Testing compressed air can be facilitated through the use of a third-party laboratory. As per NFPA 99 requirements, testing and analysis must be performed by a party other than the installer. When a system is not installed by in-house personnel, testing can be performed by an in-house American Society of Safety Engineer (ASSE) 6030-qualified employee. “ASSE 6030 qualified employees can complete verification testing per NFPA 99 using portable analyzers/monitors or in conjunction with a third-party laboratory” (Stein 2019).
Testing compressed air with portable analyzers provide facilities with the ease of producing quicker results in real-time. However, testing with an accredited laboratory “is often of higher accuracy and quality due to more complex techniques, instrumentation, and data analysis. Thus, a testing laboratory can sometimes provide clues as to the source of contamination through description/identification of particles, hydrocarbons, oils, etc” (Stein 2019).
Furthermore, third-party laboratory testing can be less expensive in the long-run. Portable analyzers run at a high cost due to the necessary maintenance and calibration that it requires. Ultimately, it is at the discretion of facilities to determine which testing method is appropriate for their use.