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Damp meter
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userColinM50
Posted: 14 January 2020 9:23 AM
Subject: Damp meter
 
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I mentioned on another thread that I'm thinking of buying a damp meter rather than paying for a Hsbitation check every year. I appreciate there's more to a habi check than just checking damp, but I can check the other things too and hence save the £250 a habi check costs.

So, looking on Google I see damp meters running from £16 up to £250 but does anyone have any experience of using one and anything good or bad to say about the one you've used/got and what additional features would you think to look for in a meter?

I used one years ago for monitoring damp levels on a boat and found it more useful to see a trend rather than measuring absolute values. Is that the case on m/h's and caravan?

userSAlexander
Posted: 14 January 2020 12:45 PM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 


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I do my own hab checks and use a cheap and cheerful generic Draper/Silverline/Kamasa badged moisture meter. I don't see the need for anything more expensive as long as it is reasonably accurate and repeatable. A can of gas leak detector and a 230v socket tester completes the set of kit for me.

I would say that keeping an eye on 'trends' is obviously useful, as long as absolute numbers are within acceptable bounds i.,e. under 15%. However, you probably need to take into account the time of year and circumstances when you check the damp levels. Clearly the underlying moisture levels will be different if checked in the middle of the summer when the van has been well used, ventilated, heated etc. - compared to a check in the middle of a cold damp winter after the van has sat unused for a month.
userEJB
Posted: 14 January 2020 2:37 PM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 
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I always have a damp meter (and a volt meter) as basic £10 items that are worth their weight in gold!
Usually I do have a hab service each year but the above items produce facts when there is a question.
Each year I check the meters against the engineers calibrated devices....there has never been a difference in accuracy...certainly for the last 20 years.
userBillggski
Posted: 14 January 2020 2:40 PM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 


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Location: Dethleffs A5881 Staffordshire


Cheap meters with prongs are really for checking firewood and such, and can leave pinpricks in the fabric.
You need one with a "hold" button so you can read it after moving it, or you twist your neck trying to see the reading.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 14 January 2020 2:42 PM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


This 2018 link may help when choosing a damp meter

https://www.caravanhelper.co.uk/caravan-damp-meter/

All of these meters are fairly inexpensive and (unsurisingly) all of the Amazon reviews include some very critical comments.

As you have observed, sophisticated meters can cost up to £450 and (hopefully) would justify that price if they were to be used regularly by a professional.

userrooster63
Posted: 14 January 2020 2:51 PM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 
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I'm with Colin on carrying out my own habitation check. Have got a 240V socket tester to check the 240V sockets, smoke alarm, CO detector, gas leak detector and a gas leakage detector built into the Gaslow Easyfit gauge so most things covered. Not sure what do to about moisture detector as have had visible leaks in the past caused by seals failing around windows etc. The worst was when the TV roof aerial seal leaked and water dripped into the wardrobe soaking the insulation in the wardrobe roof, managed to dry it out eventually. Van is a PVC with fixed carpet on floor. The sides. and ceiling are lined with a type of pvc plastic with insulation underneath so not sure how I would use a moisture meter as I assume putting a meter on the lining wouldn't show anything as it is plastic. Or would it detect moisture trapped between the lining and the metal outer skin?
As the van isn't used much in winter and is parked in the shade I do run a small dehumidifier in the van to soak up some of the moisture.
The only thing I am concerned about is the 3 way fridge as I'm not sure how to service it but assume if there is an electrical fault the circuit breakers will trip and if there is a gas burning problem it won't light and if there is any internal leakage the CO monitor will beep.


Edited by rooster63 2020-01-14 2:52 PM
userBruceM
Posted: 14 January 2020 3:23 PM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 
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The low cost two/four pronged damp meters are calibrated for wood which makes them fine for most motorhomes. They usually have a reading measure and hold function. Given how seldom you’ll use it I suggest that you remove the battery when not in use. This is similar to the one I use https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-Pin-Digital-Moisture-Meter-Pro-Damp-Detector-Timber-Wood-Tester-Plaster-Sensor/142547824729?epid=1541984008&hash=item2130833059:g:5OgAAOSwRjVdTolg
and I’ve found the results reliable and replicable .
userIMP
Posted: 15 January 2020 9:18 AM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 
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Bruce

Thanks for the info. Just ordered one.

Ian
userPaul-
Posted: 15 January 2020 9:35 AM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 


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I get my caravan done every other year by a professional, last year my pronged damp detector said everything was ok (pushed through vinyl coating) but his Protimeter Aquant said I had serious moisture problems in a couple of places.
On inspection I found the problems, resealed, repaired and dried them out (not in that order), but it makes me wonder how long it would have been before my meter showed a problem and what would the extent of the internal damage been

just saying...……...
userIMP
Posted: 18 January 2020 11:28 AM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 
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Location: Shrewsbury area - 2012 Autotrail Savannah 2.3


It you want to download a schematic, so that you can fill and and keep a record of your readings, I found a decent one here. Just Google :-

AWS Motorhome Habitation Damp Report

https://www.motorhomes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/AWS-Motorhome-Habitation-Damp-Report.pdf

(Link added - Keithl)
userColinM50
Posted: 18 January 2020 12:23 PM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 
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Wandering around Google and you tube and came across this video on how bad damp meters are and how they shouldn't be relied on. Filmed by a professional surveyor who reckons they should be banned. Makes you think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I8LsHyzqmU
userBruceM
Posted: 18 January 2020 7:18 PM
Subject: RE: Damp meter
 
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ColinM50 - 2020-01-18 12:23 PM

Wandering around Google and you tube and came across this video on how bad damp meters are and how they shouldn't be relied on. Filmed by a professional surveyor who reckons they should be banned. Makes you think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I8LsHyzqmU

It's been well known for years that this type of damp meter should not be used to measure damp levels in anything other than wood for which it's calibrated - other than perhaps to measure relative levels although even that is unreliable as salts in brickwork/plaster will skew readings. Not sure why he made the video.
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