View Full Version : Hand-held coolant detectors - Technical question

11-07-2017, 09:07 AM

I work in the Aviation industry. We have a 2.7KW cooling unit, containing R245fa. We have a Chillguard RT leak monitor which is independent of the system.

The Chillguard started beeping yesterday, so the system was shut down, and valves closed as a precaution, whilst further leak checks were carried out. The system is in a relatively confined space, so I really need to be sure it isn't leaking.

We have a hand-held leak detector which is calibrated for R134a, which we have been told will detect R245fa. We powered up the system again carried out checks using the hand-held detector, but found nothing, even though the Chillguard was detecting a leak.

Have we been given good information (the R143a detector is capable of detecting R245fa), or do we have a fault in our Chillguard system?

I am an Aircraft technician by trade, but also cover H&S/EP aspects, so I just need to make sure we are not being negligent.

Many thanks,


monkey spanners
11-07-2017, 02:11 PM
Have no experience of working with R245fa. I would check with the hand held leak detector manufacturers to see if it will detect R245fa.

I think you need an F-Gas qualification to be leak testing systems containing hfc's.

The Viking
11-07-2017, 02:56 PM
One important point with the handheld leak detector...
It will zero calibrate when turned on. This means that you need to turn it on in fresh air and not inside the compartment where you suspect the leak to be.

Oh, yes you do need a F-gas ticket to say that there isn't a leak...

12-07-2017, 11:09 AM

The person carrying out the checks is C&G qualified, so we are covered from that perspective.

The problem we have is that an external agency have told us the F-134f detector will also detect F-245fa (even though it isn't on the spec), but we are not entirely convinced. I'll just have to see if I can get any information from the manufacturer directly.



12-07-2017, 10:14 PM
Why not release a small amount of F-245fa from your troublesome system in a known exit point, shrader, access valve etc and see if your hand held picks it up...

And....after I posted that, realized it breaks a few laws. But really, a small sniff of the stuff would all it would take. Like when you take your gauges off...

Shall I dig myself a bigger hole?