Scuba diving requires careful monitoring of gas mixtures, particularly when it comes to helium levels. This is where a scuba helium analyzer plays a vital role. In this article, we will explore the importance of helium analyzer calibration, the different types of scuba helium analyzers available, their key features and functions, and the step-by-step process of using them.

A Helium Gas Analyzer is a device used in SCUBA diving to measure the concentration of helium gas in a breathing gas mixture. This is important because helium is often added to breathing gases to reduce the risk of decompression sickness during deep dives, but too much helium can be dangerous. By accurately measuring the concentration of helium, divers can ensure that their breathing gas mixture is safe and appropriate for the depth and duration of their dive.

Helium analyzer calibration is a crucial aspect of maintaining accuracy and reliability in gas analysis. It involves adjusting the instrument to ensure precise measurement of helium levels. This calibration is necessary because even minor deviations in readings can significantly impact the safety and efficiency of a dive.


  • A Scuba Helium Analyzer is a device used to measure the concentration of helium in a gas mixture, providing divers with crucial information about their breathing gas.
  • Calibration is vital for a Scuba Helium Analyzer to ensure accurate and reliable readings, as it compensates for any drift or variations in the sensor’s performance.
  • A Scuba Helium Analyzer has various applications, including diving, helium leak testing, and gas purity analysis, making it an essential tool for dive professionals, technicians, and gas manufacturers.

What is Trimix Scuba Diving?

Trimix gas diving is a type of scuba diving that involves the use of a breathing gas mixture consisting of oxygen, nitrogen, and helium. The use of this mixture allows divers to reach greater depths than would be possible with traditional air diving, as it reduces the risk of nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness.

The ratio of the gases in the mixture can be adjusted depending on the depth of the dive and the individual needs of the diver. Trimix gas diving is typically used for technical diving, deep diving, and commercial diving.

What is Helium Analyzer Calibration?

Helium analyzer calibration is the essential procedure of fine-tuning the device in order to guarantee precise measurements of helium. It involves the comparison of the readings from the helium sensor with established helium concentrations. This calibration process is crucial for upholding the reliability of the analyzer and preventing any inaccuracies in the results.

Helium analyzer calibration is necessary to ensure accurate readings of helium levels in scuba tanks. Calibrating the analyzer with room air provides a baseline for comparison. Regular calibration helps maintain the sensor’s accuracy, preventing false readings that could endanger divers. A pro-tip: Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations for calibration frequency to maximize safety. Temperature, humidity and time (age) are all variables when it comes to accurate helium analyzer detection.

The Best Scuba Helium Analyzers

Helium gas analyzers are used to analyze gas mixes for breathing, trimix scuba, compressed gas, industrial applications, welding, and research & development. Most helium gas analyzers detect from 0-100% helium content in air with a 0.1% resolution. A few reputable Helium Gas Analyzer options include:

Forensics Detectors Helium Leak Detector (%Purity)

Forensics Detectors offers a professional Helium gas analyzer equipped with an advanced thermal conductivity sensor and a built-in pump. This device is factory-calibrated with a NIST traceability certificate and has a detection range of 0 – 100% for He gas within 20 seconds, with an accuracy of +/- 2% full-scale. It is also factory NIST calibrated from Los Angeles, CA and has a DC3.7V Li-battery 2000mAh that allows for over 6 hours of continuous use.

This helium gas analyzer can analyze gas mixes for breathing, trimix scuba, compressed gas, industrial applications, welding, and research & development. It includes advanced features such as a high-resolution LCD, backlight high-resolution LCD, calibration features, and a built-in pump to draw your sample and increase response time, ensuring constant pressure and flow for the most accurate He readings. Additionally, it comes with a probe and tubing to be used as a Helium gas leak analyzer in various equipment, including vacuum equipment, spectrometers, and cryogenics.

Analytical Instruments – Portable TruMix Trimix Analyzer

A portable Trimix Analyzer designed to ensure the correct mix of helium, oxygen, and nitrogen for technical diving. This easy-to-operate diving instrument analyzes gas mixes, automatically correcting for environmental conditions and eliminating the risk of errors from manual calculations. It has a large backlit LCD display that is easily read even in low light conditions, and which provides additional information such as a Maximum Operating Depth calculation. The features make the Trimix 4001 one of the best nitrox analyzers on the market for diving oxygen analyzers.


Analox Helium Trimix Analyzer

The Analox ATA Pro is a true Trimix analyzer offering accurate readings of helium, oxygen, and balance gas (nitrogen). Fitted with a unique helium sensor zero function, which fully compensates for the presence of oxygen, the ATA Pro offers users a greater level of accuracy throughout the analyzer’s life. As well as providing diver safety, this trimix analyser offers cost-efficiency by preventing the need to dump expensive tank fills. 


Nuvair Helium Analyzer

  • The Nuvair Helium Analyzer is a reliable and accurate tool used for analyzing helium levels in scuba tanks.
  • It provides precise measurements of helium content, ensuring safe and optimal gas mixtures for deep diving.
  • Key features include a user-friendly interface, quick response time, and a durable design.
  • The Nuvair Helium Analyzer is widely used by professional divers, dive shops, and gas blending facilities.
  • It plays a crucial role in preventing decompression sickness and ensuring the safety of divers.

Divesoft Helium/Oxygen Analyzer

The Divesoft Helium/Oxygen Analyzer is a popular choice for scuba divers. It provides accurate measurements of helium and oxygen levels in breathing gases. With its compact design and user-friendly interface, it is easy to use both in the field and in the lab. The analyzer is known for its reliability and durability, making it a trusted tool for divers who need precise gas analysis.


Nuvair Pro HE Helium Analyzer

Nuvair Pro HE Helium Analyzer offers precise helium analysis for scuba diving and gas purity analysis. It features a durable design, user-friendly interface, and quick response time. The analyzer ensures the safety and accuracy of helium blends for deep diving. Pro-tip: Regular calibration enhances the performance of the Nuvair Pro HE Helium Analyzer.


Key Features and Functions of Scuba Helium Analyzers

Key Features and Functions of Scuba Helium Analyzers

Scuba helium analyzers are essential tools for divers to guarantee the safety of their gas mixture. Here are some important features and functions to take into consideration:

  • Accuracy: look for analyzers that offer precise readings to accurately measure helium levels.
  • Portability: opt for compact and lightweight analyzers that are easy to carry and use underwater.
  • Durability: choose analyzers made from sturdy materials that can withstand water pressure and potential impacts.
  • User-friendly interface: select analyzers with clear and intuitive displays for easy reading and operation.
  • Battery life: consider analyzers with long-lasting batteries to ensure reliable performance throughout dives.

Step-by-Step Guide for Using a Scuba Helium Analyzer

Using a scuba helium analyzer is simple with this step-by-step guide:

  1. Turn on the analyzer and allow it to warm up.
  2. Attach the analyzer to the scuba tank valve (some have a dome, needle, or barb attachment)
  3. Open the scuba tank valve slowly and allow the helium to flow into the analyzer.
  4. Wait for the analyzer to display the helium concentration.
  5. Record the helium concentration and compare it to the desired range.
  6. If the concentration is within the desired range, the tank is safe to use.
  7. If the concentration is outside the desired range, take appropriate action, such as purging the tank or seeking professional assistance.

In 1943, the US Navy developed the helium analyzer to ensure the safety of divers using helium-oxygen mixtures. Scuba helium analyzers have since become essential tools in the diving industry.

the Helium Analyzer Calibration Process

Understanding the helium analyzer calibration process is crucial for scuba divers. Here are the steps:

  1. Ensure the analyzer is powered on and warmed up.
  2. Connect the appropriate gas source to the analyzer.
  3. Perform a zero calibration to establish a baseline.
  4. Calibrate the analyzer using a known helium standard.
  5. Validate the calibration by measuring a gas sample.

Why Should a Helium Analyzer be Calibrated with Room Air?

Calibration of a Helium Analyzer maximizes accuracy. In other words, it establishes a baseline for accurate measurements. Room air, which is readily available and has a well-known composition, plays a vital role in this calibration process. By utilizing room air, calibration adjustments can be made, ensuring precise detection and measurement of helium levels during scuba diving or helium leak testing. Incorporating room air in the calibration of a helium analyzer thus optimizes accuracy and reliability in these important applications.

What is Helium Gas?

Helium is a chemical element with the symbol He and atomic number 2. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, and inert gas that heads the noble gas series in the periodic table. Its boiling and melting points are the lowest among all the elements, and it exists only as a gas except in extreme conditions.

Helium is the second lightest element and is the second most abundant element in the observable universe, being present at about 24% of the total elemental mass, which is more than 12 times the mass of all the heavier elements combined. It is also the second most abundant element in the Earth’s atmosphere, but it is relatively rare on the Earth’s surface.

Helium is used for a variety of purposes, including as a coolant for nuclear reactors, as a lifting gas for balloons and airships, as a protective gas in welding and other industrial processes, as a tracer gas for leak detection, and as a cooling medium for MRI machines and other medical equipment. It is also used in cryogenics to cool materials to very low temperatures.

Is Helium Gas Toxic?

Helium gas is not toxic. It is a noble gas, which means it is chemically inert and does not react with other elements or compounds. This makes it safe to handle and use in various applications.

In fact, helium is commonly used in medical applications such as MRI machines and as a respiratory gas for patients with respiratory distress, as it is non-toxic and non-reactive.

However, it is important to note that while helium itself is not toxic, it can displace oxygen in confined spaces, which can lead to asphyxiation if proper safety precautions are not taken. It is important to handle helium gas with care and follow all safety guidelines to prevent any accidents or injuries.

Helium Analyzer for Diving

  • Gas Diluent Monitoring: A helium analyzer for diving aids in monitoring and adjusting the helium content in breathing gases, preventing dangerous and potentially life-threatening scenarios.
  • Gas Purity Analysis: By measuring the purity of the gas mixture, the helium analyzer for diving ensures that the mixture is within the acceptable range for safe diving.
  • Detection of Helium Leaks: Helium analyzers for diving are employed to detect helium leaks in diving equipment, such as rebreathers or gas tank valves, preventing potential hazards during a dive.
  • Accurate Decompression Calculations: With precise helium measurements, divers can accurately calculate decompression stops, allowing for safer ascents and reducing the risk of decompression sickness.

How does a Scuba Helium Analyzer work?

A Scuba Helium Analyzer employs thermal conductivity sensors to detect helium. A thermal conductivity sensor works by measuring the ability of a gas to conduct heat. Helium gas has a very low thermal conductivity compared to other gases, which makes it a good candidate for detection using this type of sensor.

The sensor consists of two elements, a reference element and a sensing element. Both elements are heated to a constant temperature, and the temperature difference between them is measured. When a gas flows over the elements, the thermal conductivity of the gas affects the temperature difference between the elements. If the gas being measured has a low thermal conductivity, such as helium, the temperature difference between the elements will increase. This change in temperature difference is detected by the sensor and can be used to indicate the presence of helium.

To detect helium specifically, the sensor may be calibrated using a known mixture of gases that includes helium. This allows the sensor to be tuned to detect only helium, even in the presence of other gases with different thermal conductivities.

Can a Scuba Helium Analyzer calculate decompression schedules?

No, a Scuba Helium Analyzer’s main function is to measure the helium and oxygen concentrations in gas mixtures. It does not have the capability to calculate decompression schedules.

Does a Helium Gas Analyzer Detect Oxygen?

No it does not.

Does a Helium SCUBA Gas Analyzer Detect Carbon Monoxide?

No it does not.

What is NIST Helium Gas?

NIST Helium gas is a high-purity helium gas that is produced and certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States. NIST is a federal agency that is responsible for developing and promoting measurement, standards, and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade, and improve the quality of life. NIST Helium gas is used in a variety of applications, including scientific research, calibration of instruments, and as a carrier gas in gas chromatography. The gas is certified by NIST to meet strict purity and quality standards, ensuring that it is suitable for use in critical applications where accuracy and precision are essential.

Forensics Detectors uses NIST traceable Helium gas to calibrate our Helium Analyzers. Make sure you also are using NIST traceable gas when calibrating your SCUBA helium analyzers.