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Carbon Dioxide

 
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tamiejensen



Joined: 16 Dec 2005
Posts: 10
Location: West Valley City, UT

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:51 pm    Post subject: Carbon Dioxide Reply with quote

I was wondering how significant is carbon dioxide as a factor in caving. Do the grottos have detectors available? I have done a little reading but would appreciate some information from you who have knowledge applicable to caves in the area. Are there other air quality issues to consider? Thanks all
-tamie
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caverdale



Joined: 22 Dec 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Carbon Dioxide Reply with quote

tamiejensen wrote:
I was wondering how significant is carbon dioxide as a factor in caving. Do the grottos have detectors available? I have done a little reading but would appreciate some information from you who have knowledge applicable to caves in the area. Are there other air quality issues to consider? Thanks all
-tamie


There are occasional problems with minor carbon dioxide presence, but most of the time you can just move away. Too many people panic with a slight CO2 elevation, but it is rarely dangerous. This doesn't include the infamous Dead Air Passage in the back of Big Brush Creek Cave, where the concentration really inhibits exploration. Jim Olsen applied to the NSS to obtain funds for a CO2 detector and got one just for the purpose of exploring this passage. Unfortunately, marital and other problems didn't allow him to use it more than a few times. I don't know what happened to the unit.

In general, I wouldn't worry about it. Unless you know with certainty that a problem exists it would be quite burdensome to carry a CO2 detector around.
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Dale Green
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dmccully



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 81
Location: West Valley City, Utah

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to Dales's comments, I will say that carbon dioxide detectors are expensive relative to other gas detecters. I have seen none that appeared to be suitable for caving and that could detect percentages in the 1-7 percent range that were less than $900.
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Duane McCully
NSS 39454
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TigerStripe40



Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 10
Location: My Own Little World

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Olsen still has the detector.

It's a chemical based detector. Which are more durable, cheaper, and more accurate than the electronic ones. Also, the electronic detectors have to be recalibrated every so often, and recalibration is NOT cheap. However one down side to this one is that the tubes are single use only

How this one works, is that you have a sealed glass tube with the detector material in it. You break off the ends of the tube to expose the detector material, then jam the tube in the end of the gizmo. Pulling the plunger of the gizmo pulls a precise volume of air through the tube. The detector material then changes color according to CO2 concentration, and you compare the color of the material to a chart and you get your CO2 concentration.

The other plus to this detector is that you can use it to detect any number of things, CO2, Methane, oxygen, etc etc etc. Just depends on the detector tubes you get.

Anybody can use it if they want it, but it's rather fragile, so Jim asks that anybody who wants to use it put down a deposit of $100 and purchase their own detector tubes.

Here is a link to the detector tubes:
http://www.zefon.com/store/catalog/Sensidyne_126SA_Carbon_Dioxide_Detector_Tube-p-654.html

$47.50 for a package of 10. And again, they are single use tubes. So 10 tests.

HTH
-James
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