How to Choose and Use Moisture Meters? Jan. 15, 2015

The most important issue we recommend you to mind is your real need in specific usage of a moisture meter you want to pick and what you are going to apply it on. If you are going to deal with wood you have to remember that there is a lot of timber species which can be used and not every moisture meter can be calibrated for all of them. So, if you work with a particular timber pick a relevant m-meter, in other case you will need a versatile, multi-calibrated one. There are also two types of moisture meters: a “pin type” (a model that comes with one or two pins) and a pinless one (uses electromagnetic field technology and leaves no holes in the wood you work with).

There are manufacturers, such as Extech and General Tools, offering you a choice of combined Pin/Pinless moisture meters.

For testing soil, silage or hay, grain, concrete or different other kinds of building materials a specific m-meter is needed.


Soil Moisture Meter Silage Moisture Meter Hay Moisture Meter Grain Moisture Meter Concrete Moisture Meter

When working with your m-meter just follow the general set of guidelines and mind several common mistakes and the factors which can influence your tests:

Calibration

When testing materials for moisture you need to be aware that different materials have different calibration settings. A good quality moisture meter will have a built in automatic calibration for different types of wood and materials. Others will have a manual calibration. You should also check your moisture meter periodically and test it on a material that contains constant moisture. By doing this you will see if your meter has the correct calibration settings and have not been altered in any way.

Readings

It is easy to fall into the trap of just taking a couple of readings to gather a general idea of moisture content in an area or a material. However this is not enough. To take a moisture reading does not take up much time and is done quickly. So you need to be thorough and perform readings over the whole area or material. If you do not, you may discover that you have missed the most significant areas that needed to be tested.

Results

To understand these results you need to understand the particulars of the material which you are testing. When you buy a brand new moisture meter it should be supplied with a chart that gives you accurate information relative to the readings that the meter gives on a particular material.

Remember a reading for one material may mean something completely different for another!


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