How to prevent the ingress of moisture through the cable of submersible pressure transmitters and level probes?

If you need to measure the degree 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 exposure to the encompassing, mainly water-based medium, respectively to ?moisture?.
Exposure isn’t just limited by the wetted parts of the pressure sensor housing, but also to the complete immersed length of the cable. Furthermore, beyond your directly immersed level probe parts, the cable, and specifically the cable end, are often exposed to moisture due to splash water, rain and condensation. This is true not only during operation, but even more during installation and commissioning, or when maintenance or retrofitting is necessary. Irrespective of the mark application, whether in water and wastewater treatment or in tank monitoring, moisture ingress into the cable ends of the submersible pressure transmitter can occur early and irreversibly with insufficient protection measures, and, in almost 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 the user. To gauge the level with highest accuracy, the varying ambient pressure above the liquid media, which 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 due to moisture ingress (both via the ventilation tube and through the specific cable itself) if there are 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 out from the level probe at the end of the cable. Because of capillary action within the ventialation tube used for ambient pressure compensation, moisture can also be transported from the surrounding ambience down to the sensor.
Thus not only air, but additionally moisture penetrates in to the tube, hence the sensor in the probe and the electronics around it is usually irreparably damaged. This may lead to measurement errors and, in the worst case, even to failure of the particular level probe. To avoid 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 provided by fitting an air-permeable, but water-impermeable filter element at 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, completely right down to the submersible pressure transmitter. As a respected manufacturer, WIKA uses appropriate structural design to avoid fluid transport, as far as possible, in to the electronics of the submersible pressure transmitter. Due to molecular diffusion and capillary effects, a guaranteed one-hundred percent protection over the full duration of the submersible pressure transmitter, however, is never achievable.
Hence, it is 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 exposed to weather and varying temperature conditions, it is also recommended to pay focus on a controlled pressure equalisation so that you can 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 link box having an integrated air-permeable, water-impermeable membrane.
Ultimately, moisture ingress can happen not only through the exposed end of the cable, but additionally through mechanical damage to the cable sheath or because of liquid diffusion due to 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 in detail.
Thrilling offers comprehensive solutions for your hydrostatic-pressure level measurement. For further assistance in selecting the submersible pressure transmitter most suitable for the application, please use our contact form.
Please find more info with this topic on our information platform ?Hydrostatic level measurement?

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