Anyone use this leak detetctor and like it? Amprobe It says it has a transmitter that puts a signal in the lineset that the reciever picks up through a leak. Hows that work?
Every now and again someone mentions these leak detectors, usually its in a thread about leak detectors. From what I've read and heard some people find them useful. They can be tough to use in noisy environments. Theres been one or two guys that swear by that particular model you linked. But like everything else there are many that say they don't work too good and swear at em.
From your link, it seems like leaks generate noise at freqs. above the human range of hearing (20 Hz to 18 kHz). This thing, and probably any dog, can hear the noise that the leak makes from the air escaping.
Originally Posted by rogerk
It's clever, if it actually works and doesn't give false indications.
So I guess the hissing noise from air leaking from a tire also has frequencies way above what we can hear.
Where did you read that it puts a signal in the lineset?
Originally Posted by rogerk
I was just looking into the Inficon Whisper ultrasonic leak detector. A friend at the supply house is ordering in one for the store and he's going to let me check it out to see how I like it. I can't find any extensive reviews on the thing anywhere. My experience will have to be the review that I ultimately base my decision on. I have a few tests lined up for it. If it passes them, then I'll buy it. One of the reasons I'm considering an ultrasonic is to check for vacuum leaks around hose fittings etc when I'm pulling a vacuum. That will be the first test that I run on it. I have a couple older hoses and manifolds that I know will leak. AFAIK there is no other type of leak detector that can pick up vacuum leaks.
I swear by it...
I am 1 of the 2 guys that swear by it as "NewOldTech" mentioned previously. Roger, how is that HVAC SUPERTECH program working for you? I hope it has been useful! The Amprobe TMULD-300, I believe, is the best ultra-sonic leak detector on the market. I have either purchased, borrowed or tested just about all of the ultra-sonic leak detectors and in my opinion, all of them suck when compared to the Amprobe TMULD-300.
Here are some of the features that I like about it:
Here's some of the other ways that I used to detector, other than for HVAC. You can use it to check bearings in a motor while running, finding small pinhole leaks in an air mattress caused by the cat, checking truck tires for leaks and water leaks behind drywall.
- small and compact it fits easily in my front pocket, headphones around the neck
- it operates on a 9 VDC battery, I replace my battery for the first time about four years after purchasing.
- Very easy and simple to use. Once you know what a leak sounds like, it is unmistakable you will not forget it. The sound of a leak sounds similar to the wind noise you would hear when speaking to someone on a cell phone on a windy day.
- No false-positive readings, once you know what you're listening for. After identifying a leak doublecheck using soap bubbles to confirm.
- Unlike sniffer detectors, you do not have to hover over the leak for 3 to 5 seconds in order for it to register.
- Can be used in mechanical rooms by using the parabolic attachment and turning the sensitivity down a bit.
- The sound generator can be used in many ways. Last time I used it was on a commercial reach-in refrigerator. The bottom of the door gasket was leaking. Customer just replace the door gasket himself, and was quite sure that it was not leaking. Place the sound generator in the box, closed-door. Using the detector, I went around the perimeter of the door and when I got to the bottom of the door, near the center, the detector proved to the owner that the gasket was indeed leaking.
- I believe you can get the detector for less than $200 on eBay or similar auction sites. Compare this to a sniffer detector, a good one starts at $300 and up.
- Most importantly, it can be used on any refrigerant or gases under pressure. I have found leaks in systems using as little as 20 to 30 psi pressure
Roger, this is an exceptional tool to have in your arsenal for detecting refrigerant leaks. Once you begin using it and get familiar with it -your other leak detectors will most likely stay on the truck shelf until a time comes where it is not feasible to use the ultrasonic detector. I have written about this particular leak detector a few times, search my postings to find them. I would not steer you wrong, these detectors are truly awesome!
Originally Posted by rogerk
I once was misled by the ultrasonic transmitter. I also thought that it could send sound signals into a line set. By the way some of the literature reads.It indicates that the transmitter can be used for leak testing a non pressurized system.
THIS IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL!!!!
The transmitter WILL NOT and CAN NOT send ultrasonic frequency into a refrigerant circuit or a line set.
What the transmitter can do is generate a detectable signal when you place it inside a deep freezer for example and close the lid the signal is detected where there are leaks in the freezers door gasket etc.
The literature also shows placing the transmitter in an attic and then use the detector from the roof top to help locate a roof leak as well as some other ideas for its use.
As far as the detector itself I have used one for around a year now and have had some phenominal results at finding leaks with it when other methods did not work very well. Such as where I used it in a large walk in cooler evaporator in a large chain grocery store.
The leak was about 5 inches deep in the center of the coil and soap bubbles did not work as that the bubbles disipated before they could become visible,pressurizing with Nitrogen did not help because you could not hear a hiss with the naked ear and sniffer leak detectors all went crazy when you got within 5 feet of the coil even with good discrimination features.
So locating exactly where the leak was had perplexed 2 other technicians and all quoted entire new evaporator coil replacements.
With the ultrasonic detector I was able to pin point where the leak was within around a 2 to 3 inch radius and cut back the fins in that area and went straight to the leak and repaired it.
I worked this same magic on a large walk in freezer and in a beer cooler all of which other service companies had reported that entire coil replacement was the only option to the customer.
Needless to say I became an instant hero and the national facilities manager was so impressed that we soon took over the contract as the outside service provider for this large grocery store chain.
However I have used the Ultrasonic detector on some leak searches where it did not work at all. You see the leak has to be producing a detectable ultrasonic sound and NOT ALL LEAKS will produce a detectable sound.Plus I have found that some fluorescent lights and other equipment can give off frequencies that can hinder the Ultrasonics use in some environments.
Regardless of the short comings I now carry the Ultrasonic with me on ALL leak searches because it has proven itself as a cutting edge tool that can help find leaks when other detection systems fail.Especially good results on roof top package units and outside condensers where the air movement from breezes can make using a sniffer type detector as useless.
Last edited by AtoZhvac; 03-22-2009 at 02:27 AM.
Reason: added texts
Sounds like an interesting concept. It is probably worth pointing out that your not going to detect a leak with ultra sonic by running the business end of the detector down along some honeycomb grills in an operating supermarket or things of this nature.
I think the sniffer is a good option to check for leaks broadly and quickly, and the ultrasonic would work efficiently at pin pointing leaks.
And the transmitter/detector duo.
For roof or sound proofing a house I can see use, but in refrigeration, for checking box leaks, you wont find anything better than a lighter to accomplish this.
Originally Posted by skr0oface
Actually in my experiences with the Ultrasonic detector when a leak is creating a detectable ultrasonic sound the detector in some cases can pick up the leak sound from a fairly long distance away even up to a couple of feet or more without removing all of the cover panels etc.Although it best of course if you can get as close to the coil or tubing as possible.
Even though the literature with the Amprobe detector states that leak sounds are directional in their nature I have actually detected leaks spewing in the opposite direction with good clarity 8 to 10 inches away!
Once familiar with its operation leak scans can be done pretty fast in fact the Ultrasonic detector is the very first piece of equipment that I start my leak searches with. I can quickly determine if the leak is giving off a detectable ultrasonic sound and if not then I will use the sniffer and bubble methods as double verification. This has saved me lots of time on leak searches by having all of these resources available.
The Amprobe Ultrasonic leak detector for me is right up there with the VETO PRO PAC as one of those tools thats guaranteed to make you feel good
Last edited by AtoZhvac; 03-22-2009 at 03:16 PM.
Maybe I was misled. I read an add in RSES March 2009 issue pg. 18. "The TMULD-300 version includes a seperate transmitter to inject an area with ultrasonic sound to pinpoint leaks without the need to pressurize a system - perfect during repairs - as there is no need to re-pressurize a system to determine if all leaks were repaired." Reading this makes it sound like there is a way to connect the transmitter to the lineset and somehow send the sound produced by the transmitter into the lineset. I think amprobe should reword their add as it is very misleading IMO.
Originally Posted by hvacrmedic
Ordered 1 today for $300.00. Hopefully it will work better than my sniffers have.
Originally Posted by badbillr
Originally Posted by rogerk
I've almost pulled the trigger a couple of times but came up short. After getting some feedback from the forum I recently purchased a Dye kit. I used it once and was VERY pleased with the results.
After you get and use your ultrasound gives us the facts.
You can count on that.
Originally Posted by newoldtech
This Amprobe thing uses 40 kHz
and the wavelength of sound at 40 kHz is 1/3rd (~5/16ths) of an inch.
Can anyone confirm that this thing is better at detecting holes bigger than 5/16ths of an inch and not good at finding holes 1/16th and smaller?
Is it better at finding round holes than at finding slots?
From your posts, I think now all it does is shift the 40 kHz down to something audible, like 5 or 10 kHz.
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