Dtek and a corded H10. Each has it's own +/-, but in tandem...I just haven't found anything better.
Or maybe I just haven't needed anything better!
Run the dtek first, especially in tight/hard to reach spots and then, if needed, follow up with the H10. Zero the H10 outside first. I haven't been skunked so far...knock, knock!
Koolkahuna, I don't look down on those who use leak detectors. I admit that for some things, most notably split AC's, they have value. I even have one, though I haven't even put batteries in it. I considered working for a large commercial AC company in Nashville, where it most likely would have been used, yet, for what work I do it never comes in handy. I figure after you narrow your leak search down to general area, unless the exact spot of leak is obvious, you still have to soap and water the area to find the specific leak spot? An another area where I feel would be better for a leak detector is on the suction side of a semi hermetic unit that has been retrofited from R-12 to R-134A. They will drop into a good vacuum, and any leak will suc the soap & water into the system. I haven't seen one of these since the service, however so I haven't dwelt on it as a major point for the leak detector.
I do it the way I do it so I don't have to use, and therefore clean up, a lot of soap that, if not wiped or rinsed off, will corrode copper piping and brass fittings/valves.
A lot of good hvac mechanics "look down" on the use of leak detection dyes and they are definitely a last resort for me. However the area that I will use UV Dye is on AC systems on logging and mining equipment that is hours into the bush and downtime is hundreds or even thousands of dollars per hour.
I have a separate gauge set for dye charged systems and will only do it upon customer command as it is their equipment after all.
They want systems charged with dye before there is ever a leak so the leak can be found with their UV lamps and a whole new part can be brought up on the service trip.
I charge well over a thousand dollars for truck/travel alone to most of these sites so it only makes sense.
I still detest it though. :mad:
I detest my Dtek :) Seriously I have yet to locate a leak with it. The best I can find is that there is a leak somewhere, in the cabinet as opposed to out. But actually finding it? Nope.
I find most leaks by oil residue, and if ambient noise is low enough, a plastic tube to used to channel the sounds. Precise location by soap.
Already doing better. Last one was a confidence booster. Bottle cooler in a bar, we have been there every two months to gas it up and no one was able to find a leak. Boss told me to go find it and not come back til I did. My detector didn't pick up anything with the 134A so I recovered and put in a little 22 and some nitrogen...detector went nuts inside the cooler. Got the bubbles out, soaked it down and voila...multiple tiny TINY leaks. Felt good to have a little success on a unit three other guys couldn't find a leak on. Funny thing was....the evap was coated and looked just...pristine. Looked new, even. If I hadn't been told to "find it and don't come back" I would have just said "No way there's a leak on that thing." Valuable lesson learned, don't take anything for granted.
H-10 is the only way to fly!
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