Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Leak Test related questions:

1) “I need help filling out the Leak Test Certificate…
2) “For the activity field, should I put the original activity or the decay corrected activity?”
3) “I just received my machine back from NITON and the bottom half of the Leak Test Certificate is blank, why isn’t it filled out?”
4) “I need the results of my leak test back as soon as possible, how long will it take and can you fax them to me?”
5) “Does this kit have a shelf life?”
or “What is the maximum amount of time the kit be in storage before I use it?”
6) “I received a kit in the mail but I didn’t ask for one, what should I do with it, and why did you charge me for it?”
7) “I am going to put my machine into storage and it won’t be used for a while, do I still need to leak test it?”
8) “Do you accept credit cards?”
9) “I've lost / misplaced my certificate, can you send me a copy?”
10) “I have two sources in my machine, do I need two kits?”
11) “Can I use my own kit?”

Probe related questions:

1) “How much do you charge for probes?”
2) “Is there a fee to change a probe’s connector type?”
3) “How much do you charge to replace the GM tube?”

Leak Test Related Questions:

1)    “I need help filling out the Leak Test Certificate…
Top Line (Device information):

           Device – the type of device that is being leak tested (Example: XRF Analyzer)
           Model – that device’s model number (Example: XL309)
           Serial # – that device’s serial number (Example: U1234)
           Manufacturer – the device manufacturer (Example: NITON)
Second Line (Radioisotope Information):
           Radioisotope – the radioisotope of the source to be tested (Example: Cd-109)
           Activity – the original activity of the source (10 mCi)
Third Line (Source Information):
            Source Model – the source’s model number (Example: XFB3205)
            Source # – the source’s serial number (Example: NR1234)
            Manufacturer – the source manufacturer (Example: IPL)
Fourth Line (Kit number):
            Kit number – the 6 digit kit number found on the yellow label on the plastic bag (Example: 987654)

2)    “For the activity field, should I put the original activity or the decay corrected activity?”
Put the original activity in the activity field.   This information is used to identify the source that is being tested and does not factor into any of our calculations when determining if the source is leaking or not.

3)    “I just received my machine back from NITON and the bottom half of the Leak Test Certificate is blank, why isn’t it filled out?”
When servicing a machine, if NITON has no reason to believe that the source(s) is/are leaking, then they will perform the leak test but ship the machine back to the customer before the results come back.  Then, when they get the results from us (VSSA) they fax or mail them to the customer.

4)    “I need the results of my leak test back as soon as possible, how long will it take and can you fax them to me?”
We can typically perform the analysis the same day we receive the kit and get the results in the mail the following business day.  If the analysis has been paid for, then we can fax the leak test certificate as soon as the test has been completed.  If you would like the certificate faxed to you, simply include a brief note that indicates the fax number you wish the results to be sent to.  Remember to include some form of payment (we accept check, purchase order, VISA or MasterCard).

5)    “Does this kit have a shelf life?” or “What is the maximum amount of time the kit be in storage before I use it?”
The kit has no shelf life and can be kept in storage as long as you want.  Once you perform the wipe on the machine however, you should return the kit shortly thereafter.

6)    “I received a kit in the mail but I didn’t ask for one, what should I do with it, and why did you charge me for it?”
Federal Regulations state that machines with sealed sources must be leak tested at least every six months. We therefore typically send out kits automatically 2-4 weeks before that six-month period has elapsed.  If you no longer have need for leak testing you may discard the kit.  If you anticipate that you might need a kit in the future, you may hold on to the kit as long as you want, until you need it.  The invoice that is included in each kit is for the analysis only, and therefore you are not charged the $41 fee until you return the kit to us for analysis.

7)    “I am going to put my machine into storage and it won’t be used for a while, do I still need to leak test it?”
It depends on the state you’re in.  Federal Regulations state you are allowed to store a machine for up to 10 years without leak testing it.  When the machine goes into storage it must have a current leak test and when it is removed from storage it must be tested again prior to use.  Some states have more strict regulations.  [Some states that use the Federal Regulations are: MA, RI]

8)    “Do you accept credit cards?”
Yes.  We now accept MasterCard and VISA credit cards.

9)    “I've lost / misplaced my certificate, can you send me a copy?”
Yes.  We keep electronic copies of all certificates, and can therefore fax or mail a copy to you. Ideally, you should have the kit number / certificate number of the certificate you are requesting ready when you call.  If that information is not available to you, have as much relevant information prepared as you can (such as source number, unit number, approximate test date, etc.).  Our copies are available at no cost and will have our corporate stamp embossed on the certificate.

10)    “I have two sources in my machine, do I need two kits?”
No, you only need one kit per machine. You do, however, need to fill out a certificate for each source with that source's specific information.

11)    “Can I use my own kit?”
If you need the leak test performed immediately and cannot wait for our kit to arrive, then you may use your own kit. All of the necessary documentation may be faxed to you or you may download it from this website. You must also contact us so that we may give you a kit number to affix to the plastic bag containing the cotton swab as well as write it on the certificate. In addition to placing the cotton swab in a plastic bag, that bag must be shipped in a padded mailer even if you ship via Fed-Ex or UPS.

Probe Related Questions:

1)    “How much do you charge for probes?”
$350.  We give discounts on quantity orders, please call or e-mail for quote.

2)    “Is there a fee to change a probe’s connector type?”
Yes.  The cost varies depending on the type of connector you wish to replace.   "C" connectors are the most expensive; $45 + $25 labor + Shipping.

3)  “How much do you charge to replace the GM tube?”
$75 + $30 labor + Shipping.  Alternatively, we can send you a replacement tube with installation instructions to avoid the labor charge.