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The Tell-tale Signs of Refrigerant Leaks and Tools to Find Them

Refrigerant is the lifeblood of a cooling system and any leaks in the closed loop refrigeration cycle will compromise system performance. It’s critical to find leaks fast to maximize heat absorption and release as refrigerant circulates within the system. Eliminating leaks also minimizes the impact that released refrigerants may have on the environment.

 

Know your Refrigerant

As the industry transitions away from HFC refrigerants such as R410a, it’s important to be able to properly identify and handle them, as well as detect leaks as early as possible. This becomes increasingly important as these refrigerants are phased out, as proactively finding and addressing their leaks is critical to extending the life of older HVAC systems.

 

Signs of a Leak

When working on a system, there are a few obvious signs that it may have a leak. Signs could range from frozen coils and hissing sounds to the system not reaching the set temperature and running constantly. Refrigerant is heavier than air and will condense and settle near the base of a confined area, so begin your search low and trace line sets and possible leak points moving upwards. Common leak points can be found at elbow joints or any brazed or press-fit connections. Also check for coil corrosion, visible cracks or holes, or signs of oil on the ground around the condenser or on the line set itself.

 

Two Versatile, Powerful Detectors

Fieldpiece offers two versatile, easy-to-use refrigerant leak detectors that find leaks as small as 0.03 oz/yr. The Fieldpiece DR58 Heated Diode Refrigerant Leak Detector detects all HFC, CFC, HCFC, HFO and blended refrigerants and offers superior sensitivity to R410A refrigerant. The Fieldpiece DR82 Infrared Refrigerant Leak Detector is also effective at finding all HFC, CFC, HCFC, HFO and blends, and it features a sensor life up to 10 years.

 

They both offer bright backlit LCD screens and feature four leak indicators including a flashing lighted tip, loud beeper, bar graph and numerical value. Plus, they’re designed to withstand all weather conditions and quickly recharge with any USB outlet.

 

Catch Leaks Early

When maintaining a system, finding leaks early is important, as it helps extend the life of the system and keep it running more efficiently and effectively. To ensure that leaks are found early, make sure the Fieldpiece DR58 – Heated Diode Refrigerant Leak Detector or the Fieldpiece DR82 Infrared Refrigerant Leak Detector are in your bag. You’ll have a powerful, tough, and sensitive ally on the jobsite.

Learn more about our leak detectors and all Fieldpiece products at www.fieldpiece.com

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