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April 14, 2014 1676 Views

TSI PortaCount is giving me a “Low Particles” error message. What do I do? This question comes up fairly often with PortaCount users. And TSI covers it in detail in the Troubleshooting section of the PortaCount user manual. TSI recommends, as the first troubleshooting step, to replenish the alcohol supply in the wick.

  1. First, take the white cylindrical wick out of the alcohol cartridge and set it aside to dry. You’ll be able to reuse it later.
  2. Next, pour out any alcohol that’s in the fill capsule, and replace it with a new bottle. Note: If Solving Low Particle Errors with TSI Respirator Fit Test Systemsyou’re not using alcohol bottle from TSI, make sure what you use is reagent grade (99.5% or better) isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Put a fresh white alcohol wick (your rental kit comes with two) into the alcohol fill capsule and let it sit for five minutes.
  4. Then, take the wick from the fill capsule and put it into the alcohol cartridge.
  5. Reinstall the cartridge into the PortaCount, and re-run your daily test.

If your test still doesn’t pass, it may be your environment. TSI recommends testing in an enclosed space of 400 square feet or smaller. Some customers have told us they improved the environment by sealing off any vents and closing the doors to keep particles from escaping. If your office uses high efficiency air-handling filters, you may need to add a particle generator.

A quick reminder: Check your fit testing calendar.

As summer approaches, school ends, and family vacations start, it can be harder to get your employees to be available for fit testing. Try fit testing before summer, to make sure you don’t miss any compliance dates.

For more tips, see our blog category on respirator fit testing, or visit the TSI PortaCount Pro quantitative respirator fit test system page at RaecoRents.com