Like any precision instrument, the pressure gauge is a piece that must always be in good condition and properly verified. Something that helps to bet on approved and verified pressure gauges, as established by current legislation.
If a thermometer measures 40 degrees of temperature on a winter day, something is obviously wrong. A minor issue that can become a risk when we are talking about air pressure and gauges. And it is that an inadequate air pressure in a tire is a risk factor when suffering an accident. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the proper pressure in our tires. Something that we can never do if the pressure gauge we are using does not work as it should.
Fortunately, there are two processes that allow us to check that the pressure gauges we use have the necessary precision when it comes to controlling tire pressure. We talk about the approval and verification processes. Homologation checks the proper functioning of the pressure gauges before they are launched, while verification is a process that serves to verify that the pressure gauge continues to function as it should. Something essential when looking for the best pressure gauge to check the pressure of our tires.
How the homologation is carried out
The process of homologation of a pressure gauge is a step prior to its commercialization and is carried out directly in a specialized laboratory duly authorized for this purpose. In this laboratory the product will be subjected to a series of controlled tests in order to verify that the measurements made by the product are correct. The advantage of this system is that the air pressures to which the manometer is to be subjected are previously known, so that if the manometer measures them correctly, it will receive the corresponding approval mark.
It is important to comment that this approval does not follow specific criteria, but rather that each standard or approval rule has specific criteria that the product must meet. So next to the corresponding homologation certificate, the standard to which it refers must appear. As a matter of fact, the homologation process in the Spanish market consists of five different phases, which include both controls of the precision of the measurements and the quality of the device itself.
The problem of private gauges
Within this homologation process, according to what we have commented, a series of metrological and performance tests are carried out on the product. The problem is that this requirement is not the same for all the gauges that come out on the market, especially for private users, whose precision and other approval processes are quite lax, if not non-existent.
Specifically, the standard is much more demanding for gauges for public use, such as those found in workshops, gas stations and other public establishments. These pressure gauges must comply with an approval in five different phases, so that their precision is practically guaranteed. However, in the case of pressure gauges for individuals, the only verification that is required is metrological and, in many cases, not even that.
This means that most of the pressure gauges used by those of us who buy one of these products for personal use may have difficulties in providing accurate measurements. Even many of these products bear the CE mark, which they should not carry because they do not comply with this standard. That is why it is so important to bet on homologated models in accordance with the requirements of current regulations, as well as on those that come from well-known and quality manufacturers.
What is verification
Unlike the homologation process, the verification process is the one that is executed on the gauges that have already been installed and have been used. However, in practice, the verification process is very similar to that of homologation, focusing especially on the metrological part. Therefore, the manometer will once again be subjected to different measurement tests with controlled air pressures, in order to verify their precision and see if during the use of the manometer it has lost part of its ability to measure correctly. the pressures.
This process has an authorized margin of error, adjusted to the measurement capacity of the pressure gauge. If these measurements are outside the authorized range or the tolerable margin of error, then the pressure gauge cannot be used and must be sent to a technical service in order to be repaired. If the procedure and measurements are within the device’s working range, then the corresponding verification report is issued and the product is labeled with the sticker of said revision, similar to that of the ITV, which informs the user of this pressure gauge that it works as it should. In fact, as with this ITV, the pressure gauge must be verified every two years, although this is something that varies depending on what each autonomous community indicates.
It is important to note that this process is mandatory for public use gauges, but not for private gauges. It is something logical given that these gauges are not going to have an intensive use like those of a gas station or a workshop. On the other hand, the verification process is not exactly cheap, so in many cases it will almost be more interesting for us to buy a new pressure gauge than to carry out the verification of the one we have.
Anyway, if we have the possibility of measuring controlled air pressures, we can also see the precision of our pressure gauge. Something we can do, for example, by first checking the tire pressure at the gas station and then with our pressure gauge. If the measurements are similar, then our particular pressure gauge is working fine.