damp detector

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Sue, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. Sue

    Sue Funster

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    We plan to take a damp detector when we pick up our motorhome from the dealers, and to do the check ourselves (not saying I dont trust them..but seems like a sensible idea to double check)
    Need to buy the detector though - so any advice please as to what would be the best one? There seem to be quite a few on Amazon and ebay, but would appreciate recommendations and advice.
     
  2. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Not one like mine anyway. Apparently I have to prod my walls with the prongs. I've never used it, thought at the time it was a bargain but penny wise £££s foolish springs to mind.

    Enjoy the new MH when it arrives.:)
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Two types.. ones with pins.. can be bought for about 2o quid or less... downside they make pin holes in the wall covering.. fine for checking in places where you can't see the marks.. .. plenty on ebay

    Pinless or non-invasive .. you can pay hundreds for a pro one. such as this by Protimeter http://www.damp-meter-direct.co.uk/protimeter-aquant.htm#.VPgNsy7q9-A

    probably OTT for most DIY needs.

    I just bought this one
    CEM Non Contact Moisture Meter - DT-128
    it was recommended on a Fun thread..

    .. http://www.digital-meters.com/moisture-c7/cem-non-contact-moisture-meter-cem-dt-128-p226

    I have only tried in the house and it is easy to operate and works well..
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
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  4. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Morning. I'm no expert however I use one that I picked up from Lidl for around £9 (Alde sold the same the following week for £7!) It has pins but it is not as if you are trying to push it through the wall. Sufficient force to make good contact is all that is required, you will get a reading if dampness is there. I have never made any holes or marks that can be seen in my van. Remember also that there is moisture in the atmosphere so you may get a low constant reading throughout the van. Buying a meter that costs a fortune seems over the top for something that you only need to use occasionally unless of course you are a dealer and use it all the time.
    Regards.
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    sorry.. that is quite incorrect.. if the pins don't penetrate below the vinyl covering it will only read surface moisture or condensation.. useless for telling you what the damp is underneath..

    it works on the electrical resistance between the two pins .. the damper it is, the less the resistance, the higher the reading.. it certainly can't measure atmospheric humidity

    you don't need to spend a fortune.. £50 for the one I bought.. and it's a small investment that could save you expensive repairs.. damp caught early can be rectified without a big cost .. damp caught late can cost tens of thousands to repair.. the forums are full of tales of damp woe
     
  6. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    It's not incorrect. I use enough pressure to get a good reading, I don't just place it on the wall. All I'm saying is that you don't need an expensive unit to detect the presence of damp.
     
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  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    indeed you don't.. the pin type work well.. all I said was that they have to penetrate the surface covering to read the moisture below.. not an issue where it's not seen.. but you wouldn't want pin marks all around a window .. surface readings are pointless.
     
  8. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    My view........ for what it's worth... :)
    Even the cheapest meter has to be better than nothing at all..
    If you go around a van and the meter reads in a similar level, say 15% then you suddenly get a 30% reading in one area, at least you know to investigate further. The meter could be 100% inaccurate but you still know that high reading needs looking at...
     
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  9. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I bought a cheap pin type from Maplins. I tried to use it once on the motorhome by testing in an inconspicuous place. The problem I found is that the inner lining of the Hymer 'PuAl' bodywork is quite hard. To get a sensible reading you have to penetrate this coating and that leaves unsightly marks.
    Now I trust to Hymer's excellent construction and get a fitter I trust to check it occasionally with a non-invasive meter.
    The cheap Maplin pin meter is now deployed to good effect in a new role - testing the moisture content of logs before I use them on our new log stove. (y)
     
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  10. Sue

    Sue Funster

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    and
    and its not a bad price
     
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  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    had a look at them and they are indeed cheap looking.. about 30 quid.. another £20 buys the non invasive one in my link.
     
  12. rolandrat

    rolandrat Funster

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    It's OK buying a cheepo but the Protimeter is the King. To be absolutely sure they are certified on a regular basis and the company inform you when it's due for calibration. Mine has just been returned with the appropriate certificate. If you ask a dealer to do a damp test insist on seeing the calibration certificate then you know everything should be in order.
     
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  13. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I paid £21.99 for mine a few years ago. I would not buy one again as I don't think it is very well made. (A view I have formed about most things I have bought from Maplins - I no longer buy from them.)
    Were I to need a low-cost pin-type again, I would look at the model made by (branded) Stihl although that would be for testing fire logs - not a motorhome.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stihl-Moisture-Digital-Tester-Detector/dp/B004NQ0RL4
     
  14. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    agree.. no longer the company they were .. a lot of Chinese tat
    Radio Shack .. remember them.. American I believe, loved their stores.. shame they closed down..

    when I was working I had access to so many good electrical and electronic suppliers.. at wholesale prices.. RS, Farnal , etc .. nothing on the high street now.. but there are plenty of good internet stores.. but it's not the same as browsing and looking at stuff close up..
     
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  15. Nigel&Debbie

    Nigel&Debbie Read Only Funster

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    The only problem with the cheaper 'non invasive' type detectors is that they are designed for plaster and cement and according to most instructions SHOULD NOT BE USED WITHIN 10CM OF A CORNER OR EDGE. They work by way of ultrasonic waves, and corners cause false reading. Most damp in a motorhome at least starts near a corner of edge, hence whilst doing checks this is where the dealers/mechanics check first.

    If I was seriously considering buying a m/home and the seller was not prepared to allow discreet checking with a pin damp meter, I would walk away. Start by checking behind rubbers around the windows / sky lights so the small pin holes are not visible. Then check the corners (access usually gained vis cupards etc - again not visible. Then do the lockers, again not visible. If by this time you have found no damp, there really should by no need to check the openly visible areas, as any damp here will be pretty obvious.

    Just my view

    In my opinion, this is the safest way for a lay person to check damp without spending hundreds of pounds.
     
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  16. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Ah so you did buy that one...was wondering. be interesting to see how you get on. I would be experimenting around local dealers:)
     
  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Yes, and will report back
     
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  18. pops

    pops Funster

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    I agree with Rolandrat the Protimeter is the best for correct readings. Where I worked that is all we used and that the cheaper ones did not always give correct readings.
     
  19. Mr Mousy

    Mr Mousy Funster Life Member

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    If you are buying from a dealer - ask to borrow his pro moisture meter - if he objects I would be concerned!
     
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