Troubleshooting the soil chamber

In this section we describe how to identify problems with the chamber and how to solve them. The troubleshooting in this section is specific to the soil CO2 flux chamber.

Bellows pump runs intermittently after the chamber opens or closes

This indicates that the bellows or bellows tubing has a leak. If the pump does not run during a measurement, the issue will not affect measurements. If the pump does run during a measurement, the movement of the chamber could alter the pressure and volume slightly. Therefore, we recommend repairing the issue prior to measurements.

Chamber will not open or close, or it opens or closes very slowly

  • Leaking bellows or bellow tubing?
  • A leak in this system will prevent the bellows from responding properly. If the bellows will not stay in the open position (it slowly closes, in spite of the setting), most likely there is a leak in the pneumatic system or contamination of a valve.

Noisy data

  • Leaking collar?
  • If collar is wobbly or if there are gaps between the soil and collar, there are probably leaks that allow ambient air into the chamber during a measurement. Reinstall the collar at another location.
  • Poor chamber seal around the collar?
  • Check the gaskets on the chamber and replaced damaged gaskets as described on Support: 6800-09 Soil CO2 Flux Chamber.
  • Leaky connection?
  • Check the tubes for leaks, especially near the connectors. Check the connectors to be sure they are tight. Look at the connectors on chamber adapter block, and the connection points on the top of the chamber.

High initial CO2 concentrations

  • Did someone exhale near the chamber while it was closing?
  • Typically, CO2 concentrations will be near ambient levels when you start a measurement.

Low flow rate

  • Clogged filter?
  • Check the head filters behind the custom chamber block. Clean or replace them if they are clogged.
  • Blockage in a tube?
  • Examine the tubes for evidence of a blockage or liquid water. If you can see a blockage, clean or replace the tubes with tubing from the spares kit if needed. If you see water, take off the tubes immediately and power off the system. Try to get the water out as soon as possible, and consider calling technical support.
  • Bad pump?
  • If you cannot hear the pump run, it may have failed. In this case, contact technical support to learn how to replace the pump.