Fire Suppression System Maintenance with Ultrasonic Level Indicators: Say Goodbye to Costly and Labor-Intensive Methods!

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Maintaining fire suppression systems is crucial for ensuring the safety of people and property. Traditionally, measuring the contents in these systems has involved labor-intensive and time-consuming methods. However, with advancements in technology, ultrasonic level indicators have emerged as a cost-effective solution. In this blog post, we will explore the drawbacks of traditional methods, introduce ultrasonic testing, and highlight the cost-saving benefits of using Coltraco Products’ Portalevel® MAX PLUS and Portasteele® CALCULATOR

Cost and Labor Using Traditional Methods:  

Traditional methods of measuring the level of contents in fire suppression systems often involve dismantling the system, lifting heavy cylinders, and using weighing scales. This labor-intensive process requires multiple personnel, specialized equipment, and can take several minutes to complete for each cylinder. The associated costs, including labor fees, can quickly add up. Moreover, there is a risk of gas loss during the process, resulting in additional expenses and potentially endangering the personnel conducting the servicing. 

Traditional Methods to Identify Content Level:  

Some common traditional methods used to determine the level of contents in fire suppression systems include visual inspection and weighing. Visual inspection relies on visual indicators on the cylinder such as pressure gauges, which is insufficient to determine the actual content of the fire suppressing agent (in liquefied systems) as the pressure read out often refers to the pressure of the nitrogen gas used to pressurize the cylinder. Weighing requires removing the cylinder and using a weighing scale, which is cumbersome and increases the risk of injury. Dismantling the fire suppression system also introduces unwanted risk and additional time to install the system correctly post-servicing. 

In pic: Two individuals are weighing a cylinder

In pic: An individual is visually inspecting cylinders

Fire Cylinder Banner

Ultrasonic Testing for Identifying Content Level:  

Ultrasonic level indicators offer a non-invasive and efficient alternative to traditional methods. Coltraco Products’ Portalevel® MAX PLUS is designed for liquid level testing in fire suppression systems. It provides quick and accurate results, displaying “GAS” or “LIQUID” with an accuracy of ±1.5 mm. This portable device eliminates the need for dismantling the system, lifting heavy cylinders, and using weighing scales. Instead, it allows one person to perform the test in under one minute, compared to two people taking 20 minutes with traditional methods. 

Learn how the Portalevel® MAX PLUS and Portasteele® CALCULATOR saved costs and time for a customer in Jordan, click here 

In pic: Portalevel® MAX PLUS

in pic: Portasteele® CALCULATOR

The Portalevel® MAX PLUS and Portasteele® CALCULATOR offer a range of benefits for monitoring liquid levels in fire suppression system containers. They provide traceability and compliance by converting liquid level measurements into agent weight, ensuring adherence to NFPA and ISO regulations. The UL-listed Portalevel® MAX PLUS meets safety and performance standards, simplifying inspections without the need for dismantling cylinders and reducing the risk of accidents. Combining it with the Portasteele® CALCULATOR offers datalogging and reporting features, enabling accurate monitoring of agent quantity and facilitating proper filling of containers. Overall, this combination provides a comprehensive solution for enhanced safety and simplified inspections. 

Cost-Saving Benefits:  

Using the Portalevel® MAX PLUS and Portasteele® CALCULATOR can lead to significant cost savings. By eliminating the need for multiple personnel and specialized equipment, the labor costs are significantly reduced. There is no requirement for hydraulic car fees or weighing scale fees, further contributing to cost savings. Additionally, the risk of gas loss is minimized, reducing expenses related to gas replenishment and dangers associated with the gas release. The initial investment in Coltraco devices pays for itself within the first year of testing and continues to provide cost savings in the long run. Please see the table below for cost benefit analysis: 

Old Method VS Portalevel® MAX PLUS – Comparison table 

Parameters OLD METHOD Portalevel® MAX PLUS 
Labor 6 people / outsourced 1-2 personnel from the owner’s establishment 
Time consumption 2-6 days 10 minutes per cylinder 
Number of tests per year 2 times as per regulations 2 to infinite times 
Dismantling Must dismantle every cylinder on its own No dismantling needed 
Gas loss At best case 2 kgs for every test and every cylinder Zero gas loss 
Cost efficiency Around 4,800 USD* for 2 cylinders / GBP 3,600 per year Around 4,200 USD* to inspect any number and type of cylinder. Along with the Portasteele® CALCULATOR & complete technical and aftersales support with training and warranty 

*USD figures converted as per costs in Jordan 


The traditional methods of measuring contents in fire suppression systems are laborious, time-consuming, and costly. By adopting ultrasonic level indicators like the Portalevel® MAX PLUS and Portasteele® CALCULATOR, facility owners can save time, reduce labor costs, and enhance accuracy in maintenance procedures. The cost-efficiency, ease of use, and reliability of these devices make them a valuable investment. Embracing technology not only improves safety and productivity but also allows resources to be allocated effectively in other areas of the facility. With Coltraco Products’ ultrasonic level indicators, fire suppression system maintenance becomes more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective. 

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Coltraco Ultrasonics
NETPark Research Institute
Joseph Swan Road
TS21 3FB

United Kingdom


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