Oil extraction is fraught with danger and risk where even the slightest miscalculation can, at the very least, cost millions of dollars. No one should need reminding of the Deepwater Horizon debacle and the many other oil-rig disasters that led to huge fatalities and massive financial losses for the owners of these rigs. If anything, these incidents remind us of testing gauges before, and during, any drilling operation.
Conducting regular testing and recalibrating your instruments is a crucial part of ideal safety/quality assurance processes. It’s equally important that all relevant stakeholders know what gauge accuracy means and how they can measure it.
What Is Gauge Accuracy?
Fundamentally, accuracy indicates whether or not an indicated value – as specified by a measuring instrument – is close to its real values. For example – if your pressure gauge gives readings on a scale of 1psi to 100 psi with an accuracy of 1%, all its readings are accurate within ±1 psi of its actual reading. At any point in time, you have a reading of 20psi on the gauge; likely the actual value is between 21psi and 19psi.
Over time, it’s likely that your pressure gauges become increasingly less accurate owing to wear and tear from the environment and regular use. For this reason, it becomes important to test out your gauges to assess whether they’re still working fine or not. Ideally, you’d catch these errors before these instruments are sent into the field to present inaccurate readings that would potentially lead to massive damage.
We’ve highlighted some easy steps that you can follow to ensure that your gauges are working properly.
How To Test Your Pressure Gauge?
It’s not difficult to test out a pressure gauge; the whole process follows two simple steps:
Isolate your pressure gauge from the process. You can do that by using more valves or just by removing the gauge from the process altogether – the point is to make sure it doesn’t detect any feedback from outside your test conditions.
Connect your pressure gauge to either a reference gauge or a calibrator, a pass on a pre-set amount of pressure through to the gauge under observation. If you already know the amount of pressure your subject gauge should measure, you can check the accuracy of the gauge based on how close your pre-set pressure reading is to the reading on the gauge being tested.
If you’re using hydraulic pressure gauges, you should remove any trapped gases or fluids in the system. These trapped substances might throw off the readings, and the test will fail. Additionally, it would be best to wait for the pressure to stabilize before comparing the pre-set pressure with the readings on your test gauge.
Contact Instruments is a leading supplier of process instrumentation to organizations in the Oil and Gas Industry. We offer a wide range of products, including mug gauges, drilling rig instrumentation, torque gauges, and pumps, as well as OEM drilling instrumentation. Get in touch with us today for more information or place an order for your instrumentation at our online store.