Professionals in a variety of industries use moisture meters for many different reasons. While many moisture meters are designed to be rugged, any tool may break when put under stress. If you have a broken moisture meter, one of the first things you’ll probably want to ask is “how can I fix it?”
If you’re wondering how to fix a broken moisture tester, here are a few tips to help you out:
Inspect the Moisture Meter for Easy Fixes
The first step in fixing a broken moisture meter is assessing the actual damage it has suffered. There are a great number of reasons that a moisture meter might be “broken,” including some things that can be easily fixed. If a moisture meter isn’t working, be sure to check the following:
- The Condition of the Meter’s Shell. Is the outside of the moisture meter cracked, dented, or otherwise damaged? The extent of the damage can be a good indication of whether or not the meter is truly broken. Also, severe cracks or holes in the case may let in water or debris that can permanently damage the meter’s internal components.
- The Meter’s Pins or Scanning Plate. Damage to the pins of a pin-type meter or the scanning plate of a pinless meter can cause a moisture meter to not work properly. However, this can usually be fixed simply by replacing the broken pins/scanning plate.
- The Meter’s Batteries. Sometimes, a “broken” moisture meter is simply low on power. So, during your moisture meter repair, check the battery and replace it with a fresh one to see if it’s just low on power.
- What Mode the Meter is in. Many high-end moisture meters have numerous additional functions, including alternate reading modes and moisture scales. For example, a 2-in-1 moisture meter has both pin and pinless moisture testing modes. If the meter is set to pin mode and you were to try to use the pinless scanning plate, you would not get a valid moisture reading. So, if you think you have a broken moisture meter, be sure to check what mode the meter is in.
By inspecting your broken moisture meter for a bit, you may find that the problem is an easy fix. However, this isn’t always the case.
Test the Moisture Meter’s Calibration
If a broken moisture meter is giving out abnormal or inconsistent readings (and you’ve already checked to make sure it’s in the right moisture testing mode), it may be out of calibration. There are a few different ways to check this calibration, depending on the type of moisture meter you’re using:
- Built-in Calibration Checks. Some moisture meters have a built-in calibration check feature that makes testing the calibration of the meter as simple as pushing a button. This is generally considered the easiest and most reliable method. Just start the check and look at the results.
- Moisture Content Standard Checks. A moisture content standard (MCS) is a device for testing the calibration of pin-type moisture meters. Each MCS is specifically manufactured for a specific moisture meter to simulate a specific moisture content (%MC) measurement. Simply press the pins of the meter against the MCS and take a reading. If the reading matches the value the MCS is built to simulate, the meter is accurate; If not, then the meter is inaccurate and needs to be repaired/replaced.
- Moisture Block Tests. Some pinless moisture meter manufacturers make moisture blocks to check the calibration of pinless devices. Simply push the pinless meter against the block and take a reading. If the moisture measurement provided matches what the block is calibrated for, then it is in calibration. If not, then it is out of calibration. Like with MCS devices, these moisture blocks need to be manufactured for the specific meter being tested.
Check Your Moisture Meter Warranty
If the issue is something that you cannot easily fix yourself, check the moisture meter warranty from the meter’s manufacturer. Odds are, the warranty will have specific information about what kind of damage the manufacturer will cover, how long you have from the date of purchase to make a warranty service claim, and how to send in the moisture meter for repair or replacement by the manufacturer.
Sometimes, a broken moisture meter is the result of some flaw in the materials or workmanship of the meter itself, and not an accident or damage incurred during its use. In such a case, it is very important to avoid doing anything to the broken moisture meter yourself. Attempting amateur moisture meter repair could worsen the damage and void the warranty.
Sending Your Moisture Meter in for Repair
Moisture meter repair is a delicate task that is best left up to the moisture meter’s manufacturer. If you have a broken moisture meter that needs fixing, your best bet is usually to send the meter to the manufacturer for repair. Different manufacturers may have different policies and procedures for handling warranty and non-warranty moisture meter repairs.
Delmhorst’s return process, for example, begins with users filling out a return form, which they pack into the shipping container used to send in the moisture meter needing repair or replacement.
The return form asks for specific information, including:
- Contact information (name, phone number, address, etc.).
- Information about the device (model, serial number, date of purchase).
- Description of the problem (which helps Delmhorst diagnose the issue to fix it faster).
- Repair instructions (whether you want a warranty repair, non-warranty repair, or a letter of certification).
For warranty repairs, the original sales receipt or invoice with date of purchase will be required.
When shipping a broken moisture meter for repair, it should be shipped via UPS, Express Mail, Priority Mail, or any overnight courier that offers prompt service—it should not be shipped using standard parcel post. Such shipments should be insured to their full value, since the manufacturer cannot accept responsibility for damage incurred during transit.
Delmhorst will return warranty repairs with no charge if it is shipped within the USA via UPS Ground Service (expedited services will have a separate shipping charge).
In some cases, a moisture meter might be costlier to repair than it is to simply replace. If Delmhorst’s service team determines that your moisture meter will cost more to fix than replace, they will reach out to you with an estimate (you can also specifically request an estimate when you fill out the return form).
Need help with fixing a broken moisture meter? Reach out to the team at Delmhorst for advice, or to get started on the return process.