View Full Version : Which leak detector technology is best?

09-07-2014, 01:20 AM
I'm in the market for a handheld leak detector & wondering which way to go.

Does anyone have information on which technology is best for accuracy, susceptibility to false positives?

Are Fieldpiece infra red superior in any way to heated diode or negative corona detectors?

What's flavour of the month?

Of the brands I've used in the past, I'm inclined to avoid CPS. D-Tek seemed ok, Bacharach seemed pretty good - few false positives with it. The Tek-mate I had I didn't fully trust, but it was a hand-me-down.

21-07-2014, 11:31 AM
160-odd views & no one has an answer - or opinion?

21-07-2014, 11:53 AM
All of the various makes that I have used seem to work most of the time, but then you are not always 100% certain. The time it becomes a concern is when it cannot detect a known reference leak!
How do you know when the sensor tip has decided it is too contaminated to register properly or whether the new tip is any better?
Not sure which of the sensing technologies is any more reliable so unable to suggest a best choice.

21-07-2014, 12:00 PM
I have the fieldpiece infra red tester and i find it very good and accurate ,I also use a cheap ultrasonic and of course suds . I find that using a combination of the three to be faultless .Make sure whichever handheld you go for to get a rechargeable one as all makes eats batteries .

21-07-2014, 12:26 PM
Hyperion, that is the challenge with almost every electronic gizmo that I have! And is why I haven't moved to a digital service manifold yet. :)

Joe, the Bacharach I had issued (http://www.bacharach-inc.com/tru-pointe.htm) seemed to have pretty good battery life. The Cliplight that I have now is rubbish - although it's gone back under warranty as I believe there's a fault - batteries last 2-3 hours at best & get warm to hot. The published battery life is 8 hours.

Personally I use the electronic to find the area, then Big Blu for confirmation - every electronic that I've ever used is susceptible to air currents. ie a strong breeze or moving the tip too fast set them off.
So I like to see the bubbles before I go to fix a leak. ;)

I'd love to give an ultrasonic detector a try when I can afford one. How close to the leak do they have to be to pick it up, and how well do they work in noisy environments?

21-07-2014, 02:15 PM
The ultrasonic i use was less than 200 euro but it does suffer from noise .Its great though when you can isolate other noise like switching off everything in a plantroom or isolating fans and lights in a case.It is only affected by noise directly in line with it.I have easily picked up leaks from as far away as 15- 20ft. Fleorescent lights are the worst for interference .

22-07-2014, 10:10 AM
Thanks Joe, that's really helpful information. :)

25-07-2014, 06:03 AM
For anyone interested in ultrasonic leak detection, I found this interesting instructional video:

25-07-2014, 08:27 AM
F.G. Fieldpiece IR for initial search and a old "Spray and Wipe" bottle filled with detergent and water for confirmation. ( Wash off detergent before legging it.)

25-07-2014, 11:40 AM
Cheers Mike.

Yep, it's hard to beat soapy water. :D
I use the same methodology, except that I've found Big Blu to be better than homebrew. You can bUy it in bulk as well, so not as expensive. :)
And yes, I generally wipe it off afterwards. 3 reasons: Bubbles can corrode copper. Left alone, it can become an oily residue - making it look like an 'old oil' situation. I like to be professional.

The MG Pony
25-07-2014, 03:45 PM
My vote is on Infared absoprtion as it is immune to all the head aces of heated diod, coronal discharge, as for bet practise nothing left to add, just be therough.

26-07-2014, 02:25 AM
I have been using a yellow jacket for a few years, cannot fault performance. I also use the big blue spray stuff

26-07-2014, 02:57 AM
I must say the infra reds also suffer from moving too fast or a bird with heavy perfume most guys holding these things for years though can seperate the perfume from the leak i hope haha

26-09-2014, 04:20 PM
May I suggest Sir

You fool . Thaz receiver is TWICE the size that it neeeds to be

26-09-2014, 04:25 PM
Purely a speculative response to the '' glass half full .... glass half empty '' anecdote .

Yours Faithfully


04-02-2015, 05:16 AM
hi. i think PID gas detection system is the best.It is a wireless portable hand held detector.I am using it from last year and is working fine.

04-02-2015, 01:46 PM
This is a great article for this theme. how to select a leak detector (http://blog.niktek.gr/how-to-select-a-leak-detector/) The most universal type of leak detector is the PS-i Ultrasonic Leak Detector (http://www.plantscan.com/PS-i-kit?sc=2&category=172) because it is gas independent, and can work in vacuum, pressure, in internal leaks as well as static leaks with the aid of an ultrasonic sound generator.

14-02-2015, 07:55 PM
Hi, CPS has a new leak seeker, the LS1 and 2, they are great to use, light and alsways a super result. You don't need to change te sensor often, and all the problems were for me ok, for me ther is only one mark in this market , for the refrigeration technicians, and thats CPS. Have fun, and choose the right one. Jeroen