UEi Manometer Pressure Meter
UEi Manometers are on Sale!
In this short Q&A article, we're going to have a look at the excellent line of UEi Digital Manometers.
What type of manometer does UEi make?
In a fundamental sense, a manometer is a device for measuring pressure. Originally, manometers were analog manual instruments with liquid in them. They were designed in various curved shapes, and the pressure from the system you were testing would push the liquid through to the other side, where you could read the measurement from graded markings on the tube.
UEi makes high-quality digital manometers that are instead powered by transducers. We mention how manometers began so that you can understand some of the unit designations that modern manometers use, such as inches of water (inH2O), since originally they dealt with liquid measurement. UEi has been building and designing manometers for many years, so you can be assured that they are at the forefront of research and development, as well as reliability. UEi brand manometers are trusted and used by many technicians worldwide.
You might see the terms UEi Gas Manometer or UEi Dual Port Manometer floating around. These more or less describe the same instrument and, in fact, all the manometers that UEi makes are dual-port or differential pressure manometers. A gas manometer is simply a device used to measure gas pressure, which is precisely what all these devices do. The dual pressure or dual-port identifier just means that there are two ports for taking readings. This allows you to measure pressure drop over a certain space or at input and output points and then compare them onscreen. This task is essential in the process of tuning boilers, which will be our primary application in the HVAC/R field using these UEi Electronic Manometers.
The other primary application for UEi manometers is measuring static pressure. Static pressure can be a parameter that's a bit hard to understand, so we'll give it a brief rundown before moving on to operating the UEi manometers. Perhaps the best way to explain static pressure is by way of analogy. Think of it like your blood pressure. There is a certain range of pressure throughout your whole body that means you are in optimal health. If something is out of whack, the pressure in your body will be outside the acceptable range. Similarly, ventilation systems are designed to operate with a certain amount of pressure in them. If there is an obstruction or leak in the system, then the total system pressure will be outside the proper range. You can use UEi manometers with specialized static pressure probe attachments to check this total system pressure and then make adjustments to get the system back into a tolerable range for optimum performance.
How to use UEi manometers?
In this section, we'll briefly look at how to run some basic pressure tests using the UEi line of manometers.
The most basic test you can run is a single port direct pressure test. Start by powering the meter on by holding the power button for 2 seconds. Next, you want to ensure that the meter is zeroed out. This means that you do a little "mini calibration" against the atmospheric pressure. This step is essential for accurate readings, so never skip it. There is a button marked "ZERO," and all you need to do is hold it down for about 4 seconds. The meter will display "888" to indicate that zeroing has occurred. When doing tests involving very small increments of pressure (for example, <2inWC), it is best practice to do the test as soon as possible after the atmospheric zero.
Next, connect a piece of the included plastic tubing to the positive (+) side of the manometer to the pressure source. The reading will appear onscreen. Simple as that, really. A very useful feature to keep in mind with UEi manometers is that feature dynamic Min/Max-ing. This means that as you measure the pressure, the meter will automatically save the highest and lowest pressure that it reads. You can reset these values without disconnected, if you'd like, by holding down the MIN/MAX button until "CLR" appears onscreen, indicating the values have been cleared. Depending on which manometer you select, there are a variety of display units available to you, and the saved MIN/MAX values will display in whatever unit you have chosen.
A few other useful features to think of with these UEi manometers are a built-in backlight, OL display (meaning that if you get the pressure too high, the meter will shut out the pressure and alert you), and a ruggedly designed protective boot with a built-in magnet for hands-free operation.
Static Pressure Testing
As we mentioned above, static pressure testing is also another capability specifically of the UEi EM201 Digital Manometer. Static pressure testing requires special probes, and you can get them by buying the UEi EM201SPKIT version of the UEi EM201B. This is the regular Manometer but comes in a larger carrying case with static pressure probes and T-splitter fittings. Let's run briefly through a static pressure test using this kit.
Start out by zeroing your meter the same way we discussed above, with nothing attached to the ports. Now we'll connect the static pressure probes. The probes have a right angle bend in them, which you will need to make sure is pointed towards the source of air. To put it another way, the air should flow directly into the tips of the static pressure probes. With much of the ductwork and systems you'll be working on, it will be necessary to drill a small hole to insert the static pressure probes. You can quickly patch this once the job is finished.
There are a variety of points in an airflow system where you can check for abnormalities in static pressure. Just a few examples are blowers, filters, and coils. What you are searching for is a drop in pressure outside the tolerable limits set by the manufacturer across any of these points. You'll want to connect one probe in front of the component and one after. Then you'll simply read the differential pressure on the UEi EM201. The particular adjustments that you will need to make to get the system back into tolerance are far too varied and system-specific here but taking static pressure will let you know what and where the problems are.
UEi Digital Manometers - Specifics
Now that we've discussed the basics and a couple of testing applications let's close with a look at the different models available from UEi, with a little buying guide.
The UEi EM152 Manometer is perhaps best thought of as the "home base" model of the line. This is the best inspection of price and quality and will let you perform lots of great tests with all the features we discussed above. One distinct advantage of picking up this unit is the number of unit displays available. Using the SCALE button, you can cycle through 11 different pressure units, including inH2O, PSI, Bar, mBar, kPa, inHG, mmHG, ozin, FtH2O, cmH2O, and kgcm. So, if you work on jobs where you need to know the pressure in a lot of varying conversions without doing that math by hand, this is our recommendation.
Next, we have the UEi EM201 Differential Dual Manometer. This unit has comparable accuracy and features to the previous model but is made with static pressure testing in mind and can even be bought in a kit (EM201SPKIT) made specifically for that purpose. The SCALE button here will only get you four different unit displays (InWC, mBar, psi, and Pa), but these are probably the most common and useful. So, we would say, if you need to test static pressure, this is your meter.
Finally, an innovative little meter that we've yet to discuss is the UEi DPA1 Differential Pressure Adapter. This device plus into your smart device or phone and turns it into a differential pressure manometer. UEi has created a free app to go with this device that offers the advantage of datalogging. The accuracy and range are slightly less with this meter. However, it's still very effective and adds that "wow factor" that shouldn't be underestimated when dealing as a private contractor or technician with customers. If you want datalogging and newer technology, then this would be your manometer of choice.
So, to recap, here is the way we suggest making a selection. For a wide variety of measurement parameters, you'll want the EM152. For Static Pressure, you'll want the EM201B or EM201Spkit. For newer technology and datalogging, you'll want the DPA1.
Making a selection from these excellent options for digital manometers is easy, and we know you'll like whichever one you choose. UEi makes a superb pressure meter.