One of our salespeople was demonstrating a portable hydrogen sulfide analyzer to a prospect, who told us he needed to be sure that there was “no” H2S in the ambient air–caused by a leak from a scrubber installation.

Our analyzer showed a fairly consistent reading of 0.2 ppm, whereupon the prospect pulled out his nifty little confined entry style multi-gas unit, for comparison. It read an unmoving “zero.” At this, the prospect said, “Your instrument is reading high!”

Our salesman told him that our unit had just been calibrated, and besides, compare the ranges and specs. He continued, “After all, your instrument has a measuring range of 0-100 ppm, with an accuracy at the low end of ±2 ppm. Our instrument’s range is five times more sensitive, and our accuracy spec is much better. I have confidence in the reading of the Interscan.”

But, how can we compete with a desired “zero” reading, even if that is totally unrealistic given the application? Indeed, it is very likely that when one is standing close to a hydrogen sulfide scrubber installation, there will be a slight background concentration of the gas.

Yet, the prospect remained unconvinced.

You may have heard the adage: “The solution to pollution is dilution.” It seems as if our prospect applied this in a new and creative manner: The way to get a zero reading is to use an inaccurate instrument, operating in way too high of a measuring range.

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