Why Moisture Gauges are Important
If you search on moisture sensor and gauges online, there are varying results from soil moisture sensors, to wood moisture sensors and humidity sensors. In this article, we will talk about the different types of moisture gauges and sensors, its uses and benefits. We will learn the best features and product ratings available in the market today.
In measuring soil moisture, moisture sensors and gauges measure the soil’s volumetric water content by indirectly using other properties of soil like dielectric constant, electrical resistance, or neutrons interaction which are considered proxy for the soil’s moisture content. These proxy should be well calibrated with soil moisture, and this depends on the soil type, electric conductivity or temperature. For measuring soil moisture, gardeners and farmers use portable instruments, and for remote sensing in agriculture and hydrology, the soil moisture affects reflected microwave radiation. Gypsum blocks and tensiometers measure the soil water potential.
It is important that before using a wood, you should know its moisture content for you to be assured of its stability. The two types of wood moisture meters in the market today are pin and pinless moisture meters, wherein both types measure the effect of moisture on an electromagnetic field (pinless) or an electromagnetic current (pin). The benefits of having a pinless meter is it scans an entire wood board without putting holes on it, and this can be taken into the lumberyard for testing the wood before buying it. Pin meters can read moisture content no matter what the wood size, shape and degree of roughness it possess, requiring two pins making in contact with the wood. Pin meters allow usage of remote probes or nails that can be driven at the center of a thick lumber for core wood moisture readings that cannot be reached by pinless meters.
The important features you need to consider when buying moisture sensors and gauges are the pin length, moisture content range, minimum sample size, displays, and built-in temperature correction and built-in species. The pin length should be 1/4 the size the thickness of the wood or board, and you’ll need a longer pin length for thicker board or wood which applies for even moisture gradient where the surface is drier compared to its core. Moisture sensor displays come in four types such as analog, LED, digital LCD, and digital LED.
It is important to purchase only from reputable and trusted dealers for the best moisture meter or moisture sensors for whatever need you have.