GE Surveymaster
Our Score:
GE Surveymaster at a glance

The Protimeter Surveymaster offers several accessories, including the push cable reviewed here.

The meter itself features two modes of operation. One quickly scans samples and provides a relative reading. The other is a measurement mode that provides moisture content (MC) readings using two pins inserted into the sample.

The Surveymaster can be used on wood, wood floors, and several other building materials. It has two displays: a digital display that shows the actual moisture level and an LED scale that provides a quick visual check of moisture condition.

Despite some wiring-related problems, the dual modes of operation make both the meter and its push cable accessory worth considering for some applications.

Pros

  • Two modes of operation: search and measure.
  • Comes with calibration check device.
  • Audible and visual alarm.
  • Color LED indicator in search mode gives quick visual feedback.

Cons

  • Wiring problems in both the meter and its accessories.
  • Adjusting for species and temperature requires using tables.
  • Surface moisture significantly affects readings.

BLD5055 Hammer Probe

Surveymaster Meter

Picture of the Protimeter Surveymaster Meter Kit, showing meter, hammer probe, case and other accessories

Objective Evaluation – Overall Score 4.2 out of 5.0

Protimeter Surveymaster Push Cable Objective

Accuracy – 4.2 out of 5.0

The Surveymaster push cable is accurate from 7% to 18% MC when compared to ASTM D-4442 oven dry standards. It is not able to provide readings below 7% MC. Accuracy decreases above 18% MC.

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Learn about our accuracy test procedures

Surface Moisture – 1.0 out of 5.0

Surface moisture had a significant effect on this meter’s reading, with an increase of 7.7% compared to the baseline. These results indicate that operating this meter in high humidity environments where condensation may form on the surface could lead to questionable readings.

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Learn about our surface moisture test procedures

Meter Temperature – 4.7 out of 5.0

Meter temperature had a small effect on the push cable’s readings.

A low meter temperature of 34.8° F in the presence of low MC decreased the reading only 0.1% compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased 0.4%.

With a high meter temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC, the reading decreased only 0.1% compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased 1.3%.

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Learn about our meter temperature test procedures

Wood Temperature – 4.3 out of 5.0

Wood temperature had a small effect on the push cable’s readings.

A low wood temperature of 33.6° F in the presence of low MC increased the reading 1.7% compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased 1%.

A high wood temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC decreased the reading 0.5% compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased only 0.3%.

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Learn about our wood temperature test procedures

Reading Repeatability – 5.0 out of 5.0

The push cable provided mostly consistent, repeatable readings throughout testing.

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Learn about our repeatability testing procedures

Drift – 4.0 out of 5.0

Test results showed a slight drift of 0.2% after three seconds.

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Cable Interference – 5.0 out of 5.0

Cable interference did not adversely affect the push cable’s readings.

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Learn about our cable interference and drift testing procedures

Subjective Evaluation – Overall Score 3.4 out of 5.0

subjective test template

Learn about our subjective testing procedures

Ease of Use – 2.8 out of 5.0

With only two buttons to push, this meter and its push cable accessory are fairly simple to operate. Little use of the manual is needed to get started. Documentation in the manual is clear and easy to understand. Adjusting readings for high or low wood temperature must be done by hand. No table is provided in the manual.

Quality – 3.7 out of 5.0

The push cable accessory appears to be of reasonable quality. However, we did experience some wiring issues with the meter we tested as well as problems with the pins breaking.

Comfort – 5.0 out of 5.0

The meter and its accessories are comfortable to use. Ergonomically designed to fit nicely in one’s hand, the meter is also compact and fits easily in a shirt or jacket pocket.

Versatility – 2.0 out of 5.0

The Surveymaster features two modes (pin and pinless) for detecting and measuring moisture. Species adjustments must be made using a table supplied with the meter, which is somewhat inconvenient.

Range – 2.3 out of 5.0

The Surveymaster takes measurements from 7% to 30% on wood. Its range does not extend to low moisture content below 7%.

Features – 3.2 out of 5.0

Readings are precise to the nearest 0.1%. Features a low battery indicator, both audible and visual alarms, and a calibration check accessory. Lacks a HOLD function that would be handy when working in tight spaces.

Customer Service – 4.5 out of 5.0

Customer service appears knowledgeable and is able to answer all the basic questions, including the cost of repair, turnaround time on repairs, etc. Warranty is one year. Fast response time to both telephone and email inquiries. Manual available online.

Our review is based on Moisture Meter Experts independent evaluation of the meter, which was purchased by Moisture Meter Experts or provided free of charge by the manufacturer. By purchasing this meter through the links above, Moisture Meter Experts may be compensated either by your purchase directly from Moisture Meter Experts or from commissions from an affiliate. View our Review Procedures section to learn more about our proprietary evaluation procedure and expertise in the field of moisture meters.