Navigating your way through the word salad in industry jargon 

When I was an immature 21 yo boy (fits better than young man, trust me), I went to work at an equipment rental company. I was completely new to construction and tool rental and was fresh out of 5 years in the golf industry. My first week on the job, I had a gruff, construction type walk up to me at the counter and utter the following: “young man, I need a pencil dick for the day”. Being the immature lad that I was, I did what most would not. I laughed directly in his face, and he replied, “you don’t know what a pencil dick is, do you?” I supposed he was somehow put up to this and was trying to rattle the greenhorn. I laughed again and said, “am I looking at one?”. He was profoundly serious and not amused and yelled over to my dispatcher and asked for a pencil dick so he could be on his way. The dispatcher rolled his eyes, scurried off to the warehouse, and returned with a concrete vibrator. Had he asked for that up front, he would have saved me the humiliation and himself some time. This began my journey of learning the language of industry.

My next adventure into industry was selling construction equipment. This came with a whole new set of phrases and terms that made no sense to a former golf pro and equipment and tool rental ‘professional’. I sold backhoes and it took me a while to realize that they were also called hoes, scratchers, diggers and rubber tire hoes. Unfortunately, some of these terms crossed over and a hoe could also mean excavator, track excavator and even something that had nothing to do with construction at all.

Fast forward a few decades into my new arena, industrial calibration gases and accessories. First, we need to know that calibration gases are also cal gas or calgas. Some call them quad mixes or quad gas. The term is also searched as 4 gas and 4-gas. None of these are wrong but neither are they entirely correct. You see, a cal gas or calgas can be a single gas used to calibrate a single sensor, it can be six gases in one cylinder, 5 gases in a cylinder plus an additional single gas cylinder or a myriad of other possibilities.

Quad gas or Quad mix should be 4 gases but neither term defines a certain mixture. Every gas detector manufacturer uses a slightly different 4 gas or 4-gas mixture to achieve calibration of their instruments. Quad or 4, while accurate in describing the general product, may not get you what you need to perform your calibration. This can be very confusing to someone (young, dumb and immature as I once was) tasked with ordering the specific 4 gas or 4-gas, quad mix or quad gas, cal gas or calgas, calibration gas that one needs.

We at Cal Gas Warehouse suggest that you use the most common terms to search when trying to find the exact mixture you need. Cal gas and calgas are the most searched terms on google, followed by 4 gas or 4-gas and then quad mix and quad gas. This all applies, of course, if you do not have the manufacturer’s part number.

So whichever gas detector, I mean sniffer, excuse me, gas detector, gas monitor, gas meter or is it air monitor? You can now see that tasking even a seasoned employee with ordering the proper calibration gas can be quite cumbersome. One can always call or email us, and we are happy to navigate you through the industrial jargon jungle.

The next time your supervisor gets mad because you purchased the wrong 4 gas for their sniffer, I mean Cal gas for their detector, oops, quad mix for their monitor…point them to this article and politely ask that they be more specific, or less, or leave it to the word salad Olympians who have combined decades of experience…Cal Gas Warehouse.