Best Digital Gas Manometer Buying Guide
Similar to a barometer (which measures air pressure), a manometer is a device for measuring pressure in a fluid or gas column and is used by gas engineers to measure gas pressure and identify any leaks in the pipes of a central heating system. If the manometer shows a drop in pressure, it could indicate a problem, which the engineer can then work to rectify. They can also be used to identify issues in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems.
There are several types of manometer – simple, differential and digital. A simple manometer is typically a u-shaped device with two long sides filled with liquid that responds to pressure acting upon it. A differential manometer uses the same principle but can measure the difference in pressure between two places.
A digital manometer is the type most used today, and in place of the u-shaped liquid tube and its hydrostatic balance, a digital device uses a pressure sensor (or transducer) and a microprocessor to measure pressure changes. Easy to carry and use, a digital manometer is also quick to read, and many can also transfer the readings to a computer for more in-depth diagnostics.
Instead of using liquid and taking its reading from the hydrostatic balance, a digital manometer uses an internal pressure sensor to measure any gas pressure changes that may indicate a problem with the heating system. The internal transducer has an elastic portion which deflects when under pressure. This deflection is a measure of the pressure levels and converts into an electronic signal, which instantaneously translates into number readings on the device’s digital display.
There are many advantages to a digital manometer, they are accurate, portable, lightweight and easy to use, and they don’t rely on fluids, which can be messy. However, they will need periodic calibration to ensure they remain in line with the standard.
Here’s what you should look out for when buying a digital manometer:
Precision – look for the manometer’s measuring range and its accuracy. Measurements can be in bar, PSI and mbar and many models will offer you a choice of measuring units. And check for the accuracy range on the model you are considering, ideally it should be around +/- 0.3.
Portability – most digital manometers are sized to be handheld or hands free. Look for a model that's also lightweight and easy to transport.
Easy to read display – the gauge or LED display screen needs to be large enough for you to easily take the pressure readings. A backlit screen is also a good idea for when you find yourself in low light level environments.
Durability – it goes without saying that your chosen digital manometer needs to be durable enough to be taken on site as well as able to cope with the rough and tough of an engineer’s life. This includes the display screen. Some models are also water-resistant or come complete with its own protective case.
Battery life – look for a manometer which features rechargeable batteries if you can. And don’t forget to check whether the batteries are included, or if you need to buy them separately.
Connectivity – one key advantage of a digital manometer is that you can buy devices that can be synched with computers and smart tech via apps and Bluetooth. This will enable you to save the data and incorporate the information into more in-depth diagnostic reports, if required.
Price – as with most technical equipment, there’s a model to match most budgets. And the better the quality, the higher the price. When looking for a manometer, consider what you'll be using it for, how often and what functions are essential to the job at hand. This way you know you will be paying for what you need and can work within your budget.
Gain Express's Professional Digital Manometer scoops our best choice as a well-priced manometer that does what it says on the tin. A good choice for both gas heating and HVAC systems, it's easy to use, offers 11 measurement units and has a decent accuracy range. The LCCD display is clear and the battery life impressive. One to have in your tool kit for when you need it.