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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    5

    Cool Are the dyes UV leak detectors good and which brandname is the best?

    I´ve read a lot about this A/C findind leaks methods but I haven´t tried anyone yet.
    What do you recommend on this issue please? is this method good?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    2,583
    I've been doing service in this field, for over thirty years. I'ved never used a dye in a system and never will. However, I've seen plenty of systems messed up from the dyes, and still leaking

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    91
    i've never seen a system messed up from dye. Not saying it doesn't happen but i have never seen it. We do use dye. I personally try not to, but sometimes it is a good alternative. I carry the yellow jacket plunger type dye on my truck and have had success with it in the past. I don't believe it is the best way to leak check but when you have tried everything else it's a good alternative in my opinoin.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
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    521
    ALL dyes are not bad. Just like how mixing new refrigerants with old mineral oils can cause lack of lubrication problems, using the proper dye for a certain type of system is very important. We are talking about chemical reactions with both.

    You first want to ensure you are not voiding a manufacturer warranty, then ensure you obtain the proper dye suitable for both the refrigerant and lubricant type. Then ensure you have an applicator that will not fail, even when not under pressure, an applicator that fails can be very messy. Know exactly how to apply the dye by asking others that have actually done it before attempting the job. This is ESPECIALLY true for applications under system pressure!

    My bag of leak detection tools contains, Ultrasonic, halide, several types and brands of electronic, big blue soap, several brands of dyes, and the most useful - my EYES. I have found at least as many leaks on systems by first looking for refrig oil and obvious faults such as sketchy welds, pinched tubing, bad or overtightened flares, rubthroughs, cracks, pickled evaporator coils, etc, than I have with any other method.
    You really should perfect your leakchecking skills with other types before jumping into the dye pool.

    Generally speaking, except for preventive maintenance applications, I try dye applications when other avenues have been exhausted. I have found many leaks over the years that escaped other means as the dye will indicate where the refrigerant has leaked even if it is not leaking at the time I am there.

    When applied before there is a leak, a regular inspection with a UV light will catch small leaks before the sight glass or lack of performance indicates there is a leak. It also shows you where to start before pressuring up a flat system with nitro, sometimes allowing you to bypass nitro until the leak has been repaired.

    I had a supervisor who took pride in never using a computer by the time he retired. Once he retired and was bored, he started using computers and now builds them from scratch. He proudly said "I have been working for "x" amount of years and have never used a computer and never will, those things cause all sorts of problems!".

    The moral of the story is that sometimes you have to look past the "bad reports" of something to find out it's attributes.

    As for brandnames, I think highly of Ritchie YellowJacket dyes, dye applicators and most of their other tools for that matter. However I am always looking for better tools no matter what type.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
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    4,307
    Great post, very informative! I still would never put dye in a system,but that's just my opinion.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anytown USA
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    Spectroline is the only dye approved by Copeland.. If Copeland approved it, why not use it?

    I have one of their kits that I've only used once or twice.

    http://www.racplus.com/news/emerson-...614383.article

    http://www.spectroline.com/hvacr/hvac_kits.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
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    521

    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    Great post, very informative! I still would never put dye in a system,but that's just my opinion.
    Even if you couldn't find the leak by any other means?
    I am not saying they are the best option, just that they are an option. When a customer is losing money from lost refrigerant and downtime, I will try anything that is reasonable to make him happy.
    Have you had bad experiences with dye?

  8. #8
    jpsmith1cm's Avatar
    jpsmith1cm is offline Global Moderator/AOP Committee
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    Western PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by koolkahuna

    Even if you couldn't find the leak by any other means?
    I am not saying they are the best option, just that they are an option. When a customer is losing money from lost refrigerant and downtime, I will try anything that is reasonable to make him happy.
    Have you had bad experiences with dye?
    Point is, unless there is no access to the piping, the leak can be found by other means.

    Dye is a lazy way out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Arizona
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    I used dyetell in the early seventies ( don't tell anyone) and hated the red crap on everything. Today many manufactures recommend against it and as you say in your post there are a lots of other ways to find leaks, so far they have worked for me!
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    British Columbia, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    I used dyetell in the early seventies ( don't tell anyone) and hated the red crap on everything. Today many manufactures recommend against it and as you say in your post there are a lots of other ways to find leaks, so far they have worked for me!
    I have run across a few of those red messes, your secret is safe with me.
    Like I said before, a guy needs to perfect and exhaust all other leak detecting skills before going with dye. I haven't had to use it for over 2 years now and hope I don't have to again.

    jpsmith1cms - keep up the good work!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    I am under the same opinion that I would never put this in any system that I work on, but thats just an opinion. To me, refrigerant systems have to be very clean, thats why we are so critical with evacuation, vaccums, and filter dryers. I once pumped a system up to 750psi to find a leak, that I was more willing to do than to use a dye.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    McQueeney, Texas
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    In all my almost 40 years of doing this, I have never used dye (Or maybe I don't remember ).
    But I wish I did a few times.

    The thing is- I could have found the most problematic leaks by spending a little more time and effort the first time around.
    Whipping through the system with the H10 but not using the "tiny" leak sensitivity is a no-no. Not letting bubbles sit long enough. Not going through the extra work of getting in the 150* attic and doing a thorough test is not savvy. Just looking for traces of oil to leak check because there are other calls waiting isn't the best way.
    It's the bad habit of it being the first time at this house and using the old thinking that it is probably a tiny leak and if it runs low again- we'll take a look.
    Being lazy, using shortcuts, excuses because there are too many calls to do is a bad habit.

    If I use the new attitude I have promised and adopted the last two years, I find all of the leaks now using the H10, bubbles and the extra effort and time. I even found a leak in an evaporator I couldn't find three years in a row- I used more time and persistence.

    Might be why I am so slow right now, because the darn units are all working instead of leaking.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by walterc;12380371....I find all of the leaks now[/U
    using the H10, bubbles and the extra effort and time...
    Even R410a with the H10..

    I know...

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