A good moisture meter should be designed for durability due to the sometimes rough nature of their operating environment.
Delmhorst’s moisture meters are known for their ruggedness and longevity of withstanding rough work condition with some proper care (storage, batteries, pins, and cleanliness) from the user.
However, even the toughest meter will eventually need to be repaired, or even replaced.
There are several different signs that can indicate if a moisture meter is damaged or not working properly.
However, just because a moisture meter is providing a bad reading doesn't necessarily mean that it's broken. Many errors can arise from environmental factors or mishandling.
Some of the common factors that affect a moisture meter reading include the following conditions, among others:
The type of material being tested
The material’s temperature
The species of wood being tested
If you are sure that a poor reading is not due to the environment you are measuring the material in, the batteries or any other factor that results from user error, then you may need to send your meter in for repair, or acquire a replacement.
3 Signs Your Moisture Meter isn't Working
Below we have provided a few telltale signs that you can use to determine if your moisture meter is damaged or not; hopefully, this can help you spare your wallet and save some time waiting for repair/replacement.
1. Internal rattling
A moisture meter’s internal components should be solidly in place; when you hear a rattling noise as you are using your device, there is most likely something wrong. This is usually a good indicator that something has broken or is loose within the device.
Being able to see a clear reading on display screen is a vital part of the moisture meter testing process. As we discussed earlier, sometimes the battery, when depleted, can cause the screen’s backlight to fail or segments of numbers on digital displays to fail to work.
If you have replaced the battery with a fresh, fully charged one and are still getting an inaccurate reading, then it could be something a bit more serious that requires internal repairs or replacement. The best option in this case is to contact the manufacturer of your meter to resolve the problem with an optimal solution.
3. Not Activating
A quick indicator that you should invest in a new moisture meter or your current moisture meter needs repair is when it does not activate. Again, this could be due to a low/ depleted battery, but if you have replaced the battery and it is still not activating, it might be caused by damage to internal components, which would require repair or replacement.
Dealing with Inaccurate %MC Readings
Another common sign of a malfunctioning meter is getting clearly incorrect %MC readings. However, incorrect readings can be as simple as testing moisture in a material that the meter wasn't calibrated for.
For example, two different species of wood that have the same actual %MC will show different %MC values when checked with the same meter. This is when it becomes necessary to make a correction to the reading using a species correction table or, if the moisture meter has built-in species corrections, setting it to the species you are currently testing.
Determining if your moisture meter is truly in need of repair/ replacement or if it is just returning a bad reading because of a temporary condition can save you time and money. Additionally, getting a moisture meter from a manufacturer with a top-quality warranty and support can help save further headaches if and when a problem does occur.