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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Silver Creek, Ny
    Posts
    94

    measuring air duct static pressure with a digital manometer

    Hey Dudes,
    I can't afford to buy a good tester to measure air flow or static pressure however, I have an off brand digital manometer I bought a few years back to adjust gas valves. it measures inches of water column.

    My question I pose is this: is it possible to modify this digtial manometer with a homemade pitot tube of sorts to use to measure static pressures in ductwork.

    I'm thinking water column is water column. I was going to get an aluminum tube of some pre-designated i.d. and plug the vinyl hose to it and stick it into the ductwork.

    Do you think it will work within reason until I can buy a proper, fancier model???
    Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,855
    Before I bought a proper set of static tips with my Testo 510, I just used some rubber hose and a bit of copper tubing to take a reading on my magnehelic. It did the job.

    That said, proper static tips aren't that expensive and, had I known how much easier they were to use, I wouldn't have waited nearly as long to buy them.


    http://www.trutechtools.com/product....FREx4AodeiIAng

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Silver Creek, Ny
    Posts
    94
    So what you're saying is if I buy this tip and connect it to my cheapo digi manometer, I'll be on my way to measuring static pressures??
    Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,855
    Actually, I'm saying that if you buy this tip you will be measuring static pressures.

    Well, you're gonna have to splurge and buy a little tubing, too...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,523
    Using a single head digital manometer (or a magnehelic) with a pitot tube will give you the basics of measurement... there is a little math to do also:

    First: If you are comparing to the furnace or AH blower charts; measure ONLY through the furnace or AH, NOTHING more. Otherwise, you cannot compare to the fan charts, as they are based on through the furnace or AH only. Note AH's generally are rated with the coil, since it is part of the AH. (Someone correct me if I am wrong on this).
    OTOH; TOTAL ESP (external static pressure) is from before the air filter to after the coil... this is what the fan actually has to fight against.

    Having said both, here is an example:
    Say you read -.025 before the air filter, and you read +.035 after the coil... you have .06 EXP (forget the minus and plus, just add them).

    Now if you have a Testo 510 (what I use) with two pitot tube probes... remember to check you have the tubes on the proper side of the meter. Otherwise you will get in-accurate readings.

    Having the ability to measure ESP is a HUGE help when you have a system that does not respond the way it should (especially in AC mode).
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,069
    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    there is a little math to do also:

    TOTAL ESP (external static pressure) is from before the air filter to after the coil... this is what the fan actually has to fight against.
    MATH?!?!?!? EEFFFFF that!

    Isn't TESP measured after the filter and before the coil?
    That way it includes all resistance in the return side?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,523
    Quote Originally Posted by Phase Loss View Post
    MATH?!?!?!? EEFFFFF that!

    Isn't TESP measured after the filter and before the coil?
    That way it includes all resistance in the return side?
    Well... it seems to depend which way one learned TESP... I have heard it both ways.

    As noted: If one is referencing the fan charts for the furnace or AH, then measure across the furnace or AH...

    However if I was diagnosing a system I suspected of having too much SP, I would do it before AF to after coil (furnace/coil install). This way I would have what the blower was fighting against, including the ductwork.

    I think we had this discussion somewhere before, I have forgotten the name of the thread though...
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,855
    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    Well... it seems to depend which way one learned TESP... I have heard it both ways.

    As noted: If one is referencing the fan charts for the furnace or AH, then measure across the furnace or AH...

    However if I was diagnosing a system I suspected of having too much SP, I would do it before AF to after coil (furnace/coil install). This way I would have what the blower was fighting against, including the ductwork.

    I think we had this discussion somewhere before, I have forgotten the name of the thread though...
    I believe that math AND reading are required.

    Some charts assume certain filters installed and others do not, so ya gotta read the wee tiny print.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
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    21,523
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    I believe that math AND reading are required.

    Some charts assume certain filters installed and others do not, so ya gotta read the wee tiny print.
    C'on now JP... we are men... we do not follow directions until there is no alternative... LOL
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,855
    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    C'on now JP... we are men... we do not follow directions until there is no alternative... LOL
    I must be all bass ackwards.

    Working on an unfamiliar unit today, I went out on the roof, reset it, grabbed the manuals, sat down and read them to lead sequence of operations and other basic stuff. Rolled back out on the roof, found the broken connector and went home...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,051
    Hi guys I remember that thread.....ga calls before filter ..well at the blower door on a furnace.

    The way the air flows this would be called after the filter..

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,523
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    I must be all bass ackwards.

    Working on an unfamiliar unit today, I went out on the roof, reset it, grabbed the manuals, sat down and read them to lead sequence of operations and other basic stuff. Rolled back out on the roof, found the broken connector and went home...
    You know I was blowing off steam... You are to serious today JP... <grin>
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    4,390
    hey rundawg..

    It's this one!

    LOL

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