Providing Products and Technology for a Better Environment
Providing Products and Technology for a Better Environment

We receive valuable input and questions from our customers on a regular basis.  The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page give you quick access to some of the most common inquiries.  Feel free to browse through the questions below.

Note: Categories are listed in alphabetical order.


Q: Filters – What is a carbon filter and why do I need one?

A: A carbon (or charcoal) filter reduces the quantity of non-methane hydrocarbons in the gas stream, which ensures a more accurate methane level reading.

Q: Filters – What is a water trap and why do I need one?

A: The water trap is a filter that removes moisture from the gas stream. If you get liquid droplets in your gas sample, the water trap will prevent them from going into the body of your instrument. Otherwise, the GEM could suffer serious damage. If you are using a charcoal absorber filter, the water trap should come before the charcoal absorber. That is, the charcoal filter should be closer to the instrument.

Q: Filters – What is a particulate filter and why do I need one?

A: A particulate filter removes small particles—dust, pollen and so forth—from the gas stream. This is important because particles degrade the instrument’s performance and must eventually be cleaned out during servicing. The particulate filter is inside the GEM-2000 body, in the back behind the circular door with the large slot in it. The door can be opened with a quarter or something similar. Slide the quarter into the slot and turn counter clockwise. The particulate filter should be checked regularly, at least every three months, and replaced immediately if it is clogged.


Q: Instrument – Can I reset the barometric pressure?

A: No, you can not. This question arises because the barometric pressure shown on the GEM™2000 screen and attached to your readings is not corrected to sea level, nor is it temperature compensated. So, if you are taking readings at 3000 feet, your barometric pressure will be too low. If it is important that a corrected barometric pressure be attached to your readings, you should stamp your readings with the correct value after they’re downloaded. The best way to know the correct barometric pressure is to have a professional grade barometer on site. If this is not possible, you can use a barometric pressure correction calculator online to derive the corrected pressure from the one the GEM displays. You can find one here: You stamp readings in the communication software after you download them from the instrument. Click on “Technician & Weather Stamping” and enter the correct barometric pressure and other information in the form that pops up.

Q: Instrument – Can I set the time and date in my GEM™2000 without using the instrument communication software?

A: No, you can not.

Q: Instrument – What is lost during a cold start?

A: Everything. All readings stored in the instrument, all Well IDs, the Date and Time, all other settings.

Q: Instruments – Can I read H2S and CO with both the GEM™2000 and GEM™2000 Plus?

A: Yes. The GEM™2000 requires that an external gas pod be used, while the GEM™2000 Plus has built-in Hydrogen Sulfide and Carbon Monoxide detectors.

Q: Instruments – Can I use my GEM500 serial cable with the GEM™2000?

A: Yes, you can. Both instruments interfacee with the cable.

Q: Instruments – Can the GEM500 battery charger be used with the GEM™2000?

A: No, it can not.

Q: Instruments – Can the GEM500 temperature probe be used with the GEM™2000?

A: No, you can not.

Q: Instruments – Does the GEM™2000 running in GA mode read flow?

A: No. GA mode mimics the operation of the GA90, which is used only to sample gas composition, not to measure flow.

Q: Instruments – How long can I realistically expect to use my GEM™2000 on a full battery charge?

A: About 8 hours. This is assuming a pump running time of 120 seconds, and a “normal” well field. Of course, your time will vary with such factors as the age of your battery, the number of actual wellheads you read and their type, and so on.

Q: Instruments – My GEM™2000 won’t turn off.

A: Press and hold the on/off button. Your GEM™2000 will shut off in 15 seconds or less.

Q: Instruments – What is the battery recharge time for the GEM™2000?

A: About 2-3 hours.

Q: Instruments – What is the difference between a GEM™2000 and a GEM™2000 Plus?

A: A GEM™2000 Plus has built-in analyzers for H2S and CO. The GEM™2000 requires external gas pods to monitor these gases.

Q: Instruments – What is the range for H2S detection in the GEM™2000 when used with the external gas pod?

A: If your instrument Serial Number is prior to 10000, the range is 0-200ppm. If your instrument Serial Number is 10000 or higher, then the range is 0-500 ppm

PC Connection

Q: PC Connection – How can I connect my GEM to my PC or laptop? There is no plug that fits your cable.

A: The cable that lets your GEM communicate with your computer is normally plugged into a “Serial” port, sometimes called an “RS232” port. Modern laptops often lack this port. You can purchase an RS232 cable from LANDTEC.


Q: Readings – How do temperature extremes affect my readings and instrument? What can I do to work in extreme temperatures?

A: Above 104°F (40°C) or below freezing, 32°F (0°C), your readings may be incorrect, or the instrument may otherwise malfunction. In extreme heat, the GEM-2000 screen goes black. If you are working in sub-freezing temperatures, you can use a hand warmer to keep the instrument warm. You might also keep the instrument inside your coat. In extreme heat, try to keep the instrument out of the direct sun. If its readings become erratic or the screen goes black, bring it into a cooler environment, such as your air-conditioned truck.

Q: Readings – I downloaded my readings, but the well IDs are corrupted (meaningless characters)?

A: The readings you have downloaded can’t be fixed. To remove corrupted data from the instrument you need to do a Cold Start. Instructions for doing a cold start are in the GEM™2000 Manual.

Q: Readings – What is a “cross-gas” effect?

A: Some gas sensors are sensitive to more than one type of gas. Methane sensors, for example, measure hydro-carbon bonds, which are present in all hydrocarbons, such as Ethane, Propane, Butane and others. So, if these other gases are present, your GEM will read them as Methane, and therefore report more Methane than is actually present. Because landfills are known to contain large amounts of Methane, and don’t normally contain these other hydrocarbons, this cross-gas contamination is not usually a problem. The Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide sensors in the GEM instruments are relatively free of cross-gas effects. The H2S and CO sensors in the gas pods and the GEM™2000 Plus do show some cross-gas effects. The GEM™2000/GEM™2000 Plus manual has a cross-sensitivity table for these sensors.

Q: Readings – Why are my readings erratic? My Methane reading is rising and falling for no apparent reason.

A: Readings, especially Methane, can be affected by cell phones. Do not use your cell phone while you are taking field readings.

Q: Readings – Why is my methane reading so high?

A: You probably have other hydrocarbons in your gas. The methane detector is sensitive to all hydrocarbons, so the presence of ethane, propane, butane and others in your gas stream will cause your methane reading to be too high. LANDTEC sells “Charcoal Absorber Filters (1-00000-5084)”, which will reduce the contamination from non-methane hydrocarbons. For more information, see section on “Cross Gas Effects” of the GEM™2000 Manual


Q: Servicing – Can I buy a GEM™2000 replacement battery and install it myself?

A: No, the battery must be replaced by LANDTEC.

Q: Servicing – Can I rent an instrument while mine is being serviced?

A: Yes. LANDTEC offers flexible instrument rentals that can be arranged at the time you obtain an RA.

Q: Servicing – How can I minimize the service time?

A: Get an RA number and include it with the package Ship overnight both ways Watch for your quote and return it immediately

Q: Servicing – How long will I be without my instrument when I send it in for its 6-month servicing?

A: Your instrument will spend from 7-13 days at LANDTEC, barring unusual circumstances. However, it must also be shipped from your site to our service center, and back again. Plus, once we issue the quote, we must wait for your to return it. So, the total time is more like 2-3 weeks.

Q: Servicing – If I am sending my instrument in to fix bad temperature readings, should I also send in the temperature probe?

A: Yes. Your faulty temperature readings could be due to the probe. This possibility shoud be investigated at the LANDTEC service facility.

Q: Servicing – What does a Platinum Service Agreement offer over the Service Plus Agreement?

A: The Platinum Service Agreement is designed for installations that need to maintain multiple instruments.

Q: Servicing – What does a Service Plus Agreement offer over the standard warranty?

A: Parts and labor warranty extends beyond one year. Two six month servicings are included Repairs and calibration are completed in 5-7 business days, instead of 7-10. Free loaner instrument in case the inspection plus servicing is estimated to take longer than 10 days. Rental instruments are offered at 15% off If repair time takes more than 10 days, return shipping is paid for by LANDTEC

Q: Servicing – If I am sending my instrument in to fix the computer connection, should I also send in the cables?

A: Yes. A problem connecting an instrument to a computer may be caused by a faulty cable, which can only be diagnosed by testing the cable in our service facility.

Q: Servicing – If I use my GEM infrequently, should it still be serviced every six months?

A: Yes, based on manufacturer accuracy analysis, a six month service interval has been established. User deviation from this interval will relieve LANDTEC of all legal liability for equipment accuracy.


Q: Software – Is the Instrument Communications Software compatible with Windows XP?

A: The instrument Communications Software provided with your instrument runs properly on Windows 2000/XP. LSGAM is also compatible with Windows Vista. However special permissions for reading and writing to the LANDTEC folder must be set up. You can call LANDTEC’s Technical Support Department for help.

Q: Software – What are the System Requirements for the instruments Communication Software?

A: Pentium III 500 MHz microprocessor or equal. 64 MB RAM. 120 MB of free hard disk space. CDROM drive. Windows 2000 or later These requirements were common on machines sold in 2000.

Q: Software – Does LANDTEC’s software support 64 bit versions of Windows?

A: LANDTEC has not tested it’s software applications (LSGAM or DataField CS) on 64 bit platforms. The USB drivers for the GEM download cables do have a 64 bit driver. Technical support has received calls of customers having issues on 64 bit platforms and actually these customers eventually installed a 32 bit version of Windows. In general, many smaller business applications do not support the 64 bit platforms.

Q: Software – I spent hours creating my well ID list in the communciation software, but now I can’t find it on my computer anywhere. What happened?

A: The Well ID list you created in the communication software was not automatically saved on your computer. To save a copy on your computer so that it is available for uploading to an instrument later, create the list, then click on the “Save File” button on the Well ID screen and choose a folder and filename that will allow you to find it later. If you created a Well ID list, then uploaded it to an instrument but did not save it on your computer, you can recover it in LSGAM by going to the Well ID screen and clicking “Load from Instrument”. The list will be loaded into LSGAM, at which point you should click “Save File” as described above. Your Well ID list needs to be saved to your computer only once. In DataField you need to save your IDs in a file; otherwise you will loose them. LSGAM will automatically save the IDs in a file under the project name. That file will be there every time you open LSGAM

Well IDs

Q: Well IDs – My GEM insists on 8 character ID’s. My well IDs don’t need 8 digits. What do I do?

A: The well IDs must have 8 characters—that’s letters or numbers, no punctuation. A commonly used technique is to use a four or five letter abbreviation for the landfill, followed by a three or four digit zero-prefixed well number. So, if you own the Smith County Landfill, you might identify your wells as: SMITH001, SMITH002, SMITH003 and so on.

Q: Well IDs – Can the GEM500 use the same Well ID list that the GEM™2000 uses?

A: The GEM500 does not support the full range of features that the GEM™2000 does, such as custom pump running time, info labels and custom questions. If you create a Well ID list using these features in DataField , then upload the list to the GEM500 and subsequently download that same Well ID list, you’ll find that the non-supported features are gone. The correct way to handle Well ID lists is to create them in your instrument communications software and save them in files on your computer, thus ensuring that the list is not lost. Then when the Well ID list is needed, load it into the software, then upload to your GEM500 and/or GEM™2000 instruments. The GEM500 only interfaces with DataField; the GEM™2000 interfaces with both DAtaField and LSGAM. When you use LSGAM (GEM™2000), because the list is already saved on your computer, you will never have to download it from the instrument. If you are interfacing with DataField (GEM500), save your IDs on your computer.