Before we discuss whether or not ultrasonic leak detectors work, let us define an electronic ultrasonic leak detector.
An ultrasonic leak detector is a type of electronic leak detector that detects sound waves emitted by a fluid or gas being forced through a small passage.
Due to the way this detector operates, it is not restricted to specific types of gasses containing specific molecules.
Electronic leak detectors in the past relied on a heated diode to detect halogenated gases or a solid-state sensor to detect changes in conductivity.
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Is Ultrasonic Leak Detection Reliable and Effective?
Yes! I’ve found that ultrasonic leak detectors are significantly more reliable than the other types of electronic leak detectors mentioned for locating refrigerant leaks on HVAC equipment.
As manufacturers continue to develop new refrigerants that are less harmful to the ozone layer, electronic leak detectors appear to be having an increasing amount of difficulty detecting these refrigerants.
Outdoors, ultrasonic leak detectors perform exceptionally well. The reason for this is that ultrasonic detectors are not dependent on detecting a particular chemical composition.
A refrigerant leak on outdoor equipment can easily be diluted or carried away entirely by a slight breeze, rendering other types of electronic detectors nearly useless.
Due to the fact that ultrasonic detectors detect only sound, they are typically more effective in this type of scenario.
Ultrasonic leak detectors have a harder time detecting leaks in extremely noisy environments.
While they do an admirable job of filtering out background noise, they are occasionally fooled.
As demonstrated in the video above, the majority of these detectors include a pair of inexpensive headphones.
I’d recommend investing in a pair of over-ear noise-canceling headphones to help reduce background noise and maximize the tool’s effectiveness.
The majority of manufacturers recommend using headphones.
If desired, you may use the tool without headphones. As you approach and pinpoint the leak location, the tool will emit flashing lights and audible beeps to indicate the strength of the leak detection.
I hope the video gives you a sense of what to expect when using this particular type of leak detector.
If you’re interested in purchasing one, you can do so here on Amazon.
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