Maintaining the condition and prolonging the life of your breathalyzer is easy. A breathalyser can last up to a lifetime if used and maintained properly.
That’s why as part of the AlcoSense Guarantee, we guarantee and extend the warranty on our personal breathalysers for up to a lifetime as long as it is calibrated regularly.
Having worked as a breathalyser technician for years now, I come across many customers with the same issues surrounding breathalyser use and care.
Here’s my own list of tips to properly care for and maintain your AlcoSense breathalyzer.
1. Wait 20 minutes after drinking, eating, smoking, or using mouthwash before blowing into the breathalyser.
There may still be residue in your mouth from drinks, foods, cigarette smoke or mouthwash, which can affect the breath sample you blow into a breathalyser and give you a false reading. Smoke or other chemicals can also damage the internal sensor.
2. Always use a new mouthpiece when using the breathalyser.
Spit or excessive moisture from your breath sample can damage or shorten the life of the internal sensor. The mouthpiece will trap moisture from getting to the sensor, but alcohol residue may remain in the mouthpiece, therefore reusing your mouthpieces will affect breathalyser readings.
If your breathalyzer has passive or fast mode testing, there is no need to use a mouthpiece but take care not to blow any saliva into the mouthpiece slot when taking the test.
3. Only use alkaline batteries for your breathalyser. Never use heavy duty batteries or mix different types of batteries.
Alkaline cells can last 4-9 times as long as heavy duty cells and have a better discharge curve (“Heavy duty” batteries drop off gradually while alkaline batteries keep a higher voltage even towards the end of its life, before dropping off).
Sometimes a device requires a certain voltage to operate, and the gradual voltage drop-off of a heavy duty cell causes it to fail even when it has significant charge left in it.
We recommend alkaline, non-rechargeable, non-heavy duty batteries.
4. Always replace with brand new batteries when the breathalyser shows a battery low signal.
Continuing to use the breathalyser when the batteries are exhausted may affect the reading. Also, be sure to use brand new batteries, not batteries taken from another device.
5. When not in use, remove the batteries to prevent battery leakage and unit locking
Like any other electrical device, breathalysers cannot be left unused for months with batteries inside. If your breathalyser is not being used often enough, remove the batteries. Keeping flat batteries inside can cause the breathalyser to get locked and remain switched off unless repaired by a technician.
6. When using the breathalyser, keep blowing gently until the beeping stops.
This ensures that the breathalyser has a sufficient amount of breath sample to provide a proper reading. Many customers think that the breathalyser is faulty when it shows up with “FLO” or “FLOW ERROR” and it doesn’t register a reading, when in fact, it just needed a bit more breath sample.
7. Avoid sharing your breathalyser with others.
Your friends and family may not know how to use your breathalyser and can end up damaging it. If you do have to share, ensure that you use a brand new mouthpiece for each person (for hygiene reasons as well as to avoid false readings due to residue left in the mouthpiece), and explain the proper usage to them.
8. Store your breathalyser properly.
Do not expose the breathalyser to moisture, high humidity or water. Keep it in a cool and dry place and refrain from putting it under direct sunlight or hot places.
9. Never attempt to clean the internal parts of the breathalyser.
Only use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the breathalyser exterior. Never use wet cloths or chemicals to clean your breathalyser and never open up your breathalyser in an attempt to clean it.
When you send the unit for calibration, it will also be cleaned.
10. Calibrate your breathalyser on time to avoid false reading.
Like other measurement devices, breathalysers need to be calibrated regularly to maintain its accuracy. Always send your breathalyser back for calibration, whether it’s every 6 months or 200 uses (for personal breathalyzers) or every year (for most industrial breathalyzers).