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What is a Chlorine Gas Detector?

By Rosie Hadley-Walker
Updated: May 17, 2024

A chlorine gas detector is a device that is used to measure the amount of chlorine gas in a specific area. Chlorine is toxic to humans, and can cause burning in the eyes and lungs, along with inducing severe respiratory damage. In most cases, chlorine gas detectors are used in settings where the gas is present in large quantities and a leak could be fatal to the surrounding people. This can include water treatment plants, oil refineries, and paper plants, though there are other facilities in which a chlorine gas detector might be used.

In most cases, chlorine gas detectors work by using an electrochemical sensor or catalyst-containing sheets. Some of the more modern detectors have additional ultrasonic frequency detectors that can pick up the sound of hissing gas when it leaks. In some cases, a chlorine gas detector will be connected to a phone line so that in the case of a leak, the alarm set off in the detector will inform the fire department of the emergency. Depending on the detector, the sensor may be adjusted to detect only chlorine, or a number of other dangerous gasses.

Popular variations of the device are the multi-channel and handheld chlorine gas detectors. A chlorine gas detector with multiple channels is often the appliance of choice in large industrial settings. This is because a multi-channel detector is an network of gas sensing devices that can be applied throughout the premises and allow thorough monitoring in a large space.

A handheld gas detector, on the other hand, is prized in smaller and less populated areas for its portability. The devices are often used to find the precise location of leaks. Handheld detectors are commonly used along with multi-channel or wall-mounted chlorine gas detectors as opposed to in place of these devices.

Since most home environments are unlikely to be in danger exposure to chlorine, it is very uncommon to find a chlorine gas detector in such a setting. Homeowners who have some reason to be concerned about their family's health, however, may want to consider the purchase of a multi-gas detector. This type of detector can indicate the presence of not only chlorine gas, but more common gaseous toxins, like carbon monoxide, as well.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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