Next to cell phones and remote controls, pressure gauges are some of the most common doodads we use in this world. Unlike cell phones and remotes controls, though, it is not merely a matter of paying your phone bill or putting in new batteries that promises definitive steadfastness and functionality– pressure gauges, if not routinely checked and properly maintained, can lead to serious damage and, in some cases, fatality. And because there are so many of them being utilized for such a wide range of common and/or necessary applications, the chances of overlooks are high and, as a matter of course, accidents and deaths due to leaks and contamination are not as uncommon as one might like to think. Old manufacturing facilities, for an example, are often times afflicted with unchecked or faulty pressure gauges. Often times, companies will overcompensate by installing an unnecessary number of gauges throughout the buildings, which can lead to confusion and negligence. The point being, pressure gauges help us keep danger at bay– help us gauge the pressure around us and inside the variety of containers we use to hold all the many different types of fluids and gasses we depend on. Like we learned as children in the tale of the quick-witted dutch boy plugging the leaky dyke with his handy thumb, too much pressure and not enough protection, care and attentiveness can have dire results. Pressure maintenance is certainly a dangerous and risky endeavor and the employment of a well-maintained and functioning pressure gauge is, literally, a life saver.
Pressure gauges come in a variety of sizes, styles and materials and can either communicate information with a digital or an analogue interface– from meters and needles to graphics and videos, there is an array of technologies used to represent the information being processed, keeping us privy to the internal, unseeable affairs of a particular vessel. A pressure gauge might also, in some contexts, be equipped with additional “bells and whistles” in order to ensure noticeability and add extra precaution; signal lights and sound alarms are a few examples of such features. In any case, no matter the color or mechanisms being employed, one thing is for sure: pressure gauges are necessary for a functioning, safe modern society and handling unnatural pressures cannot be done without them.