Just How Beneficial is the Use of Fluorescent Dye at Detecting Leaks in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems?

Seasoned engineers will know that when identifying leaks, there can be many different approaches. 

This role is made easier by the many products available to engineers, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t considerations to make. 

The use of fluorescent dye is popular in the HVAC industry, but there are still those who are holding off investing in such a product as they’re not fully aware of the benefits. 

One of the main roles of an engineer is to ensure that leaks are identified quickly so the right fix can be put in place. 

Although the use of fluorescent dye isn’t a replacement for other detection methods, it does offer several benefits that make fluorescent dyes a worthwhile investment. 

Identify Hidden Leaks Quickly 

Regardless of whether an engineer is contending with an air-conditioning unit, or working on refrigeration, the main goal will be to limit the loss of refrigeration. 

Not only are hard-to-detect leakages time-consuming, but they can also be detrimental to the environment. 

Even if there is a fault visible when first working on the application, the use of fluorescent dye can help locate other leaks that may be obscured which are contributing to the problem. 

Works in Tandem with Refrigerant 

The concerns that some have in relation to the refrigerant can often be a misunderstanding. Although it’s completely understandable why engineers may assume that the use of fluorescent dye is detrimental as it will react to the refrigerant. 

Engineers that ensure that they use a reputable brand supplier can be confident that the dye will work alongside the refrigerant, and only make its presence known when a leak becomes present. 

Engineers Can Locate Leaks Without Shutting Down the Application 

As well as being able to locate small leaks, a fluorescent dye can also be used when the application is running. 

This ensures that repairs can be located quickly and rectified accordingly. 

The use of fluorescent dye can also help identify leaks in the future should there be any further problems with the application again. 

Helps Increase Productivity 

How long it takes to repair an application depends on several factors, but the last thing engineers want to spend time on is locating leaks that may not be visible due to how small they are. 

A bit of extra time spent on a repair may seem like nothing initially but over time locating small and out-of-sight leaks can soon eat into the productivity of an engineer. 

If the leak or defect isn’t visible when checking the application, then dye can be injected into the system and within a few minutes, engineers can locate the leaks via the use of a UV torch. 

Less Stress for the Application 

It’s no secret how serious the leaking of refrigerant can be, but there could be other issues if a leak isn’t found as soon as possible. 

Without the use of fluorescent dye, identifying small leaks is more difficult, and over time the loss of refrigerant could mean that the application must work harder to operate. 

This includes excessive pressure on the compressor, which in turn could go on to affect other aspects of the application. 

A Safer Environment 

Although engineers will be working on different applications, the loss of refrigerant can be serious in every instance. 

Regardless of whether it’s within a work environment or around the home, leaking refrigerant has the potential to cause adverse symptoms to arise which can include but are not limited to the following. 

  • Irregular Heartbeat 
  • Nausea 
  • Headaches 
  • Coughing 
  • Throat Irritability 

This isn’t to say that a small leak will mean that those within the vicinity will become unwell, but it is something worth noting when carrying a repair on an HVAC application. 

Why Use Fluorescent Dye Instead of a Bubble Test?

Before the introduction of fluorescent dye, one of the most common forms of detecting leaks was via the use of bubbles. 

The use of bubbles normally means spraying a product near a suspected fault and looking out for air bubbles which will pinpoint a leak. 

Although useful in some instances, there could be smaller leaks that aren’t identified, which means the general maintenance of the application will be more expensive as a result.

Not only does the loss of refrigeration cause more stress to the application, but replacing lost refrigerant is another cost that will need to be met by the business. 

Not only is the use of fluorescent dye more time effective, but it could also help highlight problems that may not have been known about in the first instance. 

This ensures that the application is running efficiently as well as ensuring that the business is having to schedule several service calls to get to the bottom of the issue. 

The use of fluorescent dye won’t always be necessary, but it’s an essential tool for those that are having problems locating leaks otherwise.

HVACTOOLS offer several products that aid engineers looking for an approach that is quick and easy when looking for problematic leaks. 

Those new to the industry may want to consider the EZ-JECT Leak Detection Kit, which is perfect for engineers contending with small applications. 

If you’re simply looking for fluorescent dye replacement cartridges, then HVACTOOLS can also help in this regard.