Best Refrigerant Leak Detectors 2021

Are you searching for the best Refrigerant Leak Detectors to purchase? If yes, you are in the right place. And I’ll urge you to read through this guide, as we’re about to show you the best Refrigerant Leak Detectors. You will be pleased if you read through it.

HVAC systems have intricate parts, a lot of electrical and moving pieces. However, one of the most complicated aspects is the refrigeration system is detecting a leak. A refrigerant leak can happen at any point along the line and can be one of the most challenging things to find.

Diagnosis isn’t all you have to worry about. Fixing a leak and repairing a system are only accomplished through skilled labor with precision tools. Along with a high-quality set of HVAC gauges, the best refrigerant leak detector will ensure you do the best job possible.

Drill bit sharpeners unlike refrigerant leak detectors are tools used to sharpen drill bits.

Types of leak detectors:

  1. Corona Discharge
  2. Ultrasonic
  3. Infrared
  4. Heat Diode

Buyer’s guide for the best Refrigerant Leak Detectors

The factors put into consideration before getting refrigerant leak detectors are different from the factors put into consideration when getting circular blade saws.

Accuracy

When you are looking for an HVAC gas leakage, you need to find the source fast. Only the most accurate leak detector will be able to meet that demand. While looking for the accuracy for any detector, the best sign is to look at the technique it uses for the detection.

Continuous Operation Time

What we mean continuous operation time is that for how long you can use the detector continuously. The reason why you need to consider this factor is that it shows how much time the detector gives to find the leakage.

Beyond the continuous operation limit, you risk exposing the sensor to contaminants. Once the sensor is contaminated, there is no way but to change it. So, get the detector that is not prone to contamination. Almost all the infrared leak detectors are not prone to contamination.

Battery

You want to use a detector that is cordless and gives ample mobility in any working environment. That is, most preferred leak detectors are battery-powered. If you see our list, you will find that some detectors use traditional cell batteries and some modern lithium batteries.

Cell type batteries can be recharged. They need to be replaced. And the lithium-ion batteries are chargeable. Both have their advantages. Cell type batteries can run for a long time, whereas lithium batteries need to be charged every 5-6 hours.

But there is one issue with cell type batteries. When the battery is low, the detector may not function properly. But it is not the same with lithium batteries. But sometimes you may not have to charge port nearby you, then for such cases on the detectors with replaceable batteries is the only option. Unlike refrigerant leak detectors, electric gloves and hydraulic bench press do not use battery.

Sensor

The sensor is the main factor that differentiates one detector to another. So always see the lifetime of the sensor. Some have one year, five years, or ten years. Though the manufacturer may say, its sensor may last up to 10 years, but if it gets contaminated easily, then there is no point buying the detector.

So, always make sure the detector you buy has a well-protected sensor and has a long life.

Maintenance

As the detectors are always used in harsh environments where there are moisture, oil, or different gases, maintenance becomes a key factor. If the detector is not maintained correctly, it loses its accuracy.

So, get the detector that requires a list amount of maintenance. More importantly, the sensor must be well protected. Thus reducing the effort needed for maintenance. The maintenance methods used in refrigerant leak detectors are different from the maintenance methods put in place for tools like PVC pipe detectors and tube cutters, however it is necessary you implore maintenance strategies for these tools.

Supported Refrigerants

If you are familiar with refrigerants and cooling equipment like refrigerators and AC, then you must know that there are a lot of different gases that get used as a refrigerant. Because of this, some specific refrigerant leaks might not be detected by a given detector.

To overcome this issue, you should get a refrigerant leak detector that supports a wide range of refrigerants and detects them properly in case of a leak.

Thankfully, almost all refrigerant leak detectors come with a list of various supported refrigerants that you should check. It includes various CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs, and other refrigerant types, as well as their mixes.

Warranty

Apart from having a long-lasting sensor, the whole leak detector unit also needs to be reliable and durable if you want to keep using it for a long time. And the easiest way to ensure this is to check the warranty offered by your refrigerant leak detector.

Different models come with different warranty periods, which include options like a 1-year long warranty or a 2-year long warranty. When compared, any leak detector that offers a longer battery life is considered to be more reliable and durable.

A few refrigerant leak detectors also come included with a carrying case that can be handy for easily storing as well as taking the detector with you to a remote job site without damaging it.

BEST REFRIGERANT LEAK DETECTORS

NAMES FEATURES WHERE TO BUY
Elitech ILD-200

B07586MWM9

An advanced infrared sensor designed to last a minimum of 10 years.

Three sensitivity levels down to 4g/year.

Earphone design makes it easy to find leaks and hear the alarm in noisy environments.

High-capacity rechargeable lithium battery lasts all day long and beyond.

GET IT ON AMAZON
Fieldpiece SRL8

B0023SMJL0

Sensitivity better than 0.1 oz/yr

15-hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery with wall and vehicle chargers

CFC, HFC, HCFC, and blends

Manual or automatic zeroing

GET IT ON AMAZON
Inficon TEK-Mate 705-202-G1

B000H6OZJ4

Heated diode sensor

Two-year replacement warranty

Made in the USA

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LotFancy Leak Detector

B00P90BKOG

Real-time sensitivity, refrigerant Freon leak detector can be automatically adjusted to the best optimum detecting state

Flexible probe can reach to almost any awkward corners or space; More stable gas leak detector with precise ultra-low power IC design

Tricolor display of battery voltage; Siren sound and flashing light for the leak alarm indicator. Make sure to put 4 x AAA alkaline batteries in it. Please pull out the battery holder and install all four batteries

GET IT ON AMAZON
Signstek Portable Detector

B00FYO8UL8

14 inches (35.5cm) flexible stainless steel probe can reach to almost any tight space

Single color LED display with 6-level leak alarm, tricolor display of battery voltage

Real-time sensitivity and RESET time sensitivity adjustment, One extra spare sensing tip included

Tricolor display of battery voltage(Green, Orange & Red).

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Elitech CLD-100

B01H34U9N8

Compact in appearance, it is stable and easy to operate.

Detect all kinds of halogen refrigerants.

Dual-color visual display of battery voltage.

Excellent sensor brings high sensitivity and long service time.

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Robinair TIFXL-1A

B004HMKPMK

Sensor sensitivity of 0.40 oz/year

Comes with a 2-year long warranty

The 14-inch long flexible sensing tip

Updates up to 2K times/second

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Elitech WJL-6000 Freon Leak Detector

B015FK1EH2

Sensitivity adjusted at any time and it can be adjusted automatically to the best state of detecting;

Inner precise IC with ultra-low power consumption circuit design, more stable, longer battery life;

Dual-color visual display of battery voltage;

Excellent sensor, high sensitivity, long lifetime.

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INFICON D-TEK

B00063VK6Y

Made in: United States

Commercial brand: INFICON

Test Instruments & Gauges

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Robinair 16455 TruTrack.

B004CGPWGK

Leak Detector Type Ultrasonic

Refrigerants Detected Any

Battery & Sensor Life Up to 96 hrs battery/5+ years solid probe sensor

Detection Speed Medium

Sensitivity Levels Adjustable turn-dial

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Elitech ILD-200

B07586MWM9

the Elitech ILD-200, a rechargeable infrared refrigerant detector that is earning rave reviews right now.

One of the reasons why this detector is the most expensive is simply because it has been made to last. It looks solid, fits the hand well, and has a sensor that has been designed to last for ten years before it needs to be replaced. Any of you that have used cheap detectors in the past will know just how frustrating it is when you need to replace far more often than you would like.

As for the sensitivity levels on the ILD-200, there are three pre-set levels with the max level being that of 4g/year. Using the probe on this detector, you will be able to identify if there are leaks of any halogenated refrigerants usually within a matter of seconds.

What we also like about this leak detector is that it will last around six hours of continuous use and that it comes with a rechargeable battery.

PROS CONS
Rechargeable so no batteries needed. A little too sensitive in high sensitivity mode.
Long length probe.
10-year sensor life.

Fieldpiece SRL8

B0023SMJL0

The SRL8 Heated Diode Refrigerant Leak Detector is designed exclusively to make the HVAC/R Technician’s job easier, faster, safer, and more efficient. We set out to develop the best-heated diode leak detector for HVAC/R. We believe the SRL8 is it. It comes in kit form in a rugged, blow-mold case with all of the extras you don’t get from the other guys. (see What’s Included?).

The Fieldpiece ergonomic standalone design fits naturally in your hand. The ruggedized construction stands up to abuse most other leak detectors can’t handle. The 15-hour battery life lets you work all day and then some before recharging.

The included vehicle and wall chargers help you during overtime. The MUTE and ZEROing functions allow you to work the way you want to work. The magnetic hanger helps keep the detector out of the way when repairing a leak, but visible enough so you won’t leave it on the job.

PROS  CONS
The battery lasts for two days. Sensitivity can be too much as it can sometimes pick up the fluorine from soaps.
Fully rechargeable.
Extremely sensitive and quick to use.

Inficon TEK-Mate 705-202-G1

B000H6OZJ4

TEK-Mate is the ideal refrigerant leak detector for the light-to-medium duty user who demands reliable leak detection at a budget-friendly price.

Features such as the INFICON heated diode sensor, variable intensity audible and visual alarms, and automatic compensation for changing background refrigerant concentrations make TEK-Mate the best bargain in refrigerant leak detectors.

PROS CONS
Detects all types of CFCs, HFCs, and any blends of the two. Not ideal for heavy-duty use.
Sensors will last for up to 1,000 hours of use.
Loud and clear alarm for noisy environments.

LotFancy Leak Detector

B00P90BKOG

The LotFancy Refrigerant Leak Detector is a strong all-around tool for Freon detection. It works by testing the air for chemical particles through its flexible sensor.  It is suitable for use on automobile AC systems, refrigeration units, AC units, and more. It detects a wide range of halogenated refrigerant chemicals (HFCs, CFCs, and HCFCs), cleaning agents, and other gases which contain bromine, fluorine, and/or chlorine.

PROS CONS
Strong and flexible probe Known to be a little too sensitive and trigger false alarms.
Great value for money. Struggles a bit with the detection of 134A.
One-year warranty.

Signstek Portable Detector

B00FYO8UL8

This is an inexpensive detector that uses the heated diode method of refrigerant detection. This is the process of collecting air and heating it so that chlorine and fluoride ions are separated.

When using this detector, as soon as any refrigerants have been detected the LED display will flash and let you know how severe the leak is across six different levels. We did notice that this detector is not as sensitive as some of the more expensive models but a positive is that it can detect a wide range of different refrigerants and blends.

That sensitivity can be set between 3g/year and 0.1oz/year while the 14-inch probe is longer than many of its competitors. This allows you to reach more difficult areas that some of its competitors will not be able to get to.

PROS CONS
Good length probe. Fairly lightweight and delicate.
Good budget leak detector. Doesn’t have the sensitivity of more expensive detectors.
Can detect all refrigerants.

Elitech CLD-100

B01H34U9N8

Elitech CLD-100 Portable Refrigerant Freon Leak Detector is an economic and practical halogen detection device with the latest leaks detection technology. CLD-100 Halogen Leak Detector can be used to detect leaks in other systems and storage/recovery containers. It is easy to operate, reliable in performance, and compact in size.

PROS CONS
Equipped with a dual-color battery indicator that allows you to differentiate between a charged and drained product The unit may not last as long as users expect
Any leakage would be informed by triggering an audible as well as a visual alarm for better functionality Once set off, the alarm is hard to turn off
Allows users great adjustability with 6 adjustable sensitivities, the maximum of which is 0.21 oz/yr
Great response time allows you to save a considerable amount of gas leak from your unit

Robinair TIFXL-1A

B004HMKPMK

Robinair’s TIFXL-1A refrigerant leak detector is quite a handy detector mainly due to its flexible sensing tip that can be bent for access in small corners. Another great thing about this tip is that it is 14 inches long for ease of use while using this refrigerant leak detector. Talking about functioning, it has an advanced digital signal processor that can update up to 2K times/second.

Since this is from a popular brand, it comes with CE approval and UL classification for standardized and right results. It is powered by 2 c-cell battery that is rechargeable so that you do not have to change again and again. Unfortunately, the sensor sensitivity rating of 0.40 oz/year is quite low, especially when compared with other options out there.

PROS CONS
Uses a high-performance processor Low sensor sensitivity rating
Comes with a flexible sensing tip
Offers a decent warranty

Elitech WJL-6000 Freon Leak Detector

B015FK1EH2

Elitech WJL-6000 portable refrigerant freon leak detector is a reliable product with ease operation. This leak detector is an ideal and economic freon and halogen leak detector. Its application is detecting pipeline leakage, automobile air conditioner, cold storage, refrigerator repair, etc.

PROS CONS
Battery status indicator alerts the user when it is time to replace the batteries Low sensitivity makes it difficult to detect small leaks
The battery life of 50 hours eliminates the need to change them frequently
Compact design and lightweight further increases its portability
Included black storage bag makes it easy to carry this product
Both audio and visual leakage indicator

INFICON D-TEK

B00063VK6Y

This packaging makes it the most portable HVAC leak detector. With two different types of chargers available, it gives you the flexibility of working in different environments. As far as the batteries are concerned, it uses NiMH instead of lithium.

Ergonomics are simple and almost the same as the best HVAC refrigerant leak detectors we have mentioned on our list. The only thing that could have been better was the battery life. Though being a rechargeable detector, it makes up for it.

PROS CONS
Two types of chargers included in the package. No TFT screen.
Accurately detects the leakage.
Rechargeable batteries.
Spare filters.

Robinair 16455 TruTrack

B004CGPWGK

When only the best will do, the Robinair TruTrack is ready to go. The TruTrack is an ultrasonic detector that will detect all refrigerant types. It doesn’t stop there, though; you can also hear vibrations from failing bearings, valves, and seals and almost any engine component.

The main issue with an ultrasonic detector is that you must wear headphones to hear the audible hissing. On top of that, the ambient noise int eh environment needs to be quiet as well. If you are looking for an R-134a leak in a car, for example, a noisy working garage may not be the best option.

Aside from that, everything is made easier with this device. You can dial up the sensitivity and begin detecting leaks from a few feet away. As you get closer, you can dial down the sensitivity level to help you pinpoint the location. Follow that with a quick soap bubble test, and you are ready for repairs.

PROS CONS
Can be used for any air leaks, bearings, seals, or other system components. The detection range varies from inches to feet.
Huge, detailed manual included for use and learning. Must be a quiet environment to hear leaks, even with headphones.
Everything you need is included in the package.
No warm-up time needed.

CONCLUSION

The best HVAC refrigerant leak detector for you is going to be the one that is easy to operate, will detect the refrigerants you will be working with and is useful, durable, and reliable.

Any of the options on the list in this review article will help you locate any number of leaks. Picking the right one, however, is a judgment call on your part. Find the model that fits your budget and has simple controls that you can master easily.