Preventing the ingress of moisture through the cable of submersible pressure transmitters and level probes?

If you need to measure the level of a liquid easily and reliably, most people can do this using hydrostatic pressure measurement, e.g. with a submersible pressure transmitter or a so called level probe. The characteristic submersed application implicates a maximum contact with the surrounding, mainly water-based medium, respectively to ?moisture?.
Exposure is not only limited to the wetted elements of the pressure sensor housing, but also to the entire immersed amount of the cable. In addition, outside the directly immersed level probe parts, the cable, and in particular the cable end, are often exposed to moisture due to splash water, rain and condensation. That is true not only during operation, but even more during installation and commissioning, or when maintenance or retrofitting is necessary. Irrespective of the target application, whether in water and wastewater treatment or in tank monitoring, moisture ingress in to the cable ends of the submersible pressure transmitter may appear early and irreversibly with insufficient protection measures, and, in virtually all cases, lead to premature failure of the instrument.
The ingress of moisture into the cable outlet and from there on downwards in to the electronics of the particular level probe must be actively eliminated by preventive actions by an individual. To measure Confessions with highest accuracy, the varying ambient pressure above the liquid media, that is also ?resting? on the liquid, should be compensated contrary to the hydrostatic pressure acting on the pressure sensor (see article: hydrostatic level measurement).
Ventilation tube
Thus, it really is logical that there surely is a constant threat of a moisture-related failure because of moisture ingress (both via the ventilation tube and through the actual cable itself) if you can find no adequate protective measures. To compensate the ambient pressure ?resting? on the media, a ventilation tube runs from the sensor element within the particular level probe, through the cable and from the level probe by the end of the cable. Because of capillary action within the ventialation tube useful for ambient pressure compensation, moisture can also be transported from the surrounding ambience right down to the sensor.
Thus not merely air, but also moisture penetrates into the tube, hence the sensor inside the probe and the electronics around it really is irreparably damaged. This may lead to measurement errors and, in the worst case, even to failure of the particular level probe. To prevent any premature failure, the ingress of moisture in to the ventilation tube must be completely prevented. Additional protection against moisture penetration through the ventilation tube is supplied by fitting an air-permeable, but water-impermeable filter element by the end of the vent tube.
bare wires
Not to be ignored can be the transport of the liquid through high-humidity loads along the only limitedly protected internals of the cable, e.g. along the wires, all the way down to the submersible pressure transmitter. As a leading manufacturer, WIKA uses appropriate structural design to avoid fluid transport, as far as possible, into the electronics of the submersible pressure transmitter. Because of molecular diffusion and capillary effects, a guaranteed one-hundred percent protection on the full duration of the submersible pressure transmitter, however, is never achievable.
It is therefore recommended that the cable is definitely terminated in a waterproof junction box with the correct IP protection (e.g. IP65) which is matched to the installation location. If this cable junction box is subjected to weather and varying temperature conditions, additionally it is recommended to pay attention to a controlled pressure equalisation to be able to prevent the formation of condensation or perspiration water and pumping effects. To handle this technical requirement, as an accessory to a submersible pressure transmitter, it is possible to order a connection box having an integrated air-permeable, water-impermeable membrane.
Ultimately, moisture ingress can occur not merely through the exposed end of the cable, but additionally through mechanical harm to the cable sheath or due to liquid diffusion because of improper chemical resistance of the cable material. In the article ?Selection criteria for the prevention of moisture-related failures of submersible pressure transmitters or level probes? this failure mode is described at length.
WIKA offers comprehensive solutions for your hydrostatic-pressure level measurement. For further assistance in selecting the submersible pressure transmitter the most suitable for the application, please use our contact page.
Please find further information on this topic on our information platform ?Hydrostatic level measurement?g

Leave a Comment