LDARtools Blog

LDARtools Technical Updates: Checking the Integrity of the Probe

Posted by Kevin Moses on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 10:35 AM

The filters in your phx21™ are designed to protect your pump and restrictors from contaminants. Contaminants can also sneak into your phx21 through even the smallest holes in your probe and probe hose. Use the following Methods to protect your probe.

Method 1: Block the Probe Tip (Check-Daily)

  1. With the phx21 running, place your thumb over the probe tip. The pump should quickly stop. Remove your thumb. Restart the pump, test complete.
  2. If the unit does not stop, the pump is still drawing a “sample” through a leak in your probe.
  3. Go to Method 3 to quickly locate the leak.

Method 2: Probe vs. Inlet Flow Rates (Check-Weekly or Max PPL)

  1. Use flow meter assembly (LDAR# 1735) to measure the flow at your probe tip.
  2. Use your flow meter assembly to measure the flow at your probe port.
  3. If the probe port flow is greater than the probe tip flow, you have a leak.
  4. Go to Method 3 to quickly locate the leak.

Method 3: Pin-Point the Leak (Check-When probe port flow > probe tip flow)

ATTENTION: Before beginning test, make sure this is within site safety parameters.
  1. Add a 5-foot piece of tubing to your probe tip. This is to avoid drawing a contaminated sample.
  2. Without causing a spark, depress the button on a BIC lighter to release a flow of butane.
  3. Caution: DO NOT strike a flame with the lighter.
  4. Direct the Butane along the length of the probe hose and at the joints of your probe while watching the PDA connected to the phx21.
  5. Move the lighter slowly. If there is a leak, it will be drawn through the breach, into the phx21 and will register a PPM reading in a matter of seconds.
  6. If you detect a PPM reading, isolate the leak. If the probe hose is leaking replace it. If the probe is leaking, report an issue.

Topics: phx21, LDARtools

August Customer of the Month

Posted by Erica Gentry on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 @ 03:07 PM

LDARtools is proud to present The LDARtools Customer of the Month Award to Mike Clausewitz & Flint Hills Resources.  

At LDARtools one of our core values is "1% Investment Each Day Toward Best". We strive to invest 1% of everything each day in driving our processes, our products and our relationships from good to better to best."


As part of our drive toward "Best" we need the help of our customers to provided real world testing and feedback. For their continued assistance in helping us strive for that goal, we present the August 2016 Customer of the Month Award:

In recognition of Mike Clausewitz and the staff of Flint Hills Resources in Corpus Christi for their eagerness and thoroughness when testing new LDARtools software products.

Please join us in thanking them for helping us invest toward best. 


LDARtools Employee Spotlight: Nick Gable

Posted by Kevin Moses on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 @ 11:54 AM

Nick Gable has written software for companies such as Lockheed Martin and Halliburton. Initially, he was drawn to LDARtools because it was closer to home. Now, after talking to Rex and Philip (our Director of Software Innovation) and after just the right amount of prayer, he discovered the charms of the tight-knit group of individuals that make up the LDAR Think Tank.

Right now, he’s doing some training to work on improving our current products and developing our future projects. “I’m looking forward to solving interesting issues and creating cool stuff that’s sure to help our customers do their jobs better,” says Nick.

During the weekends, he goes to the beach with his family or hikes the nearby trails.

Nick Gable

Topics: LDARtools

July Site of the Month

Posted by Erica Gentry on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 @ 12:47 PM

PBF Energy (formerly Exxon Mobil) - July Site of the Month

6 years of extraordinary Level 1 Repair performance with 24 phx21s and minimal downtime and off-site repair costs.  They have also provided major contributions to development and success of phx21.


Since our first delivery of phx21s in January of 2010 to Exxon in Torrance, CA they have become one of our top sites to work with because of the dedication that their level one technicians have shown.
Luis and Kam, level one certified technicians, keep up with the daily and weekly maintenance items as well as any phx21 Level One maintenance tasks, minimizing the down time they experience with their fleet and preventing their units being sent in for routine tasks that that can be completed on site. This is no small feat since their fleet has 24 phx21 analyzers.
Luis and Kam also make the repair process more efficient by always reporting issues effectively by:
  • Using the LDARtools "Report an Issue" tool on LDARtools website.
  • Including log and spans files from the unit in question.
  • Waiting for a response from LDARtools Support Team.
  • Always answering any questions Support might have about the unit.


LDARtools Technical Updates: Safety First!

Posted by Kevin Moses on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 @ 12:31 PM


Yep it’s true! The phx21 is certified as a whole - this means all the parts. A part that is introduced without going through the certification process is NOT intrinsically safe.

Not being intrinsically safe may also create an opportunity for Method 21 non compliances and is also likely an OSHA violation. Use of parts not provided by LDARtools also voids ALL warranties, flat rate repair rates and requires us to either re-certify the machine or remove the "Met Labs Class 1 Division 1" markings. The cost to re-certify the machine is $1000.

The liability assumed by using uncertified parts (parts not provided by LDARtools) is huge and it's just plain dangerous.

Keep in mind, we are asking Technicians to strap a phx21 full of Hydrogen to their backs. Saving a little money is not a good reason to make it more dangerous.

Technical Tips for May

Topics: phx21, LDARtools

Meet June 2016's LDARtools Customer of the Month!

Posted by Kevin Moses on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 @ 02:20 PM

LDARtools is proud to present The LDARtools Customer of the Month Award to Mr. Brian Weaver of TEAM Industrial. Brian went the extra mile by coming in on Fridays to check the health of his phx21s (and to make sure everything was functioning properly) BEFORE they went out into the field. A true "no down time" rock star. Way to go Brian!

"Friday Maintenance Rock Star"


Topics: phx21, LDARtools, Customer of the Month

LDARtools Technical Updates: Why are Filters so Important?

Posted by Kevin Moses on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 @ 01:20 PM


Probe tip filters are designed to protect the ability of the phx21 to deliver a very precise sample to the FID chamber. These flows are measured in cubic centimeters per minute (tiny). At the proper flow rate it would take ~10 hours to fill a basketball - and the pressure would be so low that you would never be able to dribble it!

The flow precision is accomplished by the use of two meticulously pressed sintered metal restrictors: one for the VOC Sample and the other for the air that we use to combust the sample. Sintering is the process of taking loosely packed metallic powder and applying pressure to the powder in such a way that the molecules of the metal begin to press together. Just before this happens, the sintered metal will form a precisely structured barrier. This barrier can control with extraordinary accuracy how many molecules of air, or VOC, are able to pass through. These restrictors are positioned just downstream of the pump. They aredifficult to install; impossible to clean; and difficult to replace.


They are VERY important.


The 1 um probe tip filter is designed to capture a substantial amount of particles. Take a look at the photo on the left to get a sense of how much the probe tip filter is able to suck up and still keep running. When the filter gets “too full” the phx21 will prompt you to replace it - No problem. Conversely, if you operate the phx21 without a probe tip filter for even the shortest amount of time , then the smallest sample of particles can pass into the unit, through the pump and into one or more of the restrictors. The photo indicates how little it would take to ruin the restrictor. Keep in mind that the particles displayed in the photos are black pepper. Remember: the restrictors are impossible to clean and very difficult to replace.

Contamination can happen in the blink of an eye: while the unit is warming up, the dust in the room or from a nearby window can contaminate the unit.

This amount of contamination can pass through your sample probe and pump, then lodge in the restrictor in a matter of seconds!


To download a copy of this Technical Tip, click the button below:

Technical Tips for May


Topics: phx21, phx21 filter

"50 Shades of LDAR Gra/ey" at ISA Conference

Posted by Kevin Moses on Thu, May 26, 2016 @ 03:26 PM

Deever, Graham* and Rex Shed Light on the

"50 Shades of LDAR Gra/ey" at ISA Conference in Denver

Together with Graham* Harris (Sage Environmental) and Deever Bradley (ERM), Rex Moses (President of LDARtools), turned the attention of the LDAR community to the ongoing process of identifying, evaluating and clarifying the most vexing LDAR questions with their joint presentation of the "50 Shades of LDAR Gra/ey."

Following up on the initiation of the project at the 4C Conference earlier in 2016, Deever, Graham and Rex helped to clarify the previous questions and proposed a new set of questions to the LDAR elite gathered at the Denver Tech Center for the 2016 ISA Conference. 

Amazingly, the concept of "graey areas" and working together to crystallize the questions and articulate the right answers became a virtual theme of the conference. 
*Graham Harris is the highly esteemed God Father of LDAR otherwise known as "Buzz".


If you would like to participate in this project (by suggesting relevant questions or offering your own insights on the current list) please contact Rex Moses at rmoses@ldartools.com. If you would like a copy of the Shades of Gra/ey Report, download below. 

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LDARtools Technical Tips: Preventing Pump and Restrictor Contamination

Posted by Kevin Moses on Thu, May 12, 2016 @ 01:48 PM



Each month we will be releasing great technical tips to help keep your equipment in the best working order, and save you money. We encourage you to display these tips at your facility, we will even provide the display.  If you have suggestions on helpful topics or would like a display please email sales@ldartools.com

We routinely swab all pumps that are returned for warranty.

  1. The process involves taking a clean swab and swiping across the interior surface of the pump.
  2. Approximately 70% of the time these swabs come out pristine and clean. That is the good news.
  3. 30% of the time the swabs reveal contamination.

Contamination in the pump can only have one cause:

The unit was run, for some period of time, without the recommended 1 micron probe tip filter.



How small is one micron? Imagine that the blue dot is the cross section of a head of hair. The white dot that is at about 10:00 (on the clock) would be about 1 micron. That is very, very small. Nothing this big or bigger is going to pass through that probe tip filter.

The presence of contamination in the pump can only be explained by one thing: The unit was operated – for at least some time – without the probe tip filter.

Contamination can happen in the blink of an eye: while the unit is warming up, the dust in the room or from a nearby window can contaminate the unit.

Always Remember:

If the pump is running, the probe tip filter should be attached ALL of the time. 

To download a copy of this Technical Tip, click the button below:

Technical Tips for May

Topics: phx21

LDARtools Insider Perspective: Shipping and Receiving

Posted by Kevin Moses on Wed, Mar 09, 2016 @ 03:35 PM

The LDARtools warehouse is the heart of StoreLDAR. From here, we provide equipment and all the assorted parts you’ll need at your facility.

To serve you better, we asked David Munguia, LDARtools’ Shipping and Receiving Manager, for pointers on getting your order as soon as possible:

On Warranty Orders:

If you see a price on a warranty order, it’s because you have to send the CORE part back to LDARtools. Returning the CORE in a timely manner saves you from paying for the replacement part.

On Warranty Orders

On Support Cases:

To avoid extra handling fees, submit a support case on the LDARtools website (www.ldartools.com/#support) and get LDARtools Support’s authorization before sending the part or equipment in.

On Shipped Packages:

Include the “CORE” report or the RMA paperwork we gave you. It helps when we know why the equipment has been sent in.

On PO Information:

Send POs to StoreLDAR (store@ldartools.com) rather than an individual. It will speed up processing.

Got a topic we didn’t cover? Send an email to StoreLDAR (store@ldartools.com) or call 1-877-788-1110 ext 730.

Topics: LDARtools

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