Ive never had much luck with dye, besides making my gauges and hands glow, I have had several leak detectors: tif, uei and yellow jacket ranging from a couple of hundered to 3 hundred, all have been lost or stolen, I just bought a real cheap mars detector (heated tip )for fifty bucks, it works great. The prblem with the more expensive detectors is that they are too sensitive to motion, also if you handle r22, the detector will go off on your finger... the cheap mars works great so far.
Currently: Denver Colorado area, Previously: East Coast to West Coast + many cities in between.
Good Leak Finding ideas!
Rusty . . .
I really like your ideas for finding evap coil leaks. Now if you just had a magic way of getting easy access to the coils we would all have an easier time working on them.
Originally Posted by Rusty199
Nitrogen is good for pressurizing the system to increase the rate of leakage while leak searching. R22 is added as a tracer gas for electronic leak detection. I have also pulled & dunked the evap coil, pulled the condenser and brought it into the garage for UV testing, disconnected and isolated the evap, condenser and line set to vacuum test seperately.
Most leak searches are time consuming, and sometimes you still don't find it. Unfortunately, the easiest method, the UV test, is the slowest because the longer it's allowed to run (and leak) the better it works. I find many at the end of the season or the next spring.
I've never heard anything about warranty issues with UV dye, and I've never had a problem in the 9 yrs or so I've been using it either.
I also agree with not wasting your $ on ultrasonic equipment. I use it, but it's no magic wand either. They pick up every sound like road noise, wind, your own movement, chipmunk farts, etc.
My favorite trick for evap coil searches is to pressurize with nitrogen to 325 lbs and spray the entire surface with big blue (bubble solution) and then listen with the ultrasonic detector. Leaks sound like eggs frying in the distance, very faint. Then check the area for fine bubbles (like what we hayseeds usta call frog spit, that stuff that you'd find on plants).
Leak searches are HARD, but very few techs are good at it. Make it a specialty and you will become valuable in your trade.
All good methods.... in the olden days, a brush with a pan of dish washing liquid spread over suspected leaks was real accurate.... a point of interest... when I use the R-22 trace and nitrogen, the first thing I do is remove the hoses from the schrader fittings... or back seat and remove gages on a refrigeration unit...... sometimes the leak is in the mechanical fitting... (valve) and the manifold hoses shield the leak from detecting. I also use the H-10.
i had the h-10pm leak detector and yeah i found some many i wasnt confident with accepting that was the only leak, i recently bouhgt the new tif zx-1 or xp-1 or something and i have had great success with it so far, i do look for oil first, i even check for oil in the condensate drain water, i have found 4 leaky evap coils in the month ive had it, we dont repair evap coils if its leaking we replace it it is fun looking for them,