water vapour present in a unit volume of moist air of a given temperature and pressure. SI (metric) units are grams of water per cubic metre of air. Older references may be in terms of pounds per million cubic feet or in grains per cubic foot (One grain is approx equal to 0.0648gram).

    Mixing ratio:
    Mass of water vapour per unit mass of dry air with which it is associated. It is a dimensionless ratio but is often expressed in grams of water per kilogram of dry gas or in other units of mass. For low levels of moisture content, this may be expressed in parts per million by weight, ie mass of water vapour per million parts mass of dry gas (ppmw).

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  • Can the Aquant be used to measure moisture levels in fibreglass panels reinforced with a plywood core?

    The Aquant II should detect differences in moisture level through a GRP- Plywood-GRP sandwich. Effectiveness will be influenced by: Thickness and density of the GRP layer, density of the plywood and variability of the moisture level within the GRP and the plywood.

    Note: The Aquant is a moisture detector not a moisture meter. It is not calibrated to give actual %MC values.

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  • Is there some way of testing the search mode on the Aquant's (and other Protimeter moisture meters)?

    The Aquant is a moisture detector that highlights, in relative terms, areas of potential sub-surface (to a nominal depth of 20mm, depending on the material) moisture level concern. By contrast, moisture meters (pin-type devices) give a precise, repeatable and specific measurement (%mc in wood, %WME in other materials) between the contact points of the pin-electrodes. The two technologies – RF (Aquant) and pin-type moisture meters - perform different roles and give different perspectives. The technologies are complementary; it is a mistake to think of one technology being better than another.

    Focusing on the Aquant, it is designed for monitoring or highlighting sub-surface moisture levels in situations where it is impractical or undesirable to do invasive or destructive testing. The 0-1000 relative scale enables the user to monitor steady state conditions, or monitor changing conditions. The scale gives the user information on the moisture condition of the material: green zone (0-160) very dry, yellow (161-200) dry/marginal and red (201-1000) potentially damp through to wet. If material registers values in the green/yellow zones there is little to be learned from doing destructive tests with, say, a Mini and Deep Wall Probes because it is clear that the sub-surface material is dry. However, if the material registers red zone readings there may be value to the user in quantifying the sub-surface moisture condition in terms of %WME or ERH by using, say, a Mini with DWPs or a Hygromaster.

    Using the RF type instuments (Aquant, surveymaster MMS/MMS2) To obtain consistent readings in the RF modes the instruments must be held and used correctly. It is important for the user to hold the instrument more or less in the same way; wrap fingers fully around the handle of the instrument and avoid touching (the side of) the sensor pad when taking measurements. With the new style Aquants and MMS2, ensure that the flat pad is in 100% contact with the surface. With the older style Aquants, surveymasters and MMS, that have a curved RF sensor, hold the unit at about 30 degrees to the surface. Regarding wear of the sensor; advise your customers not to drag the instruments across surfaces. These instruments are designed to be placed in position and then lifted.

    RF Scale tolerance
    The 0-1000 relative scale is indicative, not a precise measurement of actual moisture level or content. An allowance of 30 points is acceptable between any two instruments in the range 0-200. So two instruments, one reading say 140 and the other reading 170 at the same measurement point, are within tolerance. A wider allowance (unspecified, but say 50 points) should be allowed for readings over 200.

    A better baseline reference to use is an area of solid wall and/or floor that you know is in a stable condition. To identify a suitable baseline I’d recommend using the average readings from, say 6, brand new instruments. Your hand is a good reference for full scale check; all units should read 999 or 1000. Having established a stable reference please check your customer’s instruments against this.

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  • Can you compare an Aquant with a pin type moisture meter and can the Aquant be affected by conductance?

    The Aquant is measuring sub-surface by transmitting radio waves whereas a pin type moisture meter is measuring conductance only, between the pins. Yes, if there are other conductive materials within the structure such as metals, carbon fibre, conductive salts etc the Aquant readings could be high as a consequence of these.

    Keep in mind the Aquant is designed as a moisture detector as distinct from a moisture meter. The Aquant scale is "relative” not “quantitative”. If low readings are obtained from solid materials, it can be assumed that there is very little moisture. If high readings are obtained then the Aquant is, metaphorically, waving a red flag to advise that future investigation is required to assess the true condition of the material.

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  • Is there a recommended method for using the Aquant to test for moisture in ships hulls?

    Suggest taking a reference reading above the water line to establish the "norm" for the hull. Consider the difference between the "norm" and readings taken at critical points below the water line. A large difference suggests the hull may be saturated (assuming no water tank etc. directly behind the meter at that point). In essence the Aquant can only draw attention to potential problem areas. Readings in the bottom half of the Aquant scale are usually ok. Readings in the higher half should be scrutinised.

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  • Does the Aquant II react to anti-fouling paints (which often/usually) contain metallic compounds?

    It is a question of degree. If the paint is highly conductive it will cause the Aquant (and all other types of electrical moisture meter) to read high. Even if the paint is conductive the Aquant may still be usable as it is giving a relative reading. The difference between reference readings taken above the water line and those below is of most significance.

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  • How would the Aquant be used to measure moisture in radome structures (Radome – meaning dome or covering, protecting radar equipment)?

    The Aquant has a field reduction shoe that can be used which allows moisture assessment of the gel coat (outer 2-3mm) of a GRP composite structure. This is quite common in the marine world where one of the major hazards is what is known as osmosis (when the gel coat becomes semi porous and will lead to eventual breakdown of the structure/hull). This is probably needed for assessing radome structures. The field reduction facility would be necessary; as at full strength, it would also be looking at the honeycomb structure underneath the gel coat which by its nature will be full of air gaps etc, and such results would then be fairly meaningless.

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  • Can you measure moisture in bamboo?

    We have no calibration data for bamboo. For species that are not listed in our calibration table, we recommend using the A scale. This is the generic wood calibration that is common to all Protimeter moisture meters.

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  • Can a Surveymaster measure moisture in besser blocks?

    Because these are of an unknown mixture the Surveymaster would give “indication only".

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  • Can you measure moisture in cardboard?

    The Mini is used by the packaging industry to give relative measurement in cardboard and similar materials. The %WME value given by the meter tells you the moisture condition of the material - whether it is in a dry, borderline or damp state. Cardboard stored in a dry environment of say 40%rh would have a %WME value in the range of 8-10%WME. This is in the middle of the green zone of the instrument telling you that the material is in a safe air-dry condition. It will not deteriorate as a result of its moisture content. By contrast cardboard stored in an environment of say 85%rh would have a %WME value in the range of 19-21%WME, a damp condition where if maintained, deterioration would be expected. In summary, for cardboard the Mini is a simple and effective tool for monitoring and quality control applications where a relative reading is acceptable.

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  • Does the Surveymaster measure moisture in carpet?

    Best units for testing moisture in carpets are the pin-type (mini) meters. Search mode RF of the Surveymaster and Aquant are not effective for moisture measurement in carpet itself. Better for giving insight into conditions with solid walls/floors. The Surveymaster is the most versatile meter as it has both functions of RF and pins.

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  • Does a coating (paint) affect the moisture reading? How does this work?

    This depends on the paint system. If the paint is conductive (eg contains metal particles etc) then moisture meter readings may be affected, - other wise no. Suggest you discuss with your paint supplier.

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  • Does the Digital Mini measure moisture in coconut?

    This will record %mc values in wood species. If you have a species such as coconut which is not listed in the calibration tables we recommend you record scale A values, allowing a tolerance of ±2%. If more accurate values are required, the instrument should be calibrated with respect to oven dried samples.

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  • How do pin type moisture meters compare against meters which work on radio frequency (RF)?

    Measure mode with pins is a precise and specific measurement of the moisture level (in terms of % moisture content in wood or “wood moisture equivalent” WME in other materials) between the pin electrodes. If the pins are pushed just into the surface, then only the surface condition is being measured. By contrast, search mode RF is a moisture detection technique that identifies (in relative terms only) the presence of moisture measured from the surface to a nominal depth of 20mm (depends on the material).

    The two modes are not directly comparable because they are measuring different things. When both modes are used, two perspectives of the moisture level are gained that are complimentary; ie. surface and sub-surface conditions.

    The %WME and relative scales are not directly interchangeable. The reason for this is that there are too many variables that can affect the RF measurement (properties of the material, temperature, etc). That said, one can make the assumption that RF readings up to 200 are most likely to be equivalent to less than 20%WME. Relative values over 200 are likely to be equivalent to over 20%WME.

    Relative readings below 200 indicate the sub-surface is dry; there is little to be gained by drilling holes and using the deep wall probes to verify the level in %WME terms. But search mode readings over 200 are signalling that there may be an excessive moisture level present. If the user wishes to quantity this, then the Surveymaster should be used with the deep wall probes to quantify the sub-surface moisture level in terms of %WME.

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  • Customer asks one of our laboratory staff about using the Hygromaster in a concrete slab that is outdoors and is three months old. He took readings on a slab that was 15°C and getting readings of 76.9%rh and 78%rh. When he measured the same slab at a later date in the same locations at a slab temperatures of 6°C the readings were 90.6%rh and 90.9%rh. The probe was left in each sleeve for 30 minutes on each occasion. He asked why the high readings? Is it due to the colder slab temperature of 6°C?

    Initially let’s make two assumptions. In both cases the hygrostick used to take the measurements was correctly calibrated and was in equilibrium with the environment (the air in the hole) being measured. The saturation vapour pressure of water depends strongly on temperature. Near room temperature, the air’s capacity to hold water vapour doubles for every 10°C increase in temp. But at, say, -60°C the saturation vapour pressure doubles for only a 5°C increase in temp. (Source: A Guide to Measurement of Humidity, NPL). In short this means that the measured rh value will change significantly with temperature, even when the actual moisture level within the concrete and the air pocket itself are more or less constant. As the temperature falls, the rh value will rise and vice versa. So if the slab temp has fallen from 15°C to 6°C it is no surprise that the rh values have increased significantly.

    A thought regarding this situation. It is odd that there should be such a variance in the temperature of the slab. Generally speaking, slab temperatures tend to be pretty stable, varying by only a few degrees C irrespective of the external environment once below the surface. This is one of the reasons why rh measurement is considered a practical option for assessing the moisture condition of a slab. Any explanation on how/why the slab temperature varies so much? Is there a subfloor heating system installed?

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  • Is there a connection between condensation and dewpoint?

    In condensation, there is no explanation of dewpoint temperature. Dewpoint is the temperature at which moisture condenses. It is a function of ambient temperature and %rh and it varies if the %rh changes or ambient temperature changes or both change. Moisture condense on mirrors, walls etc when their surface temperatures fall below dewpoint. A simple example; when you take a cold bottle of beer out of the fridge, water droplets form on the glass. The reason – the temperature of the glass is below dewpoint temperature. The MMS enables the user to measure humidity, ambient temp, dewpoint and surface temperature for condensation investigation work. It even shows you the difference between surface temperature and dew point.

    Other answers to this question

    Answer 2
    The Surveymaster does not use “sonic” signals in search mode. It measures the dielectric capacitance of the material by using radio frequency (RF) signals.

    Answer 3
    Protimeter two-prong meters (Mini, Timbermaster, Surveymaster & MMS) are indeed calibrated for timber. However, these instruments are not designed solely for use in timber, they are designed for use in the whole range of non-conductive building materials. The point to note is that they only measure actual moisture in wood. In other materials they measure %WME values. This is very significant, because it means that the meters can be used to establish the moisture condition of the materials under investigation by using the wood calibration as a reference.

    Answer 4
    Hygroscopic salts, carbon and other conductors will cause high moisture meter readings. When this is suspected, instruments such as the MMS should be used in hygrometry mode to measure the ERH of the material under investigation.

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  • Will the Surveymaster measure moisture in corrugated cardboard?

    The SM will only work effectively when held directly against sold materials. It is designed not to bridge air gaps, which is why it does not register through corrugated cardboard.

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  • What is enthalpy?

    Enthalpy is a function of the gas temperature and pressure of the moisture content, since water absorbs energy in changing from condensed state to vapour. Useful concept in air conditioning whether it is important to know how much of the stored energy will be consumed or released when the temperature or water content is raised or lowered. Enthalpy of gas can be defined as the sum of “sensible” and “latent” heat for each component in the gas. Values of enthalpy are conventionally expressed relative to a datum point (ie. A zero or base line). For a dry gas, this is normally the heat content at 0°C. For water vapour, the enthalpy is usually expressed relative to the heat content of liquid water at 0.01°C. Expressed in terms of energy per quantity of dry gas ie. Kilojoules per kilogram (kJ kg).

    When we heat or cool air, we are heating or cooling the gases (called sensible heat) and we are heating or cooling the water vapour (called latent heat). The cooling process often removes water vapour form the air. This is commonly seen as water running from the amount of heat in a kilogram of air.

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  • Can the Balemaster be used to measure moisture in lucerne/hay, baled in high humidity conditions?

    Unit is calibrated for wheat and straw, but it is frequently used to take relative moisture measurement in other baled materials (e.g. hay, tobacco, cotton and hemp etc).

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  • Will the Balemaster probe have the ability to give a constant read out as you probe in and out of the bale?

    This is a crucial element in buying a probe to find possible "hot spots" or high moisture balls in bales for export.

    Unit will give a constant reading whilst it is on. In other words once switched on the display is active until the unit either switches off automatically (30 seconds or so, as I recall) or is switched off by the user. The measurement is made at the tip of the probe, not over the complete length of the probe. This means that you can take measurements at incremental increases in depth. If used in a methodical and consistent manner it should be possible to identify "hot spots” as required for this application.

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  • How many holes should you drill in concrete to put in the 70mm humidity sleeves?

    This depends on the recommendation of the standard your customer is applying (if any) and/or the level of rigor the client requires from the moisture measurement programme. So, not really possible for us to specify how many holes he should drill. That said, the goal is to drill sufficient holes to give a reasonably representative picture of the moisture level within the slab. That may depend on the layout; is it one large continuous area, or is it a fragmented area on different levels with areas in shade/sunlight and or areas that are in differing environments?

    If one large continuous area, in a more or less consistent and stable environment, then fewer holes will be required to obtain a representation than if the area is variable from place to place. Assuming it is one continuous area, and assuming that a hole pattern is not specified by a standard, then holes could be placed at regular intervals (spaced to the mutual agreement of the user and his client) parallel to the walls and, as a suggestion, diagonally across the area. This should give a reasonably representative picture, but in the end it is a judgment call as to where the sleeves are placed and how many are placed.

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  • I need to measure moisture in a laminate flooring which is made out of HDF (high density fibre board) and other layers to produce a hard wearing laminate floor. I need a unit to measure moisture within an installed floor that may be experiencing some problems - problems with our floors usually come down to customer wet mopping, spillage etc. I need an accurate way of testing floor without pulling floor up, how could I do this?

    Should be able to identify damp spots within the HDF floor using the RF search modes of the Aquant, Surveymaster and MMS. Readings are relative only but if moisture (from mopping etc) has penetrated the floor, it should be detectable with this method.

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  • Customer using a Surveymaster testing magnesite (20-25mm thick) on concrete. When they put the pins into the magnesite the SM shows dry. The magnesite has been removed at different places on the concrete and using search mode the meter shows wet. The concrete floor has been down for 30 years. They ask why the meter is giving two different readings?

    Surface readings (pin mode). Pins take a precise and specific measurement between the points of contact. Sub-surface readings (RF mode). Relative measurement is taken from the surface to a nominal depth (typically 20mm). Common for a moisture gradient to exist, even in material that may be old and stable. In essence, it is not uncommon for moisture level to increase with depth in material as there are numerous variables that affect moisture level/stability (e.g. type of material thickness, environment, whether or not concrete has been covered and so on). Possible that the magnesite layer has acted as a vapour check and kept moisture within the concrete.

    Note too that search mode RF measurements are relative not quantitate. Search mode is a moisture detection device designed to map extent of condition and to monitor levels in comparative terms. How “wet” is “wet”? Are the search mode readings just in the red zone (circa 200-250) or into the high hundreds?

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  • Does the Surveymaster measure moisture on marble & tile slabs?

    Does your want to know the %mc of the tiles themselves, or what the moisture level is behind the tiles? If behind, consider these as you would ceramic tiles. Provided the tiles are not too thick, the Surveymaster should give useful information. If within the tiles: We have no information on the Surveymaster performance in marble and granite tiles specifically. Assuming there are no conductors in these materials then the Surveymaster should work. However, as these materials are so dense they may not be capable of holding enough moisture to be detectable to the Surveymaster. Best advice we can offer is to try it out on samples that are known to have high and low moisture contents.

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  • Moist masonry wall covered with an impervious coating such as plastic epoxy paint. If you put the meter on the surface will it measure any surface moisture or just the masonry behind the paint?

    There are two measurement modes available with the Surveymaster:

    In REL/search mode, the instrument will detect any conductivity in the bulk material to a depth of at least 12mm but no more than 19mm. The measurement sees the moisture whether or not it has a route to the surface. This measurement mode will register any moisture in the depth range even it is behind a DPN or other impervious barrier.

    In WME/Pin mode the instrument primarily measures moisture in the direct line between the pins. It will not measure across gaps or through barriers. However, if both pins are pushed through the barrier – in this case the surface coatings of paint – the pins will be in direct contact with moisture behind and so the moisture will be included in the readings.

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  • Do the timber moisture meters work on MDF?

    The fact that timber instruments start measuring at 6-7% moisture content in timber does not preclude their use for other materials at lower moisture contents. Eg. In plaster board moisture content as low as 2% may be measured. Similarly, since we do not know exactly what the MDF consists of, the easiest way is to get a sample, which has a moisture content of 4% and see if one of our timber instruments work.

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  • What scale should I use when looking for Osmosis in GRP?

    Osmosis is quite common in the marine world. A major hazard is what is known as osmosis (when the gel coat becomes semi porous) and will lead to eventual breakdown of the structure should use the A scale. This scale is also used on the Mini, Surveymaster and MMS meters.

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  • I want to measure moisture up to 30% in plaster figures before they are painted. Will your timber moisture meters work?

    Yes, you should be able to use these to assess the moisture condition of plaster figures in the same way you would a wall Your customer could use the mini or similar to take relative readings. You would actually be measuring %WME values.

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  • Customer using a Timbermaster to measure blackbutt timber on a plywood sub floor and water under the flooring has caused the blackbutt to come off the sub floor. The blackbutt measures 13%-14% and the plywood measures 23%-25%. What should the plywood measure when dry? Also which scale should the customer be measuring the plywood with? Scale A?

    Wood, including ply, is in a safe air dry condition when the moisture content is 16% or lower (green zone on our Mini and Surveymaster instruments). The borderline or at-risk condition is 16-20%mc, indicated by the yellow zone. Damp wood has 20%mc or greater, in the red zone. If using a Timbermaster for plywood, the customer should use the A scale. This scale is also used on the Mini, Surveymaster and MMS meters.

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  • A polystyrene panel manufacturer wants to measure moisture in blocks of polystyrene that are up to 480mm thick by 2-3 meters wide by 3-5metres long. These blocks dry from the outside in and there and be a pocket in the centre not dry that does not show up until they are into fabrication. Could the Surveymaster with 240mm deep wall probes work?

    Deep wall probes may work. It depends if the levels of moisture within the panels are within the measuring range of the Mini or Surveymaster. It should be easy enough to establish this by trying it out on panels that are known to be acceptably dry and unacceptably wet.

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  • I asked you about polystyrene ten years ago and wondered if there have been any newer test methods? Would humidity now be more accurate?

    This really depends of the accuracy of measurement sought by the customer and the physical amount of water within the polystyrene itself. If customer is looking for simple moisture detection, then it may be that the radio frequency (RF detection devices (Aquant, Surveymaster and MMS) will be adequate as thickness of material (18-25mm) is not so great. Can the material be tested from both sides?

    But RF detection is relative measurement and can be affected by variables (temperature, inconsistency of the materials) etc). If a more precise measurement is required, I suspect %WME using deep wall probes will be more reliable and useful. Are you aware of the EIFS probe? This is used to push through polystyrene insulation widely used in low cost American houses external insulation finishing system. Same principle as deep wall probes but a lot more convenient to use. Humidity techniques, viable, I think but time consuming to get an equilibrium rh measurement.

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  • Can your Protimeter meters measure moisture in refractory bricks?

    The Surveymaster or Aquant using search mode are certainly an option for quick, sub-surface moisture level checking of refractory bricks. Point to note is that the scale of these instruments is a relative index only rather that an actual measurement of the bricks % moisture content (%mc)

    Is it important to know the actual %mc or to have an instrument that tells you in relative terms whether the bricks are in a dry, borderline or damp condition?

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  • What is the acceptable (maximum) moisture level for teak?

    Teak reads off scale F - we are reluctant to give people precise moisture content for individual types of timber and specific applications. We suggest they contact “The Timber Research Association" who would be able to give more expert advice.

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  • Moisture meters are usually used on lumber (such as air-dried or kiln-dried). We intend to use it on freshly cut logs to be used as a biomass fuel. Is the meter ok for this application? I have also read somewhere that for moisture beyond 30%, accurate readings are impossible because there is too much water in the wood. Your specs for the Timbermaster say its accuracy is ±1%. Does this accuracy only apply to moisture content <30% or does it also apply to MC up to 99%? What we are worried about is that we will be working on logs that are typically in the 60% MC range and will be dried to around 40% MC and does the accuracy of ±1% still apply? Eg: It might turn out that we get readings of 55% and in reality, the actual value lies between 50%-60% ±5%. Any explanation on this matter?

    The Timbermaster and other instruments only give a reliable measurement in wood up to fibre saturation; between 28-30%mc. Timbermaster scale extends to about 90, but measurements in the range 30-90 are relative only. You should not consider measurements in this range to accurately represent %mc, uncertainty could be ±10%mc.

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  • We intend to take deep measurements for MC. Other moisture meters are able to use alligator clips attached to nails hammered into the wood. Can we do this with the Timbermaster?

    Yes you could connect crocodile clips to nails driven into the wood. Also consider using the hammer electrode.

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  • Customer wants to inspect a tiled shower floor with a waterproof membrane under the tiles (he doesn’t know what type of membrane it is). If the shower is used say four hours before he does the inspection, will he be able to check whether the waterproof membrane has a leak through to the floor underneath or is ok?

    This is a hard one to call. If the tiles are assumed to be 100% non-porous, then a test after four hours should be fine provided all surface moisture has been dried off. However, tiles may not, in reality, be 100% non-porous. In other words, they may retain some residual moisture for considerable time as a consequence of normal use. Best advice is to look for variability in the readings rather than relying too much on the actual meter values. If readings are pretty much the same wherever they are taken, this would imply stable conditions. If there are significant differences in meter readings at different places, it may be indicative of areas where leaks have occurred through the tiles? Note that tile thickness influences the readings.

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  • Can your moisture meters be used measure moisture in vanilla beans (long brown bean)?

    It will depend on the moisture content range expected. If this needs measuring when growing prior to harvest then it would be unlikely any of our technologies would be able to cope. If we are measuring dried vanilla beans (pods) then depending on the actual levels involved maybe a mini could give guidance. Literally they need to try it or send us a well sealed sample for testing.

    Interesting customer reply:
    We are dealing with vanilla bean pods, about 16-22cm in length, that have been cured and sun-dried. We need to simply insert the two pins into the pod and obtain a moisture content reading. We need something that is relatively inexpensive, quick, reasonably accurate, portable and easy for the grower to use. We are dealing with uneducated, rural farmers, some of whom grow these crops 4-6 days trek from the nearest road, mainly in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). We often do not even pay “cash money” for their crop, as they have no need for it (no banks, shops etc) nor have most of them ever seen notes/coins. We pay them in blankets, batteries, small radios, saws, knives, machetes, plastic bowls, and books and shoes for the kids. I will purchase a Mini for evaluation.

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  • Can the Mini or Surveymaster with deep wall probes measure moisture in vermiculite?

    Suggest a Mini with a deep wall probe for quick initial investigation. Then a Hygromaster could be used to measure the ERH if the material is of a compressed nature.

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  • If a subfloor has water pipes running through it and an MMS drill and plug test is being conducted, will the results be affected because of the water in the pipes?

    If measuring ERH values with the MMS, hygrostick and humidity sleeves then the measurement will not be affected by either the pipe material or the water within the pipe. Reason for this is that the hygrostick measures the relative humidity of the area in the hole rather than the concrete surrounding it. A word of caution! If the subfloor heating system is on then the temperature of the concrete floor will be fluctuating. This certainly would affect the ERH readings. The subfloor heating system should be switched off well in advance of taking measurements to ensure that the floor slab is at a constant normal temperature. By contrast, the MMS search mode (RF) readings could be affected. This would depend on the depth of the pipes below the surface and the diameter of the pipes etc. It should be easy to spot though. You would expect search mode readings to rise if directly over the pipe and to fall when moving to either side of the pipe.

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